I live in pittsburgh, and we have some hills and streets which are belgian block, brick, poorly paved and pocked with potholes. It can be very jarring, but I still find myself flying down these streets running 700x28c tires at 100psi and I'm not a light guy at 200lbs.

Is this abuse going to damage my loose bearing cup/cone hubs?

  • 1
    The main thing is to make sure the cones are properly adjusted, so that there is zero play in the bearings. In theory sealed cartridge bearings are more robust, but I've had more trouble with cartridges than with cup/cones. Apr 1, 2014 at 17:14

2 Answers 2


Bearings and races are made of very hard steel. So long as they are properly maintained (lubricated and adjusted to the correct tightness; visit Free Ride in Pittsburgh for help lubing/adjusting your bike if it's feeling worn and you don't want to pay a shop to do it for you), they should hold up with no problem.

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_element_bearing

  • I havn't had any trouble. I just wanted to know if I had to worry since I just rebuilt a nice set of wheels rolling on dura-ace hubs and didn't want to mess them up.
    – Benzo
    Apr 1, 2014 at 19:30

Many mountain bikes used cup and cone hubs, and all of Shimano's mountain hubs still use cup and cone, so I would say you're fine. Usually the spokes are the first thing to start breaking.

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