Author Topic: Bad Bike Bearings is it worth it to fix DIY on an old cheap bike?  (Read 1297 times)

The Fake Cheap

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So I took my bike out of storage the other day and found the rear wheel to not turn very freely.  It was as if the breaks were on, but I ensured the breaks weren't touching,  and after some googling, it seems to be an issue with the bearings.  This is a time consuming and costly thing to fix as a DIY?  I ask because the bike is about 10 years old, and it is a no-name bike from Canadian Tire, that I paid about $100 for.  It has had no other issues in the time I have owed it. I would guess it has about 3K KM on it. 

Any input would be appreciated. 

junk4c2

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Re: Bad Bike Bearings is it worth it to fix DIY on an old cheap bike?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2016, 11:00:34 AM »
I had similar thing - found another bike with similar rear wheel (only big difference was one less gear) - switched it and it works well.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2016, 11:06:41 AM by junk4c2 »

Syonyk

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Re: Bad Bike Bearings is it worth it to fix DIY on an old cheap bike?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2016, 11:01:15 AM »
For $100?  You have a BSO (Bicycle Shaped Object).  It may or may not use standard anything.

You can certainly try to replace the bearings, but don't be surprised if you have to replace the whole hub.  Bikes at that price point are generally not very maintainable.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Bad Bike Bearings is it worth it to fix DIY on an old cheap bike?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2016, 12:03:06 PM »
Fixing it depends on the hub and the damage.  With most Shimano style hubs you can pull them apart, replace the bearings, and adjust them very easily.  If the cones are badly pitted/damaged you need a new hub.  If it's just the bearings that are shot, you need the following for a hub overhaul:

- Chain whip and lockring removal tool to get the cassette off the rear wheel
- Cone wrenches of the appropriate size
- Spare bearings (usually cost a couple dollars)
- Grease (just about any type will do, waterproof marine type grease will last forever)

If you remove the rear wheel and bring it in, a bike shop could probably fix it up cheaply (30 - 40ish dollar range).  If you have a bike co-op near you they'll have the tools, so you would just need a couple dollars worth of bearings and some grease.


Even if it can't be fixed, it's worth figuring out how to pull all of this apart.  Maintaining the hubs should be done on a regular basis to keep any bike running well.

moustacheverte

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Re: Bad Bike Bearings is it worth it to fix DIY on an old cheap bike?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2016, 06:21:40 PM »
Like GuitarStv said, it could be your cones. If they become too tight, then the bearings will grind on the hubs and eventually pit the hub. But it's worth a try, new bearing balls will cost you maybe 3$ tops and a bit of grease.

There are quite a few community run bicycle workshop where volunteers will love to show you how to do the work and teach you a thing or two about repairing bicycles. They have all the tools you could need and are usually free or very low priced. Most of the ones where I live are run by universities, cost 20$ a year membership, and have been invaluable in learning how to maintain bicycles.

That said, CT bikes are usually very poor quality. If you have time on your hands, it could be pretty interesting to learn how to fix it but don't expect too much.

Story time: last summer, I was unemployed. I bought a used Specialized bike for 60$ in poor shape. I spent the whole summer fixing it at one of these co-ops, cleaning it, and replacing some parts. I put maybe another 100$ in parts in it. Now I have a bike in pretty good condition, I know how to fix most things on it, and I know what to look for when buying my next bike. It would probably sell for 250$ used now. I did the same thing for my partner: I got her a 20$ bike and overhauled it. It turns out it was too small. We sold it for 120$ a few months after putting maybe 30$ in parts and got her a better one that is her size.

This advice helped me get my first used bike: https://biodieselhauling.blogspot.ca/2012/01/buying-bikes-from-craigslist.html
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