Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

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hooker
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Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by hooker » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:18 pm

I'm looking to replace my playa bike's wheel bearings. I've had the bike a few years and replaced the bottom bracket with a sealed bracket when the old one died a horrible death. The sealed bearings have been great. I rebuild my wheels every year, but would really like to get sealed bearings. Has anyone found sealed bearings or a hub that works with a cruiser that has a coaster brake?
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by lacixodarap » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:08 pm

Hi there, I likewise am very curious about recommendations for sealed bottom brackets compatible with the ubiquitous Huffy bikes on the playa. Also curious how folks have seen the sealed brackets hold up year over year versus the failure prone unsealed bearing cases that seem to just get shredded out there.

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Canoe
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Canoe » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:15 pm

For the BB, see if the YST bearings will fit. They have a rubber seal.
If so, completely pack them with grease.
Clean them out and regrease once you're back from BRC.

Pre-PM, make sure the wheeling bears are full of clean grease. Some have added a thin rubber washer that gets contained by the dust cap. I haven't heard if this actually works or not.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Elliot » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:42 am

Whoa! Yeehaa. Whatnot.
We were awash in failed Crankbroke bearings this year, and we are looking for an upgrade.

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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by maladroit » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:35 am

The Cranbrooks were sounding horrible by midweek. I was stopping people and offering them a squirt of lubricant in the bottom bracket. It was pretty telling that you could put a drop of grease alongside the bearings in the bottom bracket and it would instantly run smoother...if it's that easy to get grease in there, the dust would have no trouble.

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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by BBadger » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:11 pm

I thought I was the only one with those problems. Maybe it was the lack of wind this year and that layer of fine dust that covered the playa, even though it was pretty hard.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Traveller in Time » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:24 pm

The white cars racing driving over the playa had a bow-wave and a wake. The displacement of the top layer created a liquid like cloud around the tires.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Jackass » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:30 pm

It was definitely the powder. Mine would act much better on the open playa, the crank would really start to cry when i got into the deep powder filled streets and started standing on the pedals and putting in much effort. It was like an exercise bike for a while, like the brake was clamping down on the rim. Of course the crank decided to start locking up on me only after I had purchased my ice for the day, and was trying to get it back to camp...

PS I don't think it was necessarily limited to "cranbrooks", but pretty much every large-wheeled (24"+), single-speed bike that hadn't been serviced recently.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by motskyroonmatick » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:54 pm

Elliot wrote:Whoa! Yeehaa. Whatnot.
We were awash in failed Crankbroke bearings this year, and we are looking for an upgrade.
We were swamped with Bottom Bracket rebuilds Wednesday on. It was a surprise we managed to handle well. I'd be interested in an upgrade too for camp bikes.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Joeln » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:29 pm

I thought this looked really cool. First time I have ever seen dust this fluffy!
Traveller in Time wrote:The displacement of the top layer created a liquid like cloud around the tires.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Canoe » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:35 pm

motskyroonmatick wrote:
Elliot wrote:Whoa! Yeehaa. Whatnot.
We were awash in failed Crankbroke bearings this year, and we are looking for an upgrade.
We were swamped with Bottom Bracket rebuilds Wednesday on. It was a surprise we managed to handle well. I'd be interested in an upgrade too for camp bikes.
If the BB is BSA size, then "YST Sealed BSA Cupset with Bearings" (for under $10).
(Note that this is dry bearings in a race that you will have to grease. "Sealed" refers to the rubber seal that encompasses the axle shaft.) BUT, you have to pack it with grease AND torque it correctly.

$10 YST cup & bearings: I experienced that both the static and dynamic friction was very noticeably less than the Shimano external XT and XTR, and the dynamic was ever so slightly harder than the static, giving no slip-stick so it was very smooth too.
YST sealed BSA cupset & bearings.jpg
A sealed cartridge would not require any skill with either greasing or zero-load torquing. The extra resistance over a perfectly torqued YST wouldn't matter. Find out your BB size (not just the part # in the photo), then search for the brand "VP Components" (often called a "cassette bottom bracket set" instead of "cartridge bottom bracket set"). Your LBS or their supplier should have a catalog for them to order from. In the U.S., the importer used to be and may still be: J&B Importers.
vp-components-bottom-bracket-vp-bc73.jpg
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Last edited by Canoe on Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by BBadger » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:42 pm

Canoe wrote:If the BB is BSA size, then "YST Sealed BSA Cupset with Bearings" (for under $10).
(Note that this is dry bearings in a race that you will have to grease. "Sealed" refers to the rubber seal that encompasses the axle shaft.) BUT, you have to pack it with grease AND torque it correctly.

$10 YST cup & bearings: I experienced that both the static and dynamic friction was very noticeably less than the Shimano external XT and XTR, and the dynamic was ever so slightly harder than the static, giving no slip-stick so it was very smooth too.
Thanks for this info, this should help me out too, even though I did manage to get through the week with free-range (cageless) ball bearings embedded in grease.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Canoe » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:50 pm

BBadger wrote: free-range (cageless) ball bearings embedded in grease.
I hate those.
The wobbling makes me feel like I'm walking drunk while riding.

Or as you loose the grease to dirt, the pepper-mill effect.

I love the YST bearings with Permatex Ultra Slick Multi- Purpose Synthetic Grease, but I have NOT tried that combo on the playa.
Last edited by Canoe on Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by BBadger » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:53 pm

Canoe wrote:
BBadger wrote: free-range (cageless) ball bearings embedded in grease.
I hate those.
The wobbling makes me feel like I'm walking drunk while riding.
It ended up being pretty solid after it was set in place and tightened down just right. It was also not done on purpose, but borne out of necessity, since the cage got destroyed mid-week and all I had were the bearings.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by motskyroonmatick » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:19 pm

Thanks for the info guys!
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by unjonharley » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:58 am

I washed many many bottom brackets with WD 40 .. Now I am wondering how many returned with more trouble in the bearings ..

I hope I was not part of the bottom bracket epidemic ..
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Canoe » Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:09 pm

Grease is a much better choice, or even oil. But, if it got the bike working for someone...

For a weeks worth of wear, the spindle/axle for the BB should still be good. But maybe not. They are cheap on cheap bikes, so before you put replacement bearings in (like the YST), make sure the spindle/axle is in good shape (including not bent).

If it's worn, pitted, destroyed, bent, or if you're uncertain, or you're heavy and want a spindle/axle for the BB that shouldn't bend, then get a replacement spindle/axle too. (preferably a quality one; stock is likely cheap & bendable)

Or side-step all of that and get the cartridge.
If your LBS is kind to you, and you're installing it yourself, that BB cartridge may even be cheaper than the YST & grease.

Note that some vendors buy the VP Components cartridge and re-brand them in a new box at 3x or 4x the cost (sometimes even using the VP Components catalogue photo...). Seen this with some Fat Bikes, where an owner will insist upon a new "original part", which is the VP Component in the bike brand box. :roll:
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by unjonharley » Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:45 pm

Canoe wrote:Grease is a much better choice, or even oil. But, if it got the bike working for someone...
I was doing meat ball repair to get the bikes back on the playa .. Maybe I can set up a grease injection system ..
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by maladroit » Sat Sep 16, 2017 3:41 pm

My own bearings were overpacked with grease and never got bad, but I was giving people a squirt of chain and cable lube into the bottom bracket. It's supposed to evaporate leaving a light grease and teflon particle film so hopefully doing more good than harm.

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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Jackass » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:33 pm

maladroit wrote:My own bearings were overpacked with grease and never got bad, but I was giving people a squirt of chain and cable lube into the bottom bracket. It's supposed to evaporate leaving a light grease and teflon particle film so hopefully doing more good than harm.
You could have been putting vegetable oil or gray water in the bottom bracket and it would have done more good than harm. They were wrecked, anything juice-like made it better...
Could have packed the enclosure with a piece or two of raw bacon, that would probably work rather well. Grease on-demand.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by motskyroonmatick » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:26 pm

unjonharley wrote:
Canoe wrote:Grease is a much better choice, or even oil. But, if it got the bike working for someone...
I was doing meat ball repair to get the bikes back on the playa .. Maybe I can set up a grease injection system ..
I use turkey baster injectors for this by breaking the tip off and mashing the end slightly so it injects in a narrow wide pattern. Probably will upgrade to small grease guns with needle injectors for next year.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by unjonharley » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:33 am

motskyroonmatick wrote:
unjonharley wrote:
Canoe wrote:Grease is a much better choice, or even oil. But, if it got the bike working for someone...
I was doing meat ball repair to get the bikes back on the playa .. Maybe I can set up a grease injection system ..
I use turkey baster injectors for this by breaking the tip off and mashing the end slightly so it injects in a narrow wide pattern. Probably will upgrade to small grease guns with needle injectors for next year.
AH! Needle-injection was the word I was looking for.. Thank you..
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by unjonharley » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:20 am

unjonharley wrote:
motskyroonmatick wrote:
unjonharley wrote:
I was doing meat ball repair to get the bikes back on the playa .. Maybe I can set up a grease injection system ..
I use turkey baster injectors for this by breaking the tip off and mashing the end slightly so it injects in a narrow wide pattern. Probably will upgrade to small grease guns with needle injectors for next year.
AH! Needle-injection was the word I was looking for.. Thank you..

Found one at ACE Hardware, under six $..
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Canoe » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:33 am

motskyroonmatick wrote:I use turkey baster injectors for this by breaking the tip off and mashing the end slightly so it injects in a narrow wide pattern. Probably will upgrade to small grease guns with needle injectors for next year.
Actually, that may be a better solution. It's closer to the cup/funnel type "injectors" that will grease a bearing all at once, and it can be used without disassembly.
Unless you can get the needle in deep and fill the space, hopefully pushing out what dirt/dirty-grease it can.

I'd have both. And baster with the flattened tip cut out with a half circle, so it fits the curve? Two basters: one nominally sized for BB, the other for wheel bearings to slip in to match the gap past the cone?

Of course the best solution is taking it apart and cleaning it, etc.. But if it's past that...
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Canoe » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:42 am

Jackass wrote:You could have been putting vegetable oil or gray water in the bottom bracket and it would have done more good than harm. They were wrecked, anything juice-like made it better...
Could have packed the enclosure with a piece or two of raw bacon, that would probably work rather well. Grease on-demand.
Bacon is interesting.
Canola Oil? Canola seeds?

Gotta be someone on the playa with organic fair-trade co-op-grown free-range not-harvested-by-baby-seals flax seeds...
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by dragonpilot » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:16 pm

When the on-playa bike repair shops replace bearings we usually have an eye toward keeping expenses reasonable. Whew...some of these sealed bearing replacements start to get pricey when replacing a couple of hundred of them. Same principle in play here that we don't find many foodie camps serving up filet mignon... :)
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Tel » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:56 pm

Jackass wrote:
maladroit wrote:My own bearings were overpacked with grease and never got bad, but I was giving people a squirt of chain and cable lube into the bottom bracket. It's supposed to evaporate leaving a light grease and teflon particle film so hopefully doing more good than harm.
You could have been putting vegetable oil or gray water in the bottom bracket and it would have done more good than harm. They were wrecked, anything juice-like made it better...
Could have packed the enclosure with a piece or two of raw bacon, that would probably work rather well. Grease on-demand.
After my BB seized up, I cleaned it up a bit (over a tarp) with water, then added olive oil, as that was the only potentially oil like substance I had. Kept it moving up until Saturday when I left.

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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Krokodyle » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:00 am

My new Cranbrook seized up (pre-Playa BB treatment slipped my mind) but I was able to keep it going with some cleaning/grease. But at least one is obviously damaged (there's actually a strip of metal poking out of the gap on the left side) so my next project will be replacement. Thank you for all the info in this thread.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:35 am

Is there a photo of the disassembly of these bottom brackets? I've disassembled and repacked all my bearings in the past.
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Re: Sealed wheel bearings for Cruisers?

Post by Token » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:46 am

[Jaded Tyrant Hat On]

I blame bicycle bearing failure squarely on the gaggle of on-playa bike repair camps!

The steady infection injection of camps that work their asses off and spend thousands each year on spare parts and service has only enabled the clueless.

30 seconds a day with an oil tin has been replaced with an entitlement of grand proportions.

Stop enabling the idiots!

If you can't keep a bicycle running for 9 days on your own you shouldn't fucking be there or deal with walking for a change.

[Jaded Tyrant Hat Off]

Oh shit, I just trampled on someone's gift!

Ask me about coffee camps and bars ...

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