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Old 10-25-10, 10:48 AM   #1
elihu23
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Why do my hubs keep coming loose?

I have had to adjust my hubs several times since I overhauled them. What could I be doing wrong? I don't want to over-tighten them. Any resources for hub adjustment that can be recommended?
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Old 10-25-10, 10:57 AM   #2
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You didn't give any specific info, but in general, if hubs come loose, it's because you are not tightening the cone and locknut tight enough against each other. This is even more important in hubs that don't have keyways and keyed washers. The bearings apply a bit of torque on the cones and they will work loose - or tight which is a more serious problem - if not properly locked in position.
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Old 10-25-10, 10:57 AM   #3
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what type of hub's are they ?

was everything in good condition when you overhauled them? What grease did you use

Did you fit new bearing's? if it's a cup and cone type I would recommend it because they are so cheap

I presume you have checked and re-checked that the locknut's are tight ( if it's cup and cone).

Cant help if it's a sealed bearing type I'm afraid
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Old 10-25-10, 11:20 AM   #4
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A course on bicycle maintainence available where you live?
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Old 10-25-10, 02:21 PM   #5
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Just worried about damaging the ball bearings, so I probably didn't tighten enough. Would using two wrenches, one to hold the cone and one to hold the locknut work in practice? Should I stick a split washer in there? You can tell i don't have so much experience besides my own bicycles.

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You didn't give any specific info, but in general, if hubs come loose, it's because you are not tightening the cone and locknut tight enough against each other. This is even more important in hubs that don't have keyways and keyed washers. The bearings apply a bit of torque on the cones and they will work loose - or tight which is a more serious problem - if not properly locked in position.
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Old 10-25-10, 02:27 PM   #6
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Cup and cone hubs

They were in good shape and I usually use lithium grease--the same kind used for automobiles.

I usually do when overhauling a used bike for the first time, but i can't remember.

I've re-adjusted, but I'm thinking I probably shouldn't have to--if I'm doing it right. At least I don't think I should it be necessary in the space of two, maybe three months or so.

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what type of hub's are they ?

was everything in good condition when you overhauled them? What grease did you use

Did you fit new bearing's? if it's a cup and cone type I would recommend it because they are so cheap

I presume you have checked and re-checked that the locknut's are tight ( if it's cup and cone).

Cant help if it's a sealed bearing type I'm afraid
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Old 10-25-10, 02:38 PM   #7
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...... Would using two wrenches, one to hold the cone and one to hold the locknut work in practice?.... .
That's exactly how it's done, the cone is held in the adjusted position, and the locknut is tightened up against it to keep it there. It takes a bit of practice, because the pressure of the locknut tends to slightly tighten the adjustment, but is you go slowly trial and error you'll get the hang of it.

As I said earlier a keyed washer between the cone and locknut helps, but don't use a spring washer. If the axle isn't keyed, use plain washers, or a spacer if required for axle spacing, or no washer.
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Old 10-25-10, 02:44 PM   #8
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When you tighten down the locknut, you also should be applying some reverse force on the cone itself, so that both parts are tightening against each other. If you are only tightening the locknut down against the cone, it's possible the two aren't tight against each other, in which case, this could cause the cone to float back and forth on the axle threading (thus loosening). Check the Parktools description of how to do this by using the bolt or quick release to keep one side of the axle fixed against the fork or rear dropout. As FBinNY says, if the cone and locknut are tight against each other on both sides, then they shouldn't be moving or floating on the axle threading at all.
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Old 10-25-10, 03:35 PM   #9
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what they said.

Sounds like you have been just tightening everything in towards the hub .... what you need to do is tighten the cone an locknut together.

If you want to save on a cone spanner then sometimes those cheap stamped multipurpose spanner's which come with a new bike like this one work . If it's a one off they will do if your doing it regularly then invest in some cone spanner's.
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Old 10-25-10, 04:32 PM   #10
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Yes, to lock the cone's adjustment, you need to spin the cone & locknut in opposite directions to they tighten into each other:



Or you can position the wrenches a little closer together and squeeze them together HARD! Watch out for getting your fingers caught in between them. Be sure to leave a little play in the bearings as the QR compresses the axle and squeezes the two cones together. This removes the play that's present when the axle is not compressed.
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Old 10-26-10, 10:30 AM   #11
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If your wheel has a quick release skewer then it's a good idea to arrange some washers so that you can have it in the axle and tight when doing the final cone and locknut adjustment. You can use a stack of 3/8 washers on the side that is already tight so the skewer fits right against the locknut. On the side you are adjusting use an extra thick "slug" of steel about 1/8 to 3/16 thick with a 7/32 hole in it so it fits over the skewer shaft but butts up against the end of the axle. Tighten to the normal tightening pressure on your lever.

What you're aiming for is an axle bearing feel that has no play but isn't so tight that it feels "coggy". You want to have just a hint of drag due to some small amount of preload on the bearings. In the end to achieve this you'll be working with 3 to 5 degree differences in arc on the cone and nut combo between too loose, just right and too tight. It can be a fussy bit of work until you learn to get it just right.
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Old 10-26-10, 02:58 PM   #12
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Thank you all very much! This thread has been most helpful. I don't expect anymore trouble in this department.
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