1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Newb needs help with wheels! (Trainer, Hub, Axles, Etc.)

    Hey Folks!

    I am new to the forum. I wanted to reach out to a community of mountain bikers to get some advice.

    Recently I decided to get serious about getting in shape. I purchased a trainer for a bike that I had in the garage.

    This specific trainer is designed to use a "Quick Release Skewer". Something I didn't even know existed till a few days ago. Upon breaking down the bike and googling I discovered my bike uses a threaded bike axle and this quick release skewer can not be used in the bike's native state.

    Here are a few pictures of the wheel hub:

    Newb needs help with wheels!  (Trainer, Hub, Axles, Etc.)-bearing-cover.jpg

    Newb needs help with wheels!  (Trainer, Hub, Axles, Etc.)-bearings.jpg

    Newb needs help with wheels!  (Trainer, Hub, Axles, Etc.)-hub.jpg

    The first image is of the bearing cap... (not sure if this had a formal name). The black portion of this cap is threaded to accept the threaded axle and is pressed into the silver piece. Not sure if these two can be separated.

    Second image is of the bearings. Think I lost one when I opened everything. Is there a good spot to get more of these? and how do I determine what size these are?

    Third picture is of the actual hub. The hub itself is not threaded. Just the bearing covers are threaded. The inside of the hub is actually more hollow than the opening itself. I had some bearing fall in there and had a tough time getting them out. The other side of the tire has the flywheel portion and I am not sure I can get those off without the right tools. However buried below them is and identical bearing setup.

    Is there a conversion kit that would allow me to use this wheel and hub with the quick release skewer that came with my trainer?

    Also I was reading (on this forum) that others use a slick tire for use with the trainer. Would it make more sense to just buy another rim and slick for use with the trainer? I like the idea of eliminating as much noise as possible as I have a little one that will be sleeping near by.

    Thanks for reading and any help would be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    You need something like this.
    Wheels Manufacturing Hub Axles.

    Figure out the length by how far apart the outside of your drop out is.

    you do want a slick tire I can't see a knobby lasting more than 30mins on a trainer.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by faceplant72 View Post
    You need something like this.
    Figure out the length by how far apart the outside of your drop out is.
    First thanks for your response! How do I go about doing the above? I have no clue what it actually means.

    Quote Originally Posted by faceplant72 View Post
    You need something like this.
    you do want a slick tire I can't see a knobby lasting more than 30mins on a trainer.
    Is it easy to mount your own tires? If so I'll just use my current rim. Anywhere to get slicks that you would suggest?

  4. #4
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    I just measure the current axle at 170mm. Hope that helps.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Thanks to globalization, the little balls are pretty standard. You do still need the correct size, so take one (or one from each side if they're different sizes, which they often are in a rear hub) to your local hardware store so you can match. Also, consider getting a whole new set. The balls need to match each other to within a relatively tight tolerance.

    I'd be inclined to buy a hollow axle from my bike shop, rather than ordering online. Ordering online will probably get you the right thing, but I like to have a little extra assurance about these things, and it's such a cheap part... Take one of the cones with you, so you can check it on the threaded axle for a good fit. "Cone" is the formal name for the bearing cap, and refers to the shape of the part that's inside the bearing - you have "cup and cone" hubs. Or at least that hub. To switch to using a quick release, you'll want a much shorter axle. I forget the exact length, but if you tell the shop it's for a mountain bike rear hub, you should be fine. Or take the whole wheel with you. They can probably sell you the bearing balls too - one stop shopping.

    The inside of a cup and cone hub should be packed with grease. Yours looks a bit too clean, so clean it up the rest of the way and regrease when you reassemble. Any non-lithium grease will do, but if you don't keep that kind of thing in your garage, the bike shop can sell you some. I've also heard of people using marine grease for this job - it comes in giant tubs for pretty cheap, and while I find the little tube to be convenient and last me quite a long time, some people are offended by the premium one pays for the stuff marketed for bikes.

    Rebuilding a hub is a little bit of an art, and you're more-or-less committed to doing it now. Here's an article on it.
    Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog » Hub Overhaul and Adjustment

    Incidentally, I highly recommend using cone wrenches, Inexpensive tool, and while it's possible to do this job with box wrenches, it's much easier to do it much better with the bike-specific tool.

    Using a separate wheel on the trainer isn't a bad idea. Switching tires is annoying. I'm lucky enough to be able to own a couple bikes, so I usually just ride my road bike, without switching tires, when I ride my trainer. Trainer-specific tires are not a bad idea if you don't have some old road slicks mouldering away that you don't want to use on the road anymore - they last ages and ages, according to friends of mine who've a bit more experience with trainers than me, so if I was buying a tire anyway, I'd choose one. So far, I've always had some cheap road slicks kicking around, though.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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