Bicycle Wheel Bearings

I'm looking for replacement bearings for a Shimano M760 XT rear hub. According to Shimano's technical documents website, it uses 1/4" bearings, nine per side. The lowest price I found for bicycle bearings was 25 for $4.80 at JensonUSA.

However, by going to McMaster Carr, an industrial supplier, I found a package of 100 bearings for only $4.37 (part number 9528K15). These are Grade 25, just like the JensonUSA bearings.

Edit: Price ($4.24 to $4.37, so 13 cents in two years) and link were updated in July, 2013.

Regarding the grades of bearings, according to Wikipedia, inch-size ball bearings are graded from 1000 to 3, where smaller numbers indicate higher precision. It appears that Grade 25 is commonly used on higher end bicycle components, with Grade 300 on some low-cost parts. Different materials are available, such as stainless steel. Harder bearing materials should not be used, as this will cause the bearing races to wear out rather than the cheap and easily replaced ball bearings. Also be aware that steel balls are not the same as ball bearings, are much harder, and should be avoided for the same reason.

About Jeff Fitzsimons

Jeff Fitzsimons is a software engineer in the California Bay Area. Technical specialties include C++, Win32, and multithreading. Personal interests include rock climbing, cycling, motorcycles, and photography.
This entry was posted in Activities, Cycling, DIY. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *