I have a mountain bike and it's front wheel has some play in it. I have replaced the bearings and the whole axle but it was in vain. If you even tighten the cone nuts more than you should do the play is still there. What is happening and does this mean I need a new wheel? Thank you in advance!

  • 4
    Are you sure the play is in the wheel axle and not in the head tube bearings? How do you check for the play in the wheel? What kind of brakes do you have? I know that V-brakes and cantilevers when engaged on standing bicycle give similar feeling to head tube play while in fact the play is on the brake bosses.
    – Mike
    May 14, 2018 at 12:56
  • 1
    You need to track down exactly where the play is. With the wheel out of the bike, can you feel play between the axle and hub? May 14, 2018 at 14:31
  • 1
    And if you have front shocks, that's probably a larger source of "play" than all other factors put together. May 14, 2018 at 17:25
  • It is surely the wheel that has play. In order to test that I changed my front wheel with one that is pretty new and the play has gone . Also the bike felt more stable as I were shaking it back and forth engaging the front brake. This case seems very strange to me as I don't know what is going one. Has This happened to anyone else ? By the way the wheel is 4 years old and I think I got over 700 km on it. However as I said before I changed the whole axle and bearings and the cups inside are very smooth!! Please help me with this ! May 14, 2018 at 17:31
  • 1
    Daniel R Hicks. I have recently changed my fork with a rigid one since I use my bike mostly to commute XD May 14, 2018 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


If the play is in the wheel, a thought is that the bearing cup in the hub body is loose. How that would be, I am not sure. If you can tighten the cones to "too tight", that rules out a broken axle. Grab the axle and see if you can get it to move.

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.