How often (in miles) would you expect to have to tighten rear axle cup and cone bearings.

Lovacott

Senior Member
I'm getting a bit pissed off with having to tighten my rear wheel bearings once a month or so.

It's a 27.5" MTB wheel with a 7 speed freewheel and I slapped in a decent quality new axle and bearing cage set back in June.

It's as sweet as a nut for about three weeks and then it starts to show a tiny bit of play. By the middle of week four, I can push the rear tyre a millimetre or more left and right and create a proper rattle.

Meanwhile, the front bearings have given me no trouble for over 2000 miles?

Any ideas?
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Even the lowest grade Shimani hub can keep its bearing adjustment from serive to service every year or 3.
Is one of your ball bearings squished or ovalised? This will screw with the adjustment. Replace your bearings. Grade 25 is high end for roundness but that is what I use.
Check the cups and cones. Clean all the threads.
 

Big John

Veteran
Not saying his will cure it but if it were me (and I've had my problems with hub bearings, like we all have I'm sure) I'd ditch caged bearings (you mentioned a bearing cage) and just fit the ball bearings. Adjust as you would normally, making sure the nut next to the cone is pinched up nice and tight. Worth a try.
 
OP
Lovacott

Lovacott

Senior Member
Even the lowest grade Shimani hub can keep its bearing adjustment from serive to service every year or 3.
Is one of your ball bearings squished or ovalised? This will screw with the adjustment. Replace your bearings. Grade 25 is high end for roundness but that is what I use.
Check the cups and cones. Clean all the threads.
Everything looks fine and I clean and regrease the whole assembly each time I tighten it.

I can only assume that there is an alignment issue within the hub itself?
 

All uphill

I didn't recognise you but I knew your bike
Location
Somerset
To answer your question directly my 1990s steel bike has covered around 3000 miles since I greased the hubs. I've just popped out and checked and there is no discernible play at the rim, front or rear.

I've no idea what problem you are experiencing, but it's surely unlikely to be wear? That only leaves the initial adjustment, which could be out due to any of several factors. Oval bearings, bent axle, loosening lock nut.
 

Gunk

Veteran
Location
Oxford
Annually. I do a proper job, and they never need touching between the annual service.
exactly
 

Ajax Bay

Veteran
Location
East Devon
As per all other comments: 5000 miles or more, but that's for a service.
I'd suggest that the OP is not tightening the locknuts correctly on the cones.
Being a freewheel it's even more straightforward.
 

I like Skol

Hold my beer and watch this....
Unless your bearings are set so tight that they are wearing into the fixed cups (in which case your hub is already screwed beyond saving) this can only be due to the locknuts not being locked and coming undone during wheel removal and refitting.
 

faster

Senior Member
Unless your bearings are set so tight that they are wearing into the fixed cups (in which case your hub is already screwed beyond saving) this can only be due to the locknuts not being locked and coming undone during wheel removal and refitting.
I disagree. I've had a rear hub do exactly this, and it wasn't because the locknuts weren't locked.

I've no real proof what the cause was, as eventually the rim wore out anyway and I binned the lot, but I *think* it was down to the aftermarket ball bearings I used from a cycling brand who coincidentally supply bearing and axle sets.

Given that I can't be sure, I won't mention the brand, but I've seen other posts on here which suggest that the bearings are grade 10,000 or something like that, and therefore not really suitable for use on a bike.
 
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