Brompton 6 speed - rear wheel play


New Member
I've got a six-month-old six-speed and have noticed a slight side to side play in the rear wheel. I don't notice it while cycling only when I have the bike in a stand.

Is this normal, or do I need to get it checked out? Both real axel nuts are really tight by the way so it's not that.


Casper WY USA
Sometimes the bushings in the rear triangle hinge a worn or the allen screws on the hinge need to be tightened. more likely the cones in the rear hub need to ne adjusted.


Über Member
As above - it will be the cones.

It's another example of charming Brompton anomaly - or archaic tech.

Have a look online at how to adjust the cones, buy a couple of cheap cone spanners and have a play. You need them to be tight enough so there's minimal wobble, but not so tight, it prevents the wheel from spinning.

The first half of this is a good guide.

Ask a Mechanic: Adjusting Cup and Cone Hubs - YouTube

I'm sure I read somewhere there will be 'some' play. I don't know how you quantify that.


Legendary Member
SA hubs are supposed to have the tiniest amount of play to prevent the cranks turning when freewheeling. In practice, they'll turn regardless.


Senior Member
My Brommie has effectively zero play with the wheel free and trying to rock it by pressing on the rim - I think I can feel slight movement but I can't see it. There's none in the triangle hinge either (and AFAIK there should not be).

My understanding of cup and cone adjustment has always been "not tightened but zero play", the check being that it spins freely.

I didn't know about Sturmey Archers needing a bit of play - my pedals don't turn when pushed, but that could just be drag from the mini-derailleur. The hub is a BWR/SA. I've noticed that the bike sometimes freewheels backwards as well as forwards, which proves nothing except that I don't know how the hub works:smile:
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