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1960s Raleigh Superbe - Front Axle Cone Adjustment

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1960s Raleigh Superbe - Front Axle Cone Adjustment

Old 06-20-12, 05:27 PM
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1960s Raleigh Superbe - Front Axle Cone Adjustment

Hello all - just introduced myself in this thread Linking to it will save me posting a pic of the bike again.

I notice the cones on the front wheel axle don't have lock nuts. When I took the axle out I also noticed someone had been there before, but hadn't replaced the bearings. Heaven knows why. I have bearings that seem to fit OK; they are 3/32 I guess, without measuring them.

Anyway, I'm wondering if there should be locknuts, given that someone has obviously messed around with the axle, but I don't think so. One cone is fixed. It abuts a shoulder on the axle. Should it go on the left hand side, to stop wheel rotation tightening the cone slightly and binding the bearings?

The other cone is adjustable and has a raised detail on the outside face, similar to the detail on the adjustable cup of a bottom bracket shell (the detail for a spanner or wrench to engage with). My guess is this raised detail slots into the fork dropout, the latter acting as a locknut does.

In short, I don't think the axle originally had locknuts, just two cones, and the wheel nuts and their washers. Any comments?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-20-12, 07:13 PM
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Nope no locknuts on Raleigh hubs. Also they only go in a certain way. One cone gets locked down on the axle and you only adjust from the other side. IIRC the cone with no flats goes on the right side of the bike.


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Old 06-20-12, 07:14 PM
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See "Raleigh Front Hubs" section at https://sheldonbrown.com/english-3.html.
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Old 06-20-12, 08:57 PM
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The left hand axel nut does double duty and serves as a lock nut. So when you tighten it it takes pressure off of the cone nut.
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Old 06-21-12, 05:57 AM
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The Sheldon Brown link does a good job of explaining it. It is important to keep that adjustable cone with the flats on the correct side. In the event it binds and turns as you ride (should not if you've set it up correctly), if it is on the wrong side, it can self-tighten until it wrecks itself. If it is on the correct side and it binds and turns, it will loosen itself to a degree, but is stopped by the washer/fork pushing on it. If that happens, you just get to readjust, but no permanent damage is done. I have seen jobs where cycles coming back from shops had the cones backwards. The link from the Sheldon Brown site is worth a read, as pretty much all the 3 speed stuff is there.

From the Sheldon Link above:

"All adjustments are to be made with the adjustable cone. The fixed cone must go on the bicycle's right, the adjustable cone must go on the bicycle's left. On the left side, the axle nut will keep the left cone from loosening up. If the wheel is accidentally reversed, so that the adjustable cone is on the right, it can tighten itself up and ruin the hub."
Classic American and British Roadsters, Utility Bikes, and Sporting Bikes (1935-1979):

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Old 06-21-12, 01:11 PM
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Thanks guys - got it sussed now and I will read the Sheldon stuff.

The quality of the chrome plating on the pedal side plates and so on is first class. Spent ages adjusting the rear hub. It's a 4-speed, Dynohub which I believe is quite rare for the period.

This is a busy forum. Which is a good thing.
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