Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Oxford, UK or Mountain View, Ca
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Hmmm, good point roadbuzz - I should have thought of that
Calvin - I have heard the following schools of thought on the adjustment of wheel bearings:
1) adjustment with slight play
2) adjust to remove play, but stay as free running as possible
3) adjust with slight tightness i.e. slight pre load of the bearing
Now, I will stress here that I am no expert, but it seems to me that option 1 means that the bearing is slack, and so the axle can rise and drop under load as each ball runs beneath it. This means that the load is not spread so evenly over the bearing surfaces.
In option 2, this situation is mostly corrected. Option 3 is my choice, and is a common engineering practice. I adjust so the axle can still be turned (off the bike) with the fingers. This is a more complicated situation on a bike with quick release hubs, because the axle is compressed when the skewer lever is tightened - in fact the wheel bearing may have play when off the bike, but this disappears when fitted. So in this case, a little fiddling is necessary to get things "just-so" after a bearing service.
Sorry if this was all a bit long winded - I'd genuinely be interested to hear other opinions.
Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.