Too few bearings …

I mentioned previously that at the very last moment I had to switch bikes for the 2014 Canada Day Populaire. The rear hub began making unusual noises and I didn’t want to risk a breakdown on such a long ride in remote areas.  A few days earlier, I had ridden through some very heavy rain and, I suspect, the hub took on some water.

This weekend, I removed the wheel and disassembled the rear hub.  What a surprise.  On the drive side, the grease was dirty and there were 3 too few ball bearings.  On the other side, the grease was fine but again, there were 2 ball bearings missing.  Odd.  I did not purchase these training wheels new.  I bought them from a local racer, a friend of my son’s.  They were in good condition when I acquired them and I have had 2-3 good seasons on them.  And, there was no need to repack the bearings.  They seem to spin nicely.

I repacked the bearings and added the missing ones as well.  The wheel spins smoothly and quietly.  There is a little pitting on the drive side cone but, since I am planning to replace the wheels later this summer, I did not bother it.  The wheels will be fine for the time being.

The moral of this story is don’t assume new components are properly assembled.

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