I have a question about hub,

When should I grease my hub ? every 20000 km ? How do I know it needs new grease ? Because I can not see if the grease is dry or not...?


  • What kind of hub, what kind of bearings? – cmannett85 Jan 31 '12 at 7:17
  • it's WH-R550 hub and normal bearings... – Rick Ant Jan 31 '12 at 7:36

For a standard loose-bearing hub, to grease it you disassemble it, wash the components in solvent, and then reassemble with new grease. You may want to take this opportunity to replace the individual balls in the assembly.

As to how often you may need to do this, it's a little bit of a wild guess. I aim for (very roughly) every 10K miles, but a lot depends on conditions (and mine are commuting/touring). If the bike is rarely exposed to rain and dust then longer is OK. If it's regularly exposed to water/dirt then more often.

Some wheel bearings are advertised as "sealed", as they have a rubber seal that helps keep dirt out. These can either be of the loose-bearing variety (which is serviced as above) or a cartridge (which cannot be serviced other that to replace it). Sealed loose-ball bearings can probably go about twice as long before servicing. Cartridge bearings you generally ride until they obviously need replacement.

  • How about from shimano WH-R550 ? is it loose bearing ? – Rick Ant Jan 31 '12 at 9:30
  • Great answer. Two more things: I have heard it is better to replace all the balls at once on each side, and from the same batch, since then it is assured they have all the same size, and so will distribute evenly the pressures while rolling. Also, some cartridge bearings have a removable seal (old American Classic, for example) wich allow them to be cleaned with solvent and regreased, which I have already done once or twice with great results (they were terribly dirty). – heltonbiker Jan 31 '12 at 16:12
  • Yeah, if you replace any balls, replace all of them on the one side, at least. And it's complicated and a little silly to replace one side and not the other, so generally it should be all or nothing. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 31 '12 at 17:00
  • any photos on doing it ? – Rick Ant Feb 1 '12 at 1:28
  • 2
    You mean a photo of me squatting on the garage floor over a pie tin filled with oily solvent and a few odd corners of parts sticking out? – Daniel R Hicks Feb 1 '12 at 2:08

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