Marred cone therapy

12boy

Veteran
Location
Casper WY USA
I've seen many interesting posts on refurbishment and restoration of bikes which are interesting and instructive, but I've not seen much if anything on what to do when cones, in hubs and headsets or even BBs, are unevenly worn, marred or gouged a bit. It seems that most simply disassemble, clean, grease and reassemble. I have a lot of wheels sitting around that have decent rims and hubs except for the crappy cones. In fact, when buying used bikes or rescuing some from the balefill ( tip to you?) The cones are the primary problem in refurbishment. I could not locate cones for my Bromptons front wheel and wound up buying a new hub to cannibalize the cones. Also, it's hard to find new cones for many of the elderly bikes I encounter. Any strategies for this issue?
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
I've seen many interesting posts on refurbishment and restoration of bikes which are interesting and instructive, but I've not seen much if anything on what to do when cones, in hubs and headsets or even BBs, are unevenly worn, marred or gouged a bit. It seems that most simply disassemble, clean, grease and reassemble. I have a lot of wheels sitting around that have decent rims and hubs except for the crappy cones. In fact, when buying used bikes or rescuing some from the balefill ( tip to you?) The cones are the primary problem in refurbishment. I could not locate cones for my Bromptons front wheel and wound up buying a new hub to cannibalize the cones. Also, it's hard to find new cones for many of the elderly bikes I encounter. Any strategies for this issue?
Service em before they get rough. :becool:

Seriously though at least check em regularly for free spinning and if they show the slightest sign of binding/graunching whip em apart and clean/regrease at least if not replacing the ball bearings.
 

Gravity Aided

Legendary Member
Location
Land of Lincoln
Balefill? Is that a dumpster?
The problem with replacing damaged bearing races is that it may be hard to replicate the original profile of the bearing race, and the remaining part of the metal may not be surface hardened as the original may have been. So you will need to replace the bearing races. Often, overtightening of the bearings will cause spalling, where the hardened surface of the bearing race gets flaked off the softer material in the cone itself. Many of these problems are more serious than anything you would just want to do a grease-over on.
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
Balefill? Is that a dumpster?
The problem with replacing damaged bearing races is that it may be hard to replicate the original profile of the bearing race, and the remaining part of the metal may not be surface hardened as the original may have been. So you will need to replace the bearing races. Often, overtightening of the bearings will cause spalling, where the hardened surface of the bearing race gets flaked off the softer material in the cone itself. Many of these problems are more serious than anything you would just want to do a grease-over on.
+1 on the overtightening, I've also had new wheels like that and with bugger all grease in em to boot, it can take a while to get em adjusted 'just right' but well worth the effort.
 
OP
12boy

12boy

Veteran
Location
Casper WY USA
So the consensus so far is get new cones if the current ones are pitted and make sure you service the rebuilt or new ones with good grease before pitting occurs. Obviously new cones must be able to match the axle, but does the slope or longevity, if you prefer, have to exactly match the original? Is close good enough?
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Some high end hubs used to replaceable cups.
You can get replacement cones to work in most cases. Surely cones are self aligning so a slightly different type that fits will still work. That is what I do.
As above, cones are case hardened so machining a smooth surface reveals the softer core. You would have to harden them again which takes some skill.
 
OP
12boy

12boy

Veteran
Location
Casper WY USA
That is true. Never thought of that...Duh.
 

Nigelnightmare

Über Member
I take it that if the cups get damaged on modern hubs it's completely "Fooked" then.

I guess I was spoiled as a kid with Campagnolo record.
It was easy to replace the cups and cones as the LBS (Ken Birds in Green st Green) had them in stock and lent me the tool to fit them properly.
 

rogerzilla

Legendary Member
It's not always economic to change cups even on Campag hubs. Cups and cones usually get pitted by water ingress rather than wear. Rust eats hardened steel just as happily as normal steel.
 
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