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I've just, for the first time, finished servicing the hubs on my bicycle. They are of the cup & cone type (Shimano). The cones of the front hub where pitted so I got them replaced, along with the bearing balls. The cups still looked smooth. I've packed them with a generous amount of grease and adjusted them for minimal play when out of the fork / no play when the QR is closed.

When I turn the axle by hand it feels smooth. However, with the front wheel installed, when I lift the front and give the wheel a spin, there is some clicking/scratching noise. It only seems to be present when running at a certain speed. My guess is these are the bearings touching each other? Is this normal?

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Did you install the same number of balls? A general rule is one less than the maximum number that will fit. Did you remove all the old grease prior to reassemble? – mikes Mar 29 '13 at 23:33
Yes, I installed the same number of balls of the same size. I also cleaned all parts thoroughly. – ZulfiqarIII Mar 29 '13 at 23:50
When you secure the QR, the adjustment on the cones goes in as the axle compresses. When you have the wheel installed, does it spin freely and come to a gentle stop? – WTHarper Mar 30 '13 at 0:01
Yes it does. The cone is adjusted following this guide: – ZulfiqarIII Mar 30 '13 at 0:16
First just take the wheel off, loosen a locknut, and back off a cone about 1/4 turn. Then tighten the locknut and try the wheel again. – Daniel R Hicks Mar 30 '13 at 3:18

Are you sure you've got the cones locked against the lock nuts correctly? I have a front wheel on which it's not possible to tighten the lock nuts against the cones, and as a result it will almost entirely seize after about 5 miles.

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That sounds like a defective hub. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 23 '14 at 0:32

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