How To Grease Cycle Wheel Bearings

How To Grease Cycle Wheel Bearings

Mastering Bearing Maintenance: A Step-by-Step Guide for Serious Cyclists

Embarking on the journey of mastering bearing maintenance is a crucial step for serious cyclists like yourself, ensuring optimal performance and longevity for your beloved bicycle. With a focus on how to re-lubricate your cycling bearings, this step-by-step guide will cover essential processes such as removing the bearing, removing the seal, and the importance of proper relubrication. Whether you opt for the long-lasting Everlast grease or the speed-maximizing Showtime option, this DIY article aims to empower you with the knowledge and skills needed to enhance your cycling experience. Stay tuned to discover the best grease for your bicycle wheel bearings and master the art of bearing grease application for peak performance on race day.

Table of Contents

Understanding Your Bicycle's Bearings

The Role of Bearings in Cycling Performance

Bearings play a pivotal role in the mechanics of a bicycle, directly impacting its performance and efficiency. They are found in several key areas, including the wheel hubs, bottom bracket, and headset. These bearings reduce friction, allowing smooth rotation and contributing to the overall efficiency of your ride.

When bearings are well-maintained, they distribute the stresses of riding evenly and maintain an appropriate hydrodynamic lubrication layer, which results in less wear and tear on the bicycle's components. This not only enhances the cyclist's experience by providing a smoother ride while reducing drag torque, but also extends the life of the bicycle. Proper lubrication and regular maintenance of bearings are essential to prevent premature raceway damages, which can slow you down and cause damage.

Understanding how to grease your bicycle bearing is an integral part of this maintenance process. It's a skill that, once mastered, can significantly improve your bike's longevity and your performance as a cyclist.

Everlast vs. Showtime: Which is Best for You

Choosing between Everlast and Showtime grease depends on your cycling goals and the conditions you frequently encounter. Everlast is designed for off-road bikes as well as road bikes during the training season. Its formula is created to endure rigorous conditions and prolonged use without frequent reapplication, making it the best grease for bicycle wheel and bottom bracket bearings that endure regular and extensive use.

On the other hand, Showtime is for the racer who demands peak performance when it counts the most. Its composition is tailored to reduce friction to the bare minimum, providing that extra edge needed on race day. While it might not last as long as Everlast, it’s engineered to maximize your speed when every second counts.

Your decision should align with your cycling habits. Are you continuously pushing your limits over long distances, or are you looking to shave off precious seconds in high-stakes races? Selecting the right bearing grease for your bicycle is crucial for achieving your performance benchmarks.

How to Grease Your Bicycle Bearing

Removing the Bearing and Seal

Before you can apply the best grease for your bicycle bearings, you need to properly remove the bearing and seal. Start by cleaning the area around the bearings to prevent any dirt from entering the mechanism. Carefully extract the wheel and use the appropriate tools to gently remove the bearing from the hub. Pay special attention not to apply excessive force on the inner ring to extract the bearings and do not use any sort of impact force to hammer the bearings out of the hub or bottom bracket.

The seal, which keeps contaminants out and grease in, is your next target. Use a flat tool to pry the seal off. Once you remove the seal, you must discard and replace it with a new seal.

Once the bearing and seal are removed, you'll have unobstructed access to the bearing races for cleaning and inspection. Ensuring that these components are clean and undamaged is crucial before applying new grease, whether it's Everlast for endurance or Showtime for speed.

After thoroughly cleaning the bearing races and ensuring no debris is left, apply sufficient grease to fill 30% to 40% of the free volume in the bearing.

Rotate the bearing after you apply the grease to ensure it's evenly distributed. Once applied, carefully press the new seal onto the outer ring of the bearing, ensuring it's snug and secure to prevent any grease from escaping or contaminants from entering.

Regular maintenance and the correct application of bearing grease can significantly extend the life of your bicycle's bearings, and improve your riding experience, whether training or racing. 

Reassembling Your Wheel for Optimal Performance

Once your bearings are properly greased with either Everlast or Showtime, the next step is to press the bearings onto the shaft and into the wheel hub or bottom bracket. When pressing the bearings onto the shaft, apply force on the inner ring. When pressing the bearings into the housing, whether the hub or bottom bracket, apply the force on the outer ring. Checking that the bearings turn smoothly and freely.

Tighten the axle nuts or quick release to the manufacturer’s specifications, making sure not to over tighten. Ensure that the wheel spins freely and that there is no lateral play in the hub. Any wobbling or dragging signifies that further adjustment is needed.

After the wheel is back in place, give it a final spin to ensure everything is working as it should. Proper reassembly will ensure that the fresh grease does its job and your ride is as efficient and enjoyable as possible.