Backstory: I've never paid so much attention to my bike.

I recently bought the wrench that allows me to take my axle off, so that's what I did. After cleaning the parts/bearings and replacing the grease, I put it back together. I put the wheel back on the bike, and spin it to make sure everything works.

The wheel spins, but there is an amount of untrueness that I wasn't aware of before. I know that I put all of the bearings in, and the nuts are as even as I can tell by looking. They might be a little tight, as I'm hearing a bit of clicking.

So, is it possible that the changes I made untrued the wheel, or is it most likely that the wheel was already untrue, and I'm just noticing it now?

(is it "untrue", or "untru")

  • Your wheel is not untrue - its just a conspiracy by a left leaning media.
    – Henry Crun
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 19:00
  • My guess is that the wheel is no longer as well centered as it was before removal, so the rim is closer to one brake pad than before. This makes any pre-existing wobble in the wheel more obvious. Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 22:07
  • @DanielRHicks I've got disk brakes, I was off by a little bit.
    – Carl
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 0:33

1 Answer 1


No you can't affect true.

The hard part of doing cone and cup loose bearings is setting the cones just right - not loose - not tight. Usually takes a couple of tries.

There are a few things you (or the guy before you, or the factory) can get wrong.

  • wrong number of bearings
  • different number each side
  • wrong size

There seem to be some people/bike mechanics who believe fewer bearings = less friction, and the deliberately leave one or two balls out. Personally I think it is total voodoo b.s. , but surprisingly common in these parts.

I put the wheel over a shallow tin/box when I open up the bearings to catch them as they come out so I know how many there were, and what condition (pitting)

I recommend replacing ALL the balls any time you clean them, as they are just so cheap. When you pass a bearing shop get a bagful of 1/4" (rear) and 3/16" (front) balls.

Balls fail first, then the cone, and rarely the cups.

  • 1
    Shimano always ships hubs way too tight from factory. Redoing the cones was standard procedure for new bikes straight out of the box when I worked in a shop.
    – Gabriel
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 20:32
  • I would only add to place several layers of paper towel or a rag to the pan bottom as the balls sometimes bounce out of the pan.
    – mikes
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 20:43
  • @mikes indeed they do. They also like to drop into the centre of the hub and hide there waiting for the rapture.
    – Henry Crun
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 20:51

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