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Tightness of axel nut?

Discussion in 'Fixed Gear and Single Speed' started by Farky, 27 May 2013.

  1. Farky

    Farky Senior Member

    West London
    Very quick question; how tight should the axel nuts (rear wheel) on a fixed wheel bike be? On the last two occasions my bike's been in my LBS I feel they've always come back far too loose especially as chains can get pretty slack.

    I keep mine very tight...who's right?
  2. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    My nuts are always tight. :>)
    Scilly Suffolk likes this.
  3. hoski

    hoski Über Member

    Oxford, UK
    Mine are tight enough to make me sweary if I need to remove the rear wheel on the road. I am on a converted steel road frame with horizontal dropouts though, so if the axle slips I'm buggered.

    So yes. Very tight nuts.
    dave r and Boris Bajic like this.
  4. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry More gruff than grumpy

    West Sussex
    chain tug. Then you don't pop an eyeball trying to undo your nuts.
    dave r and wheres_my_beard like this.
  5. dave r

    dave r The Little Diesel

    Holbrooks Coventry
    I always do mine as tight as I can, but try not to do them up that tight I can't get the nuts undone by the roadside.
    wanda2010 likes this.
  6. Old Plodder

    Old Plodder Living at the top of a steep 2 mile climb

    I usually do them up hand tight & then give it a bit of pressure to get another one eighth turn to nip it up tight.
  7. HovR

    HovR Über Member

    Most people recommend about 40Nm if you have a torque wrench. I did this the first few times only to realise it makes taking the wheels off at the road-side with my stubby spanner a complete pain! I now do them up to probably about 20 or 30 and don't get any wheel slippage, although I don't use a torque wrench any more.

    Keep 'em tight. You'll struggle to damage anything unless you are extremely ham-fisted, or have a very long spanner!
    Farky likes this.
  8. dave r

    dave r The Little Diesel

    Holbrooks Coventry
    I have a couple of long ring spanners, too big to carry on the bike, leaning on one of then to much means I've no chance of getting the wheel off by the roadside, I do get wheel slippage, normally I need to readjust every couple of weeks, if I've done a lot of hills the wheel might want adjusting after a week.
  9. jazzkat

    jazzkat Fixed wheel fanatic.

    Why not use the same spanner to tighten them that you would use by the road side?
    That way however tight you get them you should have enough torque to get them undone.

    Tyre fitting garages used to refit car wheel nuts with those air gun thingys, until they realised that no one could get the wheels back off with a normal wheel brace. Thankfully they seem to do the final fastening with a normal brace these days.

    I use one of those funky aluminium spanners from velosolo - good amount of torque on my nuts without having to bust a gut, nice and light to take out too!
  10. compo

    compo Veteran

    the mind boggles :laugh:
    dave r likes this.
  11. jazzkat

    jazzkat Fixed wheel fanatic.

  12. BarryBonkers

    BarryBonkers Regular

    London, UK
    One thing to watch for is over-tightened, the nuts will put pressure on the wheel bearings. So you need enough torque to resist slipping on a steep hill, yet not so much it damages the bearings (while adding extra drag).

    Try tightening the nuts using two spanners at the same time. This technique stops the rear wheel from pulling over as the rear axle is tightened, and it's easier to judge the amount of torque. In practise, trial and error will fairly quickly give you a good idea of how tight the nuts need to be. They shouldn't be impossibly tight.