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  1. #1
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    1st: why the hell did shimano decide to make it so hard to adjust their hubs?!

    why?!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY WHY WHY!!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!

    and second: how should one clean out a hub when over hauling? i just wiped the races clean but there's still a lot of old grease in the center of the hub body from the last time i did this.

  2. #2
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    Practice makes perfect,there not hard to adjust.A rag and some kind of degreaser,simple green,mineral spirits,dish soap,elbow grease....
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Shimano hubs aren't hard to adjust. I can think of hubs that are much harder to work on. Study the how-to guidance at Park Tool's website (parktool.com) if you're not sure what you're doing.

  4. #4
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    I just scoop the old grease out with a bag of cotton swabs. (from the race area where I am going to regrease)

  5. #5
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    I scoop out the old grease from the hub races and wipe them and the cones and axles clean with a dry rag. I either wipe off or replace the bearing balls. There is really no need for a solvent or degreaser.

    The hubs aren't that hard to adjust but it requires a bit of technique. You must use two wrenches, one to hold the cone so it won't shift and one to tighten the locknut. Clamping the wheel in an axle vise held in a bench vise makes adjusting the hubs much easier.

  6. #6
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    A rag ripped into thin strips will suffice for cleaning the grease from the hub body. Use a thin screwdriver to shove the rag through.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

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    i did use the park instructions. i noticed that every time i would turn the nut with the cone held in place that the axel would turn too. eventually i just kept the axel from turning so much using my knee tightned the cone all the way with my fingers and tightened the nut and it rocked as it should.

  8. #8
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    The big advantage to this form of adjustment is that once the method is perfected, you will be able to set tollerances that are much better than the normal production ones.

    With cartridge bearings for example, you get what you get........could be good or bad.........there just isn't a lot of adjustment inside the race.

  9. #9
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    Is there a hub that's easier to adjust? All of the ones I've met with loose balls are pretty much the same. Pretty straightforward, I think. Wipe out, replace balls. I'd ignore the crap in between the races - not really going to affect anything. Or just push a rag through with your axle.

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    Anyone have a good method for keeping the axle from spinning during cone adjustment for those of us not lucky enough to have a vice? I've used vice grips and a rag in the past but I worry about damaging threads.

  11. #11
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    In the days before I use a vise to hold the other end of the axle, I had my wife hold the other end steady with vise-grips but the bribes were a lot more expensive than a cheap vise.

  12. #12
    Senior Member melville's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver_ghost View Post
    Anyone have a good method for keeping the axle from spinning during cone adjustment for those of us not lucky enough to have a vice? I've used vice grips and a rag in the past but I worry about damaging threads.
    Make sure the cone and locknut on the side not being adjusted are MF tight to each other, then put a wrench on the locknut (easy if hex headed--17mm) or an extra cone wrench on the locknut or cone, whichever is easier. Use a wire tie to secure wrench to a convenient spoke crossing. Instant McGyver axle vise.

    I have an (a few, actually) axle vise at home, but out and about I've done this. Seems I've always got a 17mm combination wrench in the VW toolkit, and the angle on the box end of the combination wrench puts the open end of the wrench right on the spokes. If you need to use a cone wrench, you may end up putting a bend in it, but so what?

    Of course, it's always someone else's bike that I'm fixing at the trailhead.........

    However, those people have cars where a toolkit and spares aren't necessary.

  13. #13
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    Shimano isn't hard. I suspect you're having trouble because of the quick-release changes the adjustment.

    Try a hub vise that let's you adjust the hub with the QR in place: http://jastein.com/Tools_for_Wheels.htm

    or here:

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  14. #14
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    I've got to stick up for this guy somewhat. Shimano lower end hubs are harder to adjust than their moderate to higher end hubs. Has anyone tried to overhaul an old Deore hub. OMG! That is terrible.

    And not everybody has access to bench-mounted vise and a hub specific tool made for that vise. The most you could expext someone to have is cone wrenches.
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  15. #15
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    It shouldn't be too hard to overhaul if you remove one side's cone/lock nut and do not touch the other side. This way, after you clean and regrease everything, you can put it back in the exact same position. Tighten it up and then back off a bit and you're golden.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellweatherman View Post
    I've got to stick up for this guy somewhat. Shimano lower end hubs are harder to adjust than their moderate to higher end hubs. Has anyone tried to overhaul an old Deore hub. OMG! That is terrible.
    How is a Deore any harder than a Deore XT, XTR, Dura Ace or Ultegra? I don't get it. They're all cup-&-cone bearings adjusted using the same types of tools, and the same techniques.

    And not everybody has access to bench-mounted vise and a hub specific tool made for that vise. The most you could expext someone to have is cone wrenches.
    Hozan makes a hand-held axle vise, for those who really want one. Alternately, a clever person can use their rear dropout and quick-release skewer (or axle nut) as an impromptu axle vise (put the wheel outside the frame, with the QR springs removed, in a fashion similar to the illustration that DMF provided).

    The axle vise, or something that serves its function, is the key. Without it, sure, adjusting a cup-&-cone hub is going to be difficult. I don't try driving nails with my bare hands, and I don't try adjusting hubs without the necessary tools, that's just how life is sometimes.

  17. #17
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    How is a Deore any harder than a Deore XT, XTR, Dura Ace or Ultegra? I don't get it. They're all cup-&-cone bearings adjusted using the same types of tools, and the same techniques.



    Hozan makes a hand-held axle vise, for those who really want one. Alternately, a clever person can use their rear dropout and quick-release skewer (or axle nut) as an impromptu axle vise (put the wheel outside the frame, with the QR springs removed, in a fashion similar to the illustration that DMF provided).

    The axle vise, or something that serves its function, is the key. Without it, sure, adjusting a cup-&-cone hub is going to be difficult. I don't try driving nails with my bare hands, and I don't try adjusting hubs without the necessary tools, that's just how life is sometimes.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver_ghost View Post
    Anyone have a good method for keeping the axle from spinning during cone adjustment for those of us not lucky enough to have a vice? I've used vice grips and a rag in the past but I worry about damaging threads.

    I got this from St. Sheldon's site, but don't care to go find you a link:

    You need two wrenches to fit the locknuts, and two to fit the cones. One pair of appropriate "double" wrenches will work.

    Get the adjustment close, then lightly lock both sides.

    If it is too tight, put a wrench on each cone, and back them toward the locknuts.

    If it is too loose, put a wrench on each locknut and run them toward the cones.

    And remember that if the wheel uses a quick release skewer, the adjustment will tighten up some when it is installed and the skewer compresses the axle tube.

  19. #19
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
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  20. #20
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    How is a Deore any harder than a Deore XT, XTR, Dura Ace or Ultegra? I don't get it. They're all cup-&-cone bearings adjusted using the same types of tools, and the same techniques.



    Hozan makes a hand-held axle vise, for those who really want one. Alternately, a clever person can use their rear dropout and quick-release skewer (or axle nut) as an impromptu axle vise (put the wheel outside the frame, with the QR springs removed, in a fashion similar to the illustration that DMF provided).

    The axle vise, or something that serves its function, is the key. Without it, sure, adjusting a cup-&-cone hub is going to be difficult. I don't try driving nails with my bare hands, and I don't try adjusting hubs without the necessary tools, that's just how life is sometimes.

    Yeah, but the method you described with clamping the wheel outside the dropout works soooooo poorly. Not all dropouts are perfectly flat enough to do this. In fact, on the frames that I have the dropouts are called Wright dropouts, or something like that. It's a stronger design and I think Paragon makes them. They are becoming quite popular on both road and mtb. So, no go on the clamp to the outside of the frame design.

    On to tools. The JA Stein tool and the other one, Park I think, requires you to have a bench-mounted vise. Most people don't even have these in their garages! I've never seen the Hozan, so I have no idea how well they work. Do you know if they work well without a vise? Because I just don't see people rushing out and buying this unless they already have a bench vise, in which case they would be a bike shop and not a garage guy with some bike tools.
    Livestrong. The personal fundmaker of Lance Armstrong. The company who are in business to not donate to cancer research, but only to inform people that cancer is bad.

    Armstrong. The man without integrity, no care for the sport, and no problem with testing positive for EPO and making donations to cover it up.

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  21. #21
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    There's no reason anybody needs a vise or any gizmo to adjust the hubs.

    1) Undo left side locknut from cone
    2) Snug them against each other
    3) adjust by hand till it's a little bit loose
    4) Run two 17mms to tighten
    5) tighten up locknut against cone and done
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  22. #22
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellweatherman View Post
    Yeah, but the method you described with clamping the wheel outside the dropout works soooooo poorly. Not all dropouts are perfectly flat enough to do this. In fact, on the frames that I have the dropouts are called Wright dropouts, or something like that. It's a stronger design and I think Paragon makes them. They are becoming quite popular on both road and mtb. So, no go on the clamp to the outside of the frame design.
    All right, then go to your LBS and ask if they have a scrap frame or fork that you could have the dropout from

    On to tools. The JA Stein tool and the other one, Park I think, requires you to have a bench-mounted vise. Most people don't even have these in their garages!
    I think if you go to a discount tool outlet (Harbor Freight or wherever), you can get a small bench vise for $10-$20 that'll be suitable for this role. Bolt it to a piece of wood if you don't have a workbench. You don't need a $600 Wilton for this

    I've never seen the Hozan, so I have no idea how well they work. Do you know if they work well without a vise?
    I have a Hozan in my arsenal. In hand-held mode, it's not nearly as easy to use as a standard axle vise, but it's legit. If you want easy, get a little $10-$20 bench vise and a normal axle vise. I'd normally use the Hozan only to take along to events, where I wouldn't have a bench vise available.

  23. #23
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    All right, then go to your LBS and ask if they have a scrap frame or fork that you could have the dropout from

    I think if you go to a discount tool outlet (Harbor Freight or wherever), you can get a small bench vise for $10-$20 that'll be suitable for this role. Bolt it to a piece of wood if you don't have a workbench. You don't need a $600 Wilton for this

    I have a Hozan in my arsenal. In hand-held mode, it's not nearly as easy to use as a standard axle vise, but it's legit. If you want easy, get a little $10-$20 bench vise and a normal axle vise. I'd normally use the Hozan only to take along to events, where I wouldn't have a bench vise available.

    hmmm, good advice. I didn't know you could get bench vises for so cheap. I had to sympathise with the original poster because I've also had some difficulty getting hubs adjusted just right. Maybe, I'm just too picky with my bearings or maybe I'm just ham-fisted.

    Anyway, if I get a cheap vise. Is the Hozan tool that you have made to work in the vise or outside of the vise. I'm just wondering what's the best axle vise tool in case I actually do end up getting a vise.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    There's no reason anybody needs a vise or any gizmo to adjust the hubs.

    1) Undo left side locknut from cone
    2) Snug them against each other
    3) adjust by hand till it's a little bit loose
    4) Run two 17mms to tighten
    5) tighten up locknut against cone and done
    Sorry but if I tried to do it that way I'd be ripping my hair out as well. Your list ignores the fact that the axle will move around which is a big part of the trouble the OP found. It also ignores the fact that skewer tension has to be in place since the skewer tension affects the bearing preload. It also misses the point that many bearing cones are 15mm flats and that you need a special flat wrench to fit the slot style flats. And there's also no mention of the need to check the axle's spin for a very slight drag which indicates the correct preload as opposed to some free play or very tight notchy feels which are too little or too much. There's nothing actually wrong with this list but it simplifies it far too much to be used in the real world.



    Getting back to the issue.....
    Clamping the one side to a frame or spare dropout is a bit of genius. Kudos to the folks that came up with that as an occasional quick remedy. That tool with the plate and nut for holding the wheel in the vise is another bit of genius. Quite a few years back I made my own version of that and the method works extremely well. Again, for anyone doing much of their own hub work getting one of those or making up something equivalent to use in their vise would be a great tool to have

    However if anyone is doing much of their own wrenching I would strongly recomend a vise to use as a third hand. I put the importance of a good vise up there with using the right size wrench or allen key and having the right sized hammer . If a person is more than a once a year mechanic or if they are doing work at the level of R&R'ing hubs then they really SHOULD have a work space with a bench and a good vise.

    That bench space may be a nice heavy fixed setup with a 50 lb vise or as simple as a B&D Workmate with a clamp on vise but it should be a reasonably good clamp on vise or a small to mid size bench vise bolted to a hunk of 2x8 that can then be clamped in the Workmate. With a bit of imagination the bike stand could be on one side of the 2x8 and the vise on the other and PRESTO! You'd have a great portable apartment or small house friendly bicycle work bench setup that could be broken down and put into a closet in the blink of an eye.

    .
    Last edited by BCRider; 06-14-08 at 12:01 PM.
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  25. #25
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
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