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"Repack front Ultegra" blues(7 posts)

"Repack front Ultegra" bluesamflyer
Apr 5, 2001 11:25 AM

Time for new bearings and grease on the Ultegra (8-spd) hubs. I've repacked the front hub three times now, and I cannot get rid of a slight grinding feeling in the finished product! There seems to be a "click" at a specific spot in the rotation too. The races look good, the cones look good, I've used two separate sets of bearings. I've adjusted the cones to have a bit of play (allowing for skewers), I've tried no play too. Only variable from last repack was that I used a white lithium grease this time.

What do y'all think? I'm sorta leaning towards putting some miles on the new bearing set to see if they will "seat," then re-adjusting, I've heard that the old bearings tend to ovalize, which I would imagine might wear the races and cones a bit. Think that would help? Other idea's?


re: "Repack front Ultegra" bluestwikkie
Apr 5, 2001 1:48 PM
you say that you have used two separate sets of bearings...were they new? from the same production batch? these factors may have some effect on the quality of the re-packed hubs feel. what did you clean the cups and cones with? was it simply a rag, or did you use some degreaser/ solvent to break down grease, crud etc.?

are the dustseals pressed firmly into the recesses? Are the evenly seated? I've found that this too can cause an uneven feeling.

I have also found that sometimes the hubs simply need to be spun round the axle...the bearings need to seat and get a coating of lubrication before they feel correct. This doesn't mean that you should go out and ride, obviously, but that it may need a little play.

have you thoroughly inspected the cups for trace signs of damage or the like?

what type of lubricant did you use?

hope something helped ya
re: "Repack front Ultegra" bluesamflyer
Apr 5, 2001 2:31 PM
Yes bearings were new, from stock I have used many times for numerous re-builds. Cups and cones looked and felt very good. I used white lith. grease. Cleaned the old grease off (and the new grease X 2) with clean rags. Seemed to be free of grit. Dunno, maybe the dust seals?

Nothing Lasts Forevergrz mnky
Apr 6, 2001 9:04 AM
Based on your criteria it sounds like you've reached the end of the useful life of your hubs. Stop worring about new ball bearings not being good enough - the percision and accuracy in new ball bearings is amazing. The answer lies in the fact that most things tend to wear together - you've got some wear on the cones and hub races which hasn't been addressed even though the bearings are new. Just because you can't visually detect the defects doesn't mean that everything is fine. The problems you detect at rest in your shop are pretty minor when you consider the scale of things. Tire inflation pressure has a larger effect than slightly sub optimal bearings when you do the analysis.

Slap it back together, adjust it as best you can and go ride. Periodicaly check the adjustment. If you want perfection then you need to move more towards the high end and start with new components. The honest truth is that Ultegra wasn't desinged to last forever.

Also, the white litium grease isn't the best thing to use - it tends to dry out and cake over time - especially in an adverse environment. A better bet would be something like Phil grease or the like.
Nothing Lasts Foreveramflyer
Apr 6, 2001 9:55 AM
Yeah, I know...they don't last forever. I'm just one of those perfectionist types.

Did you see the thread a while back on the ultimate bearing adjustment? The whole "slight play to be taken up by skewers" vs "no play before mounting" thing? (Can't find the thread now) Which do you prefer? I usually adjust to just the point where all play stops.


Nothing Lasts Forevergrz mnky
Apr 6, 2001 4:14 PM
Yup, I weighed in on that discussion. Adjust all the play out, ignore the skewer factor, and ride. The Ksyriums and other Mavic sealed bearing designs are sweet b/c you use a special spanner wrench while the wheel is mounted in the bike, not b/c of the skewer factor, but rather you need to keep the axle from rotating.
Nothing Lasts Foreveramflyer
Apr 7, 2001 1:00 AM
Ahhhhh. Nice to know that, as I have a set of the Ksyriums on order....