Is it possible to put the axle back in the wrong position?

Panter

Just call me Chris...
A couple of Years ago I serviced the hubs on a rear wheel (Bontrager, cup and cone)
Had no idea what I was doing, but was assured that it was an easy job, just unscrew the nuts, clean the bearings, re-grease and off you go.
Which, to be fair, it was.
But, ever since, I've had a strange problem that the rear brake would keep rubbing the rotor. It was an easy fix (avid caliper) just re-align it and all would be well. Until the next ride where it would need doing again.
It's a real nuisance, the wheel doesn't spin freely at all, but it's just something I've put up with. Also, the inside pad wears down faster than the outside.

Anyway, I've just watched an online video of how to service a hub, and it's quite specific about which side of the axle you undo.
Could I have reassembled the thing with the axle too far to one side, hence the constant rubbing on the brake pad?
If so, is it possible to realign the axle to where it should sit by eye?
 

w00hoo_kent

One of the 64K
I believe it is. When I swapped one of my rear wheels over during the spoke breaking phase I think I must have flipped the axle and all of the alignments with the rear disc were wrong. Not by much, enough that I faffed about for 15-30 minutes trying to work things out before giving up, removing the cassette again and flipping the axle, at which point everything was much much better.
 
A couple of Years ago I serviced the hubs on a rear wheel (Bontrager, cup and cone)
Had no idea what I was doing, but was assured that it was an easy job, just unscrew the nuts, clean the bearings, re-grease and off you go.
Which, to be fair, it was.
But, ever since, I've had a strange problem that the rear brake would keep rubbing the rotor. It was an easy fix (avid caliper) just re-align it and all would be well. Until the next ride where it would need doing again.
It's a real nuisance, the wheel doesn't spin freely at all, but it's just something I've put up with. Also, the inside pad wears down faster than the outside.

Anyway, I've just watched an online video of how to service a hub, and it's quite specific about which side of the axle you undo.
Could I have reassembled the thing with the axle too far to one side, hence the constant rubbing on the brake pad?
If so, is it possible to realign the axle to where it should sit by eye?
If you undo only one side then I don't see how you can put it the wrong way... the other side will not allow you to.

It's possible you are not putting the axle on the dropouts correctly. It's a known issue and you need to press on the saddle while you close the QR.
 
Location
Loch side.
Could I have reassembled the thing with the axle too far to one side, hence the constant rubbing on the brake pad?
If so, is it possible to realign the axle to where it should sit by eye?
No, the axle itself doesn't determine the wheel's position. Think of an absurd example - the axle protrudes 1 inch past the dropout. In your mind, move it back and forth. Nothing happens to wheel spacing.

What happened in your case, was that you mixed the spacers up. A fat one on the one side and a skinny one on the other, instead of the other way around. Once you come to hubs with three spacers, you can imagine how many permutations you can create.

However, with cup and cone hubs, you always loosen the jamb nut and cones from the left and pull the axle out to the right with the right cone and jamb nut undisturbed. This is because the freehub overhangs over the nut's hex and adjusting it inside a recess isn't easy. On the other side you have free access. In other words, you never remove the right cone unless you have to replace it.

Then you have to do arithmetic to find it's right position.
Total axle length = 145mm (for example).
Over Locknut Dimension (OLD) is 135mm.
That gives you an axle that's 10mm longer than the hub is (nominally) wide.
Therefore 5mm overhang per side.

In this photo the calculation went wrong. The axle stubby is 3mm on the one side and 7 on the other.

Dropout and Axle stubby (2).jpg
 
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