Shuffling the spacers so a 7-speed freewheel fits the spacing of my tank. I'm adjusting the solid-axle rear hub repeatedly, and I don't understand what I'm seeing.
Using a Stein hub axle vise; adjusting the non-drive side, meaning the drive side is bolted to the vise. What we're looking for is the point where any play in the bearings just disappears. Back off a few degrees and the play would reappear. The wheel should spin freely at that point.
Various techniques produce the same weird result. All start with the locknut backed off:
- wiggling the rim to feel for play, turn down the cone to just the right point. Hold the cone there and tighten the locknut. The bearings immediately become too tight!
- adjust the cone until there's a small amount of play - purposely too loose. Tighten the locknut and the play disappears!
- spin the wheel and take the cone down until drag appears; back off a little. Tighten the locknut and the wheel slows right down.
- repeat all the above with the wheel bolted to the outside of the dropout (so vertical instead of horizontal) and the same thing happens.
This doesn't make any sense. It's acting like a QR axle, with the axle 'compressing' when the skewer is clamped. But unlike a QR axle, there's no compression applied across the bearings.
What the heck is going on, and how does one find the "sweet spot" without repeated trial and error?