11. august 2015

Bugaboo Wheels (Donkey, Buffalo and Cameleon 3): Repair and Maintenance

Many of the design elements have shifted with the launch of the Bugaboo Cameleon 3, Donkey and Buffalo models.  This article is written to provide repair and maintenance tips regarding the wheels on these models.  If you need additional assistance, or your Bugaboo is an older model, you can check out our earlier article on Bugaboo wheels here.

Donkey and Buffalo:Tires and Inner Tubes

The Donkey and Buffalo models use predominantly air-filled tires, though foam-filled tires can some times be found on the front wheels.  The back tire/inner tube of both models is 12.5 x 2.225 inches, the front tire/inner tube is 10 x 1.75 inches.  The back tires/inner tubes are of  a common size and can be purchased from a variety of manufacturers (including bicycle shops).  The front tires/inner tubes are of a less common size and will likely need to be bought from a stroller shop.  If you need to replace a tire, or patch/replace an inner tube, instructions can be found in these videos:

How to replace the inner tube in a stroller wheel

How to find the leak in an inner tube

How to patch a leaking inner tube

Donkey and Buffalo: Axles and Ball Bearings

Sometimes it may be necessary to replace the axles or ball bearings on your stroller.  Rusty ball bearings can cause your wheels to turn slower and will eventually break apart causing the wheels to become wobbly.  Bent axles may make your stroller veer to one side and can lead to problems with the brake system.

The axle system is one of the design elements that has shifted slightly from Bugaboo's earlier models.  To remove the back axles, you need to remove the cap on the outer end of the axle, by prying it off with a flat-head screwdriver.  In order to access the cap, you will first need to remove five screws on the inside facing of the wheel, spaced around the wheel's spokes.  Then you can remove the cap and draw the axle through the central shaft.  The ball bearings may then be pried out by inserting a screwdriver through the hole in the center of the ball bearing.

The axles in the front wheels are made up of a two part screw.  To remove the axle, you'll need two screwdrivers with hexagonal heads.  Ball bearings can be removed in the same way as on the back wheels.

Cameleon 3

The tires and inner tubes on the Cameleon 3 are the same as they were on the Cameleon 2.  The back wheels consist of a foam-filled tire, which is nice as it can't pop.  Occasionally, the foam can break apart inside causing the tire to feel as though it were flat (or lumpy in some cases).  If this occurs, carefully pry the tire off of the rim on one side and use a serrated kitchen knife or small blade to cut through the foam ring.  Then remove the foam and replace it with a 12 inch inner tube.

The front wheels of the Cameleon 3 are the same as previous models, except that the axle is now made up of a two part screw, as with the Donkey and Buffalo.  The tires are made entirely of hard foam and can look quite ugly after a few years if you tend to use the stroller off-road as the foam will become embedded with small pebbles that fall out leaving holes.  The ball bearings in the front wheels are also particularly subject to wear and, for this reason, it is a good idea to oil them regularly and make sure that too much hair and string do get wound up around the axles.  The back wheel axles of the Cameleon 3 are of more or less the same design as the Donkey and Buffalo (see above for tips on disassembly).

The following video demonstrates the disassembly of a Cameleon front wheelThe wheel is from a Cameleon 2, so the axle and connecting shaft are different from the Cameleon 3, but otherwise the process and components are the same.

Replacing the Ball Bearings / Swivel Shaft on a Bugaboo Front Wheel

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