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Old 02-11-12, 10:10 PM   #1
Raleigh71
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What's with the washers on this cone. See photo

I noticed one of the cones in my 'collection' has these 2 loose washers on it.

What purpose?


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Old 02-11-12, 10:20 PM   #2
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Need more info, but it looks like a single piece with the two split rings in a groove. This is a crapshoot guess based on that.

That's a common arrangement to form a spring clip to hold an outer part that would slip over the cone. The split rings compress as the outer part is fitted, then expand into a mating groove to trap it in place.

For hub cones, it's possible that the mating part is some sort of dust cover or a faring like Campy used some years back.
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Old 02-12-12, 12:03 AM   #3
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I have no idea what the answer is but its so weird that you asked that question. Just last saturday, someone came up to the shop boss at the bike coop that I work at and asked that same exact question about their cones. No one knew then so I'm really curious now.
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Old 02-12-12, 12:25 AM   #4
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Those are Shimano's old seal design. They later switched to rubber lip seals. I think there was some overlap where these were used on low-end stuff while rubber seals were used on better hubs.
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Old 02-12-12, 11:19 AM   #5
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Yup. Just crude seals.
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Old 02-12-12, 12:09 PM   #6
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+1 on the seals. Those are plastic. There is nothing to retain around their groove. It's just a groove cut into a one-piece cone.
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Old 02-12-12, 01:57 PM   #7
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Need more info, but it looks like a single piece with the two split rings in a groove. This is a crapshoot guess based on that.

That's a common arrangement to form a spring clip to hold an outer part that would slip over the cone. The split rings compress as the outer part is fitted, then expand into a mating groove to trap it in place.

For hub cones, it's possible that the mating part is some sort of dust cover or a faring like Campy used some years back.
Good guess! Some wheels come with rubber seals that are clipped in place by sliding them over those c-rings. The rings seat in a groove in the seal to keep them in place.
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Old 02-12-12, 02:27 PM   #8
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Good guess! Some wheels come with rubber seals that are clipped in place by sliding them over those c-rings. The rings seat in a groove in the seal to keep them in place.
Those are plastic rings. They don't retain anything. They ride inside the inner diameter of a hub mounted stamped sheet steel dust cover, which is flanged to have a cylindrical inner surface which fits around the cone where the rings are.
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Old 02-13-12, 09:36 AM   #9
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Yes I agree it is a seal design, some of you may remember something similar on the bolt of your M16/M4 in boot camp at Paris Island. Also something similar is used in engine piston rings

OH BTW move the open portion of the rings away from each other atleast 1/4 of the way around the cone
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Old 02-13-12, 10:44 AM   #10
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Those are Shimano's old seal design. They later switched to rubber lip seals. I think there was some overlap where these were used on low-end stuff while rubber seals were used on better hubs.
For a rough time frame, my '92 Cannondale touring bike came with Exage 400 hubs with this design. My '95 hybrid came with Alivio hubs with rubber seals. I couldn't keep the Exage hub innards clean for anything. The Alivios went through several winters of Minnesota sand and salt, and the grease looked factory fresh when I finally tore into them.
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Old 02-13-12, 09:37 PM   #11
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Sounds like those little plastic split-rings are sort of useless.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 02-14-12, 08:59 PM   #12
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Sounds like those little plastic split-rings are sort of useless.

Thanks for the info!
They keep grit out of the hub. The fit between cone and dust cover may not be close enough without them even if you use a lot of grease in there to catch any grit before the grit can reach the grease which is stirred by the bearing balls and damage a race.
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Old 02-14-12, 10:56 PM   #13
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Agreed, they're not useless. Leave them on.
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Old 02-14-12, 11:08 PM   #14
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Agreed, they're not useless. Leave them on.
Some 40+ years ago an old time engineer gave me a good lesson that's apropos here.

There are no useless parts on manufactured products. Every designer and production manager is under heavy pressure to keep costs down and since every part costs money, they would have eliminated any useless part, along with some that might have been useful.

If the engineers didn't feel those split washers served an important purpose they wouldn't be making Shimano waste the penny or whatever using them.
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Old 02-14-12, 11:22 PM   #15
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There are no useless parts on manufactured products. Every designer and production manager is under heavy pressure to keep costs down and since every part costs money, they would have eliminated any useless part, along with some that might have been useful.
What about the parts that are put there for marketing purposes?
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Old 02-14-12, 11:36 PM   #16
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What about the parts that are put there for marketing purposes?
Is marketing not a use?
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Old 02-14-12, 11:43 PM   #17
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What about the parts that are put there for marketing purposes?
Marketing is a purpose, but these washers would'nt qualify as marketing items because most people don't even know they're there. So that means the engineers figured they served a mechanical purpose.

I've set up production machinery, and it's drilled into your head that every operation, every detail, is an extra liability even if it's overlapped and doesn't add to the production time. That groove the washers fit in, means a tool to be set and maintained. Another inspection check, and more potential for rejects, which on automatic machines can mean lots of parts before the fault is detected.

Whether they actually do what they're supposed is another story.
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Old 02-15-12, 06:15 PM   #18
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What about the parts that are put there for marketing purposes?
Those rings are buried in the dust cap and I have never seen Shimano advertise them. No one knows about them when buying a bike.

They keep grit out of the hub. They come on Deore hubs which are for MTBs.

If one is lost maybe a substitute could be cobbled up out of a greased piece of twine with the ends superglued together?
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Old 02-15-12, 06:28 PM   #19
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Those are plastic rings. They don't retain anything. They ride inside the inner diameter of a hub mounted stamped sheet steel dust cover, which is flanged to have a cylindrical inner surface which fits around the cone where the rings are.
I'll take your word for it, although If there was a dust cover involved I'd kinda expect to see it on the cone. My e-bike has something similar, but only one ring, definately metal and holds on a rubber seal. Looked similar and I assumed they were.
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