How to Remove Bike Wheel Bearings

Written by renee gerber
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How to Remove Bike Wheel Bearings
You can remove the wheel bearings from your bicycle in a few steps. (Black and White Bicycle image by Towards Ithaca from

Bicycling is one of the best ways to stay fit and get regular exercise. To enjoy the sport, however, you must also maintain the condition of your bike by regularly replacing or reinflating tires, adding oil to the spokes, using the kickstand, and storing it in a safe place. You might also need to remove the wheel bearings for eventual replacement. With the right tools, you can remove your bike's wheel bearings on your own.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Rags
  • Waterproof grease
  • 17mm open-ended wrench
  • 13mm and 15mm cone wrenches
  • Chain whip
  • Lock ring tool

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  1. 1

    Wrap the chain whip around one of the bicycle's bigger sprockets to hold the wheel cassette in place. Insert the lock ring tool into the lock ring's inner notches to loosen it.

  2. 2

    Use your largest wrench to fit it into the hexagonal opening of the lock ring tool.

  3. 3

    Put the wheel on its side, then place a cone wrench into the cone flats, loosening it to the left side by turning it counter-clockwise. Unthread and remove the thread. Remove the cone and locknut, and slide the axle out from the right side of the hub. Pull out the hub, then remove the wheel bearings from inside.

  4. 4

    Clean off all the old grease from the axle and cones using a rag. Clean the inside of the hub afterward.

  5. 5

    Apply waterproof grease to the hub's bearing races and to the axle.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure to use a generous amount of grease on the bicycle parts to keep them well-oiled so that your bike operates properly.
  • If you put the wheel bearings back on your bicycle yourself, make sure you replace the axle in the hub properly and ensure that the bearings stay in place. If you have any difficulty, bring your bike and its parts to a bicycle shop so a professional can reassemble everything.

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