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Old 09-08-10, 09:58 AM   #1
MrMJS
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overhauling hubs

hello,

I am overhauling the hubs on my wheels... this is my first time doing this but I want to learn so Im doing it myself. Since I have a quick release it says to leave the cones a little loose, tightening the quick release will apply the extra pressure.

My questions is how much is a little loose?? ... once the wheel is back on the bike I am guessing there should be zero play. Is this correct?
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Old 09-08-10, 10:13 AM   #2
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Unfortunately, it's one of those things that is as much art as science. I suppose some engineer could figure a way to leave .005 inch play if the quick-releases are tightened to apply X amount of pressure....

But mostly it's by feel.

I don't tighten my QRs all that hard, personally. So, I tend to adjust the cones to essentially zero free-play while spinning freely. The line can be very sharp; just a little bit more and the axle gets hard to rotate....

It's very difficult to check free play with the wheel on the bike.
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Old 09-08-10, 10:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MrMJS View Post
hello,

I am overhauling the hubs on my wheels... this is my first time doing this but I want to learn so Im doing it myself. Since I have a quick release it says to leave the cones a little loose, tightening the quick release will apply the extra pressure.

My questions is how much is a little loose?? ... once the wheel is back on the bike I am guessing there should be zero play. Is this correct?
Yes. With the quick release at normal tightness there shouldn't be any play in the wheel, and when you loosen the quick release there will be a little bit. If you need to make the skewer extra-tight to remove the play then the bearings are too loose. If there's no play when you undo the quick release then the bearings are too tight.

*Edit: one trick you can use to make it simpler is to put washers on the axle and then tighten a skewer through it with the wheel out of the bike. Then the skewer compresses the axle the same as when it's in the bike and you can feel the resistance in the bearings with your fingers.

I find it pretty easy to feel for play with the wheel in the bike since the rim moves farther than the axle would, but judging the resistance in the bearings is much harder

Last edited by Yellowbeard; 09-08-10 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 09-08-10, 02:01 PM   #4
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This is the method I use. Tighten the cones to the point where free play stops, then back off a quarter of a turn.
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Old 09-08-10, 03:22 PM   #5
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thanks for the help guys!
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Old 09-08-10, 06:15 PM   #6
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Remember-you have to do it so that the adjustment is nailed after you lock the cone and locknut together. In other words, when you are done adjusting the hub, you shouldn't be able move the locknuts or cones with your bare hands. You should also be able to put a cone wrench on either cone and not be able to move it with even moderate force.

In the shop, this last step usually requires a few attempts to find the spot where there is a nearly imperceptible amount of play off the bike, but dead on once the skewer is tightened.
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Old 09-08-10, 07:26 PM   #7
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*Edit: one trick you can use to make it simpler is to put washers on the axle and then tighten a skewer through it with the wheel out of the bike. Then the skewer compresses the axle the same as when it's in the bike and you can feel the resistance in the bearings with your fingers.
I use this method but I believe it only works if you REadjust the skewer to tighten the same way whether the hub is in the washers or the bike.

I readjust the skewer (because of moving from bike to washers) so it starts tightening at the halfway point when checking cone adjustment, then when I put the wheel back in the bike, I readjust again so it still tightens at the halfway point despite the slight difference in the thickness of the dropouts vs. the washers.

The point is so you could gauge cone adjustment by twirling the axle in your fingertips. I personally believe when testing adjustment with the skewer tight, you should aim for having no slack but just enough preload so you could feel the bearing balls are in firm contact with the cup and cone. With low to midrange bikes this means you can feel all the lumpy irregularity of the bearing balls. I usually find this point by backing the cone off only a few degrees from the point where it touches the balls.

Last edited by garage sale GT; 09-09-10 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 09-09-10, 04:40 PM   #8
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I use this method but I believe it only works if you adjust the skewer to tighten the same way whether the hub is in the washers or the bike.

I readjust the skewer so it starts tightening at the halfway point when checking cone adjustment, then when I put the wheel in the bike, I readjust so it still tightens at the halfway point despite the slight difference in the thickness of the dropouts vs. the washers.

The point is so you could gauge cone adjustment by twirling the axle in your fingertips. I personally believe you should take out all the slack and then have just enough preload so you could feel the bearing balls are in firm contact with the cup and cone. With low to midrange bikes this means you can feel all the lumpy irregularity of the bearing balls. I usually find this point by backing the cone off only a few degrees from the point where it touches the balls.
This is the way to go. Except the lumps are in the cups and cones and not the bearings.
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Old 09-09-10, 05:41 PM   #9
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This is the way to go. Except the lumps are in the cups and cones and not the bearings.
I edited my post for clarity. I also want to say I believe much of the lumpiness is in the balls.
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Old 09-09-10, 06:28 PM   #10
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I edited my post for clarity. I also want to say I believe much of the lumpiness is in the balls.

Ok, let's see if we can keep it on topic....

-Jeremy
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