Adjust Cones or Buy New ?

kingrollo Posts: 3,198
edited September 2010 in Workshop
The back wheel on my commutter bike has a lot of play in it. A mate of mine quickly tightened the cones - but 2 days laters its gone wobbly again. My mate only adjusted the one side. It is worth me getting the cassette off and adjusting the other side? - or is it knackered ? - if it is knackered - what do I replace the axle - the hub, or wheel ?

I comutte aroiund 13 miles on the bike daily.


  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,853
    if the cups are worn probably not much you can do - although you can ride it worn for a fair time, with the miles you are doing probably best to get it fixed

    the cups usually are part of the hub, so replacing them means a new hub, if you can't diy it might end up cheaper to get a new wheel

    if you strip the hub down, you can clean and check the bearings for wear, then grease are re-assemble, doesn't take too long and once you know if they are worn you can decide what to do next, but still ride it ok

    this is a good guide...

    it's easier to leave the drive side cone etc. on the axle, just make sure the locknut is tight, you can do all the rest on the non-drive side

    once you've sorted it, with your mileage i'd service the hubs and clean/regrease at least a couple of times a year, once after winter, once before, as water does get in there
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • getprg
    getprg Posts: 245
    Sounds like your hubs need a service.

    If bearings haven't been replaced within the last 2,000 miles then they are best replaced but you need to clean and then inspect cups and cones first. THIS IS A MUCH SIMPLER JOB than many riders believe (me included). New bearings cost only £1.99 per wheel including a pack of grease (from Edinburgh Cycle Co-op). Although because this is a job best done annually you can bulk buy bearings from a local wholesaler (eg packs of 100 - enough for 5 years changes) and then use automotive lithium grease which comes in much cheaper large tins (and is recommended by the great Sheldon Brown - see link below)

    For a simple video guide - a good place to start is

    For probably the best technical description read this guide from Park Tool

    For Sheldon Brown's rich advice with a touch of humour (RIP) try

    Do have a go - - diy is fun and gives great satisfaction.
  • You only have to adjust one side as it takes up any play on both. Strip it down, give it a good clean, new grease & new balls. Should give it a new lease of life.
    -- "I am but a spoke in the wheel of life" -- Ghandi
  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    One greasy op here !

    put the new bearings in - got the axle back on - now trying to put the cassette on - its a sora 8 - but I can't get the last sprokets to line up - I am not even sure which order they should go in ? - Any ideas please ?
  • Which order do you expect them to go in? From the biggest to the smallest, I would say
    As they came out, they should go back in... it's a pretty straightforward job with Shimano HG
    left the forum March 2023
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I don't understand why cup and cones are still used. The front wheel on my 13 year old mtb was b*ggered when I bought it. I got a new sealed bearing for under 2 quid on ebay and it took about a minute to fit it. - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!