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  1. #1
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    Repacking Grease...How Often?

    I was thinking of repacking or replacing the bearings in my bottom bracket and head set.

    Question for a bike, gets regular riding weekly year round, how often would one want to repack or rebuild these areas?

  2. #2
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    Depends too much on conditions for there to be any real rules. Most BBs now are sealed-bearing units, and unless you ride in the rain a lot, IME they last for years without being touched. Slip the chain off the ring and move the cranks gently by hand, and if you feel no roughness or binding, I wouldn't touch them.

    Headsets, especially the lower bearing, tend to go faster, but again, you can test easily. Remove the front wheel and turn the fork with your hand. If all seems smooth, okay. If there's roughness or binding, overhaul.

    FWIW, my bad-weather commuter has an old-fashioned (not sealed) BB, and gets ridden in the rain a lot, and it goes a couple of years, at least, between overhauls, with no apparent ill effects.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    Depends too much on conditions for there to be any real rules. Most BBs now are sealed-bearing units, and unless you ride in the rain a lot, IME they last for years without being touched. Slip the chain off the ring and move the cranks gently by hand, and if you feel no roughness or binding, I wouldn't touch them.

    Headsets, especially the lower bearing, tend to go faster, but again, you can test easily. Remove the front wheel and turn the fork with your hand. If all seems smooth, okay. If there's roughness or binding, overhaul.

    FWIW, my bad-weather commuter has an old-fashioned (not sealed) BB, and gets ridden in the rain a lot, and it goes a couple of years, at least, between overhauls, with no apparent ill effects.
    Thanks both of mine move very freely...it's a DD bike but never in the rain..I draw the line there..LOL

  4. #4
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    It also depends on how you repack a hub. Some prefer just a small smear of grease, others I have done the customer wants a ton of grease, to the point it comes out when you rebuild the hub.
    Since I don't ride in the rain, I tend to rebuild with a mid way between light and heavy grease.
    Everything else the posters up above said is good advice also. Don't forget your pulleys for the der, they can be rebuilt also.

  5. #5
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    While how much, when to pack, and what grease is all down to personal preference, I've been greasing yearly (only one year so far) with marine grease as a sort of extra protection in case water does get into the bearings somehow to still have that peace of mind vs regular grease.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmaciel View Post
    I was thinking of repacking or replacing the bearings in my bottom bracket and head set.

    Question for a bike, gets regular riding weekly year round, how often would one want to repack or rebuild these areas?
    For some people, "regular riding weekly " totals to 1,000 miles per year. For others it comes up to 10,000 miles. You might find some difference in the need for regreasing between those two. Likewise whether you ride in the rain. Likewise depending on the quality of the seals in the bearing system. Too many variables for a rote answer. However it is ALWAYS a good idea to pull things apart and grease the threads on some regular basis (e.g. annually). If the parts seize in the frame the rest of the discussion is academic.

    For reference, I have a Chris Kind headset on my bike with over 130,000 miles on it and I have never repacked the bearings. My current Campy Chorus cartridge BB has never needed any repacking in 65,000 miles nor did it's predecessor Campy Record cartridge BB (I had to replace that BB because I over-tightened the fixed cup and cracked the flange). YMMV

  7. #7
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    I totally agree with Kerry.
    I try to check my bike parts on a regular preventive basis.
    I also like to fiddle. I remove BB yearly, clean and re-grease.
    I also remove Stem and SeatPost yearly to inspect for corrosion.
    I ride most everyday, and am always 'listening' for noise to indicate something needs attention.
    john
    John Lapoint / San Diego
    God is Great, Beer is Good, and People are Crazy!

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