Easton EA90 SLX - Bearing HELP

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
JimmyRingo
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:50 pm

by JimmyRingo

or HELP!....

I'm running a pair with the R4sl hubs....they've been used lightly and after the first wet ride of their life, last week, I noticed that the hub was giving away a grinding noise. I've since taken apart, cleaned and re-oiled (about 5 times!), the noise still persists and also the freehub now has some play upon the axle. Has anybody a set of these hubs who's been through similar? Can anybody help?

I'm really disappointed with these wheels failing me after one wet ride aside from the fact that the preload adjuster keeps loosening.

Meanwhile Easton will not answer my emails.

Any advice much appreciated

blacktalon
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 5:31 am

by blacktalon

I had my R4SL hubs disintegrate on me after a ride in the wet. Symptoms started out with limited chain suck when coasting then got progressively worse until I couldn't coast any longer. My LBS replaced the hub bearings with what they had in stock (steel) and she rolls just fine now.

Their master wheel builder mentioned this as a problem he's been seeing of with ceramic bearings, especially after riding wheels with them in the wet.

SEQUIPA
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:06 am

by SEQUIPA

about the preload,send an email to Easton and they will ship u the fixed version of the preload adjusters.
im in Brazil and they sent me free of charge
:beerchug:

they take a while to respond

JimmyRingo
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:50 pm

by JimmyRingo

Blacktalon: so I should just replace my bearings? WHAT A PAIN! Have you checked your own hub for play, was this ever an issue? Just that I can't see that replacing the bearings will resolve the 'play' issue....perhaps I'll go shopping today.

Sequipa: yeah, real slow to respond...I better calm down, last night I sent my fourth email! Obrigado.

Gregorio
Posts: 1582
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:24 pm
Location: Center of the Universe

by Gregorio

If in the US call them. I had the same issue with EA90 Aero. They sent me out the 2 bearing preload pieces and a tube of grease. I used Phil Wood Tenasious oil instead though.

JimmyRingo
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:50 pm

by JimmyRingo

Figured it out: the bearing that sits closest to the wheel, within the freehub, has completely disintegrated. It seems that this particular bearing is retained by some extended pieces that form part of the freehub itself (I'll twiddle further, see if I can remove this). I will now need a replacement, Easton should really replace this but I need ASAP as these are my only wheels. No wonder I sounded like a chainsaw last time out!

Thanks Guys!

I'm in the UK Gregorio, I've emailed but nothing yet. I will call if still nothing after a week.

User avatar
fa63
Posts: 2264
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:26 am
Location: Atlanta, GA, US

by fa63

Easton is terrible at getting back to emails. Call them if you can.

DGcyclist
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:24 am

by DGcyclist

Visually inspect the R4 body where it's closest to the freehub,
are there any scuff marks on the black paint? The freehub's body should never touch the R4 hub.

The immediate fix is to add a small spacer (washer) onto the axle before installing the freehub.
The thickness of the small washer that is working great for me is about 0.50 mm.

The root of the problem occurs when the rear wheel is fully assembled.
The freehub body rubs against the R4 hub putting an
extreme amount of lateral loading forces on the freehub bearings.
The R4 hub bearings are also subjected to harmful lateral forces because
the permanent spacer on the axle located drive side between the R4 hub and freehub
is just a fraction of a millimeter too short allowing the two hubs to contact each other
before the bearings properly bottom out on the axle's spacer.
Symptoms may include poor free-wheeling, chain wrapping around the cassette when coasting while not peddling
and/or grinding noises from the wheel while pedaling hard on certain cogs.

Both the wheel-hub and freehub use cartridge bearings
that are designed best to handle radial loads only, not strong lateral loads. With that thought
in mind, it's best not to adjust all of the play out of your wheels because this shoves
the balls in the races sideways outside of their smooth grooves.
There is NO spacer between the cartridge bearings inside the R4 hub, over-tightening the R4 pre-load
adjuster on the left side will likely increase rolling resistance and will most likely jeopardize the
life of the wheel bearings. I leave a tiny amount of play to prevent over stressing the wheel bearings.

The bearings in both the freehub and R4 hub should feel very smooth when turned with a finger.
If they feel rough and/or have excessive amounts of slop, they are ruined, they need to be replaced.


I'm not sure what Easton would do, my expensive ceramic bearing Campagnolo cassette compatible freehub (R4SL)
bearings have pitted balls now. In the interim, I've "cleverly" flooded the freehub cavity with mobile 1 full
synthetic ATF fluid so I won’t have to hear the sad state the freehub bearings are in during moderate acceleration.
I know I will have to replace this freehub soon. Fortunately, the R4 hub bearings have remained in very good condition.


It has been a month, Easton has not return any of my emails. :noidea:

Mr.Gib
Posts: 3121
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

Shame on Easton.

My wife's EA90SLX had a similar problem. Starting making noise. LBS replaced the ceramic bearings with stainless and everything is fine.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

uncle-gee
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Outaouais

by uncle-gee

I found Easton EA90 SLX horrible.

Bought a brand new set; One ride, only one ride... and they developed a play (front and rear wheel); Yes, they had the "new" preload adjustment; Adjustment is so painfull and the design, per se, of the hub/axle assembly is so horrible... that I simply adjusted them the best I could and sold them immediately. The best 400$ I lost to date.

Bought a brand new set of Campy Neutron-Ultra; Wow; Heavier on the scale but lighter to the feel on the road; Easy and perfect preload adjustment.

User avatar
743power
Shop Wrench
Posts: 746
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 6:15 am
Location: Colorado

by 743power

Hm. I have close to 2000miles on my ea90slx's this year, with no shortage of rain rides, dirt roads, slush from snow melt, road salt, and anything else you can imagine and I haven't had any issues. Sorry to hear about all the bad luck. Easton is pretty good about warranty issues, just get your LBS to call them.
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."

JimmyRingo
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:50 pm

by JimmyRingo

DGcyclist wrote:Visually inspect the R4 body where it's closest to the freehub,
are there any scuff marks on the black paint? The freehub's body should never touch the R4 hub.

The immediate fix is to add a small spacer (washer) onto the axle before installing the freehub.
The thickness of the small washer that is working great for me is about 0.50 mm.

The root of the problem occurs when the rear wheel is fully assembled.
The freehub body rubs against the R4 hub putting an
extreme amount of lateral loading forces on the freehub bearings.
The R4 hub bearings are also subjected to harmful lateral forces because
the permanent spacer on the axle located drive side between the R4 hub and freehub
is just a fraction of a millimeter too short allowing the two hubs to contact each other
before the bearings properly bottom out on the axle's spacer.
Symptoms may include poor free-wheeling, chain wrapping around the cassette when coasting while not peddling
and/or grinding noises from the wheel while pedaling hard on certain cogs.

Both the wheel-hub and freehub use cartridge bearings
that are designed best to handle radial loads only, not strong lateral loads. With that thought
in mind, it's best not to adjust all of the play out of your wheels because this shoves
the balls in the races sideways outside of their smooth grooves.
There is NO spacer between the cartridge bearings inside the R4 hub, over-tightening the R4 pre-load
adjuster on the left side will likely increase rolling resistance and will most likely jeopardize the
life of the wheel bearings. I leave a tiny amount of play to prevent over stressing the wheel bearings.

The bearings in both the freehub and R4 hub should feel very smooth when turned with a finger.
If they feel rough and/or have excessive amounts of slop, they are ruined, they need to be replaced.


I'm not sure what Easton would do, my expensive ceramic bearing Campagnolo cassette compatible freehub (R4SL)
bearings have pitted balls now. In the interim, I've "cleverly" flooded the freehub cavity with mobile 1 full
synthetic ATF fluid so I won’t have to hear the sad state the freehub bearings are in during moderate acceleration.
I know I will have to replace this freehub soon. Fortunately, the R4 hub bearings have remained in very good condition.


It has been a month, Easton has not return any of my emails. :noidea:


Thanks DG, nice work. Any news from Easton yet?

I'll give the spacer trick a go...this should sit on the axle in order to stop the freehub body connecting with the hub itself- have I got that right? After fitting the new hub I was getting some serious play whenever I needed to get out of the saddle to sprint/climb; enough for the rim to hit the brake pad on the drive side. Just picked up the wheel after the mechanic re-tensioned the spokes; (he's aware of Easton wheels and their faults) and is confident that things should be better now but there is still some play, which, I think, Easton claim to be normal.

I have the new preload adjuster; two parts arrived: the adjuster I'm used to with flat spots for wrench-tightening and a flatter spacer which is unfamiliar. I don't know what is to be done with the unfamiliar piece, any ideas here?

Stockie
Posts: 350
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:24 pm

by Stockie

Could you post some pics of the pieces Easton sended you?
Thanks
I Will make the leap

DGcyclist
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:24 am

by DGcyclist

JimmyRingo wrote:
DGcyclist wrote:Visually inspect the R4 body where it's closest to the freehub,
are there any scuff marks on the black paint? The freehub's body should never touch the R4 hub.

The immediate fix is to add a small spacer (washer) onto the axle before installing the freehub.
The thickness of the small washer that is working great for me is about 0.50 mm.

The root of the problem occurs when the rear wheel is fully assembled.
The freehub body rubs against the R4 hub putting an
extreme amount of lateral loading forces on the freehub bearings.
The R4 hub bearings are also subjected to harmful lateral forces because
the permanent spacer on the axle located drive side between the R4 hub and freehub
is just a fraction of a millimeter too short allowing the two hubs to contact each other
before the bearings properly bottom out on the axle's spacer.
Symptoms may include poor free-wheeling, chain wrapping around the cassette when coasting while not peddling
and/or grinding noises from the wheel while pedaling hard on certain cogs.

Both the wheel-hub and freehub use cartridge bearings
that are designed best to handle radial loads only, not strong lateral loads. With that thought
in mind, it's best not to adjust all of the play out of your wheels because this shoves
the balls in the races sideways outside of their smooth grooves.
There is NO spacer between the cartridge bearings inside the R4 hub, over-tightening the R4 pre-load
adjuster on the left side will likely increase rolling resistance and will most likely jeopardize the
life of the wheel bearings. I leave a tiny amount of play to prevent over stressing the wheel bearings.

The bearings in both the freehub and R4 hub should feel very smooth when turned with a finger.
If they feel rough and/or have excessive amounts of slop, they are ruined, they need to be replaced.


I'm not sure what Easton would do, my expensive ceramic bearing Campagnolo cassette compatible freehub (R4SL)
bearings have pitted balls now. In the interim, I've "cleverly" flooded the freehub cavity with mobile 1 full
synthetic ATF fluid so I won’t have to hear the sad state the freehub bearings are in during moderate acceleration.
I know I will have to replace this freehub soon. Fortunately, the R4 hub bearings have remained in very good condition.


It has been a month, Easton has not return any of my emails. :noidea:


Thanks DG, nice work. Any news from Easton yet?

I'll give the spacer trick a go...this should sit on the axle in order to stop the freehub body connecting with the hub itself- have I got that right? After fitting the new hub I was getting some serious play whenever I needed to get out of the saddle to sprint/climb; enough for the rim to hit the brake pad on the drive side. Just picked up the wheel after the mechanic re-tensioned the spokes; (he's aware of Easton wheels and their faults) and is confident that things should be better now but there is still some play, which, I think, Easton claim to be normal.

I have the new preload adjuster; two parts arrived: the adjuster I'm used to with flat spots for wrench-tightening and a flatter spacer which is unfamiliar. I don't know what is to be done with the unfamiliar piece, any ideas here?


Add a freehub bearing stop spacer/washer just before you slip
on the freehub. After reassembly and torquing down the End Caps
to their proper tightness make sure the freehub freewheels easily.
Check the easiness of freehub again after the wheel
is installed on the bike.


As for the pre-load adjusters on the left side of the wheels,
they can be removed and a small amount of low strength Loctite
can be applied to the threads to keep them from drifting while riding.
Surprisingly, I have not had any problem with my adjusters moving.
With very little effort they can be turned with only two fingers.
Should they begin to move I will give the Loctite a try and that should work.
The adjusters are very simple in their design, basic friction keeps
them where they are. Adding more friction is all they will need
if they fail to stay put.


Other than the mentioned issues, the wheels have been good and stayed true.


To this day Easton has not returned any of my emails. :unbelievable:
Attachments
R4spacer.JPG
Add a freehub bearing stop spacer here:

JimmyRingo
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:50 pm

by JimmyRingo

Many thanks DG, really appreciated!!

Tonight I covered a hilly route and damn that rear wheel was all over the place; feels like I'm losing momentum seriously whenever I'm out of the saddle. I've lost all confidence in these wheels....going back to handbuilts once finances have been restored to good health!

Thanks Again.

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