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Thread: oh no, bearing race cracks

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    Default oh no, bearing race cracks

    So I decided to overhaul one of my front hubs today. The wheel spins fine and with no detectable roughness, but since I had the wheel off to true it and replace the tire I figured why not. So I discover these two small hairline cracks running concentric around the race. See pic on the race at 6 o'clock.
    Grrr... this is a classic Campy Croce D'Aune 24h hub, so finding a replacement isn't going to be easy. My inclination is just to repack and keep riding it. Since they are cracks not pits and run mostly parallel with the direction of wheel spin, maybe no big deal? What you do? What would Jesus do?

    IMG_0801.jpg

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    I vote to re-pack and ride it.
    I guess that statement tells a lot about me.
    The crack is not in the curve where the bearings will be seated.

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Campagnolo bearing races had a hardened surface over a marginally softer steel body. Over time, wear and possibly major impact(s) could stress the hardened surface, causing a crack. Sometimes a flake from the hardened material would separate from the surface. Hard to tell but that might be what you have there. Rather than two concentric cracks, that might be a rectangle that has flaked off. I would think that you could feel this spinning the wheel once the hub is rebuilt, though perhaps not if it is thin enough.

    You can still get replacement hub bearing races. First you have to get the old ones out. Then you have to press the new ones in, assuming you've figured out compatibility (it might be as simple as #737 for the front or #738 for the rear.) The races look like this:



    I've never done this myself but I've seen it done, usually with judicious use of some sort of drift punch. Run it in through the opposite end of the hub and tap around the inner edge of the race. Meanwhile you have to figure out how not to damage the hub shell itself.

    If you don't feel any irregularities, you can always rebuild it with nice grease and ride it until you locate a compatible set of races. Maybe measure the I.D. of the hub before you reassemble, if that's possible. Or just ride it until it is completely gone and look for a set of replacement hubs.
    Last edited by j44ke; 03-24-2021 at 11:44 PM.
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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Thanks for the replies. Jorn, hmm I looked at it with a magnifying glass and I don't think it's a flake off the surface. Obviously it will continue to degrade though. I wasn't sure if the races were removable, I certainly don't have the skills or tools to do it but I'm going to a top shop in Seattle (R&E) tomorrow so I'll ask them about it. Worst case I'll repack it and start looking for a replacement. I suspect that it will last another year anyways...

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlaCraque View Post
    What would Jesus do?
    Jesus was a carpenter, not a bike mechanic! He would have taken the wheel to a chariot shop.

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Wright Brothers in Fremont might be able to help as well...years of experience working on vintage gear.
    rw saunders
    hey, how lucky can one man get.

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Modern (10spd+) Campagnolo hubs have replaceable bearing races. Might check to see if that old thing was built the same way and if parts are available. I don't see any problem with continuing to ride it in the mean time though. That would come at the risk of damaging the cone though, so while you're sourcing parts I'd look for those as well.

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by abbeyQ View Post
    Modern (10spd+) Campagnolo hubs have replaceable bearing races. Might check to see if that old thing was built the same way and if parts are available. I don't see any problem with continuing to ride it in the mean time though. That would come at the risk of damaging the cone though, so while you're sourcing parts I'd look for those as well.
    The newer hubs with the OS axle have a different race and bearing set up dependent on a different axle and adjuster. The newer hubs are fairly ingenious in their design as the races are relatively thin and light, except in the relatively limited area where the bearings contact them. You'd have to go back to solid axle hubs I think. I can't remember when steel axles stopped. They carried on a while in the lower groups after Record and Chorus started using hollow aluminum. 8 speed might be the last steel axle for Record?

    But really, while a possible repair, I would only do it if the new races were perfect and the wheels were worth the sweat equity, say for an authentic restoration.
    Last edited by j44ke; 03-25-2021 at 10:58 AM.
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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    I got interested after reading this thread because I've got an old (8-speed) Athena front hub that rumbles a little at speed, and I wanted to figure out which races it took. The Disraeli Gears website has scans of most Campagnolo spare parts catalogs at http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/...ampagnolo.html . I was able to find my hub pretty fast and get the relevant part number, which was easily googleable.

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by lumpy View Post
    I got interested after reading this thread because I've got an old (8-speed) Athena front hub that rumbles a little at speed, and I wanted to figure out which races it took. The Disraeli Gears website has scans of most Campagnolo spare parts catalogs at http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/...ampagnolo.html . I was able to find my hub pretty fast and get the relevant part number, which was easily googleable.
    But when I look at hubs like yours, 1988ish? I get part number 7131051. And that's harder to Google. My guess is that someone at Euro-Asia would know the interchange.

    How do people reinstall these? With a bearing press, or is it better to use the cones and bearings on the axle and just draw it all together? Seems like you would need to be precise.

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by lumpy View Post
    But when I look at hubs like yours, 1988ish? I get part number 7131051. And that's harder to Google. My guess is that someone at Euro-Asia would know the interchange.

    How do people reinstall these? With a bearing press, or is it better to use the cones and bearings on the axle and just draw it all together? Seems like you would need to be precise.
    I would use the old race and a nut with several large washers washers on a long hex head bolt. I think you'd only want to press on the very edge of the new race. And I don't think with these hubs that the old race will get stuck as the position of the new race once installed shouldn't leave much leftover space.
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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    I would use the old race and a nut with several large washers washers on a long hex head bolt. I think you'd only want to press on the very edge of the new race. And I don't think with these hubs that the old race will get stuck as the position of the new race once installed shouldn't leave much leftover space.
    That sounds right. Only one way to find out!

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlaCraque View Post
    So I discover these two small hairline cracks running concentric around the race. See pic on the race at 6 o'clock.
    Hey if you remove the bearing cups, with a drift pin like Jorn said or the end of the axle, turn them 180 degrees, and reinstall them (again following the advice here) you should be fine.

    The weight of you and the bike only bears on the cups at 6 o’clock so if you keep the cracks on top you’re good to go!

    Follow me for more recipes.
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    Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. — James Baldwin

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    Hey if you remove the bearing cups, with a drift pin like Jorn said or the end of the axle, turn them 180 degrees, and reinstall them (again following the advice here) you should be fine.

    The weight of you and the bike only bears on the cups at 6 o’clock so if you keep the cracks on top you’re good to go!

    Follow me for more recipes.
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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Am I picturing this right, could the whole wheel be flipped?

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by rec head View Post
    Am I picturing this right, could the whole wheel be flipped?
    He's a bad man. The wheel and race rotate.

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Todd was a stand up comic in his previous life and he'll work on the road of bones in his next.

    The race can be removed and replaced. I had it done once by an old school mechanic who built his own tools for the task after a spare wheel on the roof of the following vehicle got rashed while I rode to Helen Beyond in the rain. I still have the hub, a 70's front campy nuovo record. Spins like a dream when I pick it up and wonder who I should donate it to.

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
    Todd was a stand up comic in his previous life and he'll work on the road of bones in his next.

    The race can be removed and replaced. I had it done once by an old school mechanic who built his own tools for the task after a spare wheel on the roof of the following vehicle got rashed while I rode to Helen Beyond in the rain. I still have the hub, a 70's front campy nuovo record. Spins like a dream when I pick it up and wonder who I should donate it to.
    Reminds me of someone I knew who regardless of what hub he used on the rear wheel, he used a classic Campagnolo hub on the front. "Best deal ever in front hubs."

    Whatever happened to Curtis Odom? He was doing all sorts of clever modifications to old hubs (like pressing sealed bearings into remachined hubs) and then started making his own retro-design hubsets. I bought an espresso tamper from him that is the non-plus-ultra.
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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    I am a bad man. Moderation and temptation are difficult for me, the absurdity was irresistible.

    But it is worth the exercise in visualizing how these loads are transmitted across bearings and interfaces, not only here with hubs but also in the couple of threads about bottom brackets we’ve seen lately.

    And @rec head gets to give me an ear flick when we meet in person.

    Last edited by thollandpe; 03-26-2021 at 07:43 PM.
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

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    Default Re: oh no, bearing race cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Beaudoin View Post
    I vote to re-pack and ride it.
    I guess that statement tells a lot about me.
    The crack is not in the curve where the bearings will be seated.
    Everyone else is overthinking this.

    Rich’s answer is the right one.
    La Cheeserie!

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