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Old 03-23-2015, 07:14 AM   #1
motobene OP
Motoing for 44 years
 
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Location: Wichita Mountains SW Oklahoma
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Setup Tips for Problem-Free Wheels

...at least hat's the goal.

I welcome any wheel tips you all have. Some of my suggestions can provoke fears and cautions. That's fine. Please back them up with as many facts as possible, however.

Here is what I do to front wheels to have no problems, short and long term. Total time for me to do this was 1/2 hour, from wheel removal to replacement on the bike.

The example is a wheel from a very new 2014 Beta 80. This bike uses a full-size modern, tube-type front wheel. The hubs and brakes on this bike are made AJP or whoever is doing the AJP stuff these days. Spokes are steel and the spoke nipples are aluminum instead of the former, more corrosion prone plated steel nipples.

Modern rim assemblies are amazingly light, this one being 5-3/4 pounds as shown. The tire is heavier by a lot. The Golden Tyre Trials Gecko 355 front tire, for example, is just under 9 pounds.



This rim assembly is 'virgin', which is the best time to do preventative setup. You don't have to deal with corrosion and hopefully you won't have any already-frozen , dry-assembled screws.

You can intervene at any time with wheels, however The steps described here are beneficial, even if you have some corrosion or damage, like gritty bearings (which can be saved if flushed with light oil and the crap is blown out with compressed air or pressure washed until grit free).

First, I check wheel true and make true if needed, and if not I just tighten slightly some looser spokes. This wheel had only two looser spokes which rung with a lower tone.

If I am intervening in an older wheel, I wire-wheel off as much corrosion as I can, then seal as shown below, unless I need to also true the wheel, in which case I must first oil the spoke nipples and nipple-to-rim interface to get them to move. Older wheels have steel spoke nipples plated with either zinc chromate clear or gold. These corrode easily. After these older rims are true, I pressure wash the oil off, let dry thoroughly, then do the lacquer seal as shown below.



I also lacquer the rim lock and the tube's valve stem as they will corrode or rust otherwise, especially in wet environments:



Once everything is clean, true, and sealed up, I move on to the wheel bearings. My goal is to never replace wheel bearings, and in many decades I have only replaced a few that were already trashed because this trick was not done by a previous owner.
Bearings are way overkill in terms of loading. They die not from impacts or wear but from water infiltration and subsequent corrosion-oxidization abrasive grit. Bearings are woefully under greased when assembled at the bearing factory. That's good business I suppose. Lots of air space means lots of space for water! I use a heavy wheel bearing grease though if all you have is a lighter grease that's better than under greased.



So how to get that seal off without damaging it? Use a small very screw driver. Carefully get under the seal lip (don't pierce through it). Also don't slide the screwdriver tip sideways or you can rip the lip. Once the tip is deep enough under the lip so you can lift out the seal under the metal core, pull straight out slowly. If you bend the metal core a bit, just flatten it back out with a hammer tap of the seal on a flat surface. If you do rip a lip a tiny bit, don't worry about it. The fact that you are fully packing the bearing is a great 'seal' in and of itself. A packed seal with a damaged lip is better than an unpacked bearing with a virgin lip!



Now for the important step. Pack the bearing chock full, turning it a few times as you do. You want excess to squoze out when you push the seal back on.



Once the seal is back on, wipe off the excess. Though I do clean thoroughly later, I try hard to never touch the brake disc with grease or greasy fingertips.

Next, I test the brake caliper screws gently to see if they will loosen. If they won't I don't force them. There's a good chance the discs will be lifetime items anyway.

Of the four screws in this hub, two were already starting to corrode and lock up. I didn't see any Loktite-like material. When I can get them out, I coat the ends of the thread lightly with grease. I don't want excess in this case, just prevention of lockup so in the future, if I need to replace the disk, I don't snap screws off.



I also scratch up the discs in a cross-hatching fashion with 80-grit emery paper. Slick discs and glazed brake pads are the ones that squeal.



I then clean the disc off with paper towel and spray brake cleaner to make absolute sure there is no grease or oil on the disc.

At this time, the tube will have the valve stem out. I pump 3 ounces of Slime sealer in (use the brand of your choice) for slow-leak flat prevention. I blow the slime out of the stem, then oil the valve stem, insert it, and finger tighten it.

I put some talcum powder on the tube so it can slide around easier, and air the tube up up just enough so it won't lay in folds and get pinched when I work the tire back on the bead. I haven't pinched a tube in 30 years! Shh! The Murphey demons may hear....

Careful tire work has lots of other detail, but this is long enough.



I'll document what I do to rear wheels when I get that setup step on my wife's bike.

motobene screwed with this post 03-23-2015 at 08:17 AM
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:05 PM   #2
jonnyc21
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I so wish I had know about the lacquer seal when I first got our bikes... Could have done them one at a time as we got them, now I have 3 bikes to do all at once...

Love the pack barrings 100% full, one of the top tricks I have learned over the years!

Haven't been brave on the slime but willing to give it a go when I get to doing the lacquer seal on the first bike.

And thanks!
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:17 PM   #3
lineaway
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On any new bike, anti seize every spoke nipple and loctite the rotor bolts. You can do this without removing the wheel. I do enjoy most of Benes idea`s
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:23 PM   #4
CopaMundial
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Originally Posted by motobene View Post


Thanks for the awesome tips.
Just got done filling my bearings with red loctite. Can't wait to try it out next weekend.



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Old 03-24-2015, 04:15 AM   #5
lineaway
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Nose Wheelie King.
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:37 AM   #6
motobene OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lineaway View Post
On any new bike, anti seize every spoke nipple and loctite the rotor bolts. You can do this without removing the wheel. I do enjoy most of Benes idea`s
I had never thought of that, removing each nipple and antisieze. I suppose everyone has his fears, mine in this case being losing wheel true by fully backing out one nipple at a time. I've had pretty good luck just oiling them if I need to tweak the true.

I'd Loktite the disc screws only by also coating with light grease. Dry + Loktite can lead to very stuck disc screws.

Red Loktite flooding of bearings... that was funny!
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:58 AM   #7
lineaway
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Loose rotor bolts are the most damaging bolt on a trials bike. Just a small drop of blue Loctite avoids this terrible expense. One trials at Lake Fork we had three broken hubs due to rotor bolts. I have seen broken calipers, swing arms and rotors from this.
If you checked any two year old bikes spokes, you will find most seized up. Quite annoying when you need to replace one or two at an event or just fix that wobble.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:33 AM   #8
motobene OP
Motoing for 44 years
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lineaway View Post
Loose rotor bolts are the most damaging bolt on a trials bike. Just a small drop of blue Loctite avoids this terrible expense. One trials at Lake Fork we had three broken hubs due to rotor bolts. I have seen broken calipers, swing arms and rotors from this.
If you checked any two year old bikes spokes, you will find most seized up. Quite annoying when you need to replace one or two at an event or just fix that wobble.
Good advice. I have seen that too. I will pull my greased screws and do Loktite as well.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:09 AM   #9
Bronco638
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lineaway
On any new bike, anti seize every spoke nipple.... You can do this without removing the wheel.
How do you manage this? That may seem kike a dumb question but that statement has me confounded.

I am struggling with a rear tire and 'tubeless' rim. The tire is on, one bead is set but the tube has a pinch flat and other other bead is partially set. So, I'm looking forward to the rear wheel set-up tips.
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:54 PM   #10
PSchrauber
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I use copper paste for screws and bolts near the brakes, this stuff stays were it should even when getting hot.

I know in standard trials riding this will not happen but when you ride in the mountains it's easy to push the brakes to the limit.

To very important screws and bolts that has to fasten with torque and won't get hot I prefer never-seeze, a product made in the US btw. works fantastic but is really messy.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:46 PM   #11
lineaway
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Originally Posted by Bronco638 View Post
How do you manage this? That may seem kike a dumb question but that statement has me confounded.

I am struggling with a rear tire and 'tubeless' rim. The tire is on, one bead is set but the tube has a pinch flat and other other bead is partially set. So, I'm looking forward to the rear wheel set-up tips.
So why do you have a tube in a tubeless rim? Or is this your Aprilia? And what tire did you use? You can remove a spoke one at a time to `lube` the threads very easily. It does require getting off the couch. I have a very comfortable tractor chair for this purpose. A cold one helps with the boredom.
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:05 AM   #12
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Yeah, this is in the Climber. The bike came with a tube in the rear tire. But, the tire was original equipment so I figured it was time for a new one (it was pretty hard, had a big gash in the sidewall and some of the knobs were broken off. Most were pretty worn/rounded).

Mike (Tryals Shop) recommended leaving the tube in the tire even though the rim strip looks to be in good condition. The new tire is a Pirelli MT-43 (the old one was a Pirelli MT-73, I think).

I'm really struggling with getting the bead over the rim. The central "ditch" doesn't seem to be that wide, or deep, and doing it by hand is a real struggle (for me). Added to that is the fact that I pinch flatted the tube and now have to pop one bead off (again) and put a new tube in. Then, struggle to lever to tire back on the rim and get the bead to seat. I was thinking of having a friend (or shop) with a tire machine assist.

I didn't know you could remove spokes without dismounting the tire. I thought you had to hold the spoke nipples with a big flat-bladed screw driver (as opposed to a small spoke wrench).
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