How to Check If Your Bearings Are Worn
Did you know that you can check the health of your bearings by listening to your bike seat?
Here’s a handy tip that will help you access whether or not any of your bearings are worn out. You’ll need to have the wheels suspended in the air somehow, using either a repair stand, hanging it from the roof, or by getting a friend to hold it up for you.
How to Listen
You can listen to your bike by pressing your ear up to the front of the seat. It will act as a speaker, amplifying the bike’s internal noises.
Now spin each of your components and listen to the sound. You will hear noise, but it should sound smooth and even. If it sounds loud and/or uneven, it is likely dry or worn out, and your bearings will need either an overhaul or complete replacement.
Bottom Bracket Bearings
When checking the bottom bracket bearings, it’s helpful to shift the smallest sprocket and remove the chain to eliminate the noise generated by the chain and chainring.
Rear Wheel Bearings
To hear the rear wheel bearings better, remove the chain from the freewheel by removing and re-installing the wheel, so that you don’t hear the ticking as it spins around.
Since the headset doesn’t spin around as fast, it’s more difficult to hear if it’s worn. Any dryness or wear in the headset bearings will be very obvious, and you’ll feel a notch in the rotation if they’re pitted. Pitting usually occurs when the front wheel is pointing directly forward.
- Super Lube White Grease Tube
- Finish Line Grease Gun
- Park Tool HBH-2 Handlebar Holder
- Park Tool SA-3 Heavy Duty Shop Apron
- Park Tool PCS-9 Repair Stand
- Park Tool PCS-4 Repair Stand
Discuss this topic in the Bicycle Repairs and Mechanics Forum
Hi everyone. A bit repetitive from my intro in GF, but this is the correct section for this post. I’m new to vintage bikes, but I’ve been eyeing a vintage Colnago to restore for a long time. Finally found one and the timing was right to pull the trigger. I’m still trying to identify the exact year, but from my research it’s 1991-1993 Colnago Super PiU. Mostly original, I think, apart from ...Read more
I'm sure there will be lots of discussion on the recall just announced. How will it be handled? Anyone have any insight to the recall?...Read more
I thought I would do a thread about how to do a quality refurbish on a bicycle that will be a good user trouble free for quite a while. The scope of this refurb will not contain content about dealing with battle scars it may have endured in its lifetime, primarily because the bicycle is merely an example of a solid platform to build from (vintage lugged frame circa 1990). Purchased for $15us ...Read more
I came across two riders with flats on yesterday's ride. The usual response as I roll by and ask, "Do you need anything?" is, "No, I'm good," but today, someone was in need. The first guy, fit, full kit, nice Colnago, was good to go. Then, about seven miles later, on the opposite side of the road, a guy sitting on the side of the road with a wheel between his legs and with his wife, I presumed, st...Read more
Hi everyone. The young one has been on his bike steering right with the handle bars, the person steering with the safety steering has forced the safety steering bar the opposite way and now the safety steering will not turn in any direction and everything from the outside appears fine. I’m not sure if it goes into anything inside the bike that may have broke. I’m just wondering if anyone has a...Read more
I recently bought a mountain bike with hydraulic brakes. When the brake fluid gets low, more needs to be added. There are a number of tutorials on Youtube, and other places on the internet. They involve bleeding the brakes.. That is having brake fluid flow through the brakes lines, to remove the air. The process is a bit involved. I did it an easier way. I put the funnel in the brake lever, and ...Read more
We bleed hydraulic brakes to remove air from the lines. With car and truck brakes, we only bleed them when they have air in the lines. Is there any benefit in bleeding bicycle brakes, other than removing air from the lines?...Read more
Hi folks. My 2004 or 2005? Specialized stumpjumper FSR elite? Comp? has been very neglected, but recently my situation and lifestyle have changed for the better, and I am trying to get it trail ready. I bought a chain cleaner kit, and I've degreased the rear cogs, and lubed the chain. All of the hardware mentioned is original and stock, and came with my bike. I was hoping the maintenance would sol...Read more
Two weeks ago I bought a new Trek Checkpoint ALR5 bicycle. Bike rides pretty well. It has aluminium frame. I bought it primaraly for bike packing trips as it has ton of mounting points. After riding it for 2 weeks and hitting some easy gravel roads I found two relatively small dents on bicycle's frame. I don't know when I got them. Maybe they are caused by flying rocks from the wheels. Maybe this ...Read more
I apologize in advance if I mix-up some lingo, I have almost no experience in fixing bicycle drivetrain. Previously I had Comet CKM-7159 as crankset (I managed to find this datasheet that seem to describe it pretty good - datasheet) Long story short, pedal track on the left crank got completely destroyed. Since it's two-piece crankset (or I just have not enough muscles to detach left crank from ...Read more
coming at you guys with another newbie question. I noticed the other day while pedaling up hill that I was getting some wheel was rubbing my brakes. I only noticed it when I was really pedaling hard. My bike is a single speed so I have to really get on it when I go up hill. I noticed that my wheels do have a little side to side motion when I apply pressure with my hands. I'm wondering if the wheel...Read more
I inherited an old Schwinn world tourist from my father who has since passed away. Decided to fix it up and make it a little more me. It was completely stock when I bought it. Pretty happy with how it turned out. Upgrades: Single speed conversion 44x17 Tektro 559 brakes with Kool stop pads and 750 levers. Swift Sand canyon 27x 1 3/8 tires Flat bars with vans grips Charge seat PXL_...Read more
I've read other threads and lots of info online, and I'm still stuck. My son is unable to shift the gears on his new 6-gear bike. We tried adjusting the derailer to release some tension and tinkered with adjustments here and there, and nothing seems to be working. Is there anything that we can do? I really want him to be able to shift his own gears. Going uphill today we had to stop several t...Read more
The bolt that feeds into the headset is striped. I have the ability to put the Allen key into the head of the bolt and spin it but it won't come out. I believe the star nut and the bolt are striped from each other. Can anyone help? There is no hexnuts on the stem and the bolt just keeps spinning. I can feel as though there is pressure when I spin it but the bolt does not rise out of the headset w...Read more