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Hubs shot on Cannondale mountain bike: any advice?

  • 12-01-2023 10:45am
    Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭

    Now that my wife has got her biking needs nicely sorted (, I've become slightly envious and want to get my old Cannobdale II 400 mountain (hybrid?) bike back on the road.

    It was put away for a few years in damp conditions and in a bit of a mess, but has cleaned up reasonably, apart from both wheel hubs, which are crunchy, to put it mildly. I looked up how to replace bearings on Shimano hubs (Acera X), which it seems aren't sealed, but I think the tiny pieces skill set is beyond me.

    So I'm wondering which is the best route to take: new (pricey for non-steel) or secondhand wheels or take it to a bike mechanic. If the latter, can anyone advise on how much I should expect to pay?

    Current wheels are 622 x 17. (Also marked T 236 6106... not sure what those mean!).

    Any input appreciated!


  • Registered Users Posts: 105 ✭✭PringleDemon

    New wheels , at least you know where you stand with them. Any repairs to existing wheels/hubs are likely to be expensive and will cause the same problems again in the future.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,480 ✭✭✭hesker

    My mindset is fix before replace. I recommend learning how to do it yourself.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,446 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    a mechanic should be able to quickly remove the relevant parts and tell you if the hub is salvageable, before investing in a new set of wheels. where are you based?

  • Registered Users Posts: 841 ✭✭✭nicksnikita

    What MB and hesker said above.

    As long as the rims and spokes are decent, a hub service should rectify the issues you have and shouldn’t be overly expensive if you go down the bike shop route (and almost free if you diy).

    Youll need hub spanners and fresh grease to tackle the job yourself but it’s manageable if you’re used to working on bikes and there’s plenty of tutorials online.

    Id try cleaning and regreasing the existing balls and going from there

  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭Breezin

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,873 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    The bike rack definitely have the skills to do it and there used to be one in the centre of Dun Laoghaire but I don't know if he's still there, Mike's possibly? YouTube and an online order to a reputable German bike parts place will be longer but more rewarding.

  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭Breezin

    Thanks CC. Yes... I'm drifting toward the diy option.

    Mind you, I'm just getting over a blazing row with what I thought was a 'reputable' German moto outfit. Had to go to Paypal to get a refund from the obnoxious sods!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,588 ✭✭✭Large bottle small glass

    It's not difficult to do but you'll need

    *Tools to remove cassette

    * Cone spanners,

    * Degreaser

    * Grease

    A small jar is handy to give bearings a good clean.

    Park Tools is good on YouTube.

    Try and borrow the tools for now, I've nearly all cone and cup hubs and my spanners aren't exactly worn 😃

  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭Breezin

    Have all those bar the cone spanners, lbsg, so not too far off.

  • Registered Users Posts: 968 ✭✭✭8valve

    Rear hubs should be 1/4'' bearings; fronts should be 3/16''.

    Both will be available in a hub friendly bearing race (little cage that holds the bearings) from any reputable bike shop, to save you the hassle of faffing about with loose bearings.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭Breezin

    Great -- thanks!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,041 ✭✭✭Dr_Colossus

    Do you not find those bearing races rubbish? Sure they're handy to install but they're the first thing to disintegrate and then damage the bearings and in turn the bearing cups if not replaced in time. Hard to beat loose bearings in the older cup and cone type hubs I think.

  • Registered Users Posts: 607 ✭✭✭Whatwicklow

    If the cup has any pitting it's shot, no new bearing race or grease will solve that unfortunately.

    A free spinning basic wheel set can be picked up for less than €100 which will be less than the cost of the tools bearings grease and. Your own time required to buy and carry out the job.

    Recommend replacement once crunchy😉

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,446 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    less than the cost of the tools bearings grease and. Your own time required to buy and carry out the job.

    €20 for tools, €1 of grease, i dunno, €10 for bearings - which would leave you a lot of time!

  • Registered Users Posts: 968 ✭✭✭8valve

    Not at all; they are a handy option for someone like the OP who is tackling this job for the first time.

    They'll only disintegrate if the cups or cones are pitted/creating drag or the grease is washed out and the rough spinning is ignored by the user over time.

    Loose bearings do, however have the advantage of being able to fit more bearings in. Which is nice.

  • Registered Users Posts: 607 ✭✭✭Whatwicklow

    Let me know where these €20 tools, €1 grease and ten Bob bearings are please 😉

    Seriously though, I just dont see it, all that time effort for a first timer too open it up and see a pitted cup that nothing can be done with. I'd still recommend replacement.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,480 ✭✭✭hesker

    So you can see that the cup is pitted from where you are sitting?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,552 ✭✭✭Trekker09 the OP will have the knowledge, tools and confidence to service the hubs when required.

  • Registered Users Posts: 607 ✭✭✭Whatwicklow

    Best of luck OP

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  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭Breezin

    Thanks all. Interesting discussion... lots to consider.

    I've left it on hold for a bit, as life has intervened, and it's too friggin' cold anyway... for this wimp at least.

    Shall update when I have something to report.

  • Registered Users Posts: 680 ✭✭✭Breezin

    Just to update, I chickened out on the DIY as I've been crazy busy lately. The mechanic says they're beyond salvageable, so I'm looking for a replacement wheelset --

    Thanks all for the valuable advice.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,104 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Thanks for the update. Makes a thread 10x better when people follow up.