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Toasted wheel bearings
<img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2525/3741037121_56066aac05_m.jpg" />

Hello everyone! New to the forums (and bicycle maintenance in general). I went to the bike shop today and they told me that the bearings on my rear wheel are "toast". They said that the slotted metal part extending from the hub (shown in the picture) isn't even supposed to be showing. The mechanic says I should just buy a new wheel, but that sounds really wasteful and I'd prefer to fix it if possible. I watched the tutorial on overhauling wheel bearings ( http://bikeride.com/overhaul-wheel-bearings/ ) and was curious if I can fix it that way or if the bike mechanic at the shop was right and I should just buy a new wheel. As far as I can tell, the following link is my bike exactly: http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/BikeSpecs.aspx?Year=1997&Brand=Giant&Model=Option&Type=bike I hope that helps. If I can't repair the bearings, how can I determine whether or not a quick release wheel would work with the cassette and everything? Thanks in advance for any help.

Definitely worth seeing if it can be fixed. The big question is whether or not the hub is damaged. If the bearings got that bad, it's a good bet the bearing races on the axle (cones) are damaged. If the bearing surfaces inside the hub (cups) are damaged, you really need to replace the wheel.
Pretty easy to figure this out. Take out the axle and inspect the cups in the hub. If they are still smooth, replace the bearings and cones as needed and you're good to go.
If the hub's shot, you can use either a QR or bolt-on wheel. You just need a 700c cross bike wheel made for a 7-speed cassette. Rough guess maybe $70-$80 and it'll be a better wheel than what came on the bike.


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