Miche Primato Hub Bearings

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  • Just thought I'd share some info with you all. I'm building up a set of wheels based on Miche Primato hubs and decided before I build them to upgrade the bearings to Hybrid Ceramic sealed units which should give at least 2-3 years longer lifespan.

    The tools needed for this job are 1 x 13mm and 1 x 14mm cone spanners (these often come as a combination spanner so you'll need two of them) and a 17mm ring spanner.

    The locknuts on the front hub are hexagonal 17mm and not flanged so don't need a special cone spanner but the 13mm bearing nut does.

    The rear locknuts are flanged and 14mm and the bearing nut 13mm cone spanners.

    The nuts are not that tight so come undone easily enough. There is a special tool available for drifting out the Miche bearings (the axle hole is machined differently from other hubs so not easy to locate a tool on inner race to drift out and the axle itself cannot be used either) but with some ingenuity I got by without it. The bearings are not a tight fit and drift out very easily. A pair of rubber handled pliers made a useful platform to support the hub without damaging it and gives the bearing clearance to come out. Replacing them is also straightforward enough. You only need to gently tap around the outer race until almost flush with hub body then use the old bearing to drift final mm's using a plastic headed hammer.

    Having drifted out the original bearing you can see in the photos that they are sealed on one side only (original is on the left) - no expense spared here!!!

    The replacement 6001 2RS2 C3 NKE silicon nitride bearing is sealed both sides and was supplied by City Belts and Bearings, 260-266 York Way, N7 9PQ (0207 490 1111) and cost £8.90 + Vat and they keep them in stock. These are about the cheapest I have found and although not the highest grade available there's no point going for a higher spec bearing as bike wheels don't run fast enough to gain any benefit - these types of bearings are normally used in electric motors which spin very fast.

    I will add pics of rear hub in progress later in week.

  • excuse my ignorance, but what do you mean by "drift"?

  • Just tap out really - engineering term!!

  • Thanks for the info, i've got 2 sets of Primato hubs that could probably both do with new bearings pretty soon..

  • thanks for the info, nicely done!!

  • Having drifted out the original bearing you can see in the photos that they are sealed on one side only (original is on the left) - no expense spared here!!!

    Far from saving money, Miche would have paid extra to get special-order bearings with only one seal, and then increased their assembly costs by having a bearing which only goes in one way. There is no need for a seal on the inside, as the hub shell is closed, and eliminating it not only halves the seal drag, it also provides an escape route for any contaminants which do make it past the outer seal, rather than trapping them in the bearing.

  • good info here, will come in handy months down the line, thanks!

  • this is what happens when they fail...courtesy of fatboyralph

  • ^is that melted?!

  • Desi's pretty fast... ;]

  • wow

  • From all the research I've done sealed bearings are more expensive than non sealed. For the bearing maker to only fit one seal would not require a special order, they are a stock catalogue item, 6001-RS. Retail prices of sealed are about 25% more than non sealed so cost might well be a consideration. Also I really doubt it would increase assembly costs since these processes are so easily automated (whether by machine or human).

    As for the extra drag from 2 seals - would it even be measurable on a bike wheel? The extra seal does serve to keep the grease in contact with the balls (NKE specifically mention this) which should then increases lifespan. If dirt can escape from the non sealed side then so can the grease. All of the expensive aftermarket bearings from bike companies like Wheels Mfg or Hope are double sealed.

    At the end of the day they are a budget hub and use budget components.

  • The bulk price of these bearings with 2 rubber seals is about $1 each (you can by them retail for <$15/10), with the actual rubber seal constituting about $0.02. The cost of implementing a manufacturing process which has to verify which way up a bearing is, and possibly turn it over, far exceeds any saving by omitting one seal, even if you can get any discount on the special-order bearings. Seal drag is a major component of total bearing loss in this application, where the load is <10% of the rated maximum.

    If Miche have economised at the expense of reliability, it is in the cage material, not the sealing.

  • Clearly you're well informed so I won't take issue with what you say but certainly it's true that Miches choice of bearing is only the basic minimum needed to do the job. Mine were gritty feeling straight out of the box although that might have eased after a break in period, and the new bearings are noticeably smoother so I'm certainly not regretting doing this upgrade now before I build the wheels up. If you felt the need to have only one seal they are easily removed.

    Just for further information the Miche axle does not have machined inner cones and is just a plain straight threaded bar (this is why it can't be used to tap out the bearings). The outer "cone" is in fact the inner race carrier so makes it easier and no doubt cheaper to service. Will post further pics when I do the rear hub.

  • the new bearings are noticeably smoother so I'm certainly not regretting doing this upgrade

    I agree with this part, even though I might not have gone for ceramics myself it certainly looks like substituting a higher quality bearing is a good plan.

    I'm wondering whether adding £40 worth of bearings to a £60 hubset is the way to go, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear; for ~£150 you could have the old style Goldtecs, which, I think pretty much everybody agrees, are a vastly superior choice for road use, or for ~£113 DuraAce SF which would make better track wheels.

  • For anyone following this thread re-read the tools needed as I've made some corrections.

  • I agree with this part, even though I might not have gone for ceramics myself it certainly looks like substituting a higher quality bearing is a good plan.

    I'm wondering whether adding £40 worth of bearings to a £60 hubset is the way to go, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear; for ~£150 you could have the old style Goldtecs, which, I think pretty much everybody agrees, are a vastly superior choice for road use, or for ~£113 DuraAce SF which would make better track wheels.

    That's true but the bearings are really the only weak link in the Miches and they do look nice with the lettering and stickers removed. Also I got the hubs for much less than retail so the added cost isn't so great in this instance. I had considered Dura Ace but didn't think their bearings are sealed so was put off for that reason. Goldtecs are lovely and were on my short list but the budget for my new build is limited so I had to make some compromises here and there.

  • just to follow up with more pics for those interested.

    Hub Stripped by simply removing one side of the bearing/lock nuts and sliding out from other end. You can see that the axle itself is just a threaded bar and the bearing inner races are carried on the bearing nut rather than the axle. The axle is only mild steel so threads easily damaged. However wouldn't cost much to get a Ti bar made up - interesting thought!!

    Bearings removed. Interestingly both bearings on this hub had little or no grease packed into the balls/races - instead it was all sitting on the face of the inner race so very likely would have run dry in a short time especially the one on the right. This might explain the wide variation in lifespan of these hubs. Some members have run them for long periods with no trouble while others have had them fail in only a few months.

    New bearings fitted and correctly countersunk using old bearing to drive home. Hammer has rubber and plastic faces - cheap from market toolstalls. Remember not to hammer the whole bearing but just the outer edge and it only needs very gentle tapping to seat - they are not that tight a fit that you need do anything else!!

    And voila - all done

    And finished built up using Ambrosio rims!!

  • Hey all,

    I went to City Belts & Bearings today to buy a full set of 4 of these, made a cheeky offer and got the lot for £20 cash! Fitted them tonight, the old bearings were a bastard to remove and there was a lot of swearing and sparks before they came out. But the difference is amazing, no more shit grindy noise and glassy smooth riding. The only downside is that stopping distance brakeless has drastically increased.

    Thanks very much to finepics for the guide.

  • How does a bearing change affect stopping distance?

  • are you sure it is not the weather.

  • It could be the Vaseline-excreting pigeonrats.

  • How does a bearing change affect stopping distance?

    Because my old bearings were so shit they didn't want to roll at all. Also because I was exaggerating. Also because it's a bit slippy this week.

  • So not at all. Good. I was half way through writing a letter to my physics lecturer.

  • Hippy is an ironic name for someone so uptight.

    So not at all. Good. I was half way through writing a letter to my physics lecturer.

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Miche Primato Hub Bearings

Posted by Avatar for finepics @finepics

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