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  1. #1
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    Looking for input on a new cone wrench design

    Hello BikeForums members. I am a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and I am Industrial Design. My latest design project is to address the problems with current cone wrenches on the market and to create a new and improved one. What I was hoping to get on this forum was some feedback on cone wrenches, specifically, what makes them a succesful tool and what makes them flawed? Thanks in advance for your replies!

  2. #2
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Resesign the cone-nut and eliminate the need for cone wrenches gets my vote.
    Quote Originally Posted by SBFixed View Post
    You're a dick, if your bike gets stolen I hope that you don't get a thread.

  3. #3
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Cone wrenches need to be thin at the working end to fit the part. They also need to be thin in the middle so that 2 can be used side by side at the same time (lock nut situation). The thin-ness extending all the way to the end is a pain on the hands. Find a way to thicken up the handle without spoiling the otherwise good properties of the wrench.

    How bout some good jaw inserts for those times that you have to encourage the wrench with a rubber mallet on a stuck lock nut. I hate having nicks in the wrenches.

  4. #4
    Double Secret Member CaptMatt15's Avatar
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    I've noticed that the ends of the Park cone wrenches that you put on the nut "gripping end?" are especially malleable, they tend to get torn up fairly easily with a decent amount of use - making them out of a harder metal may help with that (this is just from lots of use in a shop)
    2007 Redline Conquest
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  5. #5
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    The one thing I can think of has already been done on the Hozan wrenches - a flared mouth to keep the wrench on the cone until you line up the flats. Has a pretty decent grip, too, considering that it still needs to be flat.

    One thing that isn't really needed but might be nice is an adjustable cone wrench. That way I could get by with two instead of 10. Nice problem, too, as the Crescent-style screw adjuster won't fit.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Thomasdregos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
    Redesign the cone-nut and eliminate the need for cone wrenches gets my vote.
    Ditto!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF View Post
    The one thing I can think of has already been done on the Hozan wrenches - a flared mouth to keep the wrench on the cone until you line up the flats. Has a pretty decent grip, too, considering that it still needs to be flat.

    One thing that isn't really needed but might be nice is an adjustable cone wrench. That way I could get by with two instead of 10. Nice problem, too, as the Crescent-style screw adjuster won't fit.
    What he said!!

  8. #8
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    Eliminate the locknut and use a allen screw binder or clamp.

  9. #9
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Better MAVIC hubs don't even need them. I think this is the way it will go as cartridge bearings dominate the scene.

    Maybe you could redesign the automobile hand-crank instead...
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  10. #10
    Senior Member stokessd's Avatar
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    Redesign indexing front derailleurs instead, make them work like friction derailleurs.

    Sheldon

  11. #11
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokessd View Post
    Redesign indexing front derailleurs instead, make them work like friction derailleurs.

    Sheldon
    That's a function of the shifter, not the derailleur.

    I bet one could be modified for friction if you really wanted to.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokessd View Post
    Redesign indexing front derailleurs instead, make them work like friction derailleurs.

    Sheldon
    There is no such thing as an "indexing" front derailleur. They ALL work like friction derailleurs if you use friction shifters.

    The indexing function is in the shifter.

  13. #13
    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
    Better MAVIC hubs don't even need them. I think this is the way it will go as cartridge bearings dominate the scene.
    Great point. Not only do you not need cone wrenches for these hubs, but you can adjust them without taking the wheels off the bike (!!!). That's about as good as it gets. Cup&cone types are pretty much gone from the BB and headset markets (ok, there are still some out there - but not too many). It's just a question of time before sealed bearings are a large majority in the hub bearing market.



    Quote Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
    Maybe you could redesign the automobile hand-crank instead...
    Or, maybe a better flat blade screwdriver ;-)))
    "Work is the curse of the drinking class."
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  14. #14
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Using a tiny allen screw to lock a hub assembly in place is a terrible design. A curse upon all the houses of the designers who pawn this stuff off on us!

    So much load is being placed on too small a part. Many of these design do not allow for minute adjustments and the tiny allen screw ends up marring whatever surface it bites into creating disassembly issues and adjustment issues down the line (think-Ritchey wheels or Alex wheels).

    The compressionless washer design Campagnolo uses is the exception to this as the washer bears more of the load and, although they use an allen key to lock it all in place, it turns on a thread that allows for very minute adjustments, the allen key doesn't rely one biting into anything and bears very little load.

    I don't see what all the fuss is about cones. They are easy to adjust with 2 cone wrenches and 2 box wrenches. Who needs 10? Maybe a shop, but a consumer usually needs a 13, 15 and 17.

    Sealed bearings are nice because there is little service involved (they can be repacked) but standard industrial cartridge bearings (as used almost exclusively in the bike industry) are not designed to handle side loads. They are actually less efficient than a regular ball set-up. In addition, most sealed bearing systems have little or no ability to make the small adjustments that are needed over time.

    To the OP. Go ahead and try to improve on the cone wrench as the cone will not be disappearing any time soon. Plus, members of this forum, look in your garage. How many of you have bikes that still have cones that you will fiddle with and Frankenbike for a decade or more to come. You'll be needing those cone wrenches...

  15. #15
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    U
    I don't see what all the fuss is about cones. They are easy to adjust with 2 cone wrenches and 2 box wrenches. Who needs 10? Maybe a shop, but a consumer usually needs a 13, 15 and 17.
    Totally, and if there's room you can often get away with using a 17mm box wrench instead of the cone wrench too. Stamped steel with a santoprene dip. Doesn't get much cheaper than that, so if you do need ten it's not gonna break the bank. For home use I doubt you'd wear them out either.

    As far as thicker handles- shop rags will work

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    Who needs 10? Maybe a shop, but a consumer usually needs a 13, 15 and 17.
    Add one more size. My 9-speed Dura Ace rear hub requires two 14 mm cone wrenches as both the cone and the locknut have 14 mm flats and both require a cone wrench while the front hub uses a 13 mm for the cone and a 14 mm cone wrench for the locknut.

    Also I've never come across a 17 mm locknut that couldn't be fit with an ordinary 17 mm open end or box. No special cone wrench needed.

    To the OP, make the handles more comfortable. The rest of the design is about as simple as it gets as long as the steel and heat treatment are good and the openings cut accurately.

  17. #17
    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    19, 20, and 22 mm cones are now common, as well. Think BMX.
    "Work is the curse of the drinking class."
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokessd View Post
    Redesign indexing front derailleurs instead, make them work like friction derailleurs.

    Sheldon
    Too bad there's no such thing as an indexing FD.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  19. #19
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    Using a tiny allen screw to lock a hub assembly in place is a terrible design. A curse upon all the houses of the designers who pawn this stuff off on us!
    +1
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  20. #20
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Also I've never come across a 17 mm locknut that couldn't be fit with an ordinary 17 mm open end or box. No special cone wrench needed.
    Shimano hubs.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  21. #21
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascade168 View Post
    19, 20, and 22 mm cones are now common, as well.
    13,14,15,17,19,20,22mm x 2 = 14
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

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    Thanks a bunch for the replies. The class im currently taking is an ergonomics/human factors class pertaining to hand tools. I chose the cone wrench simply because my experience with it is that the metal wears, the handle is extremely uncomfortable and they are way to expensive for what they really are. Thanks again for all the replies, if there are anymore opinions id love to hear them!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF View Post
    Shimano hubs.
    Those are exactly what I was describing. All the Shimano hubs with 17 mm locknuts I've ever worked on were able to use a regular thickness open end or box wrench. They didn't require a specific cone wrench.

  24. #24
    do-over... SugarPILL's Avatar
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    Redesign the wheel.. needs some corners




    edit... i guess its been done..


  25. #25
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Those are exactly what I was describing. All the Shimano hubs with 17 mm locknuts I've ever worked on were able to use a regular thickness open end or box wrench. They didn't require a specific cone wrench.
    Not mine (WH-R540). You need a cone wrench for the cone and another for the lock nut if you adjust with skewer in place (I use the Stein vise). Granted, the cone flat is wider than some, but my Craftsman combos are way too wide.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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