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  1. #1
    wutDA kermIT?! Supreme's Avatar
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    Surly hub has play?!?! help the ultra noob

    i picked up my first fixie off of craigslist and it came with a surly flip flop hub. the previous owner had it on the freewheel side when i picked it up, so i brought it home and took off the rear wheel and flipped it to the fixie side. (had cogs on both sides)

    after i bolted the wheel down i took it for a test ride and noticed the rear wheel had alot of play and after a few full pedals the pedaling got really tight so i stopped. when i took it back to the garage i noticed the casing that holds the bearings were loose.

    i read on few of the other threads that i need cone wrenches to tighten the lock that holds the bearings, but my question is would this do the trick? and if someone can explain why the pedaling got tighter?!?!

    heres a picture of what i tried tightening with some plyers (dont have the cone wrenches), thinking that it would fix the problem.. but it didnt.





    thank guys...

  2. #2
    No plan. peabodypride's Avatar
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    yeah, what's happening is the hub itself has cartridge bearings inside and there are cone nuts on the axle, followed by lock nuts. The cone nuts need to engage the bearing surface well, loose enough to not bind, but tight enough to have minimal lateral play (some is normal). You might as well go buy a set of cone wrenches in different sizes, they are super cheap. Keep in mind you might need two of one size at any given time, so if you're serious about maintainence you might as well drop $25 on two sets.

    As you pedalled the cone nuts may have tightened against the bearings. Not a high probability but maybe. In that case you may have damaged both the cone nuts and bearings, but they're both cheap.

    You should bring the bike into a shop for a once-over for maintainence issues you might not have noticed since the previous owner looks like he wasn't a wrench wizzard.

    Oh, you need bike-specific cone wrenches because they need to be of a very small width to be able to adjust the nuts.

  3. #3
    wutDA kermIT?! Supreme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peabodypride View Post
    yeah, what's happening is the hub itself has cartridge bearings inside and there are cone nuts on the axle, followed by lock nuts. The cone nuts need to engage the bearing surface well, loose enough to not bind, but tight enough to have minimal lateral play (some is normal). You might as well go buy a set of cone wrenches in different sizes, they are super cheap. Keep in mind you might need two of one size at any given time, so if you're serious about maintainence you might as well drop $25 on two sets.

    As you pedalled the cone nuts may have tightened against the bearings. Not a high probability but maybe. In that case you may have damaged both the cone nuts and bearings, but they're both cheap.

    You should bring the bike into a shop for a once-over for maintainence issues you might not have noticed since the previous owner looks like he wasn't a wrench wizzard.

    Oh, you need bike-specific cone wrenches because they need to be of a very small width to be able to adjust the nuts.


    hey, thanks for the quick reply!

    i called my lbs and he said to just bring in the wheel for a hub overhaul ($12). but from what you recommended i think ill take the whole bike in for a check up. thanks!

  4. #4
    No plan. peabodypride's Avatar
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    that price sounds good, they might give you new bearings and cones for $12.

  5. #5
    jpdesjar
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    i noticed some play in my rear wheel also a surly and my friend at the bike shop adjusted things...it actually may have loosened up a bit over time...time to get some cone wrenches i guess

  6. #6
    Senior Member bakaster's Avatar
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    one thing to remember is that cone wrenches (while over all cheap) are still afflicted with the question of quality. since they need to be so thin, it might be worth shelling out a little more bread for ones that will last longer seeing that the really cheap ones can bend (i bought a cheapo crappy one and bent it the first time i used it, and so i had to borrow my dad's which he has had for the last 20 some odd years)

    "Cheap tools are never a bargain, and this is especially true of cone wrenches. Because of their extreme thinness for the nut sizes they ht, cone wrenches must be made of especially high quality steel to stand up to the normal stresses that they will be subjected to in use. Inferior cone wrenches will bend, often the first time that they are used, and so become useless. "
    ~Sheldon Brown
    Last edited by bakaster; 08-20-08 at 09:17 AM. Reason: adding content
    A good ride is one you can walk away from.
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