I’m sure you’re wondering what this is a picture of. Let me give you some clues. New, it’s around $7-10. Used it could cost me as much as $150. It doesn’t make noise but what it touches makes enough noise to stop using it.
Ready to give up? It’s an axle bearing from our recumbent exercise bicycle that causes it to rattle when I ride it — enough to make me think I was tearing up the bike. If you look closely at the photo (you can click on it for a larger version), you’ll see a pretty good scratch that starts at about 1 o’clock and goes all the way around until just shy of 3 o’clock. Either this baby was hammered in wrong at the factory or something got caught in in later to cause the damage. Just that little scratch/dent causes the ball bearings to stick during the rotation and that causes the flywheel assembly to rattle as it picks up speed.
We spent over $150 for the bike a couple of years ago and I was thinking that the bike would require a costly replacement part to fix because it’s past the warranty period. I needed the bike fixed so I could exercise, so I began dismantling the bike last night. I took off the housing around the flywheel which required removal of one of the pedals and removing the main spring for the V-Belt.
Once I was able to remove the flywheel assembly, I ran into an issue with not being able to free the main axle bolt. The following evening, I managed to get the axle bolt to come off using ViseGrip pliers, removed the main axle pin and then found the bearing in the picture. Once I realized it was a bearing, I knew I had a good shot at fixing the problem, but at a reasonable cost.
Then I did searches online using the 6900Z number listed on the side. I was surprised to find the bearing in a few minutes (I’ve had other replacement part searches go on for hours). I actually had about 6 companies (1 in China) I could order from. The cheapest and slowest option was China (1 month) so I ordered from panzit.com. They had a very easy to use website and the picture of the part showed higher quality craftsmanship.
Once the parts arrive, it should take me about an hour to put the bike back together and test it out. I’ll update this article with how it turns out.
If I wasn’t willing to try and take apart the bike, I would have been faced with disposing of the old bike and paying $150 (or more for a new one). -MC