Tech Talks: Seth’s Pre-Load Nightmare - Part 2

Nov 29, 2018
by Pinkbike Staff  
Tech Talks Presented by Park Tool


In this episode, Calvin and Truman take Seth from Seth's Bike Hacks wheel off and find that the bearings are dry and turn roughly. They grease the bearings and when that doesn't entirely solve the problem, they get rid of the excessive pre-load with a... mallet.

Tech Talks Presented by Park Tool is a monthly video series hosted by Park Tool's own wrench whisperers, Calvin Jones and Truman. The series covers the A to Zs of some of the most prevalent repair jobs.

Bike Assembly How-To

Views: 9,063    Faves: 13    Comments: 2



Need more Calvin & Truman in your life?

Episode #1 - Tubeless tire installation and conversion
Episode #2 - Saving that bent disc rotor
Episode #3 - Derailleur hanger alignment
Episode #4 - Shimano and Crankbrothers pedal service
Episode #5 - Trailside wheel repair
Episode #6 - Trailside chain repair
Episode #7 - Derailleur limits and cable tension
Episode #8 - Derailleur setup
Episode #9 - Fork wiper seal replacement
Episode #10 - Clipless pedal setup
Episode #11 - New cleat setup
Episode #12 - Top 5 next level shifting issues
Episode #13 - Fixing cassette play
Episode #14 - Gearing hacks
Episode #15 - Fixing sticky pistons
Episode #16 - Lubing fork seals
Episode #17 - A cleat's story
Episode #18 - Tricks of a mechanical mind
Episode #19 - Handlebar Trimming
Episode #20 - Chain Line
Episode #21 - Tools for a trip
Episode #22 - Bedding in brakes
Episode #23 - Direct Mount Chainring Install
Episode #24 - Wheel Balance 101
Episode #25 - Data Under Pressure, Part I
Episode #26 - Data Under Pressure, Part II
Episode #27 - In the pits with professional mechanics
Episode #28 - Seth's Pre-Load Nightmare, Part I


Stay tuned for more mechanical how-to videos with Calvin returning on the last Thursday of every month to show you the easiest way to get the job done. Want to know more? Park Tool's how-to section has you and your bike covered.

www.parktool.com / @ParkToolCompany

Must Read This Week

61 Comments

  • + 89
 Article title should write "TRICK THAT BEARING MANUFACTURERS WISH YOU DIDN'T KNOW"
  • + 30
 Everything is built to tolerances, not perfection. More expensive stuff usually has tighter tolerances. However, the hub shell has a tolerance and the bearing assembly also has a tolerance. Sometimes those tolerances goes against the matching piece in an adverse way. The more complex in number of parts, the greater tolerance stack up can happen. Then there’s the tolerance of the guy installing everything.
  • + 3
 As long as you hammer your bearings, I think you should be fine.
  • + 26
 These part videos just keep getting better and better. And bringing SETH into the mix only Improves them more.

I have a general rule being an avid home mechanic. No matter how smart you are or how well you can read directions - if you spend more than 20 minutes spinning your wheels on something, then take it to a professional mechanic.

Calvin hit the nail right on the head when he said 10 minutes plus 20 years of experience. I find for things like hub rebuilds and dropper post rebuilds I can easily do these tasks - but things that require a lot of trouble shooting and/or finesse such as straightening disk rotors or building wheels - I leave to the professionals.

Everyone seems to be shocked that shop mechanic rates are climbing higher and higher but I would argue that bikes are getting much more complex and the level of skill and training you have to have to effectively work on them is increasing.
Gone are the days that part-time high school students can work on bikes.

I figure this should cost between $30-$60 Canadian to do. In most cases the mechanic will simply swap the bearings much like your car dealers do now. It's a trend in most industries where the practice of working on things is being changed into the practice of swapping parts.
  • + 10
 Part time high school mechanic here, we still exist!
  • + 4
 @lindblomxc: My bad - of course AGE does not equal mechanic ability -but you are getting rarer and rarer!
  • + 6
 Bike shop rates are still much lower than auto shop rates. Price of tank of gas is often more than a bike repair. Drive cars less, ride bikes more!
  • + 1
 @BreezerXCer: Rebec & Kroes in Ottawa Canada. Shop rate $120 CAD per hour. Ridiculous. Santa Cruz dealer too.
Higher rate than some car dealers !
  • + 2
 Wow................
  • + 1
 @dldewar: haha I just have a lot of mechanic experience. My dad is a really good mechanic and I've never brought my bike to the shop to service it.
  • + 13
 I love the concept of trying to price out what that service should cost and using the 20 years of experience line... love Calvin and Truman, but pulling bearings, relubing, and pressing them back in falls more into the common sense category for me.

Its more like: having the right tools and 10 minutes of labor, you're paying to not have to own a bearing or arbor press.
  • + 12
 You're also gambling that the bike shop staff will have the finesse and honesty to do this rather than telling you the bearing is junk and charging you for a new set.
  • + 10
 Repairs go off book-time. Knowledge allows you to know what to do right away, and make a profit. This is why service writers who know what they are doing, and wrenches with experience are involved in a profitable service model.
  • + 5
 It's all common sense until something unexpected happens. Then you need the experience to know if you should get a bigger hammer or not.
  • + 8
 Also, its not usually 10 minutes of labor. For us, its usually 15 minutes of the customer trying to describe the problem to us over the phone and expecting us to magically fix it over the phone, then when they finally decide to bring it in, they insist on telling us what they think the problem is for another 10 minutes at the shop before we can even put it in the stand and do the simple 10 minute fix. The worst is when a customer calls us up and expects us to walk them through bleeding their brakes, its a fine line between being a nice employee and waisting company time.
  • + 1
 @piesforyou: Well I can't speak for all bike shops but if you came to the one where I once worked we would notice the issue with the bearing stickiness when the bike is being check in. We would quote you the fee to replace the bearings since their cartridge. If you agree to that then we would pop out the old bearings, spend 30 seconds- 2 minutes inspecting the bearings to determine if the are actually bad or not. If they're not the issue it takes the same amount of time to reinstall as it does to install new so the cost of labor is the same, its just we save you on parts.
  • + 13
 Nitpicking a bit here, but technically, you are not supposed to hammer through bearings like that if you plan to keep using them.....
  • + 1
 As long it's not your bike.
  • + 1
 How would you remove these bearings @thuren ?
  • + 1
 @partsgeek: You dont re use them you press in fresh ones!
  • + 6
 My bearings are no doubt totally wrecked. They've been through like a million miles of fine sand, and never maintained. Should have just bought a whole new bicycle.
  • + 9
 Sometimes you're better off not doing "maintenance" as Seth explained. The lack of grease is more likely to have been because of the jet wash than because of crossing streams. Unless of course you're running cup and cone bearings like those from Shimano. No need for guesswork or a hammer. Just get those cheap spanners, some grease and have some spare balls handy and you can service your hub faster than you can clean and lube your drivetrain.
  • - 3
 @vinay: Yeah, I put together my bicycle piece, by piece, gradually replacing old parts with new ones. It ended up being worse than just buying a whole new bike. My former, "favourite" bicycle shop sold me a plethora of garbage that I just took back after buying in the process. Overall I'm, "happy" with the bike, but should have just left it to the professionals if I wanted my money, or time's worth.
  • + 9
 @Kramz
Me posting to internet forum: I like everything about my bike except the fork. Should I use the SR Suntour upgrade program or go with Fox/Rockshox?

Forum: If you are thinking about replacing your fork and have to buy it because you don't have a pile of old but somehow better forks sitting around in your bike shed; you should just throw your old bike away and buy a new one.

Me: Ok, I've been beat up by my fork for three months but now I tacoed a rim. What kind of wheels should I buy? Anyone have favorites.

Forum: If you need to buy wheels, you should just ride your bike with the tacoed wheel until you can afford a real bike.

Me: I keep crashing with my bent wheel and a pedal fell off its spindle.

Forum: New bike. New bike. New bike.....
  • + 2
 @vapidoscar: There must be a joy in giving answers like that Wink .

@Kramz, never had issues assembling my own bikes. I bought my first bike as a complete and after that it was always about replacing the component that was worn out. That said, I don't ream and face headtubes and bottom brackets nor do I face IS disc brake mounts. It is a one time job so it is not worth the investment in proper tools so this is what I leave to the bikeshop. Same goes for installing the headset. But yeah stuff like building wheels and obviously assembling the bike worked fine for me so far.
  • + 2
 @vinay: Well the professionals are just better at it, is the conclusion I came to. I ended up with a mishmash bike, that cost a lot, and took a lot of effort, and time. Like a "Red Green" funny television show project.
  • + 1
 @Kramz: I guess it depends on what you like to do and what you're comfortable with. I enjoy working on my bike and got good enough at doing so. But I also intentionally buy my components so that they're easy to work on without any very specific tools. My forks are the easiest ever to work on (with just grease in the lowers, no oil) and it works good enough for me. Then again I don't make adjustments to my electric guitar (truss rod, refretting etc) and probably work less on my car than I think North Americans tend to do. I don't want to bother with the very fine details of a guitar and I just want the car to be safe, worked on by people certified for the job. If I mess up it is not just me getting hurt, but my passengers and possibly others around me too.

So yeah, just do what you feel like doing. I do think most of it can probably be learned by the average mountainbike rider but there will always be a learning curve and of course the investment in basic tools (or less basic depending on what you have on your bike and what you want to do). But that doesn't mean you have to. As long as you can happily ride your bike you're doing great Smile .
  • + 1
 @vinay: You can compete with, "Giant" bicycles braham.
  • + 1
 @vinay: Out of curiosity, what forks are you on?
  • + 1
 @vapidoscar: Magura TS8 with DLO2 damping (but I haven't mounted the remote so I can't switch on the lock-out). You can see pictures in my profile. I took the picture directly after I built it so the saddle in the picture is higher than I'm running it (because the workstand had to clamp the seatpost). I also changed the tires to Conti Trailking 26x2.4 front and Schwalbe Nobby Nic 26x2.35 in the rear. Other than that it is as you see there.
  • + 2
 @vinay: Love it. Seat doesn't seem that high. Looks like a fun bike.

I don't really care what the internet says. I gave up on looking at new bikes, I'm going to fix up the bike the way I want it. It's my time and my money. And I'm the one who has to ride the GD thing.

If all else fails, I'll ride my rigid pink single speed. Hopefully people think I am a badass when I ride that but I'm sure plenty think I am a dumbass instead.
  • + 2
 @vapidoscar: I prefer the seat slightly lower to have just above the knees. No one seemed to like this particular saddle (Fizik Zeak) but I love that it has these higher flanges on the sides to comfortably push against. Must be ten years old by now. Yeah it is cool to finally have a bike exactly the way I want it. Ever since I've had it, I've never seen any other bike that I would have preferred over what i have now, so that gives some peace of mind in a way. And yeah, whatever others think about it is pretty irrelevant as they never get to ride mine Wink .
  • + 4
 This is great. I checked my rear wheel and it was a little crunchy. Gave it a few taps with a hammer like they showed and now have butter smooth bearing. The front feels like it has a little crunch too but there's no axle going through the bearings to hit. It's a front dtswiss 350, any one know how to adjust preload on those?
  • + 3
 All your manuals can be found here, gives a pretty good step by step.
www.dtswiss.com/en/support/manuals
  • + 3
 As a machinist I'm just gonna go ahead and say if the bearing feels rough it's done, especially if the bearing has been run dry. Sure you can fix the preload but one ride and wash, the grease is gone and now you have a loose bearing.

Stop being cheap f*ckwads, you can install your own hub bearings at home with a punch and hammer and the bearings themselves can be had for $5 a pop.
  • + 6
 Except you now have micro dents in your races that the balls have to roll over every revolution
  • + 5
 That was very interesting. Thanks guys
  • + 2
 I've said this in a previous article, but it can truly be amazing what a good thwack with a non-marring hammer can accomplish
  • + 1
 The only problem with this "repair" is that as soon as they install the wheel in the bike and tighten the axle the bearings will be compressed and readjusted back to where they where.
  • + 1
 Arn't the end caps going to come in contact with the inner race? If the end caps are only going to come in contact with the inner race it will not be able to press the outer race in and will still hold this same adjustment?
  • + 3
 Therefore I ride with hubs which I can adjust preload myself >> Syntace
  • + 1
 Syntace and Shimano, I gots both. Nice hubs.
  • + 2
 Does make me wonder of this is a manufacturing issue for the bearing to have been pressed in too far to start with.
  • + 1
 "Preloading" the side of a radial machine bearing? It's designed to work one way and one way only. Everything needs to be spot on.
  • + 3
 Take a new "radial machine bearing" Remove the grease and tell me that it has no play.
  • + 1
 That Diamondback needs a Tech Talk unto itself ! Especially the ALU version and misaligned link and bolt nightmare folks are having.
  • + 1
 Is Seth standing on some kinda lower staging? The hight difference between Seth and the other two was weird.
  • + 1
 Much inaccuracy going on in this video.
  • + 2
 amazing content
  • + 0
 Isn't Seth sponsored by the manufacturer of that wheel?
  • + 3
 Even if he is sponsored by them, that doesn't mean he gets free replacements. Most "sponsored" riders outside of the world cup circuit only get discounts on their stuff, not free stuff. Seth probably gets replacement parts at cost or at the same price a bike shop employee would pay.
  • + 1
 Box, yes.
  • + 1
 @srjacobs: Many companies provide product all the way down the expert level rider or provide a credit to the rider to use on their products, but all depends on how much they value you as a community representative. Riders, outside of a “grassroots” deal, will typically get a limited number of a particular product, with replacements at cost - or reduced rate. WC riders can typically get a replacement any time they need it, in addition to a paycheck that will be 6 figures deep for top-level riders, in addition to bonuses for good results.
  • + 3
 Grassroots sponsorship = discount on product

Flow sponsorship = free product

Pro sponsorship = budget or salary

If you are paying its more of a show of good nature by the company, you aren't really sponsored. Sponsorship implies a contract.
  • - 3
 Sponsored rider! Who does this? Is cheaper to buy a new wheelset than spending on tools, service at LBS is through the roof, and your time!
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