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Technical FAQ: Campy hubs with eight bearings?

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published Jun. 1, 2009
  • Updated Nov. 16, 2009 at 1:30 PM EDT

Dear Lennard,
Again I must consult your expansive knowledge and check with you regarding my latest acquisition: a ’76 era Raleigh Team Record.

While overhauling the front hubs, I noted eight ball bearings in one side of the shell. It looked like it was missing a ball bearing, there seemed to be too much space. I checked my ball bearing collection and added a similar diameter bearing to the set, put them in a separate bag, and turned my attention to the other side. I was again confronted with eight bearings in the hub shell. I tried dry-fitting nine bearings into the shell and inserted the cone. Seemed OK, but I wasn’t certain about it.

So, Lennard, the question is should the hub have eight bearings, which is what I found in them, or nine to a side? What’s your experience with 70′s Campy front hub bearings?
-Bill

Dear Bill,
My experience with 1970s Campagnolo hub bearings is that they always had nine bearings. I have heard of people taking one out in hopes of it rolling faster by each ball drag less on its neighbors, since their surfaces are going in opposite directions. Maybe that’s what the previous owner did with your hub.
-Lennard

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Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Our longtime technical writer joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a framebuilder, a former U.S. National Team rider, and author of many bicycle books, including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn's Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

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