How The Front Wheel Hub Works On Your Dirt Bike

How The Front Wheel Hub Works On Your Dirt Bike

How Your Front Wheel Hub Works

How The Front Wheel Hub Works On Your Dirt BikeYour front wheel hub components are:

  • Axle
  • Spacers
  • Bearings
  • Bearing Seals
  • Axle Nut
  • Pinch Bolts

Understanding how your front wheel hub works will save you time and effort when you perform your routine maintenance!

You Can Get All The Parts And Tools You Need At!

Wheel Bearings

The wheel bearings are the most critical part of the wheel hub. These are the only parts of the wheel hub that move.

The inner bearing race rides on the axle, and the outer bearing race is a press-fit to the bore of the wheel hub.

Axle In Front Bearings

The inner and outer bearing race is connected with ball bearings.

Bearings Internals

Depending on the manufacturer, some bearings came pre-greased and shielded on both sides, while others are only shielded on one side, and need to be greased before install.

Double Shielded Bearings
Double Shielded Bearings

(These particular bearings are from factory links. They are double shielded, pre-greased, and I highly recommend them. They go for $20 and you can buy yours HERE.)

Unshielded Bearings
Unshielded Bearings Need Grease

Wheel bearings are the only point of contact between the wheel and the bike, so the forces put on them are incredibly high.

Because of the stress the bearings are put under, they must be in perfect working order.

Wheel bearings do wear down but can last for a very long time when properly installed and maintained.

When the bearings become damaged or contaminated like the ones you see here, they need to be replaced.

Damaged Front Bearings

(You can learn how to replace your front wheel bearings here)

Wheel Bearing Seals

The bearing seals keep contaminants out of the wheel hub and away from your bearings. Compromised seals are the leading cause of bearing failure. Any type of contaminant will drastically reduce the lifespan of your bearings.

Bearing Seal Closeup

Wheel Bearing Spacers

The spacer between the bearings is called the distance collar, and it connects the inside bearing races inside the wheel hub

Right Fork - Axle - Spacer - Seal - Bearing - Collar - Bearing - Seal - Collar

The spacers on the left and right of the wheel hub connect the bearings to the axle mounts and keep the wheel positioned on the axle.

Spacers need to be an exact length. If they are too short, your forks will bend in as you torque the axle nut. This will lead to fork binding and premature wear.

Front Axle

The axle holds all the parts of the wheel hub and connects them to the forks.

Front Axle

Axle Nut

The axle nut holds the wheel hub together when mounted on the forks. The axle nut must be torqued to manufacturer specs to allow the wheel hub to work correctly.

If the nut is too loose, the spacers and seals will spin, causing damage to the axle.

If the nut is too tight, it may warp the inner bearing race, destroying your bearings.

Related: How to change the rear wheel bearings on your dirt bike with fire!

Pinch Bolts

The pinch bolts secure the axle to the forks.

These bolts also need to be torqued correctly, or the axle will spin in the mounts, causing damage to both the forks and the axle.

Because the axle connects the two forks, you must torque the axle nut first, then the pinch bolts on the same side.

Fork Axle Mounts

Before you torque the pinch bolts on the opposite side, you need to compress the forks several times to ensure the mounts are aligned to the axle properly.

If the forks are not aligned correctly, they will bind, and damage the fork tubes.

If you have any questions or anything to add, please leave them in the comments or on our FaceBook page!


Keep Reading – Front Wheel Bearing Change

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