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?

  • 2
    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
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 23:33
  • Yes, I installed the same number of balls of the same size. I also cleaned all parts thoroughly. Commented Mar 29, 2013 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
    Commented Mar 30, 2013 at 0:01
  • Yes it does. The cone is adjusted following this guide: www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/hub-overhaul-and-adjustment Commented Mar 30, 2013 at 0:16
  • 5
    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. Commented Mar 30, 2013 at 3:18

1 Answer 1


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.

  • That sounds like a defective hub. Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 0:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.