Saturday, June 25, 2016

Front Wheel rebuild (Raleigh Super Course Part VI)

Today it was time to tackle main bearing #3 - the front wheel.  I wish it was as easy as going from this
To this

But sadly this isn't an episode of bewitched and I can't just wiggle my nose and have everything taken care of, there is some work involved.

My first step is taking all the old rubber off; tire (in this case dry rotted), tube (patched a few times), and rim strip (in ok shape).

bye bye old rubber
Then it was on to doing the first round of cleaning off the rims with some Simple Green and a tooth brush.

Getting started
And of course the hub..


coming along

Fortunately the inside of the rim is in good shape so I won't need to worry about cleaning out rust, sometimes water will be trapped in the rim and leads to rust, but not in this case.
Rust free
Before I get too far into cleaning the rim and hub I like to get the hub pieces apart so they can have a nice bath in the sonic cleaner.
Cones, Axle, washers, lock nuts, covers & bearings

I am getting rid of (recycling) the bearings but everything else gets a sonic bath.  For bearings its time for some new ones -ten 3/16th bearing on each side of the hub.

And with all the hub components removed I can begin cleaning up the cups.

And of course I have continued to work on the rims too and have moved from Simple Green to steel wool.

When I started you couldn't see the engraved writing under all the grime.  Now that the bearing parts have had a nice long soak they are mostly clean.

One thing to watch out for in rebuilding wheel hubs is a bent axles, usually its the rear that gets bent as it takes the most stress but its always good to check and in this case the front is fine.  A little more cleaning of the parts above and add in the new bearings and I am ready to go with rebuilding the hub.

Just like with the headset and bottom bracket don't go easy on the grease.

As with the other bearings you want to find the sweet spot between too tight and too loose - the Goldilocks principle.   Now its on to the new rubber, first a new rim strip.

And a new supple Kenda K35 tire.

I line up the inflation info above the hole for the tube stem, a little anal I know but what can I say.  I like to inflate the tube just slightly, one stroke of the pump, so it has just a bit of shape which makes it easier to place into the hollow of the tire casing so its less likely to get caught in a pinch flat.

I did take one break while working on the front wheel today.  I had a request from my Daughter and ex-Wife to take a look at their bikes, having been stored all winter/spring in an enclosed space under the front porch they needed a once over before they'd be ready for summer riding.

Momma bear and baby bear
Since I built both my Daughters bike and the ex's bike its only fitting that I give them a tune up.  A little lube on the chain, air in the tires and a check of brakes and shifting and they are ready to go for some summer fun.

Until next time...Ride.Smile.Repeat.


  1. That sonic cleaner might have to be a tool I invest in. cleaned up those parts real nice.

  2. I really like it, you still need to use elbow grease to get the final clean and shiny look but the sonic cleaner does the bulk of the heavy lifting