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Bicycle Wheels Made In China

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Posted (edited)

Two of my friends have had to repair the bicycle hub bearings on their Chinese made bikes. One bike was an electric, the other pedal power. In both cases it was not possible to replace the bearings without replacing the entire wheel. This was because the cup part of the ball race was an integral part of the wheel and couldn't be separated from it. In one case the Chinese-made ball bearings balls had flats on them through wear. Bicycle hubs made in Britain years ago had fully replaceable cones in their hubs and the balls lasted a lifetime.  Did anyone else have this experience with Chinese-made bicycle wheels?

Edited by woolyhead

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Posted (edited)

I have had a few Chinese bikes over the years, but they tend to be cheap & cheerful. The wheel issues that you describe sounds like a throwaway situation.  I like to repair something if it is possible, but sometimes time, effort and cost make it impractical.

 

Some cheap bikes are  cheap and okish, and others are throw away when they break.

Here is an article that  is a good guide for anyone wanting guidence.  

https://www.southcoastbikes.co.uk/Dont-Buy-a-Cheap-Bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Janus
typo

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40 minutes ago, woolyhead said:

This was because the cup part of the ball race was an integral part of the wheel and couldn't be separated from it. 

The less parts you make something out of, the cheaper it is to fabricate and the quicker it is to put together.

 

You could always replace the hub but then you would have to rebuild the wheel and tension the spokes.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, woolyhead said:

Two of my friends have had to repair the bicycle hub bearings on their Chinese made bikes. One bike was an electric, the other pedal power. In both cases it was not possible to replace the bearings without replacing the entire wheel. This was because the cup part of the ball race was an integral part of the wheel and couldn't be separated from it. In one case the Chinese-made ball bearings balls had flats on them through wear. Bicycle hubs made in Britain years ago had fully replaceable cones in their hubs and the balls lasted a lifetime.  Did anyone else have this experience with Chinese-made bicycle wheels?

Not unusual on hubs with loose ball bearings, cup and cone bearings.

 

I've been riding road bikes seriously for 35 years, and have never had a British made hub on any wheel I've used. Those that had cup and cone bearings never had a replaceable ball race, and they were expensive hubs.

Edited by Bargepole23

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One of my friends is an engineer and he took the electric bike's Chinese wheels to work and reamed out the cup to a diameter that fitted the sealed bearings he had bought. He pressed the sealed bearings in and everything looked fine. That was four years ago and the wheels are still working. He drives the bike a lot and takes it to Spain on holidays and tours around with it. The next problem will be the high price of replacement batteries.

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1 hour ago, woolyhead said:

One of my friends is an engineer and he took the electric bike's Chinese wheels to work and reamed out the cup to a diameter that fitted the sealed bearings he had bought. He pressed the sealed bearings in and everything looked fine. That was four years ago and the wheels are still working. He drives the bike a lot and takes it to Spain on holidays and tours around with it. The next problem will be the high price of replacement batteries.

I dont ride and I know nothing about electric bikes but I did stumble on a very interesting video on Youtube recently where a guy replaced his Ebike batteries himself and another one where someone upgraded his to a Lithium battery. All very interesting stuff but way beyond me. In fact Im not even sure how I ended up watching it as Id initially been watching a video about WW2.

 

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There is some interesting stuff on there Waj. I stumbled upon a video about the mission to sink the Bismark during ww2. I was looking for something completely different at the  time.

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On 01/09/2019 at 12:36, Janus said:

There is some interesting stuff on there Waj. I stumbled upon a video about the mission to sink the Bismark during ww2. I was looking for something completely different at the  time.

After reading your post I decided to jump on Youtube and have a look. I found a few Bismark videos and all I can say is Wow! They were fascinating and really show how different and dangerous times were during the war. I ended up binge watching loads of videos of WW2 which gave me a whole new appreciation of life back then.

And on that note ill stop trying to derail this thread before I get shouted at by a moderator lol.

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On 26/08/2019 at 13:12, woolyhead said:

Two of my friends have had to repair the bicycle hub bearings on their Chinese made bikes. One bike was an electric, the other pedal power. In both cases it was not possible to replace the bearings without replacing the entire wheel. This was because the cup part of the ball race was an integral part of the wheel and couldn't be separated from it. In one case the Chinese-made ball bearings balls had flats on them through wear. Bicycle hubs made in Britain years ago had fully replaceable cones in their hubs and the balls lasted a lifetime.  Did anyone else have this experience with Chinese-made bicycle wheels?

 

Isn't that the same with anything though??

Back in the day you could dismantle something, replace the worn part and it'd work like new.  Today you throw parts away and fit all new bits.

 

I mean look at mobile phones, you can't even replace the battery on most models (without pulling the whole thing apart)

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21 minutes ago, geared said:

I mean look at mobile phones, you can't even replace the battery on most models (without pulling the whole thing apart)

To be fair, that is a design thing. If you want a smart phone with all the bells and whistles, there is no room for a plastic encased battery and its fixtures and fittings.

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4 minutes ago, Top Cats Hat said:

To be fair, that is a design thing. If you want a smart phone with all the bells and whistles, there is no room for a plastic encased battery and its fixtures and fittings.

Yea but it's the most relatable example I could come up with, the concept happens alot with car parts.

What you used to be able to rebuild you now just throw away and fit new.

 

It's partly cost driven as well, why pay someone an hours wage (plus parts costs) to rebuild something that can be bought new for 20 quid?

Edited by geared

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1 minute ago, geared said:

Yea but it's the most relatable example I could come up with, the concept happens alot with car parts.

A better example would be Flymos.

 

I was given a knackered Flymo Compact 330 which is one of Flymos’s most popular hover mowers. As I suspected, the carbon brushes had worn out. I looked on line to find a pair of aftermarket ones but no one seemed to do them. I swallowed my pride and went into Broadfield Mowers on the London Road to buy a set of genuine Flymo brushes only to be told that Flymo didn’t do the brushes and I would have to buy a new motor for £71 + VAT. Given that the entire mover can be bought for £85 (including VAT) I can’t see them selling many motors.

 

 

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