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Shimano cup and cone adjustment

Old 04-02-16, 12:36 PM
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Shimano cup and cone adjustment

I recently cleaned and re greased my Shimano m8000 hubs. I understand how to tension bearings from my past Automotive experience. So I got them done and they were smooth spinning and had no free play. After a couple 25 mile rides I noticed my front wheel had a slight amount of Wiggle when I grabbed the top of the tire and flexed it side to side while it was on the bike. I thought maybe it was excessive so I took the wheel off and retentioned the bearings. No matter how perfect I get them when I put the wheel back on the bike it either has a slight amount of end play or it will after my next ride. But I don't want to get the bearings too tight to eliminate the end play at the expense of burning up my bearings. And I'm not sure how much endplay is allowable that won't cause damage from being too loose. I remember on cars when we used to pack and re grease front wheel bearings, even when they were properly torqued and you put the cotter pin in the hole to hold it, a lot of times there was a tiny amount of end play and that was acceptable. But I'm not sure about a bike wheel. This bike will be used on ragbrai this year so it will be getting some miles. Also I have heard people say that there should be a tiny amount of endplay off the bike because once you clamp the quick-release down it flexes the hollow axle and takes up some of that endplay. I have not been able to notice that clamping the wheel in my bike Fork has removed any endplay that I had on the bench.

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Old 04-02-16, 12:41 PM
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Too much to read, single spaced ..

Do you Own Cone wrenches ? You need thin ones ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-02-16 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 04-02-16, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Do you Own Cone wrenches ? You need thin ones ..
Yes I own an entire set
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Old 04-02-16, 12:48 PM
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bound to be videos on You tube .. In the shop I use 2 of the same size on opposite sides ..




One thing happens with QR axles is the axle is compressed so the bearing adjustment is a bit loose

until the QR skewer is Tightened and wheel in the bike
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Old 04-02-16, 01:28 PM
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A small amount of bearing play, as felt at the rim, is ok and with some bearings actually designed in. A mm or two of play at the rim will likely not be felt during riding (note I don't say when stopped or walking the bike).

But before you go too much further you might want to pull the axle out and count the balls on each side. Having one ball too many can cause all kinds of bearing adjusting problems.

Not knowing the hub's locknut design I can't say if this trick will work but I'll often use a bench vise to help with adjusting an axle. If the nut has full flats on it you can mount the wheel in the vise by holding one lock nut, after making sure this side's cone and lock nut are well tightened against each other. Then the wheel is held horizontal above the vise, the axle is held stable so it won't turn while you work the exposed side cone and lock nut. After making a bearing adjustment and tightening the cone and nut you can both spin the wheel as well as wiggle it up and down to discern the adjustment.

I also usually work (counter loosen) one cone against the other side's cone to slightly loosen an adjustment or work the two lock nuts to tighten the adjustment a small amount.

here's a link to a device that also loads the axle in compression while allowing a earing adjustment. Stein Tools for Hubs, Cassettes and Freewheels I have one and it works well. I just don't have the need to use it much. Andy.
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Old 04-02-16, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
A small amount of bearing play, as felt at the rim, is ok and with some bearings actually designed in. A mm or two of play at the rim will likely not be felt during riding (note I don't say when stopped or walking the bike).

But before you go too much further you might want to pull the axle out and count the balls on each side. Having one ball too many can cause all kinds of bearing adjusting problems.

Not knowing the hub's locknut design I can't say if this trick will work but I'll often use a bench vise to help with adjusting an axle. If the nut has full flats on it you can mount the wheel in the vise by holding one lock nut, after making sure this side's cone and lock nut are well tightened against each other. Then the wheel is held horizontal above the vise, the axle is held stable so it won't turn while you work the exposed side cone and lock nut. After making a bearing adjustment and tightening the cone and nut you can both spin the wheel as well as wiggle it up and down to discern the adjustment.

I also usually work (counter loosen) one cone against the other side's cone to slightly loosen an adjustment or work the two lock nuts to tighten the adjustment a small amount.

here's a link to a device that also loads the axle in compression while allowing a earing adjustment. Stein Tools for Hubs, Cassettes and Freewheels I have one and it works well. I just don't have the need to use it much. Andy.
I would say my end play has been a couple mm so maybe I am to anal. These hubs have 17 mm cones and aluminum end caps that take an Allen wrench to tighten against the cone to secure.
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Old 04-02-16, 05:27 PM
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SHIMANO Dealer's Manual / User's Manual
Originally Posted by trail_monkey View Post
I would say my end play has been a couple mm so maybe I am to anal. These hubs have 17 mm cones and aluminum end caps that take an Allen wrench to tighten against the cone to secure.
With the oversized axles there should be no play in the bearings before the wheel is installed.
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Old 04-02-16, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
SHIMANO Dealer's Manual / User's Manual

With the oversized axles there should be no play in the bearings before the wheel is installed.
OK now that makes sense. That would explain why I can't notice any slack take up with these hubs once I clamp the QR down.
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Old 04-03-16, 01:00 PM
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1 or 2mm play at the rim probably won't do any harm, but it's not acceptable for me when I adjust a hub. With good quality hubs there should be no play at all at the rim.
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Old 04-03-16, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
1 or 2mm play at the rim probably won't do any harm, but it's not acceptable for me when I adjust a hub. With good quality hubs there should be no play at all at the rim.
With adjustable angular contact bearings I agree but will err on the slightly loose side always, if I need to err. However with radial contact bearings a side load/pre load will wear the race out prematurely. Andy.
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Old 04-03-16, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
With adjustable angular contact bearings I agree but will err on the slightly loose side always, if I need to err. However with radial contact bearings a side load/pre load will wear the race out prematurely. Andy.
We were talking about adjustable angular bearings here, sealed not adjustable bearings may have a bit of play but you can't usually do much about it.
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Old 04-03-16, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
1 or 2mm play at the rim probably won't do any harm, but it's not acceptable for me when I adjust a hub. With good quality hubs there should be no play at all at the rim.
I think after a few tries I finally got it perfect. No play at wheel and not too tight. I can lift front of bike off the ground and give the wheel a good spin and it spins goods and free for a while on its own with no drag. And after a few rides around the block still no play.
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Old 04-03-16, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by trail_monkey View Post
I think after a few tries I finally got it perfect. No play at wheel and not too tight. I can lift front of bike off the ground and give the wheel a good spin and it spins goods and free for a while on its own with no drag. And after a few rides around the block still no play.
My own test for "free" is to spin the wheel slowly and see if it goes backwards after stopping (won't work with a perfectly balanced wheel though).
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