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I finally got a rear axle replaced, and all new cones on a new axle... I assembled it back together with 7 or 8 of the bearings in on each side and some grease, put it all back together, put the freewheel cogs on (how did I even try it without the freewheel remover before...) and wheel was spinning fine without play left/right (well, maybe 1mm). The gears all shift too.

When I ride the bike I am often hearing a clunking in the rear though. When I just spin the crank or wheel when the bike is stopped It seems I cannot get it to happen. The back wheel feels pretty good. What should I look at for adjusting this? It happens when freewheeling and when pedaling and I don't see anything obviously tapping or loose.

  • Is the axle tightly fastened to the frame? Is the chain skipping? Do you feel anything when it goes "clunk"? – Daniel R Hicks May 19 at 0:36
  • It is tightly fastened and it doesn't seem to skip. It just makes a clunking noise in back. Only when riding, not when testing it out or spinning the wheel. – NoBugs May 19 at 0:38
  • Do you have a fender on the rear? Is it perhaps catching the tire? – Daniel R Hicks May 19 at 0:40
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    1mm axial play of the axle is far too much. You should adjust the cones so that all play is just removed, without any binding of the bearings. – Argenti Apparatus May 19 at 11:07
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    @ArgentiApparatus That seems to be the answer, just opened it up, put a little more grease in and tightened it up just a tad more. A quick test ride sounded okay. – NoBugs May 25 at 3:17
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You should ensure the outer races of the hub free of pits and corrosion. The wheel may feel smooth when spinning it off the bike, but the roughness may appear only when the bearing is loaded.

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