This is basically a follow-up of my previous question.

I am talking about the nut between the frame and the cassette (see attached image). In other words not the "external nut" which fixes the axis to the frame.

This nut was loose, but I realized that tightening it too much locks the axis together with the hub/cassette: in other words when the cassette was rotating, it was also moving the axis along itself, which of course is not supposed to happen.

So what I ended up doing was tightening this nut by hand, just enough so that the hub can still move freely, without taking the axis with it. However, I'm not sure this is the right thing (maybe you are supposed to tighten it all the way, and something is wrong with my wheel and that's why doing so locked the hub and the axis together?)

So the question is: what is the proper way and amount to tighten this nut? (Also, if it has some more proper name than "internal" nut, I can gladly edit the question.)

enter image description here

  • 1
    I don't have time for a full answer - parktool.com/blog/repair-help/hub-overhaul-and-adjustment should be a good start for you,
    – mattnz
    Jun 9, 2021 at 21:03
  • Ok, if I understand correctly, the key sentence is this: Tighten the axle nut inside the dropout that is holding the wheel. In other words, I was doing it wrong by tightening it against the cassette, I should have tightened it against the frame, or "losened" it from the cassette's point of view. Is that correct?
    – Attilio
    Jun 9, 2021 at 21:22
  • Because the task of the task of the axle nut ("internal nut") is not to hold the cassette (which is done by the lockring), but it is to lock the axle against the frame, to make sure the axle won't start rotating, right?
    – Attilio
    Jun 9, 2021 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


Let's get our part names clear

From Sheldon Brown enter image description here

The nut in the posted question pointed at with the red arrow is the locknut on the freewheel/cassette side.

The side of the axle with the large spacer - the left side in the picture above is the freewheel/cassette side.

First remove the freewheel/cassette.

Tighten the locknut against the cone by:

  • using the correct size wrench on the locknut
  • the correct size cone wrench (a thin wrench designed to be used on the narrow surface of cone flats)
  • and tightening them against each other

Note: Steps one and two answer the question - how is the locknut tightened.
However, it's important to get the cone adjusted correctly so that the hub turns smoothly on the bearings with no play as part of the tightening process.

Then re-install the freewheel/cassette

Cone wrench set
enter image description here

  • Thanks for the reply. One thing is not clear to me though: how does the cassette go "through" the locknut (+spacers) when removing/re-installing? And if it does "go through" (i.e. locknut is pressing directly against the cone anyway) then why is it necessary to remove it?
    – Attilio
    Jun 10, 2021 at 9:29
  • I found this video, and now I think I get it: it is necessary to remove the cassette because otherwise the cone and the locknut are not accessible. (The cassette has a "hole" in the middle, and the locknut/cone are inside that "hole".)
    – Attilio
    Jun 10, 2021 at 14:06

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