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  1. #1
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    What causes that locking screw on the wheel hub to get loose

    i bought a bike that was a little rough but was very cheap because of this. one of the first things i noticed was play in the front wheel. I didn't know what it was. At first I thought the quick release wasn't tight enough. But after inspecting it i saw the hub screw was loose. so i took off the wheel and removed that small plastic cap that meshes with the locknut and tightened it. That did the trick. I'm just wonder what would cause that screw to come loose? This was a mountain bike. Is that something that loosens normally oiver time? It was only a 2006 bike.

  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by registered usar
    i bought a bike that was a little rough but was very cheap because of this. one of the first things i noticed was play in the front wheel. I didn't know what it was. At first I thought the quick release wasn't tight enough. But after inspecting it i saw the hub screw was loose. so i took off the wheel and removed that small plastic cap that meshes with the locknut and tightened it. That did the trick. I'm just wonder what would cause that screw to come loose? This was a mountain bike. Is that something that loosens normally oiver time? It was only a 2006 bike.
    Go over to Park Tools for more details. The cone system of a hub consists of a cone which engages the bearings and provides the surface for them to run on, usually a spacer and a nut. There should be nuts on both sides. The nut should be jammed against the spacer to hold the cone in place. Often the jam nut isn't tightened against the cone sufficiently and can back out (friction will do that). What I do is to adjust the bearings so that they are just a little too tight with the cones (a little!) and then hold one cone still with a cone wrench and hold the jam nut on the same side still with another wrench. I then turn the cone counter clockwise against the jam nut with a fair amount of force. You should end up with bearings that have a little play in them and the cone should be locked in place. The play in the bearings is taken up by the quick release.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member z415's Avatar
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    Sometimes it just happens. Hubs are very picky, IMO, and I have usually have a hard time minimizing bearing play, maximizing bearing smoothness, and locking those darn things in. Incidentally I overhaul my hub once once every other month, just when they get loose.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    More then likely it came loose when someone removed the wheel to change a flat. Cones and locknuts can lose adjustment if not properly tightened.
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