Top Tip for those with cup & cone hubs, especially new ones….

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  • Top Tip for those with cup & cone hubs, especially new ones….
  • PeterPoddy
    Member

    ….I've been in contact with a few C&C hubs recently, some mine, some other people's and there's a bit of a common theme appearing.

    So the Top Tip is

    "Even (Especially in fact!) if they are BRAND NEW, whip them apart and get a decent amount of good thick grease inside, then adjust them up properly. and do it NOW!!!"

    Why?
    I've seen a brand new hub lock up and the bike carried back to the car.
    A new set of my own had a rather loose locknut.
    There's never enough grease in them.
    They are generally adjusted too tight.

    Apart from the first 2 points (Which are obvious) the reason I believe this is a Good Idea is that, by heck, doing this makes the hubs last forever.
    I've been doing it for years and my C&C hubs last ald last and last. I recently pulled a 4 year old Deore rear apart that I'd done this to (It's been done once or twice since) and it was like new. And I just sold a bike (Roadrat commuter) with some even more basic Shimano hubs on it with virtually no sealing, the rear was better than new after 1300 miles. Glassy smooth.
    Adjust and grease from NEW and they last FOREVER.

    (P.S. – I don't use that crap white bike grease either. I 'borrowed' a grease cartrige from work. It's really thick sticky red Total stuff we use by the shedload for bushings on excavator buckets.)

    Just do it. You'll thank me in 3 or 4 years time! :o)

    Premier Icon 16stonepig
    Subscriber

    Probably a good idea. I've never had a Deore hub last any length of time.
    I have heard of regreasing HT2 bearings when you fit them too. It's a shame these steps need to be taken though.

    soma_rich
    Member

    I have never understood why tehse hibs dont come with the correct amount of greese in. I had one on a Trek that was bone dry I cant believe Shimano send hubs out like that!

    Deffinatly agree on all your tips will smoother than cartridge bearings too.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    It's a shame these steps need to be taken though.

    Indeed. The devil in me suggests that they know what they are doing if you catch my drift…..??

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    I like to call myself a Compulsive Mechanic. (I enjoy it, OK!) I've done this to every set of new hubs I've ever had since about '91. I ride more now than I ever used to, and it's starting to pay off big time.
    In the last few months I've decided that (For me) C&C hubs are the future.
    Again, for me, thay are cheaper and last just as long as a good cartridge bearing hub. And when the bearings do need replacing they are much easier to service: 10 minutes, 2 spanners, a 50p bag of bearings and a dollop of grease. All done with no swearing and no battering with hammers.

    But ONLY if you look after them from day one. πŸ™‚

    All done with no swearing and no battering with hammers.

    but I like hitting things with hammers and that rigmarole with the cone spanners reduces me to tears of frustration, especially when the hub gets stiffer when loaded up by the skewer :o(

    Call me a numpty, but having never bothered to service c&c hubs before, and seeing as I'm having a new set of wheels with XT hubs delivered today, can you give me a run down on how to do this 10 min job?

    but having never bothered to service c&c hubs before

    you lucky sod! Wish I'd never had to πŸ™

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    especially when the hub gets stiffer when loaded up by the skewer :o(

    IME, that doesn't happen. I adjust them up to just take the play out, no more.
    I'll admit I seem to have a bit of a subtle knack to it, mind. I've done 4 hubs this week and I don't think any of them have taken more than 2-3 minutes to get spot on, once reassembled. πŸ™‚
    Once the cones are locked down, with one cone spanner on each cone on each side, you can back them off a tiny bit at a time. Or with a spanner on each locknut on each side, tighten down a tiny bit at a time. I'm talking maybe 5 degrees of movement at a time here. Virtually nothing. Thencheck the locknuts/cones are tight again. Bobs your mother's brother! πŸ™‚

    Fair enough if you just like battering stuff though. It can be very therapeutic! πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon brant
    Subscriber

    Bicycling Magazine, in the USA, once recommended you strip your hubs, degrease them, repack them with metal polish and ride 5miles.

    Then strip the polish out, replace the balls and pack with grease.

    The metal polish, of course, polished the races smooth, giving a much better performance.

    Not sure how relavent this is to mountainbike hubs, but it's interesting.

    Certainly repacking is good, so long as you have a decent set of cone spanners and can lock things up properly once you've been inside.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    ditto the above method, adjust them till theyr about right, then fiddle with the cones/locknuts to loosen/tighten as neccecary.

    On the downside SRAM hubs are impossible to adjust the play out out,t theres always a litttle bit that wont go away (like the axels bent, but its not)
    I'd still like to know where shimano get their bearings for the HTII BB's from, thrust (I think thats what theyr called?) rather than radial bearings and I cant find a suplier anywhere. Essentialy they'r sealed cup'n'cone bearings, so in theory should last much longer than others as theres less race and more balls.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    can you give me a run down on how to do this 10 min job?

    You'll need a pair of cone spanners.

    Remove wheel and QR
    Undo cones from one side (Can be done with cassette in place on the rear, undo from other side)
    As you take each part off (locknut, spacer, cone, seal etc) lay it out in the order it came off, the right way up, so you're not guessing when it goes back on.
    GENTLY withdraw the axle, hopefully leaving bearings in place. (They're new, they'll be fine!)
    Check locknut and cone that's still on the axle is tight. (Don't remove it, just check it's tight)
    Nice big dollop of grease inside on the bearings
    Gently slide axle back in.
    Refit locknut, spacer, cone, seal etc you carefully laid out earlier
    Adjust to smooth with no play. Feel for play with your fingers by wiggling and pulling on the axle.

    Done.
    πŸ˜€

    I'm not taking anything apart unless I can avoid it!

    EDIT
    Actually, I remember now that the chap who carried his bike home had new XTs and that whan looking at it, I noted that you'd have to remove the cassette to get the axle out. Some sort off odd spacer in there IIRC that fouled the cassette lockring.

    OK, so 12 mins for an XT rear then! πŸ™‚

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Brant, see now that DOES start to get a bit anal when you take it that far I think.

    **Googles 'metal polish supplier'**

    πŸ˜‰

    Common practice on off-road motorcycles to pop the seals off the wheel bearings and pack them with grease when new.
    Also the head bearings, suspension linkage, swing arm etc.
    Everyone knows they don't have enough grease in them from new.

    billyboy
    Member

    I'd definately vote for this.

    I built up two XT hubs into wheels last year and the axles/cones/locknuts assemblies both undid on me. I had never thought to hub service a new hub! At the rear that had the effect of exploding the QR and slightly disfiguring the rear drop outs. Luckily I wasn't far from home.

    BUT

    Even servicing this rear hub and eventualy securing the cones and locknuts with locktight!!!!! (the blue stuff) didn't stop it repeatedly undoing SO it got binned AS did my future use of any shimano hubs for my own wheels.

    Shame…………..used to be good kit.

    br1zz
    Member

    Park tools website has a good guide for getting the play just right so that there is a tiny amont to compensate for the skewer when closed.
    It involves mounting the hub/wheel outside your frame using one drop-out, and adjusting the other side while checking for play by opening/closing skewer. Works a treat.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    br1zz – Cheers, I'll have a look at that. πŸ™‚

    EDIT
    Just had a read. I might try that next time, to see if I'm wrong about the play thing I mentioned a bove. Thanks for that. πŸ™‚

    The metal polish, of course, polished the races smooth, giving a much better performance.

    Not sure how relavent this is to mountainbike hubs, but it's interesting.

    don't let the HiFi buffs hear this or they'll be dismantling their kit to resolder all the joints πŸ™

    Junkyard
    Member

    I always remove the covers of sealed bearing amazing how litle grease there is in them. Possibly fine in an dry non dirty environment but for a MTB No thanks.

    I now re-grease external BB every 3 mths and it seems to be working. I also use marine propshaft grease for this but I doubt many of you have that lying around.

    poppa
    Member

    My rear XT hub came with loose locknuts. A real pain when you find out after a month and have to take off the cassette to get at them. Grrr.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    One tip that works for me. Reassemble everything and using fingers only, hand tighten the cone against the bearings to remove all play. This does not need to be anything more than "nipping up" but with fingers only. Put on the locknut and then back-tighten the cone against the lock nut. This – in my experience – leaves just the right amount of play that will then be taken out when the wheel is in the frame and the QR tightened.

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    Not sure if mentioned, but best tip is to mount the wheel on the outside of the drop-out, with the skewer done up tight. Then adjust play out. Probably find a tiny bit of play when skewer is loosened, that is then taken out when skewer done up. Heard that on here, years ago, always worked for me.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    best tip is to mount the wheel on the outside of the drop-out

    Seem to remember ID or someone doing a C shaped spacer years ago that you could tension the QR/axle with, you can bodge something similar with washers if you prefer to watch TV while you fettle your cones πŸ™‚ (or just prefer not to be tied to your bike)

    I remember hearing once that different greases are basically incompatible and old grease needs to be gotten rid of before adding new grease. Any mileage in that…? Should the factory grease, however little there may be, be cleaned out first before adding lashings of fresh stuff?

    I love playing with C&C hubs and they're defo the way forward. Now I just need to get a round twit, but they're hard to find…

    Premier Icon sv
    Subscriber

    I find this to be very good when repacking. Available from any good motorcycle shop (or the 'bay).

    The blurb:
    Silkolene Pro RG2 Grease

    β€’A high temperature, waterproof racing grease designed to meet the exacting requirements of competition use
    β€’High-stress, high-cling formula is ideal for protecting wheel bearings and other similar components

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    TBH I'm not certain the type of grease is actually important, as long as it's nice and thick, Until it ran out I used some unidentified stuff that my dad gave me years and years ago.

    Top Tip for those with cup & cone hubs, especially new ones…

    … drop them in the bin, then go buy some proper hubs, with cartridge bearings. Revel in smoother bearings than all your C&C hubbed buddies for years, and the once in a half decade* session with hammers and other exciting smashy tools to insert new (cheap as chips) bearings.

    Added bonus – run from new as supplied for faultless performance.

    *except for simonfbarnes ;o)

    *runs away*

    ———————————————————————————-
    This tip supplied free of charge from its-a-bike-not-a-piece-of-jewellery-industries

    emac65
    Member

    I also use marine propshaft grease for this but I doubt many of you have that lying around.

    Funny you should say that,lurvelly stuff….. πŸ™‚

    Alternative to using the drop out method,is to use a ring spanner as a drop out substitute.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Anyone use just oil, frequently applied?

    Just wondering because the old-timers bikes seemed to last forever with no seals.

    sodafarls
    Member

    Actually PP, you OWE ME TIME!.

    I foolishly followed your advice regarding servicing SPDs.

    Never again.

    Incase anyone is listening, do not just remove the pedal body and fill with grease. When you screw everything back together the grease and hydraulic pressure will not just push the old grease out, it will push the rubber seal off it's precarious lip and necessitate a complete strip down of the pedal's innards complete with micro balls in order to put it back where it belongs.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    Bicycling Magazine, in the USA, once recommended you strip your hubs, degrease them, repack them with metal polish and ride 5miles

    … or toothpaste – I did that with a "great condition" headset I bought off here once & definitely* helped

    *maybe

    (agree, newish XT rear hubs do seem to be shit)

    Funny.. I was thinking about this this morning. I can't for the life of me work out what the real world advantage of C+C hubs is over cartrige bearings.

    I've been running a pair of XTR C+C hubs for the past 12 years. Appreciably they still go round, but are like arthritic knee joints. Grind, grind, crunch, crunch. I've pumped loads of thick grease into them over the years. I keep thinking they'll give out one day. But if they were cartrige bearing hubs I could've just popped the bearings out and replaced them once in a while. They'd still be running as good as new.

    PP is quite clearly nuts or just likes challeging mechanical problems. Cones have driven me to tears over the years. The whole cone – skewer tightening thing??? My C+C commuter bike developed some play in the rear wheel the other day, so I just cranked the skewer up a bit tighter. Great stuff, job done, no wobble. It's ok for now, but if at a later date I adjust the bearings 'correctly' as PP suggests, then do the skewer up nice and (safely) tight the bearings will drag. I know this, cause this happens every flinking time..! It's all dependant on skewer tension, which, unless you are weird enough to apply a torque wrench to your skewers, varies from person to person.

    Just in what way is this a good system? 😯

    mboy
    Member

    … drop them in the bin, then go buy some proper hubs, with cartridge bearings. Revel in smoother bearings than all your C&C hubbed buddies for years, and the once in a half decade* session with hammers and other exciting smashy tools to insert new (cheap as chips) bearings.

    Sorry, I'm with PP on this one… Cartridge bearings seem to get gritty and rough at a wholly unreasonable rate on mountain bike hubs in my experience. Yet anything I have owned from Shimano (various XT and XTR hubs over the years) have been nothing but totally reliable.

    And when my mate actually managed to bend the axle on his Deore rear hub, Β£10 and a quick trip to the LBS later and we were in possession of a new rear axle and bearings. 15 minutes later, one hub as good as new!

    Best walk away from this thread now just in case my bike with DT hubs (so far been great, much better bearing life than any Hopes or otherwise) hear me and decide to play up! πŸ˜‰

    martinxyz
    Member

    peter..

    when you talk about slipping a cone spanner onto each cone and backing them off to loosen them off bit by bit,or putting the lock nut spanners onto the locknuts to tighten down bit by bit..

    do you know what this can do?

    Its a big no no.

    go buy yerself an alloy axle vice clamp first then i`ll explain.

    martinxyz
    Member

    sv,
    silkolene rg2 is nice stuff but its for those moments when you cant find the bullshot anywhere!

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    do you know what this can do?
    Its a big no no.
    go buy yerself an alloy axle vice clamp first then i`ll explain.

    OK, I'm pretty sure we've now all bought our clamps

    so, …. what's the big issue

    nonk
    Member

    peter deffo reckon the hub tightens up in the bike.
    been spannering in bike shops for years and have learnt how to set them up with just the right amount of play. campag hubs need it more than shimano ones though.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Actually PP, you OWE ME TIME!.

    I foolishly followed your advice regarding servicing SPDs.

    Never again.

    Incase anyone is listening, do not just remove the pedal body and fill with grease. When you screw everything back together the grease and hydraulic pressure will not just push the old grease out, it will push the rubber seal off it's precarious lip and necessitate a complete strip down of the pedal's innards complete with micro balls in order to put it back where it belongs.

    Ohh. Well, all I can say is that it's an old magazine tip and I've done it many times and it's always worked for me…… 😳 I wouldn't pass it on if I though it was dodgy and I'd not tested it… My apologies.

    peter deffo reckon the hub tightens up in the bike.
    been spannering in bike shops for years and have learnt how to set them up with just the right amount of play.

    Fair enough. I'm going to try the Park Tools method next time. We live and learn, eh? πŸ™‚

    Hotfly
    Member

    Talking of Cup & Cone bearings, can any one tell why the cup part is not replaceable – I have had to junk a number of wheels because water ingress has caused pitting and damage… to cups and cones. Once the hub's gone, it's often not cost effective to get the wheel rebuilt (wheel building is one thing I have never tried to tackle).

    You are probably going to tell me that I should be stripping down and inspecting my wheel bearings more frequently. At least with replaceable sealed bearings, you don't need to strip them down on a periodic basis, just to check.

    I don't yet have any wheels with sealed bearings, but I would imagine that they are not as free running and efficient as properly adjusted cup & cone bearings (which have less contact area). Anyone agree with this??

    Appreciate your thoughts – maybe I don't need to shell out the extra cash on fancy wheel hubs??

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