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  1. #1
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    another surly hub play thread...

    so i have surly hubs. i always noticed that they had a little "play" in them. my other hubs didn't do that but it never really bothered me. everything was fine in my life.

    well today i decided, "i've got ten extra minutes to completely waste", let me figure out how to get the play out of these surly hubs. well **** me if i didn't find 200 threads with people complaining that the surly hubs were impossible to adjust, and that if you tried to adjust them you'd ruin your bearings, and that surly hubs are basically the world's biggest p.i.t.a.

    so what did i do? i busted out my cone wrenches and went to work. 15 minutes later i want to pull my hair out about a "problem" that hadn't existed before and went completely ignored for the last 3000 miles or so.

    is this "play" really a problem? wtf?
    Last edited by tgrssn; 12-05-10 at 03:16 PM. Reason: premature posting

  2. #2
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    So what exactly is your question again?
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

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    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  3. #3
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    okay. for future reference. i've figured out how to do this. anybody finding this thread in the future will appreciate this, ... i think...

    tools needed - 15mm cone wrench, 17mm cone wrench

    1.) remove wheel
    2.) sit on a stool or a chair and put the wheel down infront of your knees.
    3.) lean over the wheel and loosen the 17mm outside cone nut, (back it off down the axle quite a bit)
    4.) loosen the 15mm inside cone nut and back it off a little. jiggle the axle and notice how loose it is.
    5.) gently re-tighten the 15mm inside cone nut. tighten it until it's snug against the bearing cone. pick up the wheel and spin it. notice it's probably too tight. that's okay. jiggle the axle again. notice there's no more play.
    6.) hand spin the 17mm cone nut up against the 15mm. don't tighten it much at all. just gently snug it against the 15mm.
    7.) grab both your 15mm and 17mm wrenches and simultaneously tighten them towards each other, not one at a time. tighten the 15mm inside nut out and the 17mm inside nut in. if you remember the 15mm nut was a little over tightened a second ago. it should now be perfect.
    8.) test the play by jiggling the axle. test the spin by spinning it in your hands and listening for resistance in the bearings.

    if it's good you're done. if not repeat. you only need to do this to one side, obviously.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
    So what exactly is your question again?
    is this "play" really a problem? wtf?

  5. #5
    AEO
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    having play in the wheel can cause brake squeal as it bobs between the brake pads.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

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    PS - I've read a lot of complaints that the hubs might spin nicely after you've adjusted them but when you go to tighten the axle nuts suddenly they're overtightened again. This would only happen if you didn't tighten the 15mm and 17mm cone nuts against each other, snugly. if the cone nuts are loose when you try to tighten the axle nuts it will also spin the cone nuts.

    i could imagine this being insanely frustrating if you didn't know to tighten the two cone nuts firmly against each other.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    It's the fine line between too much play and binding , that you seek,
    then jam the 2 nuts [15/17] together when you find it .
    Get some Cone wrenches in those sizes, if you don't own some already.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    It's the fine line between too much play and binding , that you seek,
    then jam the 2 nuts [15/17] together when you find it .
    Get some Cone wrenches in those sizes, if you don't own some already.
    SUPER fine line. it's not a bad system once you get it down though.

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    These are the only "adjustable" sealed bearing hubs I've ever heard of. What's the point?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver_ghost View Post
    These are the only "adjustable" sealed bearing hubs I've ever heard of. What's the point?
    good question. seems to me if they weren't adjustable then they wouldn't need to be adjusted. kinda stupid, really. weird since surly products are usually so well thought out.

  11. #11
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    I have a sneaking suspicion that "adjustable" means "poor machining tolerences" that requires you to squish the bearing laterally to get rid of play, which can't prolong bearing life. This coming from the satisfied owner of two Surly bikes (with Shimano hubs).

  12. #12
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    Never actually took the one I had apart...but I believe it's the straight threaded axle with no inside shoulder to support the bearing that makes them adjustable...and sucky.

    I had an old Specialized sealed bearing FW hub with similar qualities, adjustable and annoying.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver_ghost View Post
    I have a sneaking suspicion that "adjustable" means "poor machining tolerences" that requires you to squish the bearing laterally to get rid of play, which can't prolong bearing life. This coming from the satisfied owner of two Surly bikes (with Shimano hubs).
    maybe. but, i really think they thought this was some sort of useful feature. it's not useful. it's stupid.

    in any case. this takes me back to my original question, which was, how much does this play really matter? it really seems like it's impossible to get all the play out w/o putting lateral pressure on the bearing. that said, i don't think the play effects the ride quality at all.

  14. #14
    ¡Senor Member! time bandit's Avatar
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    might not be a noticible ride quality effect, but you are gonna kill the bearings faster without the correct ammount of pressure on them. Just read the thread, but a couple of cone wrenches and just be done with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by time bandit View Post
    might not be a noticible ride quality effect, but you are gonna kill the bearings faster without the correct ammount of pressure on them. Just read the thread, but a couple of cone wrenches and just be done with it.
    i've got the wrenches. the proper adjustment isn't happening. it's impossible. there's either play or drag. i'm erring towards the play.

  16. #16
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    Edit.

    Surly uses an oddball ball bearing from what I have read.

    I ran across another post online about these hubs.

    http://mplsbikelove.com/forum/viewto...?f=11&p=240607

    Look about 5 posts down from the top.
    Last edited by MikeWinVA; 12-07-10 at 12:05 AM.
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  17. #17
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    Have you emailed Surly's customer support? They took the time to respond to a guy from the SSFG board who couldn't figure out how to change the tires on his Steamroller so I'm sure they'd have a response for you. I'd be interested in what they have to say.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver_ghost View Post
    Have you emailed Surly's customer support? They took the time to respond to a guy from the SSFG board who couldn't figure out how to change the tires on his Steamroller so I'm sure they'd have a response for you. I'd be interested in what they have to say.
    I'm gonna do this and report back.

  19. #19
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    This should settle this once and for all...

    Response from Surly...
    --------------------------------------------------------

    Hi Tim,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re having some problems with our hubs.

    The reason that you’re having some problems getting a good adjustment out of them is probably because they have been run with play for so long, it has caused uneven wear in the races. Riding with play in your hubs is never a good thing. For sealed bearing hubs that are adjustable like ours or Chris King (though I’m not comparing our hubs to theirs) it is best to run them with a little bit of drag or slightly tighter than what might seem optimal and allowing them to break in. If you can adjust your hubs to a point where they are just a shade tight but still roll alright you should be fine and they will wear in to buttery smoothness. If not, you probably need to get new bearings installed.



    Best regards,
    Johnny
    --------------------------------------------------------


    So I guess that means that over-tightening them is better than having play. It's pretty easy to adjust them "with a little bit of drag or slightly tighter than what might seem optimal and allowing them to break in."

    PS - Anybody have any opinions on this?
    Last edited by tgrssn; 12-10-10 at 10:11 AM. Reason: ps

  20. #20
    Senior Member cnnrmccloskey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgrssn View Post
    Response from Surly...
    --------------------------------------------------------

    Hi Tim,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re having some problems with our hubs.

    The reason that you’re having some problems getting a good adjustment out of them is probably because they have been run with play for so long, it has caused uneven wear in the races. Riding with play in your hubs is never a good thing. For sealed bearing hubs that are adjustable like ours or Chris King (though I’m not comparing our hubs to theirs) it is best to run them with a little bit of drag or slightly tighter than what might seem optimal and allowing them to break in. If you can adjust your hubs to a point where they are just a shade tight but still roll alright you should be fine and they will wear in to buttery smoothness. If not, you probably need to get new bearings installed.



    Best regards,
    Johnny
    --------------------------------------------------------


    So I guess that means that over-tightening them is better than having play. It's pretty easy to adjust them "with a little bit of drag or slightly tighter than what might seem optimal and allowing them to break in."

    PS - Anybody have any opinions on this?
    This is correct slightly too tight is better than play in the hub.
    Quote Originally Posted by Braden1550 View Post
    Monocoque unicycles with internal gear hubs, ridden by extortionists with an excellent sense of balance.

    You'll see. Unless you drilled out your eyes because they were too heavy.

  21. #21
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    I asm guessing that these are radial (cartridge bearings). My old Suntour front hubs have 6001 sealed bearings. When new you adjust all of the play out of the bearing then back off 1/4 turn and lock the adjustment. You should be able to remove any play left at the rim by using the force of the quick release.

  22. #22
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    in surly's response they compared their adjustable hubs to chris king hubs. i looked up the chris king hub manual and found this.

    Break-In
    Once your new hub is placed in service, some settling may occur. Check adjustment by clamping wheel into frame with a quick-release skewer or with Chris King FunBolts. Ride for 5-10 minutes, check for play or binding, and readjust if necessary. Recheck after the first 1-5 hours of riding. Check cog lock ring on rear hubs after the first 20 hours of use, and tighten if necessary. Continue monitoring for the first 60 hours of use.

    During the first 60 hours of use, above average amounts of drag may be noticed. This is normal as the seals break in, and will soon diminish.

    http://chrisking.com/files/pdfs/ISOManual-11-07-A.pdf

    there's a lot of *****ing out there about surly's hubs. this should settle this.

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