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Adjusting Hubs/Cones without Axle Vise?

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Adjusting Hubs/Cones without Axle Vise?

Old 05-16-20, 07:55 AM
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TakingMyTime
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Adjusting Hubs/Cones without Axle Vise?

Without an axle vise I always seem to work extra hard to get that "perfect" adjustment since it seems that the opposite side will loosen due to axle rotation while tightening the other side. I always seem to have to initially set the cones a little tight, and then when I do the final 1/16th of a turn to tighten the cones it sets them where they should be. I always keep thinking there's got to be a better way when not having access to an axle vise.
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Old 05-16-20, 08:28 AM
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I only use a axle vice for taking a hub apart that I don't want to lose any bearings on, I reassemble them and adjust them by feel, using a axle vice to adjust the hub would be way to hard.

Glenn
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Old 05-16-20, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
Without an axle vise I always seem to work extra hard to get that "perfect" adjustment since it seems that the opposite side will loosen due to axle rotation while tightening the other side. I always seem to have to initially set the cones a little tight, and then when I do the final 1/16th of a turn to tighten the cones it sets them where they should be. I always keep thinking there's got to be a better way when not having access to an axle vise.
Iíve been adjusting bearings for decades and I donít even know what an ďaxle viseĒ is...
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Old 05-16-20, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Glennfordx4 View Post
I only use a axle vice for taking a hub apart that I don't want to lose any bearings on, I reassemble them and adjust them by feel, using a axle vice to adjust the hub would be way to hard.

Glenn
What is frustrating me and what I can't get around is that the the gaps between cup and cone increase ever so slightly due to the axle rotation while I tighten the opposite side.
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Old 05-16-20, 09:35 AM
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Not an expert, but I aim for slightly overtight, and keep trying until it comes out about as good as it's going to get. A bit frustrating, but two or three tries usually does it. Slightly crunchy often loosens up to just right if you have quick release squewers, as they squeeze things a bit.
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Old 05-16-20, 09:37 AM
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I’m pretty picky about adjusting my hubs and spend way too much time trying to get them exactly right. When I have a NDS locknut that doesn’t thread as smoothly, I make the final adjustment with the NDS cone. I hold the DS locknut while I thread the NDS locknut and get things snug. I make the final adjustment backing off the NDS cone, or turning the NDS cone and locknut, or whatever I need to do.

As long as can I remember I’ve adjust hubs sitting down. For me there is just a certain feel or connection, so I just get comfy and work on it. I can’t imagine adjusting hubs standing up with the wheel in a vise.

John
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Old 05-16-20, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuckles1 View Post
Not an expert, but I aim for slightly overtight, and keep trying until it comes out about as good as it's going to get. A bit frustrating, but two or three tries usually does it. Slightly crunchy often loosens up to just right if you have quick release squewers, as they squeeze things a bit.
Wrong direction. The quick release does compress the bearings. If they are tight, they get tighter. Thatís not the right direction. The bearings should be a little loose so that they tighten just enough when squeezed by the quick release.
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Old 05-16-20, 09:54 AM
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I've only done it a couple of times in years (mostly sealed bearings now), but the "too tight" method works fine. Years ago John Barnett (of the Institute in OR, now closed I think) had a method in which the wheel was placed in a truing stand, rotated until the hole for the tube was at 90 degrees and allowed to swing back and forth (which it would do because the hole location was lighter) . When it went the requisite number of swings, it was adjusted correctly. Worked great at the time.
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Old 05-16-20, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Glennfordx4 View Post
I only use a axle vice for taking a hub apart that I don't want to lose any bearings on, I reassemble them and adjust them by feel, using a axle vice to adjust the hub would be way to hard.

Glenn
I use this kind of axle vise, makes adjusting the cones while under QR tension a snap. https://www.steintool.com/portfolio-...ub-axle-vises/
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Old 05-16-20, 10:24 AM
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Way I do it- start with a bit of extra bearing clearance. One side has the cone and the lock nut pair tightened down pretty tight, the other side not quite as tight. To tighten, wrench on each side at the lock nut, turn clockwise a hair at a time. You have to clamp the wheel into the frame to verify the adjustment. To loosen, cone wrenches on each side at the cone, turn ccw a hair. Check clamped in the frame. Repeat until satisfied. You may want to tighten up the "not as tight" cone and lock nut pair.
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Old 05-16-20, 11:07 AM
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I use a 3/8" nut to simulate the drop outs on the drive side of the axle. I install the QR and then adjust the bearings with a small amount of preload. When the QR is opened the bearings will have a small amount of play that goes away when the wheel is installed.
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Old 05-16-20, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
I use this kind of axle vise, makes adjusting the cones while under QR tension a snap. https://www.steintool.com/portfolio-...ub-axle-vises/
I had made a home-brew similar device, but the Stein tool is much easier to use, and not too expensive. You can also adjust bearings without an axle vise by using the QR skewer to hold the wheel to the *outside* of a frame dropout. Again, the Stein tool is much easier.
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Old 05-16-20, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
You have to clamp the wheel into the frame to verify the adjustment. To loosen, cone wrenches on each side at the cone, turn ccw a hair. Check clamped in the frame. Repeat until satisfied. You may want to tighten up the "not as tight" cone and lock nut pair.
The axle vise allows this adjustment without taking the wheel in and out of the frame. Easier.
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Old 05-16-20, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I canít imagine adjusting hubs standing up with the wheel in a vise.
Tech Tip: You can sit while making these adjustments to the hub!
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Old 05-16-20, 07:19 PM
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You are using a cone wrench and as locknut wrench or wrench for the locknut at the same time?

Cheers
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Old 05-17-20, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
You are using a cone wrench and as locknut wrench or wrench for the locknut at the same time?
Two wrenches required: one for the cone and one for the locknut.
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Old 05-17-20, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
Two wrenches required: one for the cone and one for the locknut.
My post should have read:
"You are using a cone wrench and a locknut wrench or wrench for the locknut at the same time?"
instead of:
"You are using a cone wrench and as locknut wrench or wrench for the locknut at the same time?"

Cheers
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Old 05-17-20, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
I had made a home-brew similar device, but the Stein tool is much easier to use, and not too expensive. You can also adjust bearings without an axle vise by using the QR skewer to hold the wheel to the *outside* of a frame dropout. Again, the Stein tool is much easier.
I'm a fan of Stein tools generally, and I do own a Stein axle vise, but I have found using my Hozan axle vise in the same manner works much better. I can pass the skewer through the vise and the axle and the vise holds the axle securely so play can be detected.
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Old 05-17-20, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
My post should have read...
That was for the OP in case there was any confusion. Thanks!
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Old 05-17-20, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
...I do own a Stein axle vise, but I have found using my Hozan axle vise in the same manner works much better. I can pass the skewer through the vise and the axle and the vise holds the axle securely so play can be detected.
Hi, Dan. I meant that the Stein tool works better than my home-made one.
The Hozan tool looks very nice, but seems to be relatively unavailable and costs about twice as much as the Stein tool. At the rate I service hubs (maybe 4 a year), the Stein tool works well enough.
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Old 05-17-20, 10:30 AM
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Thanks for all the tool suggestions and advice. For the record, I've adjusted cup and cones many times. I just kept thinking that there was maybe one "secret" trick that once I learned it I'd be a cone adjusting God. I guess a little frustration comes with the territory. Although I am going to pickup an axle vise and see if that speeds things up.

Thanks,
TMT
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Old 05-17-20, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
Thanks for all the tool suggestions and advice. For the record, I've adjusted cup and cones many times. I just kept thinking that there was maybe one "secret" trick that once I learned it I'd be a cone adjusting God. I guess a little frustration comes with the territory. Although I am going to pickup an axle vise and see if that speeds things up.

Thanks,
TMT
In my honest opinion an axle vice won't really speed things up.

I think that there's a learning curve in adjusting any cup and cone setup and that includes hubs, headsets and bottom brackets. Practice and experience makes it easier each time.

Cheers
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Old 05-17-20, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
Iíve been adjusting bearings for decades and I donít even know what an ďaxle viseĒ is...
I never used one for about 35 years, until I "went pro." They make the job faster and easier, but they're not necessary.
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Old 05-17-20, 06:32 PM
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speed things up???

My favorite method (more so now with the lock down situation) is to add more patience. And a beer. Or 2. But two wrenches and practice are effective.
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