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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently laced a new surly hub and I have some trouble getting the play out of the bearings.

The only way to remove all the play is tighting everything down so hard that the bearings lock up. When everything rolls smootly there is still a minute amount of play noticable.

I already changed the axle because the axle was not exactly straight. This solved the problem for about 90% but there is still some play.

When I changed the axle I noticed that the cones are not tapered into the bearings and it's not really a tight fit. Does that have something to do with it?

Anybody have tips on the preload adjustment on these hubs? I did a search for surly new hubs but no relevant topics within the first 5 pages.
 

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Is there a spacer (sleeve) in the center of the hub between the bearings? It sounds like this spacer is too long not allowing the bearings to make contact with the inside race. Try making the spacer shorter a little at a time until you have the right amount of play. If you make it too short add shims.
 

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There is no sleeve. It's just a locknut and adjusting cone on a standard axle. The cone goes into the 7901 angular contact bearing. If your axle was bent it is possible that you ruined one or both of the bearings. I have three sets of Surly hubs and have no issues with adjusting them. They do seem to need some adjustment after the initial, but then it's about an annual thing depending on how much you ride.

So set the bearings using two 15mm cone wrenches. Take your 17mm and 15mm cone wrenches and lock one side down, check the bearings, then lock the other side down. Check it again. If you feel the need to fine tune it you can do it without unlocking the locknut, but lock it again afterwards for good measure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@ Schmucker.

I adjusted them the way you said. The bearings are fine I think. They roll smoothly when I tried them without the axle. I do fine tuning in the dropouts. Bolt one side and with the cone wrenches adjust the other side. Remove wheel to check if they are too tight.

I think that the sleeve on the innermost cones does not have a tight enough fit on the inner race of the bearing. Ideally that sleeve would be tapered and the inner race of the bearing would have a same taper. That way the cones would have a better fit onto the bearings. Maybe if i make a bit better fit (plumbers tape?) the play will disappear. And after that maybe new bearings...

Hmmm after some bearing trouble on a HOPE hub and this one I am so happy with shimano cup and cones. Easy and troublefree.
 

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They aren't supposed to have a taper. That's not how angular contact bearings work. The taper is internal. How are you checking for play? I normally grab the rim and check for play there as the longer lever will give greater feel. I make a slight adjustment using two cone wrenches, recheck for play, if none, then I give the wheel a spin. If it spins freely it's good. Sealed bears have a little bit more drag than standard cup and cone and the Surly hubs can feel tight with your fingers on the axle but be setup fine. Some of mine spin very freely without play at the axles and others are a bit tighter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll take a picture when I dissasemble them today. The taper I mean is to get a decent contact surface between the cones and the bearings. If these contact surfaces are parallel to the axle and it's not a press fitting there will be play between the bearings and the cones and not in the bearings. Get what I mean? Pictures are so much easier sometimes..:D

My normal routine for bearing setup is to test for play with the wheel in the frame and grabbing the rim (for the leverage as you described) and removing that play while still retaining smooth rolling bearings. In my situation when there is no play the bearings roll gritty. I always check smooth rolling by rotating the axle as turning the wheel gives too much leverage tot give a good assesment.

(My shimano hubs have a bit of play when out of the frame and that play disappears when the QR is tightened. Getting no play without the QR results in too much pressure on the bearings with the QR engaged)
 

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My normal routine for bearing setup is to test for play with the wheel in the frame and grabbing the rim (for the leverage as you described) and removing that play while still retaining smooth rolling bearings. In my situation when there is no play the bearings roll gritty. I always check smooth rolling by rotating the axle as turning the wheel gives too much leverage tot give a good assesment.
I had the exact same issue on a Surly fixed hub, and I just tightened it down and dealt with the tiny bit of grittyness. After racing all cross season on it, I was doing a local hill climb, and it actually started to bind up when I pedaled. When I took it apart, the bearings were totally blown, and when the shop tried to remove them, the center punched out leaving the rest of the bearing in the hub. It was a b!tch to extract the rest of the bearing.

So I guess the moral of the story is, just replace those bearings before they get too bad. I have ceramics in mine now, and its perfecto
 

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I built a set of non-disc wheels with Surly New hubs and at first I had the same problem. I adjusted them so they had no play in them. They did not spin as fast as my old ball and cone hubs. After a few weeks of riding they seemed to spin a little faster. I just finished my second season on them, and I can adjust them to spin almost as fast as ball/cone hubs. I never took them apart or tied to grease them or anything. I assume that it is the way they are. They are not high-end sealed hubs. They run fine for me now.
 

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From the Surly website:

Bearing adjustment may be necessary, before your New Hub is put into service. Axles should be free-spinning with no side-to-side play. If you
lack proper tools or mechanical aptitude, leave this step to a professional bicycle mechanic. When replacing bearings, use only 7901 type cartridge
bearings. These are direction-specific and require the black-colored seal to face outwards. Failure to install these correctly will result in premature
bearing failure.
 

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DiDaDunlop said:
I'll take a picture when I dissasemble them today. The taper I mean is to get a decent contact surface between the cones and the bearings. If these contact surfaces are parallel to the axle and it's not a press fitting there will be play between the bearings and the cones and not in the bearings. Get what I mean? Pictures are so much easier sometimes..:D
Oh, I understand what you're saying, but you're making the assumption that they aren't machined to spec. If they had a taper then the dust cap wouldn't fit tight and the OLD would vary.... unless they were machined with a precision... the same precision required for the straight setup. It's cheaper to just do it straight. A pic is not necessary. I've bent a Surly axle, replaced a couple out of my hubs, replaced the bearings. It's designed to be easily broken down, fixed, and setup. It's actually a really good design. Very durable and well sealed.
 

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The Surly New Hub that came on my Mukluk (1st gen) constantly rattled. Took it to 4 bike shops to get it tightened, one shop put new bearings in because they thought that might be the problem. Nope, still rattled. Finally the last bike shop put Phil Wood bearings in it. Not sure if it still rattles because I got new wheels with Salsa hubs and haven't used them since the new PW bearings were installed.

Tonight, while cleaning my Moonlander I noticed the front hub rattling, yup Surly New Hub. Great. I hope this one isn't crap too.
 

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Surly now has the Ultra new hub. Non-adjustable. It is available as a kit to convert your old hubs too.
The Phil bearings are a good idea. I've been suggesting that for years.

Surly has meantioned elsewhere that there should be a little play in the adjustable hubs. They are too tight if there is zero play. You want just the smallest movement when you push on the rim. They are very sensitive to over tightening, hence the design change this year. Looks pretty sharp. Now you can overhaul your hub in 5 minutes with almost no tools.

 

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The need for singlespeed
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That's very nice. I just bought a hollow axle and tapped it for axle bolts for use on a Surly New. I was a little worried about using M6 bolts but not anymore since that's what Surly is using. The whole adjustment thing seems like a pain so I'm considering a swap to 6901 bearings as well.

Looks like Surly's axle kit is about $60 online, but a WM hollow axle, Bdop axle bolts, and Enduro 6901 bearings total $30...
 

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The Ultra New Hubs and retrofit kits for New Hubs are an excellent idea and design.

You can also replace the 7901 bearings with non-adjustable 6901 (12x24x6) bearings and basically convert them to Formula-type hubs. They are sensitive to side-loading (since they are non-adjustable cartridge bearings), so go easy on them when installing (only apply pressure to the outer race) and preloading/setting up with the locknuts.
 

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Last two posters, I am very interested in doing the above procedure on my pugsley front hub and Bianchi Pista front and rear without buying the expensive Surly retrofit kit.

Would I be able to use my current solid axles, nuts and cones? Essentially just replacing the bearings to 6901 non adjustable?

Would you guys happen to a more specific parts breakdown of what I'd need?

Thanks so much!
 
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