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PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:00 pm
Posts: 608
Rebuilding BH Airlite Hubs - Cones Question

Just stripped an old Airlite track hub I picked up on Ebay. First time striping an old hub so excuse me if I don't explain myself in the best terminology!

Basically, I noticed one of the cones is a replacement, and appears to be a slightly different shape. The replacement is longer in terms of the inner section / surface that pushes on the ball-bearings (maybe 0.5mm to 1mm longer - no calipers at home to be precise). I'm wondering if this is going to be a problem? Could it cause play - perhaps possible it won't be able to be tightened down enough on the bearings due to it being longer once inside the hub shell? Or will it not matter once the bearings and grease are all packed in?

Hope that makes sense? I guess I might need to just build it back up to find out. But if anyone can save me that time it would be greatly appreciated. Then I'd just need to find a correct old cone! Anyone got such a thing?

Many thanks,

Daniel


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
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Location: Cotswolds
Guessing that you have a single or double fixed hub.
Should have 9 1/4 inch balls each side. Assembly should take no more than 5 minutes. You do not tighten down cone bearings, you lock the cones against the lock nuts, by trial and error, so that they turn with minimal resistance. On old hubs it is better to be able to feel a minimal movement at the rim, not likely to get the theoretically ideal preload due to wear.
Your airlite should have a tabbed washer and locknut each side. The odd cone should not make much difference, try it.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:00 pm
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Yes, it is a double fixed one.

Thanks, that makes sense. Thought I was missing one of the tabbed washers, but found them both on the other side! The side with the 'odd' cone, seems a mishmash of odd sized nuts / locknuts to try to match the spacing on the side with original parts. Would be nice to source matching parts, but good to know it'll only be for cosmetic purposes!

I was given a tip in another post regarding separating the alloy flanges from the steel barrel to rechrome it. http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=118082
Sounds like a fun experiment, but I'm unsure of my ability to be able to press them back together well enough should I get them apart. Ever done anything similar? I might just try to get matching lock nut and rebuild, see how they are.

Thanks again for the help Keith.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
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Location: Cotswolds
For rechrome the flanges must be removed. Take the bare hub out of the freezer, plunge the alloy flange in very hot water, and the flange should be just loose enough. Rechrome would probably make the hub barrel a bit larger, could be a problem. Also when the flange is replaced the spoke holes should line up in between those on the other flange, although this could be corrected when building the wheel.
It might have had a 5 speed freewheel, the Cyclo from the 1950's was deep enough to fit a fixed thread, in fact I used one in 1950.
I have not admitted this before on here, but I was a lightweight cycle specialist retailer and repairer 1954 to 1966. For me MTB still means "Motor torpedo boat".
Keith


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:57 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
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Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
I have a friend who regularly rebuilds Airlight hubs for people and he gets the barrels rechromed by a place in Rotherham (I think!). He also rebuilds early Campag gears (GS and Record) and gets them rechromed if required.

The chroming plant owner is a cyclist so appreciates the need to be careful when preparing the barrel (and other cycle related items) for rechroming so as not to affect the dimensions and shape etc.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:00 pm
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Thanks again Keith and Ned.

I'll definitely have a go at splitting the hubs myself, sounds kind of fun!

I'm still nervous about the re-assembly, I guess my concern is how to be sure it's well enough in place to not come apart under the strain of riding as it's a double fixed hub. Is there another bonding agent used to hold the barrel to the flange, or is it really just the compression fit caused by the different expansion/contraction properties of the two metals.
(Sorry if I'm terribly ignorant on this stuff - arts rather than science background you see!!!).

I've just had very good help on chroming from Madgetts Cycles in Norfolk, very friendly and knowledgeable and sound great value. Was going to get them to do a stem for me and see how that goes. They also said they could arrange the Airlites. So think I'll try them. Although I'm very interested in the person that does yours Ned as they sound very experienced, and importantly, sympathetic to bike stuff. Are they more a friend who does the odd favour for you? Or open to taking on work?

Thanks once more, Daniel


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
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Location: Cotswolds
Daniel, They won't fall apart in use, the spokes will hold the flanges in.
Keith


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:00 pm
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keithglos wrote:
Daniel, They won't fall apart in use, the spokes will hold the flanges in.
Keith


Of course! Spokes! (I had a sneaking feeling I was being stupid and forgetting something!!!!)


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