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Cone adjustment

Old 03-14-13, 06:13 PM
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callig
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Cone adjustment

I've read this somewhere and I'm wondering if its correct, When adjusting the cones for the hubs to leave a tiny bit of play in it so when you tighten the quick release it will illiminate the play. Is this correct?
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Old 03-14-13, 06:37 PM
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yes. and its a just a hair. first few times, you'll probably find you want to redo it until its right
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Old 03-14-13, 06:42 PM
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Here's all you need to do it: Read the text, and follow the embedded link to the Park Tool site for further information.
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Old 03-14-13, 08:41 PM
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Keep in mind that hub bearings come in 2 general classes, the angular contact traditional cop/cone bearings which need to be adjusted for absolutely zero play, and radial contact typical of cartridge bearings, which should be left with a bit of axial play (radial play is not adjustable).

The goal is to end up with correct adjustment for either design after the QR is tightened, so you start just slightly (very slightly) looser to allow for some compression of the hollow axle.
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Old 03-14-13, 10:31 PM
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Thanks for the input I will try to remember this and Thanks for the link Wil Davis
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Old 03-15-13, 11:42 AM
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This is because the hollow axles bow a little under compression. I seem to remember reading a Sheldon page on which he showed a tool he had made using an old QR. It had some low profile spacers - so you could clamp it and load up the axle - but still get to the cones to adjust them.
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Old 03-15-13, 11:44 AM
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2/3 way down this page, heading [h=2]Special tool for rapid cone adjustment under load[/h]
: https://sheldonbrown.com/cone-adjustment.html
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Old 03-15-13, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Keep in mind that hub bearings come in 2 general classes, the angular contact traditional cop/cone bearings which need to be adjusted for absolutely zero play, and radial contact typical of cartridge bearings, which should be left with a bit of axial play (radial play is not adjustable).

The goal is to end up with correct adjustment for either design after the QR is tightened, so you start just slightly (very slightly) looser to allow for some compression of the hollow axle.
Cup and cone bearings require a small amount of play when off the bike that goes away when the QR is closed. The bearings should be adjusted so that is a small amount of preload on them when the QR is clamped.
Nutted axles should have the preload before they are installed because the axle is not compressed.
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Old 01-05-17, 01:35 PM
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I have also learned this in many guiding articles. But I am confused when I check on new or nos hubs and wheels at LBS. They are factory-adjusted without any tiny play when off the frame.
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Old 01-05-17, 01:52 PM
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Not sure if you meant to reply to 4 years old post
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Old 01-05-17, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Yoyo2012 View Post
I have also learned this in many guiding articles. But I am confused when I check on new or nos hubs and wheels at LBS. They are factory-adjusted without any tiny play when off the frame.
Look inside and you'll probably see very little grease too.
That's just the way they are from the factory. (not always, but typically)
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Old 01-05-17, 04:37 PM
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I've always just adjusted the cones to how I want them before installing.

However, perhaps you could add a couple of thick washers (5mm axle spacers?) to the ends of the axle, and clamp down the skewers, just to see if everything is perfect.

Bolt on axles don't significantly compress the axle.
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Old 01-05-17, 04:46 PM
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I adjust my C-record cones on the bike, tighten off the bike, and re-check on the bike.
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Old 01-05-17, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bulldog1935 View Post
I adjust my C-record cones on the bike, tighten off the bike, and re-check on the bike.
Yes, some Campy hubs had split adjustable cones that allowed you to do the final adjustment with the wheel fully clamped in the dropouts and tighten the cone until the play at the rim just disappeared. Then you locked the cone in place with a set screw that pinched the sides of the cone together. A great system and too bad it wasn't more common.
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Old 01-05-17, 07:21 PM
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I can make them free-spin just as long as the very best sealed-bearing hubs. Don't know that it really gains anything, but it feels good.
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Old 01-05-17, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Yes, some Campy hubs had split adjustable cones that allowed you to do the final adjustment with the wheel fully clamped in the dropouts and tighten the cone until the play at the rim just disappeared. Then you locked the cone in place with a set screw that pinched the sides of the cone together. A great system and too bad it wasn't more common.

I believe it is the carrier of the cone or bearing that is split, otherwise the balls would be riding over the split and erode the ball track there. Chris King has a similar system, Mavic's just uses a friction fir between the carrier and the axle.


But the goal of a free as possible bearing with no (angular contact) or minimal (radial contact) slop is a real benefit to bearing life. Regardless of whether a rider will feel it as they ride. Andy
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Old 01-05-17, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
I believe it is the carrier of the cone or bearing that is split, otherwise the balls would be riding over the split and erode the ball track there. .....
The system was borrowed from the original design of threadless headsets. It uses a split centering cone to locate and adjust the bearing's inner race.
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Old 01-06-17, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
The system was borrowed from the original design of threadless headsets. It uses a split centering cone to locate and adjust the bearing's inner race.
Right. It isn't the actual "cone" that's split but what amounts to a an adjustable compression ring that pushes on the insert that is the true cone. Nevertheless, it's a great design.
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Old 01-06-17, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jsdavis View Post
Not sure if you meant to reply to 4 years old post
Zombie thread walks the Forum.
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Old 01-06-17, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronsonic View Post
Zombie thread walks the Forum.


I'm good with zombie threads. It means that some are using the archives at least. Andy
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Old 01-06-17, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronsonic View Post
Zombie thread walks the Forum.
Yeah but this one had only been dormant for less than 4 years. That's practically brand new compared to some that have been resurrected here.
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Old 01-07-17, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Yoyo2012 View Post
I have also learned this in many guiding articles. But I am confused when I check on new or nos hubs and wheels at LBS. They are factory-adjusted without any tiny play when off the frame.
I never worry about leaving play. I believe the issue is over-rated. Your observation about factory settings suggests as much.
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Old 01-07-17, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
I never worry about leaving play. I believe the issue is over-rated. Your observation about factory settings suggests as much.
Well, us fussy types consider those hubs as too tight as assembled and usually check both for adequate lube and readjust the bearings before putting them into service.
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Old 01-07-17, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
I never worry about leaving play. I believe the issue is over-rated. Your observation about factory settings suggests as much.
Believe what you choose, but the factory "adjustment" is often extremely tight, rather than just not having play. I have seen hubs/cones damaged because they were never adjusted when first assembled.
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Old 01-07-17, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Believe what you choose, but the factory "adjustment" is often extremely tight, rather than just not having play. I have seen hubs/cones damaged because they were never adjusted when first assembled.
In my experience, Shimano tends to tighten a bit too much and it, as well as many other producers, tend to grease a bit too little.

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