Wheel Service

Having to replace my wheel bearings in my Fulcrum Quattro wheels, I thought I’d just take a quick post on the process.

Front wheel

The front wheel, is of course the easiest of the pair todo.

  1. Remove end caps. These just pull out, but can be an absolute arse to pull out.
  2. Remove the tension collar, and the small metal washer that sits under it
  3. Pull out the axle from the wheel.

Now, check the wheel spin, and look at the bearings. Check the space behind, and confirm you have room to drive it out.

Place the wheel hub on a block of wood, and drift out the bearing from its seat. Do the same for the other side.

Give the bearing seat a good clean out with a degreaser rag.

Now, to reseat the bearings, I use a Rapid Racer bearing set. The two bearings used in the hubs are 6903 sized. So mount up the bearings in your press, grease them up, and gently drive them home until they stop. Don’t force them, just drive until they stop.

Clean off the axle, apply grease to the races and a small amount smeared over the rest of the axle and reassemble. Don’t forget the small metal washer under the locking ring.

Adjust the locking ring just enough to insure the axle dos’nt move side to side. Don’t over tighten.

Push the end caps back on (you can give the o rings on these a light grease coat, just to make them easier to remove in future)

And your done.

Rear Wheel.

On the rear wheel, it’s normally the left bearing that goes bad, as the right is well protected by the freehub, but its always a good idea to replace them all at the same time.

You’ll need a few extra tools for this wheel.

  • 5mm Allen key
  • 17mm spanner
  • C-clip pliers.
  • 6803 bearing press.
  • Chain whip
  • Lock ring tool
  • Grease gun.

Start off by removing the cassette, and give the whole freehub a good wipe down. This is a dirty hub, so clean all the wheel as you have access to it.

Insert the 5mm Allen key into the non drive side, and the 17mm spanner onto the drive side.

The left hand end cap is standard thread, but damn tight. Once that caps off, remove the locking collar, and again mind the small metal washer.

Pull the full freehub and axel out of the wheel. The pawls should be quite secure on the freehub, but just be careful they don’t fall.

Now, using the worktop, insert the 5mm Allan key and use it against the worktop to stop the freehub moving as you apply torque from the 17mm spanner to remove the freehub nut. Remove the nut and the spacer behind it.

The axle should now pull out of the freehub.

Replace the hub shell bearings in the rear wheel the same as the front. These again, are size 6903 sized.

The fun start with the bearings in the freehub. 🙂

Make sure you have a rag nearby to clean up with, as this is messy.

First drift out the outer most bearing, you’ll need to push the metal sleeve to one side to get access for the drift. Once out, remove the metal sleeve and clean out the freehub shell of the horrible milky white grease. Look inside the freehub, and you’ll see the inner bearing, it is however secured by a c clip on the inner. So, remove that c clip with your pliers and you’ll be able to drive that bearing out of it’s initial race. Now ensure the bearing hasn’t flipped over in the hub and carefully drive it past the outer race too.

Give the whole shell and pawls a really good clean with degreaser, and leave to dry. While that’s drying off, clean your work station and other parts that are greasy.

Now that’s all clean and dry, get your bearing press ready. The freehub takes bearings that are 6803, so mount one up in the bearing and pregrease. Drive the first bearing down past the first bearing seat, and continue down until it is seated just under the groove the c clip sits in.

Add a little more grease to the bearing top, and insert the clip back into its seat and ensure its seated.

Now, grease it all up, add loads of grease into the freehub shell. Just add it in, don’t skimp.

Reinsert the metal spacer, and line up the outer bearing on your press. Two turns on the press, remove it and check the bearing, if it’s not quite flush, give it a quarter turn and check again.

Inject grease into the pawl seats. Some people don’t like grease in the pawls due to a belief it clogs up the pawls and causes them not to seat correctly. All I can say, is that I’ve never had and issue. But feel free to leave them with a light coat, or a heavy(ish) oil.

Reassemble the axle and end cap on the non drive side, place the freehub back onto the axle and secure it using the metal spacer and nut.

Test spin the wheel. It will feel a little draggy initially while the bearings wear in, and the grease distributes. If the hub is too loud, remove the freehub, and add some grease to the toothed ring. It’ll quieten down for a whole at least.

Make sure the end cap and freehub nut are tight, and clean up. Your done..

Another stupid maintenance story.

The bearings have gone in my fulcrum quattro, not unusual as Fulcrum ship with bearings that are sealed on one side only. So they do tend to go quite quick.

But I couldn’t be bothered to change them out yet. So I grabbed a spare set of wheels, a Mavic Aksium pair. Cassette and tyres mounted, on the bike and spinning. They are certainly not the best wheels in the world, but they work.

Off I went for a ride. Noise. Rubbing noise. Any noise on a bike annoys me. I checked the tyre clearances, break pads. All fine. Noise was still there. I adjusted the pads on the front wheel, I could swear the noise was coming from the front wheel. Checked spokes, all appeared to be tight enough with a simple squeeze test.

No idea what this noise was. Then, all of a sudden it disappeared, nothing, no noise apart from the road noise.

Shifted up into the large chain ring, and there it was again. I thought the cable may of come slightly loose as I hadn’t adjusted it since changing the cables, so turned the barrel adjuster a turn, span the cranks and the noise was worse. What the hell.

On look, the cable end was rubbing on the wheel…

More Grease

I’ve written before about grease, it’s somewhat of an obsession with me. I’ve got tubes all over the garage.

Anyway, last time I cleaned out my headset (according to maintenance logs, 17th November), I used Park Tool standard grease, and as I had to remove the forks today, I thought I’d do another headset relube. So, looking at the grease that’s left, I was impressed that the bearings where still well covered, and the filth was minimal on the rear of the bearing seat. I’d ridden alot in some proper dirty wet weather, and the park grease had stood up well. A certain amount had clearly washed out, but enough remained to make me feel it would of been OK for another couple of months.

I’ve replaced it now with Crystal grease, which is alot thicker, and I’m pretty sure will stand up even more to the weather. It’s kind of become my goto grease at the minute, But time will certainly tell how it lasts.

After reassembly, the steering felt alot smoother, but that maybe in my head more than anything. One things for sure, crystal grease is alot easier and cleaner to apply than the park grease.

I’ve somehow gained a tube of MucOff bio grease to try out, so that’s another grease to try later. So far I’ve put it in my speedplays (which to my horror the left pedal was dry) but not ridden yet with it in. Muc-off states that it’s very water resistant, so hopefully it should stick around longer than the Weldtite. My speed plays are starting to wear anyway, so the grease may outlast the pedal bodies..

MucOff grease is pretty much the same colour as the Weldtite Tf2 Teflon grease I had been using, but has these weird silver things visible in the grease. I’ve not seen anything like it.