Powertap G3 bearings

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Milese
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:04 am

by Milese

Hi,

I got a powertap G3 in October from my LBS.

Around Xmas I noticed that the bearings weren't smooth and felt a bit dry, and now there is some play in them, noticable with the wheel in situ by rocking side to side, but also noticable in the freehub by rocking the big sprocket on the cassette.

The wheel has been used for 10-14 hours pw in some nasty weather for the 16 or so weeks that I've owned it.

I'll give the LBS a ring about it, but wondered what I should expect, has anyone else had this, are the bearings straightforward to replace, are they just standard bearings that the LBS should have on the shelf and should I expect it to be a warrenty replacement?

Thoughts appreciated!

:beerchug:

chronsbons
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:05 am

by chronsbons

Cycleops/Powertap has great customer support, if your LBS isn't able to help you give them a call. I am not sold on it actually being a bearing issue either, there are 4 sealed bearings in each powertap, 2 in the free-hub body and 2 in the hub itself. (as far as waranty replacement, every bike shop is different... some might have the necessary bearings others not so much. The play you are describing would require 2 bearing failures, one in the hub and one in the free-hub... that is pretty unlikely even if you have ridden in some slop.

Something else to checkout is the end caps on either side of the powertap, try wiggling those and see if they seem loose.

by Weenie


simoncx
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:27 am

by simoncx

The bearings in my g3 lasted alittle under a year before they were done. Changing is pretty easy, there are some vid's on youtube that show how to do the sl+ hub but the g3 is almost the same thing, if you've ever changed bearing in any other wheels you should have no problem. The hardest one to get out was the freehub body bearing, the 2 in the hub are really easy.

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legs 11
Posts: 3657
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:22 am
Location: Leg hurty

by legs 11

My tip: If you want to run a PT hub, learn how to change wheel bearings yourself or you'll be backwards and forwards from your LBS like a fiddlers elbow.
Pedalling Law Student.

Milese
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:04 am

by Milese

Thanks for the replies.

Why do these bearings wear out quicker than other

I've used some £70 shimano r501s 5 times more and the bearings are still fine.

I spoke to the LBS earlier and they basically said they'll phone powertap tomorrow and see what they say, but don't hold your breath as bearings are considered to be consumable.

Any clues on cost of bearings and time to replace them?

simoncx
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:27 am

by simoncx

I picked mine up off amazon, I think they were about $35 and was maybe 30-40 mins, it would have been faster but the one freehub bearing was a nightmare to get out.

rbrtwyn
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 1:57 pm

by rbrtwyn

Shimano uses traditional loose ball hubs, Powertap uses cartridge bearings. While loose ball hubs are superior in my opinion and will last for years and are easy to service, a hub designed for cartridge bearings should give you at least a few years before the bearings go bad. For whatever reason, Powertap bearings just seem to wear out quickly. I have owned 5 Powertaps over the years, some ate bearings while the same model on a different bike didn't. It's a crapshoot. Buy a SRM or Power2Max and ride a shimano wheel, that's what I ended up doing.

Milese
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:04 am

by Milese

Thanks again for the replies.

Do they need powertap specific parts or are they just generic wheel cartridge bearings?

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euan
Posts: 1493
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:20 am

by euan

Just don't use it for a cyclocross race, unless its just before you plan to replace the bearings ;)
"Step forward the climber and all those who worship at the altar of lightness" - R. Millar

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legs 11
Posts: 3657
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:22 am
Location: Leg hurty

by legs 11

They are just a standard sized bearing.....can't remember the exact sizes now, but they are nothing special.
The main issue with the PT hubs is they come fitted with really rubbish bearings! Cheap and nasty old things that corrode as soon as you get a sniff of water in the air. The standard bearings are junk. ;)
This combined with a pretty average design means they will wear out very quick. Send it back to Saris and you'll get another set of junk bearings fitted that'll need replacing in roughly the same time period in the same conditions.
I used to do lots of PT builds for people and became quite experienced with the ins and outs of them.
If you're in the UK http://simplybearings.co.uk/shop/ These guys have everything you need.
If you're in the US there are loads of bearing shops online.
My advice would be to go for a high quality bearing that is water resistant (you can pick up what is effectively a stainless bearing set for not much money, just check the specs and look for blue seals) Fit them carefully and you'll be good for a couple of years at least.
The PT hub is a doddle to work on, very simple design, no problems.
I think I have the sizes and bearing codes around somewhere if you need them, but best solution is to remove and measure.
Regards, Rob.
Pedalling Law Student.

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StradaJon
in the industry
Posts: 133
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:38 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
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by StradaJon

I agree with Legs 11 - the bearings are poor quality and we advise our customers to swap them from new to avoid the problem. The bearing sizes can vary from unit to unit so it is best to get them out and then order a fresh set. We use SKF ones with 2RS seals.
Strada Hand Built Wheels
http://www.stradawheels.co.uk

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legs 11
Posts: 3657
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:22 am
Location: Leg hurty

by legs 11

:up: :thumbup: It used to break my heart to build a pair of £1500 wheels only to have a PT hub with crap bearings in them.
I think your solution is by far the best, open it up and upgrade straight from new.
I was never really in a position to carry the responsibility of potential warranty claims so never really had that option until the warranty had expired....but it's the only way to produce a reliable working hub for the UK conditions.
I used to get guys coming back with knackered bearings after a matter of weeks sometimes, very poor show on the part of Saris (given the retail cost of the unit). It would have cost next to nothing to spec a better bearing at the point of manufacture and would have promoted a better reputation for quality.
The increase in customer satisfaction, market image and reduced costs of not having to repair so many hubs should be a no brainer in my eyes?
To be honest I don't miss all the hassle of dealing with firms like Saris, problematic Tune hubs, faulty rims etc. So much aggravation. :unbelievable:
Pedalling Law Student.

ghisallo2003
Posts: 595
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:10 pm

by ghisallo2003

@Strada - you did a rebuild for me upgraded by Saris and you forgot to mention the bearings !

Milese
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:04 am

by Milese

I heard back from the LBS on Monday, and having spoken to whoever the dealer is, they want to send the wheel back.

Apparently they wont let the LBS touch it due to the warrenty, and when I spoke of my suspicion that they'll stick another set of naff bearings in they said that they've said they'll replace them with some SKS ones.

So I'll wait til Monday (start of rest week) and send it back.....

by Weenie


deltree
Posts: 198
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:21 pm
Location: London, UK

by deltree

Whoops, thought I'd replied to this, but yeah involving the LBS means they've got to send it to Paligap to keep the warranty intact.

@legs 11 have you got the sizes of the bearings available? I need to refresh mine before I sell them. Going to move to Stages I think.

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