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Old 05-26-11, 05:33 PM   #1
b4helmets
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New bike

Hi there!
I have just bought a new bike, but when I removed the front wheel and spin it the bearings feel like they are square. Is this normal for a new bike?
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Old 05-26-11, 06:01 PM   #2
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Where did you buy the bike?
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Old 05-26-11, 06:11 PM   #3
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No, it isn't normal but it isn't uncommon if the person assembling the bike didn't adjust the hubs. Very common for hubs to be delivered too tight which will feel like what you are describing.
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Old 05-26-11, 06:59 PM   #4
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If possible, take the bike back to have the hub bearings adjusted so that it spins freely.
Or, do it yourself: http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...and-adjustment

It is also possible that in addition to too tight, the hub also doesn't have enough grease.
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Old 05-26-11, 08:24 PM   #5
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In my experience a hub would need to be pretty darn tight and notchy feeling before a shop will say "that's not right" and adjust it. Every wheel and hub I've ever bought new was set up a touch too tight. Likely with the idea in mind that a little too tight is better than a touch too loose since LOOSE bearings will destroy themselves sooner than too tight bearings.

But if you're enough of a keener to have noticed it in the first place your best bet will be to get a cone wrench and learn to do the bearing preload adjustment yourself. Then check them about 3 times a year or whenever you clean your bike wheels.

What you're looking for a just a little drag without them actually feeling "notchy" or like they have sand in them. It's a fussy bit of adjusting and it takes a bit of thinking about how best to do it.

Also if they are quick release skewer axles then be aware that the tension from the skewer will compress the axles enough to seriously affect this setting. Almost all cup and cone hubs when set correctly will have a touch of play in the axle when the QR skewer is not done up. So the actual adjustment needs to be done with the skewer in place and done up to more or less the same effort that it is on the bike.
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Old 05-27-11, 10:58 AM   #6
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Welcome new poster. Please READ THIS
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Old 05-27-11, 04:52 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your replies!
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Old 05-28-11, 06:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by b4helmets View Post
Thanks everyone for your replies!
You never said what make and type of bike you have. If it's a good quality one, then adjusting the hubs will smooth them out and my experience follows BCRider's that most new hubs come a bit too tight.

However, if it's a Wal Mart/K-Mart bike, the hubs may never run smoothly no matter what you do. Their cones and races aren't made well enough to allow silky running. I've spent a lot of time reworking the hubs on cheap Huffy and similar kids bikes for my grandchildren and, while I can make them operate better than as-received, they will never be really good.
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