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I live in Virginia and built a wind mill using a bike wheel. Do I need to remove the wheel so the cold weather won't destroy the bearings?

  • Not really on-topic for this site sorry - perhaps a "homesteading" or windmill site might be better? – Criggie Nov 25 '18 at 18:55
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It doesn't really get all that cold down in most of Virginia that you have to worry about the cold/do special preparation for the cold for a bike.

So, I wouldn't worry about it. Also, you're not riding the wheel, so if the bearings aren't in perfect condition it isn't the end of the world anyway.

  • Thanks I only ask, because the windmill has been outside since we finished building it in July...and spinning fine. This weekend I noticed that the wheel fell off. After inspection I could see that the bearings and all were really loose with alot of play....so I was thinking the recent freezing temps at night caused it to freeze / thaw. – Stacy Nov 25 '18 at 17:07
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    @stacy Nah the freezing won't do that. However bike wheels are not intended to cope with constant side loads. If your axle isn't pointing square into the wind it could take side loads which will alternately undo the locknut/cone if they were not clamped down well enough to begin with. Also, being high your bearings will be exposed to a lot of rain, so the grease will wash out and contaminate easier. I'd suggest you bodge some additional rain protection in front of the leading bearing, like a large washer which is cupped back toward the hub. Consider its outside 24/7 where a bike isn't. – Criggie Nov 25 '18 at 18:59
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    @Stacy: Re-grease them and adjust bearing play and the bearings should last a long time. The grease should keep water out, so it can’t cause corrosion or freeze. As Criggie pointed out, make sure the cones/nuts don’t come loose. – Michael Nov 25 '18 at 19:24
  • Angular contact bearings are designed to deal with side loads. I'd suspect rain and dust first. – ojs Nov 25 '18 at 20:51

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