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Older Bontrager-branded DT Swiss hub overhaul

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Older Bontrager-branded DT Swiss hub overhaul

Old 08-11-20, 04:24 PM
  #1  
canklecat
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Older Bontrager-branded DT Swiss hub overhaul

(Correction: These appear to be Novatec hubs, rather than DT Swiss. Hat tip to @davidad for that info. I'd been bumbling around for months trying to find info on these hubs.)

This older Bontrager sealed cartridge bearing hub feels grindy. The end cap is reverse threaded, not the newer type with freehub that pull off.

​​​​ It appears to be a rebadged DT Swiss 240, laced to Race Lite Aero rims with 16 flat aero spokes.

It came off a Trek Equinox E9 tri-bike, aluminum frame with carbon fiber fork. Probably from 2006 or so.

I've Googled around and can't find any info on this particular hub. The wheelset is good so I'd like to salvage the hub if possible.

Any tips for disassembly or links to diagrams appreciated.




Last edited by canklecat; 08-13-20 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 08-11-20, 05:31 PM
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Why don't you try contacting DT Swiss directly? https://www.dtswiss.com/en/dtswiss/contact
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Old 08-11-20, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Why don't you try contacting DT Swiss directly? https://www.dtswiss.com/en/dtswiss/contact
Did. No reply. I figured the pandemic has thrown some businesses curves and they're bogged down handling current vs obsolete stuff. I Googled around on and off for months before asking here.

I'm hoping it's basically the same as the current 240 hubs, other than the threaded lock nut rather than the newer pull-off method. Just hoping someone else has tackled this or knows of a link to an exploded diagram or something. Parts are probably scarce for this hub and I don't want to screw up any step. The lock ring/nut has already been buggered a bit, presumably by a previous owner's attempt at disassembly.

I suspect it'll need a total bearing overhaul, which is pretty involved for pressed-in cartridge bearings. I've watched a complete overhaul tutorial for the current model 240s and it's pretty involved, compared with Shimano type loose bearing, cone and race hubs.
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Old 08-11-20, 09:13 PM
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have you figured out how to pull the freehub body and axle yet? Once that's done the bearings are fairly easy to feel for wear. IIRC the axle will be "pressed" out (often meaning tapped out with a plastic hammer) in one direction. If you can see the shell's axle bearings one might be larger then the other and thus suggest the direction of the axle's removal. There's so many methods of break down on so many hubs that I long ago stopped trying to memorize any one's procedure. But with experience the methods become obvious for any one version. Andy
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Old 08-13-20, 02:48 AM
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Okay, I think I have it figured out. Took a little patience and a bit of penetrating oil to be sure I wasn't forcing anything. I watched a bunch of video tutorials on more recent DT Swiss hubs and while this older model Bontrager is a bit different, it still got me close enough.

It appears the drive side cartridge bearing needs to be replaced. I've watched an Asian video that shows the tech overhauling the original cartridge bearing rather than replacing it, but I'm not sure I'll go that route, unless it turns out to be accessible without punching out the entire cartridge. If I can peel off the seal and flush out the bearings and they seem okay, maybe. The cartridges seem to be pretty standard, should be easy to replace if necessary.

The freehub cartridges seem fine, but the pawls are really grungy and just cleaning them might wind up contaminating the bearings. We'll see.

One video tutorial seemed to imply that it's possible to use the axle as a punch to drive out the cartridges. Not sure I'd want to try that even if it's possible. I'm sure I still have some older brass punches somewhere around here.

The biggest expense may be the bearing press. This is my only wheelset with cartridge bearings, not really sure I want to invest in a press unless I plan to get other hubs with sealed cartridge bearings. They do seem good when everything is rolling smoothly.

I'll post photos later. They're on my phone, which is recharging. Might be helpful to someone else later with the same or similar hubs. These seemed common to the early-mid 2000s Treks with Race Lite Aero wheelsets.

I also found an obscure page on Trek's website with a few spare parts for these older hubs. It wasn't readily accessible via Trek's own site, but after juggling multiple Google searches it finally ferreted out a relevant page. Seems to be a quirk of Google -- if you enable cookies, scripts, tracking, etc., it "learns" and eventually bubbles up stuff that I've searched for unsuccessfully before, but finally unearths older pages that were there all along.








A couple of photos after a quick cleaning...

This photo shows the drive side cartridge bearing, minus seal, that's the only bearing that's grindy. Flushing with degreaser didn't help. The other non-drive side bearing and bearings in the freehub itself seemed okay. I might replace them all if I can figure out a cost effective way to do it.

***



Last edited by canklecat; 08-18-20 at 04:42 PM. Reason: add photo
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Old 08-13-20, 11:31 AM
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I don't think that it is a DT hub. Trek has used Novatec for their hubs as well as DT.
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Old 08-13-20, 12:31 PM
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I still don't own a specific bike bearing press. As an ex-auto 'chanic I have a lot of sockets I use for that particular need. You can flip the seals off a sealed bearing but you have to be real careful, have goods eyes and a small pick. It is usually just easier to call your local bearing place and get new ones because 9.8 times out of 10 the seals get a nick in them rendering them useless. Use a punch or similar tool or old axle, ground to catch the bearing and work them out with gentle force, don't use the axle for this. Clean the pawls/springs and hub from all that grit (wd-40 and a toothbrush works good for this). The hardest bearing to remove is going to be the cassette bearing since i can't really tell if the outer seal is pressed in or screwed in or if those pins holes mean something. But once the cartridge bearings are replaced and you have the pawls clean and re-greased it will feel like a new hub.

BTW, the 6000xx on the seal is the number of the bearing you can use that number to get the replacement bearings or get the bearing size.
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Old 08-13-20, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
I don't think that it is a DT hub. Trek has used Novatec for their hubs as well as DT.
Could be. I'm going by speculation about the source for Bontrager hubs from older posts. There were some similarities.
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Old 08-13-20, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
I don't think that it is a DT hub. Trek has used Novatec for their hubs as well as DT.
After Googling around it appears you're correct. These do appear more like Novatec hubs than DT Swiss. Thanks! That may make it easier to find tech info and parts.
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Old 08-14-20, 09:09 AM
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Old 08-17-20, 08:40 PM
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C-cat,
I've got one of those hubs sitting here on my work bench that would look better on yours. I pulled it from a wheel that our co-op asked me to repair, as the bearing races and axle were messed with. I could repair the hub but the wheel had spokes pulled through the rim, so I trashed the rim and spokes, and saved the hub. It is yours for cost of shipping. Can't post pics because I am on a back up computer as my front line one is in for repairs. PM me if you want it with shipping info. Smiles, MH

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