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Old 08-18-11, 05:45 PM   #1
Cyclomania
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Anyone else guilty of not cinching down the cone nuts when overhauling a wheel?

I have not been applying very much torque to my adjusting nuts on my wheels. I find that when I put the wheel back on the bike and tighten the quick release, the likelihood of it loosening appears to be nil. I am also guilty of loosely fastening the cassette locknut. Nothing better than having parts that are easily removed

If you feel this is a dangerous practice, please explain why. Thanks!
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Old 08-18-11, 06:36 PM   #2
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If the cone nuts start moving, you run the chance of your wheel suddenly locking up, or just ruining the bearings. A loose cassette lockring can ruin your freehub too.

If you put this in an automotive perspective, "I like to only tighten my lugnuts finger tight, so next time I don't have to spend a few seconds loosening them." That wouldn't be smart.
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Old 08-18-11, 06:44 PM   #3
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If the cone nuts start moving, you run the chance of your wheel suddenly locking up, or just ruining the bearings. A loose cassette lockring can ruin your freehub too.

If you put this in an automotive perspective, "I like to only tighten my lugnuts finger tight, so next time I don't have to spend a few seconds loosening them." That wouldn't be smart.
I guess I should be more specific. Light tension with my cone wrenches, enough to where I am unable to loosen them with my fingers Same goes for the cassette ring. Enough tension with the fastening tool but not enough to cause a headache at the time of removal.
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Old 08-18-11, 06:47 PM   #4
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I agree that a loose cone-locknut interface is a potential accident waiting to happen. I remember one friend who only tightened his locknuts "snug" and had the wheel get hard to turn a few rides later. One cone had turned a about 1/2 rotation inward and bound up the bearings. I'm not sure it necessary to really reef them tight but I do tighten them firmly.

As to lockrings another rider I know was complaining of a rattling noise from his rear wheel and it turned out to be the lockring had vibrated loose and was letting the cassett move a bit. The makers recommend 40-50 N-m torque for a reason.

I'd rather have to work a bit to remove parts than to have them remove themselves. They always seem to pick a bad time to do it.
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Old 08-18-11, 07:09 PM   #5
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An inadequately tightened cassette lockring will loosen up and cause everything from noise to poor shifting, and potentially damage other parts as already mentioned. Might even cause your chain to slip at a very inopportune moment and cause injury to yourself.

An improperly secured locknut on your hub will lead to, at the very least, improperly adjusted bearings. Damage to the bearing assembly, play in the wheel that could affect everything from shifting performance to braking performance; these are just a few things I can think of that could happen.

Other than that, what you're doing seems like a great idea.
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Old 08-18-11, 07:11 PM   #6
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I snug up cone locknuts as tightly as I can. My personal experience has been that, whenever I didn't get them tightly enough, I got the opportunity to readjust the cones real soon. YMMV
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Old 08-18-11, 07:16 PM   #7
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Why go to the trouble of adjusting the hub bearings just right and then not tighten the nut against the cone enough to hold that adjustment?
I will confess to not using a torque wrench on cassette lock rings but I do tighten it pretty tight.
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Old 08-18-11, 07:49 PM   #8
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I forgot to tighten up the locknuts on my Varsity as a kid. They tightened on a fast downhill. Twisted the front axle in half.
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Old 08-18-11, 07:57 PM   #9
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To the OP: Getting the impression that this is not generally considered a good technique?
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Old 08-18-11, 08:22 PM   #10
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Good question. You're learning this the easy way. Sounds like there's a few people, like me, who learned the hard way.
For me, the cone tightened up just enough to make the wheel drag noticably. Could have been much worse, like having it tighten up on a fast downhill.
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Old 08-18-11, 08:52 PM   #11
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The OPs practice will keep the wheel from loosening since the QR or axle nut will keep the locknut securely trapped against the fork. However the forces generated by bearing friction are enough to move the cone inward, tightening the wheel. If the OP doubts this will happen, I point out all the pedals that loosened and fell out, and all the bottom brackets that work loose.

Unfortunately hubs getting loose is only a minor inconvenience, but a hub getting tight is more serious, and can destroy bearings, and can even lock up. Think about the implications of front hub lockup and you'll quickly abandon your "easy" way.

BTW- I've seen cones that were well locked down, so even very tight isn't always tight enough. Anything short of as tight as practical definitely isn't tight enough.
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Old 08-18-11, 08:52 PM   #12
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To the OP: Getting the impression that this is not generally considered a good technique?



...yes, I eat my words!
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Old 08-18-11, 09:13 PM   #13
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Definitely get 'em tight, like everyone advised. It does matter, and the aftermath of your cones going rogue isn't pretty.
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Old 08-19-11, 04:44 AM   #14
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I snug up cone locknuts as tightly as I can. My personal experience has been that, whenever I didn't get them tightly enough, I got the opportunity to readjust the cones real soon. YMMV
LOL! Yeah, I was about to post the very same thought. I kinda learned the hard way what you just said.
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Old 08-19-11, 08:05 AM   #15
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Finger tight on the cone lock nut simply dont cut it. Bearing demand adjustments down to thousandths of an inch, and finger tight will not maintain those clearances. Also with the cone lock nuts tight when the quick release being set will affect bearing clearance less.
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Old 08-19-11, 06:27 PM   #16
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I used to struggle loosening cones using the thin, shorter, stubby dual sided, multi-sized 13-14 and 15-16 cone wrenches. And I cut corners on tighteness, and all sorts of issues from tightening to loosening to cone pitting might have been directly a result of that practice. The simplest solution was to switch to single-sized, long coated handled Park cone wrenches and getting two in each size and wearing some thin gloves during maintenance. Then cone adjustment becomes no struggle at all.
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Old 08-19-11, 07:59 PM   #17
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I used to struggle loosening cones using the thin, shorter, stubby dual sided, multi-sized 13-14 and 15-16 cone wrenches. And I cut corners on tighteness, and all sorts of issues from tightening to loosening to cone pitting might have been directly a result of that practice. The simplest solution was to switch to single-sized, long coated handled Park cone wrenches and getting two in each size and wearing some thin gloves during maintenance. Then cone adjustment becomes no struggle at all.
It's amazing how the right tool can make a job so much easier! Those double ended wrenches are both uncomfortable and lack leverage. I have a pair of Campy double ended cone wrenches and even with those I much prefer the Park SCW-XX wrenches.
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