Hub cone compatibility-cone profile.
I was taught that when selecting a replacement hub cone the profile/curve of the replacement cone has to be identical as well as all the other fit issues. There are situations when a replacement cone with a different profile can be installed. The only reason that I can think of for suggesting never using a cone with a different profile is that it would lead to premature bearing failure. Can anyone confirm this and explain why or offer a different reason? Is it related to scuffing? Has anyone tried installing cones with a different profile and had good luck?
Hub seals, dust covers and spacing can all be affected by mix-and-match cones. I can work around the spacing but I don't want to return to the days of hubs without sealed bearing mechanisms.
I just went through that with a customer bike last week. I didn't have the right replacement for his pitted cone so his decision was to leave his bike with me for another week until I could get the right one. If you have a Shimano hub they're get-able and they're affordable. It's just a PITA looking up the right one.
I've successfully replaced cones with ones of different profile, no problem. But it depends on how much you care about your bike. I don't really own any that I wouldn't mind buying new wheels for in 10 years.