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AzarT 04-08-15 12:36 PM

Troubleshooting a Stubborn Hub
Hi all,

I'm a bike mechanic, so I understand the steps in a hub overhaul already- no need for help on that. I'm just having an issue with a particular hub with loose bearings. I make the final hub adjustment and it feels as smooth as I can manage without any play. I put the wheel in the truing stand and tighten the truing fork arms onto the locknuts and as soon as I check the wheel again it has a good amount of play.

It seems that even when I get the cones tight to the point where the hub has a little texture when I put it in the truing stand it STILL has a decent amount of play such that I can't effectively true the wheel.

Has anyone run into this? I checked the axle and it doesn't seem to be bent. I have 9 bearings on each side which seems to be the right amount. The race and cones are not pitted. Does this customer just have ill-fitting hardware? Does this mean the hub is shot? Any ideas?

Thanks for your help!


davidad 04-08-15 12:45 PM

Hub type or brand?

AzarT 04-08-15 12:53 PM

It looks like it says Logan on it, but I'm not familiar with that name. It is a front wheel hub with disk brake capability.

Leebo 04-08-15 01:42 PM

So, cone nut and then a locknut on each side? Hub spaced correctly?

Bill Kapaun 04-08-15 01:47 PM

9 bearings per side? Sounds ODD!
Typical is TEN 3/16" balls, although there are other combinations such as 11 and I've seen Huffys with NINE 1/4" balls.

79pmooney 04-08-15 01:55 PM

Any chance that the cups are a loose fit in the hubs? Ie much looser than the proper press fit? And is there still play after the whell is on a bike and the QR tight?

I have no answers, just thoughts.


hueyhoolihan 04-08-15 02:16 PM

try another wheel in the stand to eliminate truing stand problems. then replace locknuts from those on a wheel that has been tested successfully. then replace bearings. in otherwords, work backwards from the endpoints.

at least that's what i would do if i had the resources at my disposal. :)

Andrew R Stewart 04-08-15 04:27 PM

My guess is loose hub shell cups too. Andy

CliffordK 04-08-15 04:55 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Have you checked that the axle is not bent?

I've run into low-end Shimano hubs that come stock with very rough cones. RM-30, RM-40, and similar hubs. Are the cones either black... or perhaps galvanized?

I use a spare axle, put the cones backwards on the axle with a locknut, then throw it in the lathe for a few minutes. By hand hit it with about 300 grit sandpaper, then 600 to 1000 grit sandpaper (perhaps with oil).

You could probably do the same thing with a drillpress. Here are some photos of cones I've polished, sorry it is hard to get a perfect photo. Also polished up the hub in the one photo. See the outward facing polished vs inward facing non-polished cones.

Small circumferential scratches around the cone don't make a big difference.

Most of the Shimano races I've found have been pretty good, but on my Mongoose, they had PAINTED the races which is a pain to deal with.

FBinNY 04-08-15 05:20 PM

If this is a rear hub, there's the chance that the freehub body isn't secure to the shell. Before doing anything, put the wheel back in the stand, and work the rim while holding it where the freehub and shell meet, and feel for deflections.

reptilezs 04-08-15 05:41 PM

yup make sure the freehub body bolt is tight. the cup could also be cracked

RoadTire 04-08-15 05:54 PM

What happens when you grasp (very firmly) the axel on both sides of the wheel and try to move it? Any play then? Or if you clamp the wheel back into the dropouts and try to wiggle it? Can you feel play in it then?

bikeman715 04-08-15 05:56 PM

Check for one or both cups to be loose in the hub . If so then the hub need to be replace . With a loose cup (S) you never will get the adjustment right , it just keep moving .

AzarT 04-09-15 09:44 AM

Hi all,

Thanks for all the help.I've tried many different angles to see what's going on here. I've ruled out the truing stand and bent axle- both are looking good.

I think it may be a loose cup- I can visibly see the hub shell wobbling around the axle/hardware when the axle is locked and held stationary in the truing stand.

The thing that is perplexing to me is when I have it out of the truing stand, the adjustment on the cones feels both textured/overtight AND has a one spot of play in the rotation at the same time. How can this be?

Thanks for all the help. This is my first time posting on this forum and I'm excited to learn from other mechanics on here.


AzarT 04-09-15 09:46 AM

I also added an additional bearing on each side. Thanks, Bill.

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