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How do I know when to replace the bearings on the rear axle

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    How do I know when to replace the bearings on the rear axle

    I have a tilite ZRA and after running around on cobbles and other bad surfaces - I have had the chair for three years. The rear wheels seem just a little more wobbly than they used to but that could be my memory. How often should you consider replacing the bearings on the rear axle? Should the axle be replaced as well or is that a harder material than the bearings? What tests should you use to determine if the bearings are worn?

    If I consider replacing the bearings what is the best bearing?

    #2
    Take the wheels off. Take the axle out. Put your finger in the axle hole and turn the bearing. It should move smoothly. Do the same for both bearings on the wheel. It it catches or feels at all rough, get new. There have been a lot of discussions on here about bearings. My only thought is not to waste your money on a high end bearing (like ceramic) we just don't go that fast. I stick with Timken. They are an american company and I've had the same set in my chair for 20 years.

    Comment


      #3
      With all the vibration from the cobblestones, check your axle receivers to make sure they haven't loosened up. That'll definitely make your wheels more wobbly. When was the last time you had your spokes tightened? The last thing you want is a collapsed wheel from too loose spokes or the receiver so far out it comes out of the camber tube.

      It sounds more like it's loose receivers or spokes need tightening than bad bearings. Take them to a bike shop for truing and if you prefer, they can change out the bearing at the same time.

      Comment


        #4
        I was thinking spokes too. If metal they should all sound the same high pitch when plucked.
        I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

        Comment


          #5
          +1 for what Patrick said. Loose receiver or spokes would be my guess. But if there is grittiness in the bearings, replace both the outer and inner at the same time. I doubt you wore down an axle. They should outlast the chair.

          Comment


            #6
            Ok - how do I tighten the axle receiver - it looks like a solid piece of metal

            Comment


              #7
              Take the wheel off and look at the receiver. There should be two flat sections where you can use an adjustable wrench to tighten it. The smaller one, gray tube, moves the tube in and out for spacing and the larger, silver piece, locks it into place. Make sure you have a good hold on the chair so it doesn't move on you while you turn the wrench. Check to make sure the spokes don't rub on anything after you tighten it up. It's been awhile since I've done this so hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but it's fairly straightforward.

              Last edited by lazierdog; 29 Jun 2014, 7:00 PM.

              Comment


                #8
                Big wrench on the large flat areas. Smaller wrench on the smaller flat area. Hold the larger wrench and crank on the smaller one. If you have camber, make sure the toe-in/out is adjust right or you'll have drag.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Icarus View Post
                  I have a tilite ZRA and after running around on cobbles and other bad surfaces - I have had the chair for three years. The rear wheels seem just a little more wobbly than they used to but that could be my memory. How often should you consider replacing the bearings on the rear axle? Should the axle be replaced as well or is that a harder material than the bearings? What tests should you use to determine if the bearings are worn?

                  If I consider replacing the bearings what is the best bearing?
                  I spoke to our Engineering department and they concur with the other folks. Check your axles and spokes first. Your bearings should last more than three years unless you are really pounding your wheels.
                  TiLite. The Ultimate Ride.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I asked a bike shop to tune the spokes before the rip and they refused saying they were afraid to break one and were not sure how to hold the end while tightening - any tips for them?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Icarus View Post
                      I asked a bike shop to tune the spokes before the rip and they refused saying they were afraid to break one and were not sure how to hold the end while tightening - any tips for them?
                      Spinergies? Toto might know. I have several Spinergy sets, none have a loose spoke. But there is a bike shop here (Alki Bike and Board) that says they work on basketball wheels. You could call them, but only Stu the owner would have the answer about spokes.
                      I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Icarus View Post
                        I asked a bike shop to tune the spokes before the rip and they refused saying they were afraid to break one and were not sure how to hold the end while tightening - any tips for them?
                        If the rear wheels are Spinergy's there should be a wrench that was sent to you with the chair. Take the tire off the chair and hold the nipple with the Spingery wrench and use a 5/16" wrench and turn the nut. Check Spinergy's web site also. I heard they have a tutorial on line, however, I have not check it out myself. Hope this helps.
                        TiLite. The Ultimate Ride.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          To Tilite, I would strongly suggest you have your own parts dept that deals with customers direct. A lot of us do our own work and have no problem with it. I currently need a caster fork Barrel housing and it's a nightmare trying to get it. All I get is secretaries at the DME companies who don't really know what they are doing. This is really gonna hurt you guys in the long run, I guarantee it. I've thought about getting a TI SX but not really sure with all the hassles of getting parts. I've been through three people and put on hold numerous times in trying to get the parts I currently need, they don't care. It's a very simple thing CASTER Barrel Housing on a Tilite Aero X with the nuts on the bottom that attach the forks. I may end up having to junk the chair over this.
                          "Life is about how you
                          respond to not only the
                          challenges you're dealt but
                          the challenges you seek...If
                          you have no goals, no
                          mountains to climb, your
                          soul dies".~Liz Fordred

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Curt Leatherbee View Post
                            To Tilite, I would strongly suggest you have your own parts dept that deals with customers direct. A lot of us do our own work and have no problem with it. I currently need a caster fork Barrel housing and it's a nightmare trying to get it. All I get is secretaries at the DME companies who don't really know what they are doing. This is really gonna hurt you guys in the long run, I guarantee it. I've thought about getting a TI SX but not really sure with all the hassles of getting parts. I've been through three people and put on hold numerous times in trying to get the parts I currently need, they don't care. It's a very simple thing CASTER Barrel Housing on a Tilite Aero X with the nuts on the bottom that attach the forks. I may end up having to junk the chair over this.
                            Curt - sorry to hear you are having problems getting what you need. Feel free to contact our customer service department. Have your serial number available and they can tell you what parts are needed for your chair. They can provide you with the part numbers and then you contact your dealer or an internet provider like SpinLife, Sportaid, Bike-On or DME Hub. Hope that helps. Our number is 800-545-2266.
                            TiLite. The Ultimate Ride.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by TiLite View Post
                              Curt - sorry to hear you are having problems getting what you need. Feel free to contact our customer service department. Have your serial number available and they can tell you what parts are needed for your chair. They can provide you with the part numbers and then you contact your dealer or an internet provider like SpinLife, Sportaid, Bike-On or DME Hub. Hope that helps. Our number is 800-545-2266.
                              Ok thanks, that sounds like the way to go because a lot of these DME's are just salespeople and they don't understand technical stuff so If I just had a part number that would really help out. Are there any diagrams available online with the part #'s listed? I have a Tilite Aero X chair. if so that would really help and save my a phone call to you guys, I could just look on the diagram that way and get the part #'s and call them in.
                              "Life is about how you
                              respond to not only the
                              challenges you're dealt but
                              the challenges you seek...If
                              you have no goals, no
                              mountains to climb, your
                              soul dies".~Liz Fordred

                              Comment

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