Is this rear hub worn?
Sorry this is a totally newb question but I have a comfort commuter Specialized Crossroads bike. Its a few years old. The rear wheel doesnt seem to rotate as freely as it use to. Its not rubbing on the brakes or anything. How do you test if the hub or bearings are worn?
Also, I noticed that when coasting (not pedaling), the hub doesnt make any clicking sounds. On my other bike, you can hear the hub clicking when coasting. I cant remember if its always been this quiet or not though. Do only certain hubs click on coasts?
There could be a lot of stuff happening to cause the drag in the rear wheel. Does it seem like there is a lot of drag at the axle if you take the wheel off the bike and spin it while holding the axle? When it is off the bike does the freehub/free wheel have a lot of drag in it?
Some hubs don't make any noise, I have two that are "silent" however I don't know if yours was designed this way or not. I guess as long as it is engaging then your freehub/freewheel is probably working properly.
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Thanks. I'll try taking the wheel off and spinning it while holding it to feel for any resistance. And thanks for answering that hub noise question. I just dont remember if it made noise before or not but at least I now know that being quiet isnt always a problem...
The Crossroads models use cup and cone type hubs. That is to say the bearings in the hub are loose ball, and there is a cup built into the hub shell as an inner race to hold them and a cone that threads onto the axle as an outer race that also serves to pre-load the bearings.
If you've never had the hubs serviced, it is likely time to do so. The factory lube used in most cup and cone bearings, while fine for a year or so, usually becomes sticky and stiff over time. The result of overdue service is the hub/wheel won't spin as smoothly or freely as they once did.
A good hub service will include, disassemblely of the hub, inspection and cleaning of the cups and cones, installation of new bearings, and a repack with a proper grease. Cost is usually around $15 to $25 per hub + parts, depending on the shop.
Or you can do it yourself if you are mechanically inclined and know what you are doing, or can follow instructions/directions. Just a word of caution, there is a bit of an art to properly adjusting a cup and cone hub. And riding an improperly adjusted hub will destroy it. So getting a good reference/instructions, and taking your time and doing it right is highly recommended.
Anyway, get the hubs serviced and they'll be back to running like they did before.
Oh, and as far as the freehub not clicking, don't sweat it. As long as the hub engages positively when you pedal, and the chain doesn't go slack when you free wheel, all is well.
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Thats great information. Much thanks Squash. I'm looking around at videos on hub servicing. Might try this at home first.