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Can a hub be loose when its cones are tight?

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Can a hub be loose when its cones are tight?

Old 10-16-14, 08:28 PM
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Can a hub be loose when its cones are tight?

I took apart my front hub (Shimano 105, at least 10 years old, at least 40K miles). The surfaces on the cups and cones looked and felt okay; the balls looked okay; they were all there; the axle looked okay. The grease was dirty but there was enough.

After putting it back together it still rocked in the fork. I could tighten the cones so much the wheel wouldn't turn and it would rock some (of course I tried tightening the skewer as much as possible.) The fork looks good.

This hub has the same 'feature' as the rear hub I replaced recently: a 'top' to the cup that comes off on one side but not the other; the bottom, attached part of that cup rotates freely. The other cup is fixed.

Can something else be loose?
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Old 10-16-14, 08:36 PM
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The rocking you mention often can be the headset and not the hub. Have you checked the headset to see if it rocks with no wheel?
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Old 10-16-14, 08:45 PM
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Taking it at face value that you've traced the movement to the hub, it might be that a bearing cup is loose in the shell. This is a rare thing, but it does happen once in while.

Or something else is wrong, like a ball retainer flipped right for left, or some mismatch that allows contact of parts that shouldn't tough.

Take it apart anew, and take each cone and press it onto the cup (with balls) and try to turn while applying pressure. Maybe one will feel off and you'll spot the issue. Also, look for any indication of rubbing on all the part. Lastly use a nail in a pair of pliers and slip the head behind each cup to see if you can jiggle one.

BTW- if you used ball retainers, my money is one or both being in backward.
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Old 10-16-14, 10:39 PM
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On cup and cone, you should have about 1mm of wiggle at at the rim when the QR is just starting to take tension. As the QR goes tight, that wiggle should go away completely. This is because the QR will actually compress the hollow axle.

If you really have wiggle at the rim with the QR tight, something is wrong. Check it all out, go on the web and find the explode diagram and make sure you put it back together and all the axle parts are tightened correctly.
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