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How long on bad bearings?

Old 02-18-2018, 05:25 PM
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How long on bad bearings?

So of course wheel bearings know to rattle on holiday weekends.......
So my question is, how long has anyone ridden on slightly noisy bearings (front wheel).
I always keep spares but my spares are vtr and now my front end is CBR.
Will try to source them locally but just wanted to know. My record is hearing them loudly 25-30 miles from home and limping the bike home.
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:14 PM
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I thought I had bad front wheel bearings once but it turned out to be the steering stem bearings !
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:32 AM
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Wheel bearings make noise when the wheel rolls forward. Steering messes with your handling when they pit and don't allow you to make gentle corrections in steering.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by smokinjoe73 View Post
So of course wheel bearings know to rattle on holiday weekends.......
So my question is, how long has anyone ridden on slightly noisy bearings (front wheel).
I always keep spares but my spares are vtr and now my front end is CBR.
Will try to source them locally but just wanted to know. My record is hearing them loudly 25-30 miles from home and limping the bike home.
Getting the same symptom now, on the CBR K1 wheel as well, I'm looking maybe to change to ceramic wheel bearings, All ***** is about $19 on Ebay.
If you find anything interesting like ceramics, let me know.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:24 AM
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Hey Joe,

Fully aware of wheel bearing symptoms, that is why I was surprised when I installed new wheel bearings the noise was still there !

I investigated further and removed the original steering stem bearings which as you know are not tapered. On inspection some of the ***** both top and bottom had pit marks in them and the cages were flogged.

Replaced stem bearings with tapered bearings and the noise was gone!

Go figure .

The only reason I posted this is in case someone else has the same dilemma .
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Old 02-20-2018, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by smokinjoe73 View Post
So of course wheel bearings know to rattle on holiday weekends.......
So my question is, how long has anyone ridden on slightly noisy bearings (front wheel).
I always keep spares but my spares are vtr and now my front end is CBR.
Will try to source them locally but just wanted to know. My record is hearing them loudly 25-30 miles from home and limping the bike home.
Mehh, Id say you have the rest of your life to ride them......
Personally I have not ridden a street bike on bad bearings.. Off road yes, and that was back to the camp or the end of the race.
I have repaired the results of street bikes ridden on bad bearings for "just one more ride" after noting the sound or wobble......and several times it cost them a new wheel.

Last edited by E.Marquez; 02-20-2018 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:08 AM
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NHSH I was just desperate to get new bearings so didn't find ceramics. The stockers are $28 plus I paid 2nd day shipping.
Erik yeah I am very cautious about this stuff. Bearings here tomorrow so they go right in, I will mountain bike around NYC til then.
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:50 AM
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Kenmoore just to understand, when your bike rolled forward in a straight line it make clicking/clacking sounds of bad bearings but it turned out to be the steering head? OR did you have handling issues that turned out to be steering bearings?
Not sure how the 2 could be confused is why I am asking.
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Old 02-22-2018, 11:53 AM
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I just did a 3000 mile trip with a stuffed wheel bearing on my ST1100. Before the trip I had noticed a bit of a clonk when the steering hit a lock stop but thought it was play in the antidive bracket (this is a 1990's bike!). When I pulled the wheel out after returning home I was shocked to discover how much sloppy play I had in one bearing. The bike felt pretty unsettled in a straight line, hated turbulence from other vehicles or wind, but was just fine when laid hard into corners. Such an easy part to replace when you need to, and the bike feels so much better now, back to its normal natural steady steering.
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