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My elf has been 'dragging' a bit so I took axle off and cleaned it and regreased. I noticed that one bearing has some catches in it and the other one runs smooth.

Is there an easy way to clean it further? How do you service the Elf bearings (can they be opened and cleaned or is that a nightmare? I used to clean my roller blade bearings as a teen, and it was a pain. Is there an online resource? Can you just pop them out?

What is the approximate cost of replacement for one of those?

And as far as preload tension, how far past 'hand tight' should you go. It seems like only an 1/8 of a turn (or less) is about right?

Thanks!
 

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And as far as preload tension, how far past 'hand tight' should you go. It seems like only an 1/8 of a turn (or less) is about right?
It sounds like you had too much preload tension. The skewer will compress the axle a little so you might need to start out at hand tight and then back off 1/4 turn or maybe more.
 

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And as far as preload tension, how far past 'hand tight' should you go. It seems like only an 1/8 of a turn (or less) is about right?
You don't go *past* hand tight. You need to loosen from there, so that you are left with just a hair of play with the QR clamped. You need loctite for the axle threads.

You can try to clean and regrease a bearing in the hub by prying off the outer seal... but it's much better to just replace it. They are cheap and easy to replace. In your case it sounds like the bearing was damaged though, so you need to replace it anyway.
 
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