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  1. #1
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    What's the trick to adjusting hubs properly?

    I always seem to get them either too tight or too loose, can't seem to get it right. Do you guys have any tricks that might help me out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by camaddy
    I always seem to get them either too tight or too loose, can't seem to get it right. Do you guys have any tricks that might help me out?
    Screw in the cone by hand until it's snug then back up just a little. Tighten. If it's still too tight, use two cone wrenches on both cones and tighten outwards (away from the bearings).

  3. #3
    Get the stick. darkmother's Avatar
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    Check this out: Very good article.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/cone-adjustment.html

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    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    If the bearings are dirty, it'll be impossible to get it "just right", because the dirt will make contact to the races before the balls do. So it will feel too loose... too loose... then all of a sudden too tight.
    My bikes | Linux and Python stuff | Photo gallery

    Sheldon Brown, I miss you. Thanks for the advice, ideas, humor, and infectious enthusiasm for everything bikes...

  5. #5
    SJK
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    I have just been through this so I think I have a good method down. First, work only on one side of the axle. Make sure the other side is good and tight and that the wheel will be centered. Then, I hand tighten the cones (with the lock nut off) until there is just a tiny bit of play. I check this by “wiggling” the axle. Again, it should wiggle just a tiny bit. Then you simply put one cone wrench on the cone on the side you are working on and don’t move it-just hold it in place. Then hand tighten the lock nut and then using the other cone wrench finish tightening the loose lock nut all while keeping the cone in place.

    It might take a couple of tries but when you are finished you should have your “tiny tiny bit of wiggle” adjustment locked in place so that it disappears when you lock your quick release.
    Last edited by SJK; 04-07-05 at 08:52 AM.

  6. #6
    Turtle guy one_less_car's Avatar
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    Two points:

    I was always frustrated when I would get the hubs just right and then, upon tightening the locknut (hold the cone with a cone wrench, tighten the locknut), they would end up too tight. I find that if I instead make it slightly too tight and then tighten the cone agaist locknut (locknut held motionless, cone turned counterclockwise), it works out better. I know this sounds like it can't work since it is the relative motion between the two that counts and they are just being tightened agianst each other, but it works for me. Using an axel vice makes it easier.

    The other point is from Sheldon Brown's site. When I learned this I realized my hubs had been too tight for many years.
    "Quick-release hubs are trickier to adjust, because the quick-release mechanism compresses the axle slightly when it is tightened. If you adjust the cones so that they feel just right off the bike, they will bind up when you tighten the quick release. You must set the cones so that there is a little bit of play when the hub is off the bike, or when the wheel is installed with the quick-release just barely tightened."

  7. #7
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    When I adjust quick release hubs I use two box wrenches as 'fake dropouts' in order to give the skewer something to clamp down on to simulate the axle compression. I tighten the cones an 1/8 of a turn, clamp the skewer, and check for play, then I release the skewer, and continue to tighten until I get it to the magic point where there is a little play with the skewer released, and none with the skewer compressed.

    To do the locknuts I put one wrench on the cone and hold it in place, then use another wrench to tighten the locknut, that ensures that the cone doesn't move.

    I'm still a relative beginner, and I don't trust myself, which is why I use the 'tighten/release/tighten/release/repeat' method which probably takes more time than an experienced rebuilder would, but it ensures success.

    peace,
    sam

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    What kind of condition are the cones in? If they're pitted even a little bit, you won't be able to get the hub adjustment perfect.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rixtory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phidauex
    When I adjust quick release hubs I use two box wrenches as 'fake dropouts' in order to give the skewer something to clamp down on to simulate the axle compression. I tighten the cones an 1/8 of a turn, clamp the skewer, and check for play, then I release the skewer, and continue to tighten until I get it to the magic point where there is a little play with the skewer released, and none with the skewer compressed.

    To do the locknuts I put one wrench on the cone and hold it in place, then use another wrench to tighten the locknut, that ensures that the cone doesn't move.

    I'm still a relative beginner, and I don't trust myself, which is why I use the 'tighten/release/tighten/release/repeat' method which probably takes more time than an experienced rebuilder would, but it ensures success.

    peace,
    sam
    My LBS Gave me the similar advice when I tore down my old 105 wheels cleaned and regreased my ball bearings.
    1. Remove springs from Skewer and use the box wrench on the clamp handle side to simulate a dropout
    2. Use the retaining screw ring from your Presta Valve on the other side of the skewer before putting
    skewer nut on to simulate other dropout.
    3. Attach the skewer nut and tighten.
    4. Clamp skewer closed to simulate wheel on bike.
    5. Tighten the cone so there is no play and wheel spins freely and smoothly.
    6. Tighten locknut.
    7. Release skewer and there should be a little play.
    8. Recheck Locknut one final time.
    9. Remove entire assembly to put in one last ball bearing you found rolling around on the work bench
    behind the tube of axle grease.
    10. Enjoy cold one!!!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member marcusbandito's Avatar
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