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Bicycle bearings for headsets, wheels, hubs, freehubs and pivots

Bearings When Cycling


When it comes to cycling, the bearings play a crucial role in the overall performance of the bike. The bearings are responsible for reducing friction between the moving parts of the bike, ensuring that the wheels spin smoothly, and allowing the rider to maintain control of the bike. This article will discuss bearings when cycling, including their types, how they work, and their maintenance.

Types of Bearings

1. Cartridge Bearings

These bearings are pre-assembled and come in a sealed cartridge. They are easy to install and replace, making them a popular choice for many cyclists.

2. Cup and Cone Bearings

These bearings consist of an outer cup and an inner cone, which fit together and are held in place by a locking nut. They require more maintenance than cartridge bearings, but can provide a smoother ride.

How Bearings Work

Bearings consist of two parts: the inner and outer races, and the balls that roll between them. When the bike is in motion, the balls rotate between the races, reducing friction and allowing the bike to roll smoothly.

Bearing Maintenance

Regular maintenance of bearings can prolong their lifespan and improve the performance of your bike. This includes cleaning the bearings, re-greasing them, and replacing them when they are worn.


1. How often should I replace my bike bearings?

You should replace your bike bearings when they become worn or damaged. Signs of wear include roughness when turning the wheels or a grinding noise. It's also a good idea to replace them if they haven't been replaced in a while, even if there are no noticeable signs of wear.

2. How can I tell if my bike bearings need cleaning?

You can tell if your bike bearings need cleaning if they are making a grinding noise, feel rough when turning the wheels, or if the bike isn't rolling as smoothly as it should. Cleaning the bearings can help to remove any dirt or debris that may be causing these issues.

3. How do I clean my bike bearings?

To clean your bike bearings, you will need to remove them from the bike and soak them in a degreaser solution. Use a brush to remove any dirt or debris, then rinse the bearings thoroughly with clean water. Allow them to dry completely before re-greasing and re-installing them.

4. Can I replace my bike bearings myself?

Yes, you can replace your bike bearings yourself if you have the necessary tools and knowledge. However, if you are unsure about how to do it, it's best to take your bike to a professional bike mechanic.

5. How can I tell if my bike has cartridge or cup and cone bearings?

You can tell if your bike has cartridge or cup and cone bearings by inspecting the hubs. If the hubs have a removable cover with a sealed cartridge inside, then they are cartridge bearings. If there is a locking nut on the axle, then they are likely cup and cone bearings.

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