How to Replace Bearings in a Bicycle

How to Replace Bearings in a Bicycle
A seasoned cyclist will know immediately if his bearings are wearing out and need to be replaced. The wheel will create a slight grinding sound and feel, and the wheel may begin to wobble side-to-side no matter how tightly the nuts are turned. You can ride a bike without proper bearings, but it won't be as easy nor as safe. Replacing the bearings is a challenging task that should be taken up by someone with attention to detail and patience.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • 2 bearings
  • Soft-faced mallet
  • Block of wood with 11 mm. hole
  • Cone nut wrenches
  • Rag
  • Sandpaper
  • Grease
Step 1
Remove the nuts on either side of the bike hub. When these are removed, strike one end of the axle with a soft mallet to knock the axle out of its position. Grab the axle jutting out on the opposite side and remove it. Pull off any bearings that come with the axle.
Step 2
Put the axle back in the shaft, if there is a bearing remaining in the wheel. Use the mallet to hammer the axle back in and force the remaining bearing out the opposite end.
Step 3
Clean the rust off the axle. The best way to do this is with fine sandpaper, but a rust-removing cleaner may also work.
Step 4
Apply a thin layer of grease to where the bearings sit in the hub shell, as well as where the bearings sit on the axle.
Step 5
Place one bearing in a bearing seat, then slip in the axle into its shaft. Set the second bearing onto the axle, then take the block of wood with the hole drilled over the axle. Hit the wood with your soft mallet to drive the bearing until it is almost perfectly in place.
Step 6
Turn the hub slowly in your hands to make sure the bearings are secured. Tighten the outer lock nuts, making sure they are snugly fitted.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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