My front wheel doesn’t spin freely. I had the hub tightened and now it has a lot of resistance. I use bolts, not a quick release. There isn’t rust on the fork, the brakes are not rubbing.

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    If you pull the wheel off the bike (work, I know) and spin the axle, does it rotate freely?
    – DavidW
    Oct 10, 2019 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


You've over-tightened the hub, the most likely explanation. Hub tightening needs a lot of forth and back between too little and too much. And putting the hub into the fork and tightening the axle nuts may also become that little too much.

Remove the wheel, undo the locking nut and the cone by 1/8 of a turn. Hold the cone with your cone-wrench and relock the locking nut. Put the wheel back in and re-tighten the axle.

If it turns smoothly it's OK. If it's too loose now, take it out again and tighten the cone by a hair. It's a kind of game, time consuming and nothing to do in a hurry. One of the major reasons why so many 'modern' industrially produced wheels have industrial-type bearings. Correct adjustment of cone and cup systems can be time consuming.

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    With some patient practice, getting the bearing adjustment just right, becomes intuitive and immensely satisfying, IMHO. It's also fairly easy on a solid axle like you describe as compared to a quick release axle which tends to deform slightly when the skewer tightens shut, thus making a good adjustment while loose, too tight when closed. Little more back and forth required there.
    – Jeff
    Oct 10, 2019 at 23:16

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