How to Put Ball Bearings on Your Bike

How to Put Ball Bearings on Your Bike

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Replace hub bearings to keep your bike rolling freely.

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Bicycles have ball bearings inside the wheel hubs, which allow the tires to spin with minimum friction. Modern hub bearings are sealed inside a cartridge that keeps the bearings lubricated and clean. However, with use they will wear out and lose optimum performance. When your bike hubs develop excess play or unusual sounds it is time to put new bearings on your bike.


Remove the bicycle tire with a pair of wrenches or by disengaging the quick-release lever (if possible).


Remove the axle. The rear tire also requires removal of the freewheel, which can be done with a freewheel tool, a large adjustable wrench and the cassette.


Use a blind hole puller to remove the two bearing cartridges on either side of the hub. This tool will pull a bearing cartridge out straight without damage to any parts.


Use a bike bearing installer kit and one of the old bearings to press the new bearings squarely into the hub.


Replace the axle. The rear tire also requires replacement of the cassette and the freewheel.


Replace the bicycle tire.


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