How to choose a rear bike hub

How to choose a bushing:

The first step is to decide where and how often you will cycle. It is important to pay attention to the weight of the giver, its resistance to stress and vibration, moisture and dust resistance. For example, a road bike hub should never be used when riding aggressively over rough terrain.

In the event that you do not plan to engage in serious cycling, but just want to ride around the city and in uncomplicated conditions, then you can rely solely on your financial capabilities. Because the higher the level of the bushing, the stronger and better it is, naturally.

You also need to know how many spoke holes are on the flanges. The most common options are 36 and 32, but things may be different with some bikes, such as road bikes. And if the bushing has the wrong number of holes, it will not work to combine it with the rim.

Which bearing to choose, industrial or bulk, you decide on your own based on the driving conditions, we wrote about this above.

You also need to pay attention to the method of mounting the rear sprockets and their type, which can be slotted or threaded. Slots of cassettes from different manufacturers can be different in height and width, so sometimes it is impossible to combine them. If by any chance your hub has a wider drum than necessary, you can place spacers in the free space, so-called. “spacers”.

Note, among other things, the type of brake rotor mounting. The most common of all are the threaded “Centerlock” and with the six bolts.

If financial capabilities allow and under certain driving conditions, planetary hubs are very good. They have no equal in terms of convenience and durability, but they are more expensive, of course.

How bicycle hubs work:

The most important thing in the life of bicycle bushings are rolling bearings. these are ball parts used to transfer torque from the axle to the body of the part and, as a result, rotate the wheels. Today, there are three of the most common types of rolling bearings used in the bicycle industry: ball, industrial or closed, and cage.

The front hub device looks like this:

choose, rear, bike

It should be noted that bushings of all types and varieties of bicycle horses are similar in structure. Naturally, the differences may lie in the material used in their production, the degree of protection, weight, safety factor, running resource and durability.

If we compare the front and rear hubs, then they are simpler in design, because less dynamic load falls on them, as well as on the entire front of the bike. The complexity of the rear mechanism comes down to the fact that there is the possibility of free wheeling, this does not apply to fix-bikes. This confirms the fact that the front bushings are less whimsical in repair and periodic maintenance.

Now let’s take a closer look at different types of bushings and their special device. If we talk about the type of production, then they can be stamped, cast or point. Most modern bicycles are equipped with stamped and dotted ones. Dots are highlighted with a trace in the form of a spiral on the surface from the outside. As for cast, they are put on models for beginners, on teenagers and models for children, because they are less durable and weigh more.

The following materials are used for the production of bushing bodies: titanium and aluminum. for point and cast, steel. for stamped. In addition, there are bushings whose bodies are made of carbon. this makes the bike much lighter, because the weight of the carbon bush (which is not inferior in strength to others) is 49 grams, while the aluminum ones weigh 245 grams.

The axles of the bushings are made mainly of aluminum and steel, sometimes also of titanium. Their diameter is possible different.

Let’s select the most common axis sizes:

Front hub axle standards table

The most common option in use.

Found on trail and cross country bikes, is hollow itself, has an eccentric clip.

Found on models for extreme sports, also hollow. Can be fastened with bolts. better withstand heavy loads. As for the eccentric clamp. this is faster to put on and off.

Rear axle standard table

Found in almost all new models, very widely used size.

Used on models manufactured for extreme sports.

The diameter of the axle of any bushing determines such characteristics of the connection as rigidity and strength: the larger it is, the greater the parameters can be provided. This affects the total weight at the same time. In addition, removing a wheel with such an axle requires a lot of time and effort.

The rear hubs are often asymmetrical to accommodate cassettes. For this reason, the right flange is closer to the middle and its spokes are shorter on the right side by a few millimeters. This fact must be taken into account when lacing the wheel.

Now let’s focus on bearings. an important part of the bushings. Nowadays, bushings with bulk bearings can be found more often, and less often with cage bearings. Their distribution is due to their high running life and ease of production, and as they wear out, they are easy to adjust and sort out. A well-known manufacturer in the cycling industry like Shimano exclusively uses bicycle hubs that have loose bearings.

Bushings with industrial radial bearings are less common. Compared to standard ball bearing systems, they do not need to be disassembled and are very easy to install. Such bearings can greatly increase the running life of the part, have better dust and moisture protection due to higher efficiency and lower rolling resistance. However, this greatly affects the weight of the part, since the weight of closed systems is greater, as is the hub body for them. This type is found in those bicycles to a greater extent that are used in extreme sports.

Varieties of rear bushings and their differences

As mentioned above, the rear wheels are more complex axial than the front ones. In addition, the hubs have special inserts for the ratchet, cassette and brake discs. On those bike models that have planetary gear shifting, the rear hubs are gear systems that can be compared in complexity to a car gearbox. On today’s city bikes and USSR bikes (classic), the bushings in the back still have brakes.

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The rear hub looks like this:

hollow bolt for fastening the bushing drum to the body;

Types of rear bicycle sleeves by structure:

the classic version with a ratchet or cassette mount. Many models also have a brake disc mount, i.e. rotor;

fixed gear, no free play;

The planetary hub is a part that can generate a lot of interest among cyclists. Its body contains the entire multistage transmission, so it does not need frequent adjustments and adjustments, it has an excellent running life and 100% protection against bad weather conditions. A very important point: when there is a planetary hub, the gears can be switched even while standing still, but along with these advantages, it is worth noting the larger size and weight of this part.

Worm-type bushings are used on bicycles at one speed. The main difference is that braking occurs when the pedals are retracted. Frequent maintenance of such bushings is not required. they have a sealed housing with an abundance of lubricant, therefore, they are also quite durable.

Fans of fixed bikes are madly in love with bushings with no free play, which provide continuous pedaling while in motion.

Two-star or flip-flop hubs are such a system that allows the wheel to rotate as much as 180 degrees. At both ends there are star mounts, where 2 stars with different diameters can be placed. The required sprocket size is based on the anticipated possible driving conditions. In addition, such bushings can have both the possibility of a fixed and a free wheel at the same time. the “bicycle horse” can play the role of both single-speed and fixed gear.

Another exotic variety is the shock absorber bushing. It weighs a lot, its design is complex and it is simply impractical to use it everywhere, since the performance of its direct depreciation functions is very mediocre. Such amortization is carried out here as follows: the bushing moves along the guide bracket on the axis, in the free space it has an elastic element that absorbs vibrations, being both a spring and a damper. There are no strong shock-absorbing abilities, therefore such bushings are little known.

There are differences between the bushings and the type of rear sprocket attachment. There are threaded and spline types. The first of bicycle production is gradually leaving, since there are many disadvantages of the threaded connection of the sleeve: during installation it is easy to break the thread, low rigidity and strength, uneven wear of the mechanism and the stars themselves, a lot of energy losses in the unit. The installation of such rear sprockets is carried out due to the cheapness and ease of production.

As for the spline connection, there are many advantages: less weight, greater rigidity due to the greater distance between the bearings, less energy loss. more wheel rolling, good fastening reliability, with proper use, it is almost impossible to tear off the cassette from the splines, you can not change the entire cassette, and its individual stars, if necessary.

Bicycle hubs: varieties, selection and care

What is the most important part of a bike? It’s a wheel, of course. It doesn’t matter what type of bike we are talking about, what price category it is in. it is simply impossible to imagine any of them without wheels. And what is directly responsible for the rotation of the wheels? Quite right, these are the bushings. The better they are, the better the bike will be “rolling”, which in turn affects its efficiency. Also, the bushings are responsible for the correct and even distribution of radial and circular loads, even rotation of the wheel, sometimes. stopping the bike or switching speeds. Since this element is obviously important, let’s talk about it in more detail.

Bushing maintenance.

Correct operation of the bushing requires periodic maintenance. It is important to carry out such manipulations as:

replacement of cage bearings or bearing balls;

on the brake sleeve you need to adjust the pads;

lubrication from the inside of all parts, and every 500 km. a complete lubricant change.

If such necessary measures are not taken, repair or even replacement of the bushing may be required. Symptoms confirming the need for replacement or repair are considered to be: loosening and rumbling of the bushing, wheel play when driving, the presence of extraneous sounds during rotation, crunching of worn bearings, friction in bearings and poor roll-forward.

A loose, rattling or loose bushing can be corrected by pulling up using special keys. But here it is important not to overtighten, otherwise the wheel will begin to rotate poorly, which will lead to damage to the bearings.

Bad rolling and extraneous sounds can be corrected by good lubrication or by replacing the bearings.

I would also like to advise you not to engage in self-repair without the necessary knowledge, experience and tools. Professional bicycle service workers can do everything efficiently and quickly, identifying the exact cause.

We will be happy to answer the remaining questions and help with the choice!

Types and design of bicycle hubs

Before doing anything with the bushing, you first need to understand its design. How to change the hub on a bicycle will become clear when you understand its design. All bushings have 4 main components:

  • Housing. The spokes are attached to the body and connect it to the rim. The body has cups on the sides, into which the bearings are inserted, it is hollow inside. An axis passes through the body.
  • Bearings. There are two types: bulk. balls fill the cups of the body; industrial bearings. the balls are housed in a closed structure and are a one-piece bearing. Sometimes there are balls of a non-closed type that are simply held together by a metal shape. Bearings allow the housing to rotate around an axis.
  • Axis. The connecting link of the bicycle and the wheels, bearings with the body revolve around it. The axis itself remains stationary. The fastening system can be nut or eccentric. An eccentric is used on vertical dropouts to facilitate wheel removal, sometimes nuts are used on cheaper models with such dropouts. Nuts are needed on horizontal dropouts where there is no chain tensioner and single speed transmission to make it easier to center the wheel and tighten the chain. The eccentric axis is hollow with a hole inside, through which the eccentric is attached.
  • Retaining nuts, eccentrics, locknuts and guides. The guide is screwed onto the axle thread first so that the bearings remain in their position. The locknuts fix the position of the rail on the body. The nuts are screwed onto the axle from the outside of the dropouts to secure the wheel position. Eccentrics perform the same function.
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This design completely describes the front hub, but the rear hub is also part of the transmission. Rear sprockets are attached to it. Replacing the rear hub of a bicycle does not require replacing the chainrings if they are in good working order. Rear hubs differ in the type of sprocket attachment:

Superstar Components. Understanding Rear Hub Axle Sizes

The sleeves also have a different number of holes for the spokes, different flange heights, different widths or O.L.D (Over-Locknut Dimension. measurement of a locknut. Length is measured with fully tightened locknuts on the hub (not on dropouts) from one locknut to another). You need to choose the right hub for your dropout width, chainline and the number of spokes on the rim.

Bicycle hub replacement

The hub is an essential part of the bike design. Both bushings support the entire weight of the rider and the bike itself. All loads during landing and impacts in case of unevenness are also taken over by the hub. Therefore, breakdowns due to which the hub is replaced on a bicycle are very common.

In this article, you will learn how to change the hub on the rear and front wheel of a bicycle, we will understand the types of bicycle hubs and talk a little about their maintenance.

How to disassemble and reassemble the sleeve

How to disassemble and replace a part for a rear hub on a bicycle

The rear hubs are part of the drivetrain, so they have an additional mechanism that depends on the type of bike drivetrain:

Before asking the question: how to change the hub on the rear wheel of a bicycle, you need to identify the cause of the breakdown. To do this, first disassemble it according to the instructions in accordance with the type in the bushings

Rear ratchet hub. The principle of operation is the same as with the front one, but after dismantling the wheel from the bike (after Step 2.), you need to remove the ratchet with a special puller and a wrench and continue with Step 3.

Rear hub for cassette. After dismantling the wheel (Step 2), remove the cassette with a special puller and a whip. Dismantling the drum consists in removing the locknut and the guide, after which you need to carefully remove the drum from the axis.

The fixed and single speed hubs are disassembled in the same way as the front ones, you don’t even need to remove the sprocket. If you have a BMX, then you have to remove the “driver”, it is removed according to the principle of a drum for a cassette. Sometimes there are single-speed bushings with a foot brake, for example, on a bicycle “Ukraine”, there you also need to pull out the brake mechanism.

The planetary hubs are very difficult to service due to their complex design, they usually do not require maintenance at all due to the closed mechanism. There is no single principle of maintenance of all planetary systems; each model should have its own instruction. The process is something like this: after unscrewing all the nuts, you need to remove the housing cover and remove the core. If you managed to do this, then you need to disassemble all moving mechanisms for service. It is important to remember how everything was originally, if you are doing it for the first time, so that you can collect it.


In order for the bushing to last for a long time, it must be regularly serviced. Maintenance consists in cleaning the bearings and housing cups from old grease that has already collected enough dirt. Black grease indicates dirt. This grease must be changed to prevent dirt from destroying cups and bearings.

When you have completely disassembled the bushing, wipe off the old grease with a rag or paper from the bearings and bushing housing cups. Apply new grease to cups and bearings. Next, assemble the structure.

Disassembly and replacement of parts of the front hub of the bicycle

To carry out the parsing procedure, you need several wrenches. Wrenches 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17mm may be needed. The most commonly used wrenches are 14 and 15 mm. Sometimes a thin pair of wrenches are required to remove the small locknut and not damage the structure.

Remove the retaining nuts from the dropouts. Most often a 14 mm wrench is needed.

Remove the wheel from the bike. If you have a rim brake, you need to remove the pads so that the wheel can be removed.

Unscrew the locknuts. Here you need 2 keys, lock nuts can be for different key sizes and for different widths. It is necessary to hold one key on the thread of the guide, and the other to unscrew the lock nut.

Remove the guide and pull out the axle. At this point, the guides can be removed by hand.

Advice: if you cannot remove something, then do not rush to do it with great force, so as not to break the tool or sleeve. Perhaps some detail matched the other. With this problem, you can use the anti-procotic chemistry WD-40.

Pull out the bearings carefully. If you have them of a bulk type, then prepare the place of work so that they are not lost. The balls are not connected to anything in any way, so they can easily fall out and get lost. If you have industrial bearings, you will have to gently pry a thin plastic part with something to get to the balls.

Tip: Separate the balls from the right cup and the left cup, most likely they are already slightly deformed. In order not to propagate the deformation to another cup, it is best to always insert the bearings in their previous place.

Replace the bearings. Spread the balls evenly around the edges of the cup if you have a mound. Industrial just enough to slide into place.

Insert the axle, tighten the guides and locknuts. Make sure that the axle protrudes from the cups without distortions in length on one side. Slide the guides and locknuts onto it. If you have loose bearings, then a dilemma may arise: tighten tightly and eliminate play, or leave play, but allow the bearings to rotate freely. If the backlash cannot be eliminated without strong twisting, then it is best to leave a small space, but not bring the hub to a state of complete deformation while driving.

Replace the wheel and tighten the nuts. Make sure that the wheel is level, without distortions.


Do not rush to change the entire bushing at once, first identify the breakdown. Sometimes you can get by with replacing just one part: a bearing, axle, drum, or even one nut. The cost of one part will be much lower than that of the entire bushing. Disassemble the bushing, identify the breakage and replace the defective part.

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If the body is deformed so much that further operation of the bushing is impossible, then you will have to change it completely. In such a situation, you will have to re-spoke the wheel, i.e. remove all the knitting needles from the hub and rim and put everything back on, if you don’t mind the knitting needles, you can simply cut them off with wire cutters.

How to choose the right planetary hub

Let’s take a look at how to choose the right planetary hub. Classic, wide-range, narrow-pitch derailleurs and the expensive Rohloff planetary hub allow mountain biking and are indispensable for physically weak cyclists. But at the same time, the cost of the Rohloff planetary hub is cosmic. In the city, even the cheapest planetary hub, provided it is correctly selected and installed, is much more profitable for a derailer.

Single-speed bicycles and bicycles with three-speed planetary hubs have been used for urban travel for decades. It is no coincidence that most cyclists are observed in cities with very flat terrain. Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin.

But even in these cities, bicycles with single and three-speed hubs are unable to accelerate quickly or adapt to changes in wind, load and cyclist strength. Practical bicycles were also often equipped with a single foot brake, which resulted in a longer stopping distance compared to a bicycle with a front brake. These bicycles are banned for sale in the European Union, although they are allowed in the United States and the Netherlands. Due to the lack of reverse travel of the pedals, the foot brake interferes with a quick start, often overheats on prolonged downhills.

Bicycles are now mostly equipped with hand brakes, which have been used for decades in the UK, France, USA and Canada. often, disc, drum or roller brakes, well protected from moisture, are installed as a rear brake.

Inexpensive Shimano Nexus planetary hub.

For city driving, select the minimum sufficient three-speed planetary hub with top gear in the 70-80-inch range (5.6-6.4 meters of travel). The most optimal for driving in the city is the 5-, 8-speed planetary hub.

The new 5-speed Sturmey-Archer hubs have one gear shifting system, while the latest generation of Shimano hubs have rotary derailleurs. The recently discontinued SRAM 7-speed hub, despite the robustness of the internal planetary gear, has a vulnerable plastic derailleur protruding. SRAM hub jog dials are only available on the 9-speed model, the most expensive, complex, heaviest.

Hilly cities like San Francisco require a wider range than a planetary hub can offer (with the exception of Rohloff or Shimano 11-speed). The hybrid system and derailer are of course cheaper than the planetary hub, but they are more difficult to maintain.

Weight should also be considered when choosing a planetary hub. Weight matters primarily when transporting the bike, not while riding. Folding bicycles, which are designed for frequent transport, are especially critical to excess weight.

Sturmey-Archer’s 3-speed and 5-speed aluminum alloy jacketed hubs support the mid-20th century tradition of weight optimization. While SRAM’s 5-speed hubs and the discontinued 7-speed hubs are structurally very similar to Sturmey-Archer hubs, they have heavy steel shells. Shimano planetary hub weights are intermediate. Planetary hubs with more than seven speeds cannot be light Of all planetary hubs, the lightest is the Sturmey-Archer.

Shimano Nexus 3-Speed ​​Planetary Hub City Bike.

My bike has 3 gears, but for city riding I chose a bike with an old 5-speed Sturmey-Archer planetary hub. Of course, five speeds are not enough. There used to be an SRAM 7-speed hub with drum brake and aluminum alloy shell. Even with a drum brake, it only weighed a little more for a steel shell model without a brake.

How to choose a rear bike hub

Dim, she’s just as resistant to shit and fords as Novatek-style bushings on slip. Do you think about the WDR or where is the super protection from water? Only on the bearings themselves, and on the XT there are no seals on the bushing itself, but there are. Here the drum is not protected, yes.

Although I will not argue, tk. by virtue of “religion” I myself have been using bushings on slip for a long time.

I do not agree that the eccentric is analogous, they have different axle clamping forces.

This is when the axle, then you carry a key that is no longer needed for anything (besides, the key is quite large and relatively heavy). And here I do not carry anything superfluous. The editors will still be. I do not like the idea of ​​pulling the same Kaisers off the rim manually. 🙂

since the quick release of the wheels is a dubious achievement 🙂

Xenium, by the way, showed some incompatibility with some frames. If the frame is purely for the axle (ie there are not slots in the dropouts, as usual, but holes), then on the inner side of the dropouts there will most likely be “tables” on which the wheel is placed and then the axle is quietly threaded and twisted through the dropouts and the hub. So, you need to look at what radius these tables are. Xeniums in this place are quite thick. 20mm in diameter. And, say, my Novatek. 18. And DT, it seems, is also less. Because of this, recently one person from Velomania was sawing the freshly bought frame of Merida 1-5-0, because when he put the wheel in place, the axle did not fit into the hub.

If the dropouts are flat inside, like ours, then don’t care, of course. 🙂

It is strange, however, that Novatek is different from Xenium. They are from the same barrel, like a chuzen 🙂

I have an assumption that these end washers for Xenium versions 135×10 and 150×12 are the same. Hence the cant.

And the “tables” by the way is a very convenient thing (when the axle climbs essno :)). I have such a mnu on the fox, calmly put the wheel down, passed the axle. Lafa.

IMHO, this is already redundant. 6 industrial bearings, a pound of weight.
Take, then, just Novatek 662 for sale under 10mm axle, or Xenium. And the axis to them, respectively, to choose from. either on nuts, or 10mm eccentric, or DT RWS. It is also quite durable.

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