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  1. #1
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    Break-in : Surly front hub

    I have a new Surly front hub (solid axle) that had side to side play. Adjusted the play out but it does not
    roll as nicely now. Do the bearing break-in or is the hub toast.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    The adjustment is toast. Proper adjustment allows the wheel to rotate freely, even though there might be a slight amount of play.

    Do you find that the adjustment changes when you tighten the nuts? That seems to be normal, and you'll have to re-adjust to compensate.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF View Post
    The adjustment is toast. Proper adjustment allows the wheel to rotate freely, even though there might be a slight amount of play.

    Do you find that the adjustment changes when you tighten the nuts? That seems to be normal, and you'll have to re-adjust to compensate.
    I thought with solid axle, tightening the nuts does not compress the cone. I just can not get rid of the play without affecting the rotation.

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    If its an adjustable, ball bearing hub, then the proper adjustment is absolutely NO play. It doesn't matter if you can feel a little resistance when you spin the axle by hand, it will not affect the riding at all and will not affect the life of the hub, in fact, hubs last longer when there is no play in the bearing than if there is play.

    I know, we all want the wheel to spin with no apparent friction, but don't worry about it. A little friction is ok.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
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  5. #5
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    I thought with solid axle, tightening the nuts does not compress the cone.
    I thought so too, but it can. Seems to have something to do with thread clearance. At any rate, try it and see.

    It's hard to know what you mean by "does not roll as nicely". How quick does it stop when you give it a spin vs. adjusted so that it "rolls nicely"?

    Btw, when I say "a slight amount of play", I mean just barely enough to feel minus a degree or so turn. I adjust to right at that point where you can no longer feel actual play (feel the axle being displaced) but a little looser than the solid feel of no play at all. It's hard to describe, but it feels different from the other states. I also use a Stein vice, even on solid axles, due to the "compression" phenomenon described above.
    Last edited by DMF; 07-30-07 at 10:11 AM.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF View Post
    It's hard to know what you mean by "does not roll as nicely". How quick does it stop when you give it a spin vs. adjusted so that it "rolls nicely"?
    By "does not roll as nicely" I mean given the same amount of initial force my Surly wheel will stop spinning
    sooner than my old DuraAce and XT wheels.

    But back to my original questions, do bearing break-in. My old DuraAce and XT wheels from the late 90's
    are still spinning very smoothly.

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure the Surly hubs are ball bearing hubs. I'm pretty sure mine are sealed bearing. I too have some side-to-side play at the rim that I haven't been able to get rid of; I assumed it was par for the course with sealed bearings.

  8. #8
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    By "does not roll as nicely" I mean given the same amount of initial force my Surly wheel will stop spinning sooner than my old DuraAce and XT wheels.
    I rather assumed so. I asked how much sooner. As far as I'm concerned, you don't have a problem until you prove otherwise.


    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    But back to my original questions, do bearing break-in. My old DuraAce and XT wheels from the late 90's are still spinning very smoothly.
    No, they don't. But after packing there is still some stiff grease in the bearings so they can feel a little stiffer. And over time they will wear and increase clearances.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF View Post
    I rather assumed so. I asked how much sooner. As far as I'm concerned, you don't have a problem until you prove otherwise.
    .
    I don't have numbers but it is a very noticeable difference. I will try to re-adjust my
    hub again. Thanks for all you help.

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