Multi size cone spanners – 13, 14, 15 and 16 mm
Open-ended 15mm spanner
5mm Allen keys
Solid rear axle
Special tools or alloy tube to press the bearings
The hub’s axle will have at least one end with a removeable dropout guide or locknut which will need to be removed. This is usually done by inserting a 5mm Allen key at both ends and turning it anti clockwise. You may need to put some muscle into it so use a cheater bar or a long Allen key for this.
Keep track of washer and their positions between the spacers and axle, silver spacers double as both dust caps and decorative elements in most hubs. It may take strength to pry off as they’re held by rubber O-rings and a groove on the axle.
Some hubs, have a threaded cap and allow for bearing adjustment, so unscrew these first.
In order removing the bearings, you’ll need to support the hub in a way that won’t damage it, you could use a Delrin tube.
You may need to strike a few blows to get the bearings out, a resin mallet or hardwood block with a lump hammer should work.
The next part involves removing the bearing which is left behind, turn the wheel over and position the hub with the bearing facing down, make sure that the hub is sufficiently supported by the flange and there’s room for the bearing to come out.
Next, position the axle and knock the bearing out with sharp blows, make sure that you hit it pretty hard if it’s a tight fit.
Clean the hub with a suitable degreaser, use the hub flanges around the spoke anchor points, inspect the flanges of the hubs around the spoke holes for cracks or corrosion. Next you’ll need a new hub or wheel should cracks be spotted.
Spread a coating of grease on the outside and inside of the new bearings, on the inside of the shell and on the axle, if the grease is too thick between the bearing and the hub, it could prevent it from seating completely.
New bearings should be used on the outer race of the bearing as the striking inner race is likely to cause damage to the small ball bearings inside the cartridge.
Use old bearings or a socket of the same diameter to put the new bearing in. keep in mind that the bearing races are made of hardened steel and are potentially brittle. Make sure you wear protective eyewear so that the contact between the drift edge and the outer race edge is maximised by being perfectly aligned. You will know the bearing is seated when it blows firm up.
Next refit the axle then position the second bearing and drive it in with a few blows.
Make sure that the bearing doesn’t go in askew as attempting to force it in if it’s badly out of line will only mean it gets stuck and make it harder to install. It’s also likely that creating ridges can prevent it from seating correctly.
Thread the dust caps back on with oil then feel the smoothness.