Basic Bicycle Repairs : How to Adjust a Bicycle Wheel Hub

Basic Bicycle Repairs : How to Adjust a Bicycle Wheel Hub

Hello, this is Russ with the Salt Lake City
Bicycle Collective. Online at Also here on
behalf of Expert Village. Today I’m going to show you how to adjust a front or rear
hub, they’re generally both the same. First thing you’re going to want to do is remove
the two rubber dust caps that are on there. Often hubs will have these to keep dirt from
going inside to where the bearing are. You’re going to need two special wrenches for this.
Probably going to have to locate them at a bike shop or in the event you’re in the Salt
Lake area, you can come down to the Bike Collective and you can use our tools. Two tools, one
is a 15 millimeter, the other is a 17 millimeter. 15 millimeter is normally the inside one.
You can see that its a pretty flat interface, you’re going to be able to a regular wrench
in there, so you’re going to need these wrenches. After you do that, you’re going to want to
take the 17 millimeter on the outside one and go ahead and turn them counter-clockwise.
This will allow those to loosen up a little bit and after you do that, kind of a dance
back and forth trying to figure out how much tension you need to make sure that the wheel
is probably adjusted. On this side, I’m going to go with the 15 on the inside and then a
17 on the outside and I’m actually going to roll this out a little bit and that will create
my hub to spin just a little bit better. If you’re working with a quick release wheel,
the adjustment that you’re actually looking for it to be just a hair loose if you were
to push it as hard as you could. And the reason you want this is as you tighten the quick
release down, it creates compression on the bearings a little bit and that will give you
the absolute proper hub adjustment. What I’m going to do is double check this side, make
sure its nice and tight before I go ahead and finish the other side. Just going to lock
these two together. The look real good. Flip the wheel back over, go to this side, see
how my hub adjustment is. Feels like its a little bit smoother than it was before, which
is good. Slide the 15 back on the inside. 17 on the top. Start to tighten those together,
but not make them totally tight. I’m going to double check it. See how I feel about it.
It could probably still be just a hair looser, so I’m going to go 17 on the outside over
here and 15 on the inside over here and loosen that just a hair and then I’m just looking
for that proper adjustment where its just a hair loose. Might take you a couple tries.
Go back and forth. After I get to that part, I’m going to come back over to this side.
15 on the inside, 17 on the outside and go ahead and just crank those down the rest of
the way. And now that I have that nice, smooth hub adjustment, I can go ahead and reinstall
my disc brake on this particular wheel or in some situations, reinstall the cassette
on the back wheel and go ahead and install that back into the bike. Once you clamp it
in there, you want to make sure that the wheel doesn’t have any movement side to side. If
it does, it means it needs to come back out again and tighten that 15 on the inside just
a little bit more to create a little bit more tension on the hub.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Great video…my LBS did a bearing job and made it too tight so now I will get some cone wrenches and fix myself.

  2. Great video.

    Every new bike I've purchased the hubs were overtightened. I've had to adjust them in a similar way to your video. Manufacturers need to see your video.

  3. Exactly the clear instructions I've been looking for to tighten my loose rear hub. There are so many bad tutorials out there. This is the best by far. Thanks so much!

  4. Quality video thanks. A poorly adjusted (too tight) hub is also responsible for brake pad rotor rub. Eventually fixed the problem by adjusting the front cones.

  5. I will admit that these videos are very useful, but lack the very specifics that some beginners or only slightly experienced amateurs need. After searching for 1/2 an hour, I came upon a generic site with made by one person that had everything, even though he obviously had no site-making experience. The more professional something gets, the less it is willing to provide or thinks of providing.

  6. Hella confusing, bro! SO much information SO fast and with no noob-friendly explanation. I don't even know what is going on here… <:(

  7. no problem understanding this..and i'm not American. Maybe you need to put simple subtitles up for the Americans watching!

  8. He speaks quite clearly actually, and there are sub-titles for those who have trouble. This video has convinced me that I should go to a shop to have my bearings checked and adjusted.

  9. My rear wheel doesn't look like that and it wasn't assembled with the same tools this guy is using here.

  10. has anyone complaining about the speed he talks taken into account he was probably busy at the time. the video is only short , and he works in a real shop he may have had a customer waiting for that wheel lol

  11. I had my LBS do a front hub overhaul which helped, but after scraping my front wheel against a small curb on the right side.. Kinda made the hub "wiggle" come back. I think its supposed to be snug. Are 7mm and 15mm cone wrenches standard for quick release hubs?

  12. Mines a 1951 schwinn spitfire. I had this drag problem accord today when it was riding just fine last summer

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