Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

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BBadger
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby BBadger » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:29 pm

Well, when you subsidize something, you do get a lot more of it.

I am thankful for the bike repair camp that helped my friend's blown tire way out on the other side of the city. Yes, we could have gone back to camp to grab our spare tubes, pump, etc. and such, but it was nice being able to walk ourselves to the glowing bike sign (and that sign is really bad ass) and receive some assistance at 1 AM. We'll be emphasizing thorn-resistant tires this next burn (as I had installed in my own bike).

I'm not so enthused about the idea of people bringing a freshly unboxed bike to the repair shop to get its first servicing. People should be expected to prepare their bike for the playa before they arrive.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby PanMan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:38 am

Does anybody know which sealed bearing to get for the Huffy Cranbrook? One issue I see with the huffy is that the peddle cranks seems to be 1 piece, not something that comes off? So with different (sealed) bearings, you would need different pedal cranks as well? I'd like to buy a few sets before heading out next year.

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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby unjonharley » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:44 am

Would food grade/water proof grease help keep playa dust out .. I am applying this to the bike.. For winter riding in OR .. Would suggest this grease for all bikes ridden in the rain or being washed often ..
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby unjonharley » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:48 am

PanMan wrote:Does anybody know which sealed bearing to get for the Huffy Cranbrook? One issue I see with the huffy is that the peddle cranks seems to be 1 piece, not something that comes off? So with different (sealed) bearings, you would need different pedal cranks as well? I'd like to buy a few sets before heading out next year.


Why would want extra bearings?? .. If you clean grease and adjust your bike "before", it should ride very well for a week on the playa
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby Canoe » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:15 pm

unjonharley wrote:Would food grade/water proof grease help keep playa dust out .. I am applying this to the bike.. For winter riding in OR .. Would suggest this grease for all bikes ridden in the rain or being washed often ..

There's always going to be a tiny seam with exposed grease, and that will get contaminated.
If the hub/BB is full of grease, then the exposed grease won't be migrating inwards, taking it's contamination with it. It will still mix into the grease further in, but that happens much slower.
That seam contamination is why some people are using rubber washers that are greased and installed so they're protecting that seam, to reduce contamination even more. On the typical cheap wheel bearing setup, cut one to fit under the dust cap. Grease it and make it thick enough that it's compressed against that seam.
With completely filling the BB tube, you have to watch out for drainage of the seat tube into the BB tube and out the bottom of the BB tube.
And that contamination is why if you have a nice bike, or want your bike to last, you're going to strip, clean and regrease your bearings after Burning Man.

Don't know about that type of grease.
Same/similar principles are used in wet or salt conditions. So check what is done for those with mountain bikes, particularly for beach riding. Best Practices are all similar (few surprises now) but do evolve.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby Elliot » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:30 pm

At a certain bicycle service camp I know of... Crankbroke bearing failures almost rivaled flat tires this year.
The search for solutions continues.
Meanwhile, I must urge everyone NOT to bring an el cheapo bike with one-piece crank to the Playa next year. Thank you!
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby unjonharley » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:34 pm

A person can buy a reasonably priced bike off Craig's List .. Get one with a three peace crank.. Take it to a bike shop and have it greased and inspected ..
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby Elliot » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:38 pm

Even brand new bikes are supposed to be thoroughly serviced before delivery. This is the responsibility of the dealer.
Of course, at American El Cheapo Mart "dealers", that Pre-Delivery Service is non-existent. The pieces are pulled from the box, some kid slaps the pieces together until they resemble a bicycle, and out the door it goes.

A truly bicycle-knowledgeable camp-member tells me....
Even with proper pre-delivery service, the Huffy Crankbroke is designed to last 100 kilometers (62 US miles) when ridden gently under ideal conditions (dry, clean, level, smoothly paved surface; no wind or heavy luggage) by a 50 Kilogram (110 pounds) lady.
After that... it is INTENDED to be scrapped.

That equals a day or two in BRC, and that's when these bikes start arriving at our shop, patently unrideable.

Photo of a one-piece crank, such as on the $69.95 Huffy Crankbroke. Note that the chrome "crank arm" that connects the pedal (on the right) to the middle of the bike... makes a smooth right angle turn before it disappears into the nut.
(Photo of three-piece crank to follow.)
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby Elliot » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:43 pm

Photo of three-piece crank.
The pencil points at the plastic cover that hides the bolt underneath. The two crank arms are bolted to the little shaft inside the middle (the "bottom bracket", in cyclist jargon), for a total of three pieces.
On average, these have far more durable bearings, so I recommend three-piece cranks in general.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby Elliot » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:04 pm

Removed from the bike, a one-piece crank. (Ashtabula crank, in cycling jargon, after the Ohio town where they were originally made.)
Decades ago, these had good bearings.
American icon Schwinn -- made in Chicago -- had them.
Today's cheap Chinese copies... are crap.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby Elliot » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:13 pm

Removed from the bike, a three piece crank.
These generally have more durable bearings.
Removing the arms from the piece in the middle requires a special tool (a puller) in addition to a 14 mm socket. (Though... the left arm sometimes falls off by itself.)
Attaching the arms requires high torque on the bolt/nut -- 35 Pound/Feet! (This example has nuts; bolts are better.)
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby some seeing eye » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:44 pm

Elliot wrote:
Photo of a one-piece crank, such as on the $69.95 Huffy Crankbroke. Note that the chrome "crank arm" that connects the pedal (on the right) to the middle of the bike... makes a smooth right angle turn before it disappears into the nut.
(Photo of three-piece crank to follow.)


Is that a 1/8 inch gap between the keyed washer and the bottom bracket where dust can get into the grease & bearings? I'd have to see one of these in a store or something. Assume just as bad on the chain ring side. Maybe in the American bike days it was a tiny gap.

Idea: 3d print a split flange-washer in nylon that fits around the bottom bracket, is zip tied in place and over the keyed washer to cover that gap while still allowing rotation? Or it could be a one piece covering both sides.

Or there could be a washer that fits around the outside edge of the keyed washer if you want to take it apart to install. Something with a cross section like http://simolex.com/wp-content/gallery/e ... -seals.png
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby Elliot » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:52 pm

Yes, there is a sizeable gap. That may even be the bearing itself that we can see in the photo.
Someone suggested a felt washer as a seal to keep dust out and grease in. I like that idea.
But I suspect there may be other factors at play, such as sloppy machining of the parts.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby unjonharley » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:08 pm

If you buy a second hand bike You can bet on it, the crank assembly has Never been inspected or serviced.. The bike may ride just fine at home.. You will soon get a different sound coming from the crank .. Almost everyone thinks: oil on the chair will take care of the noise .. Take you new old bike OR your Playa bike and have the ( bottom bracket ) crank assembly disassembled, inspected and greased .. All bets are off, if you buy a bike along the road on the way to BM ..
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby unjonharley » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:11 pm

Elliot wrote:Yes, there is a sizeable gap. That may even be the bearing itself that we can see in the photo.
Someone suggested a felt washer as a seal to keep dust out and grease in. I like that idea.
But I suspect there may be other factors at play, such as sloppy machining of the parts.


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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby maladroit » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:26 am

Given that the Yellow Bike program is using the Huffy Cranbrook, and that they keep bringing them back year after year, and that I rode a well-used Yellow Bike at the end of the week and it still wasn't screeching or hard to pedal...what magic are they doing to the Huffy Cranbrook that even the well established bike camps don't know? Is it all preventive maintenance (gobs of good grease in the bottom bracket)?

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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby unjonharley » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:08 am

maladroit wrote:Given that the Yellow Bike program is using the Huffy Cranbrook, and that they keep bringing them back year after year, and that I rode a well-used Yellow Bike at the end of the week and it still wasn't screeching or hard to pedal...what magic are they doing to the Huffy Cranbrook that even the well established bike camps don't know? Is it all preventive maintenance (gobs of good grease in the bottom bracket)?


They have repacked grease in the lower bracket .. Or have Huffy's from before they went (little or no) grease .. OR taken bikes out of the abandoned pile that have been serviced by a on playa bike repair camp .. Any bike repairer knows how to gob the grease to a moving part ..
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Postby BBadger » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:27 pm

maladroit wrote:Given that the Yellow Bike program is using the Huffy Cranbrook, and that they keep bringing them back year after year, and that I rode a well-used Yellow Bike at the end of the week and it still wasn't screeching or hard to pedal...what magic are they doing to the Huffy Cranbrook that even the well established bike camps don't know? Is it all preventive maintenance (gobs of good grease in the bottom bracket)?


I brought a Cranbrook and my Cranbrook's crank had bearing problems and destroyed the bearing cage. Still, after obtaining some bearing grease and setting bearings back in position (loose), it was smooth sailing. This was around Wednesday.

My problem was that the crank was somewhat loose and slowly that fluffy playa ate away at the grease I had put in copious amounts last year. I assumed what I had added last year was sufficient, but obviously it was not.

I'd expect that a properly greased and tightened crank would work all week. I also expect that most people just lube up their chains when it comes to bike maintenance, especially on cheap-ass bikes like Huffy Cranbrooks, or yard sale bikes. The less invested in the bike itself, the less time and effort people invest in the bike too. Plus if it doesn't feel like shit while pedaling in the street for a test run, people may assume it is fine out on playa.

I'll probably not bother replacing my crank with a 3-piecer. I'll just get a spare bearing set or two, and then be sure to grease them up properly next time. I've got the grease; I was just neglectful.
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