So a few weeks ago my rear axle broke. I replaced it and thought all was well with the world…
It seemed well lubricated and wasn’t wobbly
Then today I noticed my bike making noises I couldn’t identify. Kind of sounded like a boat creaking on water and I could feel it vibrate through the pedals.
When I got to work I took my rear wheel off and gave it a spin. It sounds like a cement mixer mixed with a salt spreader and pepper grinder.
Any ideas what happened? I haven’t had a chance to open it up yet and won’t until tomorrow afternoon.
Perhaps a ball bearing got loose or I left an old one in the middle, I’m not entirely sure. Pretty sure I used 18, but Kranick said there should be a space for an extra ball bearing, but with 18 there didn’t really seem to be one
18 should be correct. You might have the cones too tight. Try loosening them a bit. If that does not solve it, you may have a cone that started to crumble. Take it back apart and inspect the cones carefully, any pitting is a sign that you need to replace that cone.
Hmmm. Perhaps. I just (re)read the sheldon brown article and didn’t even look at the cone, just cleaned up everything. Probably should have been replaced a long time ago becaue I’m on my third drivedrain and only repacked the hub twice in that timespan, starting earlier this year.
When you repack the hub, you might as well replace the ball bearings. In theory, you can examine and reuse the balls if they’re in good shape, but in practice they’re cheap and it’s faster to just chuck ’em. If you wait too long, the cones get pitted, and they can be replaced but they’re more expensive and harder to get. Or the races get pitted, and you’re scrude.
I’m not real good about doing it often. I tend to just do it every other year or so. But I shoot a little fresh grease in them in the spring and fall.