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Front hub cones damaged - replace the cones, replace the hub, replace the wheel?

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Front hub cones damaged - replace the cones, replace the hub, replace the wheel?

Old 12-02-23, 07:03 PM
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Front hub cones damaged - replace the cones, replace the hub, replace the wheel?

I'm refurbishing a 1992 Trek Multitrack. The front cones are pitted. I'm trying to decide the best path to a smoother-spinning wheel. Options seem to be:
1) Replace the cones. They're available from Wheels Mfg but two cones + shipping is going to cost me $40!
2) Buy a new, similar hub, and rebuild the wheel. Random Bike Parts has a Deore LX hub, similar to the current one but a bit newer, for $14 with free shipping. However, then I have to confirm the existing spokes are the right length and rebuild the wheel. I can true a wheel but I've never built one, and I don't own a truing stand.
3) Find a random usable front wheel on Craigslist/eBay/etc for probably ~$60.

Any recommendations?
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Old 12-02-23, 07:54 PM
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I would probably just buy a nice new wheel and know it is of good origin and not have to a do a bunch of work rebuilding. Unless the rim is something super special and those spokes are really top notch and in good condition I wouldn't want to rebuild a wheel on it and replacing cones is fine but I would be curious the condition of the rest of the hub and the wheel itself.
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Old 12-04-23, 07:13 PM
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To confirm, it's the thread-on cones that are pitted, not the races internal to the hub, yes?

Originally Posted by nathand
1) Replace the cones. They're available from Wheels Mfg but two cones + shipping is going to cost me $40!
This sounds far more expensive than it should be. Are you at all near a bike shop, where you could bring one of your existing cones in and they can match them up? (Your location suggests you're in the Bay Area, which means you likely have many good bike shops nearby.) Even if not, it seems like there should be less expensive options online (though I admit I haven't bought cones online before).

Originally Posted by nathand
2) Buy a new, similar hub, and rebuild the wheel. Random Bike Parts has a Deore LX hub, similar to the current one but a bit newer, for $14 with free shipping. However, then I have to confirm the existing spokes are the right length and rebuild the wheel. I can true a wheel but I've never built one, and I don't own a truing stand.
This route will almost certainly also require new spokes, as the length needs to be pretty precise. The Deore hub is unlikely to match your existing hub exactly, though it may indeed be close.

Originally Posted by nathand
3) Find a random usable front wheel on Craigslist/eBay/etc for probably ~$60.
For the price you pay for a new or used wheel you probably won't find one that's up to the quality of the original wheel (presuming the one you're working with is the factory Trek/Matrix wheel).

Even if it did cost $40 for new cones, that's the route I'd take. It's both the least expensive route (again, presuming you'll need different length spokes with that new hub), and the approach that'll likely give you the best results in the end. (I do think a bike shop should be able to source you new cones for $5-10.)
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Old 12-04-23, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd
To confirm, it's the thread-on cones that are pitted, not the races internal to the hub, yes?
Yes, it's the cones threaded on the axle. The races inside the hub look and feel fine.
Originally Posted by hokiefyd
This sounds far more expensive than it should be. Are you at all near a bike shop, where you could bring one of your existing cones in and they can match them up? (Your location suggests you're in the Bay Area, which means you likely have many good bike shops nearby.) Even if not, it seems like there should be less expensive options online (though I admit I haven't bought cones online before).
The cones are these https://wheelsmfg.com/products/hub-p...s/cn-r040.html. $14.52 each plus $10 shipping.
Originally Posted by hokiefyd
Even if it did cost $40 for new cones, that's the route I'd take. It's both the least expensive route (again, presuming you'll need different length spokes with that new hub), and the approach that'll likely give you the best results in the end. (I do think a bike shop should be able to source you new cones for $5-10.)
Thanks, I'll check with some local bike shops and see if I get lucky. Buying new cones appeals to me for both reusing as many parts as possible and easy of installation.
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Old 12-04-23, 10:53 PM
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If the rim is in good shape, may as well replace the cones. If it's not in great shape, may as well find a different wheel. $14.52 is MSRP, so I'd expect most shops to charge than much per cone, but you could save on shipping if you find a shop that already has them in stock.
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Old 12-05-23, 07:04 AM
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Go to local bike shops with the used cones and axle, you'll probably find a replacement for a few $ ...

Replaced the cones and axle on my hybrid (front wheel) a few years ago, no issues.
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Old 12-05-23, 06:59 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions! Closest local shop I tried couldn't help. The second one - which has been around a lot longer - didn't have the exact cones, but sold me an axle assembly that looks like a very close match for $10.
Meanwhile I also picked up a damaged bike to scavenge the components for this rebuild. I wanted the shifters and derailleurs (Shimano 5600) and got a decent wheelset, with Shimano hubs, in the deal, so now I've got two options.
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