So I thought I would sort out my wheel bearings (after asking a few questions here first). Did the front without much of a problem, (reused the existing bearings at the moment, had not got round to going to the LBS to get new ones). I tried to do the rear wheel tonight.

So I got the wheel off, took the quick release out. undid one side of the axle (disk brake side I believe), took out the bearings etc. I noticed that a few of the bearings from the cassette side had fallen out while taking the other side off. I then used the chain whip and other bit thing (who's name I can not remember) to eventually undo the cassette (was on real tight). Took everything apart (trying to remember the order, even placing things in rows of where it came from) and cleaned it all up. Went to put it back together again and I can not figure out at all (not with any confidence) how the bearings go into the cassette side under the locking nut (think its called that, the bit that comes off with the chain whip and tool).

Here are all the bits and the wheel. Think I may have to admit defeat and go the LBS to get it sorted but they had a 5 or so day wait. I am hoping someone might be able to guide me in the right direction to get this working again please.


enter image description here

enter image description here

If anyone else has this problem here is a picture of the final way I assembled it:

enter image description here

  • its not really an answer but if the axel with cone attached is bent slightly then it will have to be replaced right ? if so where can i get them from ?
    – user6479
    Mar 27, 2013 at 21:57
  • Consider taking photos as you undo things - its a good reminder for reassembling
    – Criggie
    Sep 7, 2017 at 1:09

3 Answers 3


While not necessary, it will probably be easier to understand what is happening if you lift the cassette off. The ring at the front of your photo (C) is the nut that holds the cassette on, so right now you should be able to lift the cogs off the freewheel. That will leave you with the splined body of the freewheel exposed and you'll have one less distraction.

bicycle rear wheel bearing parts

The parts labelled are :

A: cone locknut (the last thing to go on)

B: seal, probably from the drive side

C: cassette nut/lockring that holds the cassette together and onto the freewheel

D: spacer/washer that goes between A and E

E: cone with seal attached

F: seal from the axle and cone labelled H

G: seal from the non-drive side

H: axle with cone attached.

I: there is no I

J: washer. I have no idea where this goes.

K: quick release axle.

Ignoring the bearings for a minute, the order things go back in from the non-drive side (underneath, in the photo) of the wheel is likely to be: Put the seal F back on H from the long side - it probably should not go all the way to the washer. Push H up into the wheel screw E down onto it then add D, screw A down and lock it off. Push G over the non-drive side cone assembly to seal that side. Push B into the drive side if it fits (I'm not sure it will, I haven't seen a seal like that or in there for a very long time). Put the cassette cogs back on, then add C to lock them in place.

Before doing this you will have cleaned the old grease off the cones in the hub (careful with solvents, you don't want to wash the grease out of the rest of the freewheel), then put in new grease and pushed new bearings into it (the grease holds the bearings in place while you reassemble).

  • That was exceptionally kindly answered! Jun 15, 2011 at 0:01
  • I will see you on 'meta' when I get time... Jun 15, 2011 at 0:15
  • + great answer!
    – jackJoe
    Jun 15, 2011 at 10:58
  • Thanks so much, really helped (added picture of the final way you described).
    – Jon
    Jun 15, 2011 at 18:07

It goes like this:

enter image description here

There's a lot of knack/technique to setting up bearings, its very hard to put into words.

Since its already open, you should consider a clean of all the parts before reassembling.

Degreaser and a clean rag helps - paper towels tend to be quite linty.

Do a close inspection of the cones and cups - the running surface should be smooth and chip free. If the ball bearings are vaguely dull just buy new ones - they're cheap.


The part named F is a type of indented washer that sits against the bearings in quando hubs. If you have problems with your back wheel, ie grinding, annoying sounds, I find removing this washer alltogether helpful. It seems to stop any friction noise. When you tighten the cines the rubber seal seats against this washer pushing it against the bearings. These hubs are usually poorly put together when new, but can be tuned to give good service.

I would definately remove the unidentified washer for future noise free riding. Also in addition to this, while you have the spindle stripped down check it for straightness. My rear spindle was untrue and caused a rebuild every other ride; I should have checked this first. So I replaced both front and back with decent axles.

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