Novatec/Bitex hubs vs. BHS-style hubs: bearing servicing
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  1. #1
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    Novatec/Bitex hubs vs. BHS-style hubs: bearing servicing

    Hi all,

    I've a Novatec/Bitex new rear hub, had to replace the NDS bearing since it came bad. Removing the NDS was easy, but I found it a bit tough to jury rig up a bearing press to press the new one back in. I had to use a long, skinny threaded steel axle bar (to slide thru the middle of the aluminum axle), appropriate sockets to match outside diameter of the new bearing's race on both sides of the hub, a small bit of cut pipe (to go over the DS axle sticking out) and finally washers & nuts to press it all. I have a question about the Novatec/Bitec axle; here's a pic of it:

    BHSnovatec-nt-d712sb-hub-axle.jpg

    Since this axle has bearing perches (or lips) on the axle where the axel rests up against the inner race of the bearing, I and also since the axle has to be installed first with the NDS bearing resting over it (DS hub bearing has to also be already installed), then you press it all together. This proved, as mentioned, a bit tough to make work given that the drive side of the axle stuck out so far, and even a deep socket wouldn't reach the hub to press against. I finally, after cutting some piping, got it all to work.

    But then I noticed in a Youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=py4Qy_wJmy4) of the BHS-style hubs that have axles that are smooth all the way across, and in the video the axle slid out easily from the DS to the NDS, and does not have to be installed until AFTER all new bearings have been pressed into the hub. Am I correct in assuming you can more easily replace the bearings in a BHS-style hub since you do not have to have the axle in along with the bearing, like you do when pressing in a bearing on a Novatec/Bitex hubs?? If so, it sure would seem this would make maintenance much easier on BHS hubs versus Novatec/Bitex style hubs. Plus, the bearing press kits for Novatec/Bitex style hubs are really expensive vs, what you can use on BHS-style hubs (if I am correct in what I saw on the Youtube video). Here's a pic of a BHS-style rear axle:

    BHShubaxlerear.jpg

    Has anyone worked on both?? Would appreciate any response from someone who has actually worked/serviced both styles/types of rear hubs bearings with their different axles configurations.

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
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    How many miles before new bearings were needed is what i am wondering??

  3. #3
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    0 - goose egg

    Hub came that way as it was part of a complete built wheel. Probably came from factory that way, and the builder didn't catch it, which sometimes happens. It was/is no biggie, as the bearings costs like $8 and I have/had some lying around. Put new one in, and all is good, smooth and silent. But I am wondering, since the wife wants to go to some colored hubs, if BHS's hubs, since they have a smooth axle and it slides out from DS to NDS and, more importantly, can stay out when putting new hub bearings in (unlike Novatec/Bitec hubs), is much easier servicing (which also means Home Dept DIY bearing presses are easy to make and administer).

    I don't have any BHS-style hubs on my hands. Thus I was wondering for anyone who serviced hub bearings on both, and what they found

  4. #4
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    AFAIK: BHS are Bitex. Novatec are distinct from Bitex.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

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    Loogi,

    Maybe I got it wrong, I honestly don't know. I was trying to go off what I found from Google pics of axles and who made what. Maybe all the manufacturers use either/or type of axle. I just know that one from my new Novatec hub was a bit of a PITA compared to what it looks like the BHS hubs afford. I guess no one has ever had to replace a BHS hub bearing, which is kind of good news since there's no news about the hubs bearings failing. I'll try to plow some more tonight thru RBR and all of Google land to learn some more.

  6. #6
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    Novatec are different from Bitex (which are also BHS).

    The hubs you picture are Bitex/BHS. Some Bitex hubs have an axle with internal shoulders between the hub bearing inner races. Some have a straight axle and an aluminium tube between the hub bearings' inner races. I've replaced bearings on both types of Bitex/BHS. What's your question?

  7. #7
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    A Novatec hub's internal shoulders axle (top pic) is required to be in the hub when finally assembly of the NDS is pressed in (this assumes the DS bearing is already in, which it seems it has to be). Thus..."...Am I correct in assuming you can more easily and cheaply replace the bearings in a Bitex/BHS-style hub since you do not have to have the axle in the hub while pressing either NDS and/or DS bearings in (like you do when pressing in a bearing on a Novatec hubs)??..." Or is there something I'm not considering with Bitex/BHS-style hubs, because looking at that Youtube video and pics makes it appear that any decent bearing press, even a homemade one, would work well??

    Thanks.

  8. #8
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    The BHS SL210 has a shouldered axle like the axle in the top picture. The older BHS SL211 (similar to Bitex RAR13) had a straight axle and an internal spacer.

    It's not difficult to replace bearings with the shouldered axle. You just need some tubing or spacers to go over the axle. The Wheels Mfg Hub1 drift set has all the parts needed. The drifts in the kit work much better than sockets or other home made stuff.

  9. #9
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    +1, unless you happen to have a lathe at home, in which case the homemade stuff can work as well or even better.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  10. #10
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    I have a lathe but I found the Wheels kit on line for much less than the list price. It's better made than I can do (I can't anodize parts) and at that price it just wasn't worth my time to make my own.

    I do need to make some more long spacers though, so I can use the press and Wheels driifts to remove bearings. I can use it for almost all of the operations on a BHS/Bitex hub with shouldered axle but there's one that I need one more long spacer for. I'd rather use the press to remove bearings than a hammer.

    I got the Wheels economy press to go with the drifts. The shop one is nicer but the economy one works ok.

  11. #11
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    Is the Wheels economy press this one I found on fleabay for $36 shipped?

    Wheels Manufacturing Consumer Bearing Press Handle | eBay

    The same seller has the Wheel Bearing Drift Pack for Hubs for $60 shipped:
    Wheels Manufacturing Bearing Drift Pack for Hubs | eBay

    I've bought other things from this seller before, only negative with them they are so big that it takes them longer than normal to process your order (last time took them 3-4 days before something I bought got shipped out). You guys think that is a good price above, or have you seen better (I've been googling for a couple days now)??


    Ericm979, I've looked for that full drift + press Wheels Kit you mentioned, but dam# the cheapest I can find it is around $260 ($280 w/ shipping). Pretty penny. Not sure if it would be worth it for as seldom as my wife and I would use it for our bikes. But it sure is nice. Still, I have already made/machined headset and bottom brackets bearing presses that work great. I do hear you though on the pressing bearings out rather than hammering them. I've got access to a lathe and lots of various size tubing, so if I splurge and get the stuff from fleabay I too will be making long tubes for pressing stuff out. You have to use that shouldered axle once to knock out the NDS bearing (which is the only way that first one, the NDS, is coming out), but the DS bearing, it sure would be nice to be able to pull it rather than turning the shoulder axle around & hammering it out. Rubber mallet hammering on aluminum, especially an axle's end, isn't my idea of fun.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Novatec are different from Bitex (which are also BHS).

    The hubs you picture are Bitex/BHS. Some Bitex hubs have an axle with internal shoulders between the hub bearing inner races. Some have a straight axle and an aluminium tube between the hub bearings' inner races. I've replaced bearings on both types of Bitex/BHS. What's your question?
    Can you explain how you remove the bearings with the old type bitex hub (without shoulder)? Since there is no shoulder, I'wondering how one of the bearing can be pushed out? Same issue with the free hub body bearings, how to remove them? Looks very difficult... Your advice would be very appreciated...

  13. #13
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    There's a spacer tube between the bearing inner races. To get the first bearing out, you use a screwdriver or some other long narrow tool to tip the tube sideways just enough so you can get a punch on the inner race from the other side. You then drive it out a tiny bit. Move the tube to the other side of the bearing and do that side. You need to do both sides so the bearing won't cock in the bore. Once the bearing has moved just a bit the tube will be loose, making it easy to move it around so you can get to all sides of the bearing.

    When you install bearings on a hub like this you press them in until the tube is held firmly between the bearings. Otherwise pressure from the axle caps or skewers will cause excessive side load on the bearings.

  14. #14
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    When you're dealing with a 'thru' hole like this, these work well.

    Wheels Manufacturing Bearing Extractors

    For blind holes I have something that looks like a cross between a dent puller and a two jaw puller. Set the jaws and yank it out. I prefer either of these to drifts if possible so as to avoid rocking the bearing and damaging the bore.

  15. #15
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    oli2000,

    If you don't want and/or have the coin to spend on the super nice Wheels Manufacturing hub bearings puller, this little thing from Enduro works suprisingly well for only $10 (but you can only use it on hubs, nowhere else):

    endurobearingpuller.JPG


    Here's the Ebay link:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ABI-Enduro-C...75843774&rt=nc

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