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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-15-08, 04:59 PM   #1
militantmuffin
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Loose Hubs

Is it normal for the cups and cones in a rear hub to need tightening ever couple of months? the guy at my LBS told me tightening the hubs is pretty routine maintenance, but he doesn't think i should do it myself because it's pretty touchy stuff. So I'm supposed to bring it to them ever couple months to tighten, this this normal?
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Old 11-15-08, 05:53 PM   #2
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this this normal?
No. Time to look for a new shop.

Edit: It's a good idea to check them every so often, but unless you are logging a lot of miles, like thousands, I can't imagine needing to adjust them every couple of months.

Last edited by huerro; 11-15-08 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 11-15-08, 07:49 PM   #3
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what kind of hubs are they?
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Old 11-15-08, 08:03 PM   #4
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I'm going to guess Surly.
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Old 11-15-08, 08:33 PM   #5
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I'm going to guess Surly.
haha, my surly hub goes out every few months. if you dont catch it right away it destroys the bearings. sealed bearings rock.
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Old 11-15-08, 08:35 PM   #6
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I'm going to guess Surly.
bingo.
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Old 11-15-08, 08:36 PM   #7
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haha, my surly hub goes out every few months. if you dont catch it right away it destroys the bearings. sealed bearings rock.
so what should i do? do I need an entirely new hub? that doesn't seem very appealing.
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Old 11-15-08, 09:01 PM   #8
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Haha!
What you need to do is 1. get rid of the ridiculous surly locknut, if it hasn't already shattered on you (possibly while riding as mine did, which is extra fun!), and replace it with a regular hexagonal one, and then 2. get a 15mm (I think) cone wrench and an adjustable wrench, and keep an eye on the hub. If the wheel isn't spinning smoothly, loosen one of the cones, tighten down the locknut, and you're good. If the wheel is flopping around, tighten one of the cones, tighten down the locknut, and you're good. It's really easy; a pain in the a, yeah, but easy.
I've had my Surly hubs for 3 or 4 years now, and as long as you check up on them periodically, they're fine. Still pisses me off that they do this, though.
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Old 11-16-08, 01:33 AM   #9
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so what should i do? do I need an entirely new hub? that doesn't seem very appealing.
No.

Just tighten the hub. You can also inspect it for wear. Unless you're riding a lot of miles, or riding the majority of it in craptacular weather you aren't going to be wearing stuff out that fast. If the hub is loose, repack it and inspect for wear.

Once the hub races are gone it's game over. This is why there are catridge bearing hubs on the market. You can run those into the ground and replace them and the hub shell is reusable for damn near forever.
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Old 11-16-08, 02:08 AM   #10
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Damn. I have Surly hubs and have noticed this problem as well, didn't know it was due to the nature of them being Surly. Are the more typical Formula hubs a better buy in the future?
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Old 11-16-08, 02:23 AM   #11
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Damn. I have Surly hubs and have noticed this problem as well, didn't know it was due to the nature of them being Surly. Are the more typical Formula hubs a better buy in the future?
They just might be as they don't have an adjustable bearing to mess with. Mine have been solid.....
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Old 11-16-08, 06:14 AM   #12
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No.

Just tighten the hub. You can also inspect it for wear. Unless you're riding a lot of miles, or riding the majority of it in craptacular weather you aren't going to be wearing stuff out that fast. If the hub is loose, repack it and inspect for wear.

Once the hub races are gone it's game over. This is why there are catridge bearing hubs on the market. You can run those into the ground and replace them and the hub shell is reusable for damn near forever.
surly hubs are cartridge. in my experience if you dont catch them right away the cartridges self destruct and youre left with a hub that is either loose and spins or seized but has no axel play. you can run em into the ground, but ive gone through 3 sets of bearings in 15 months. at 8 bucks a pop for bearings id rather have loose ball.
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Old 11-16-08, 06:21 AM   #13
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surly hubs are cartridge. in my experience if you dont catch them right away the cartridges self destruct and youre left with a hub that is either loose and spins or seized but has no axel play. you can run em into the ground, but ive gone through 3 sets of bearings in 15 months. at 8 bucks a pop for bearings id rather have loose ball.
Don't discount cartridge bearings because of the Surly hubs; for some odd reason they use an adjustable angular contact bearing, which is quite different than a standard cartridge bearing. Why Surly choose a bearing that is such a PITA is a mystery......
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Old 11-16-08, 03:53 PM   #14
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Don't discount cartridge bearings because of the Surly hubs; for some odd reason they use an adjustable angular contact bearing, which is quite different than a standard cartridge bearing. Why Surly choose a bearing that is such a PITA is a mystery......
funny thing is i read somewhere that they used the angular bearing to better handle lateral forces, iirc. even though im sure standard cartridge bearings are more reliable ill stick with loose ball hubs.
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Old 11-16-08, 07:58 PM   #15
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The problem with Surly hubs as I see it is that the cover dealie that goes between the cone and the bearing doesn't have a stop on it - if they just had some kind of guard that would keep that part from smushing the bearing when it magically overtightens, there wouldn't be a problem. Well, I guess there would still be the problem of them loosening, but that's a lot easier to deal with than having to pick the remains of the bearing shell out of your hub with a dental tool or whatever.

I've heard that slotted axles don't do this, but I have a couple of wheels with seemingly the same type of axle which are fine. So who knows. But, yes, i would take formulas over Surlys in a heartbeat.
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Old 06-05-09, 06:01 AM   #16
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haha, my surly hub goes out every few months. if you dont catch it right away it destroys the bearings. sealed bearings rock.
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I'm amused how quickly you all guessed the hub was a Surly. I've been frustrated by how frequently my Surly New Hub loosens and wondering if I'm doing something wrong... seems like I'm not the only one.
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Old 06-05-09, 08:27 AM   #17
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Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I'm amused how quickly you all guessed the hub was a Surly. I've been frustrated by how frequently my Surly New Hub loosens and wondering if I'm doing something wrong... seems like I'm not the only one.
i have surly hubs too and they need adjusting again...i feel your frustration...i haven't fussed with mine since back in january but there is a little bit of play in the hubs...darn it
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Old 07-02-09, 02:03 PM   #18
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I have been checking the play on my hubs and they don't seem to be getting worse, they wiggle just slightly but I am going to get myself some cone wrenches so I can adjust them properly. Let the tinkering begin.
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