I got off my bike after riding home from work and was giving the chain a quite wipe when I noticed that the back wheel seemed a bit off. There was a lot of play in it. The wheel was wobbling around on the axle. A lot.
So, one free weekend I decided to fix it. Looks like the lock nuts around the cones had come loose and the cones had loosened off.
I took the back wheel off and examined the axle, I could tighten up the cones by hand. Not good.
So, I undid the lock nut and cones at one side, and making sure I could catch any bearing pulled the axle out.
After getting all the bearings out and taking the cones off I drenched them in de-greaser and gave everything a good clean, inside and out.
The bearing were scored, and so was the cone on one side. I needed to replace the lot.
A quick trip to the bike shop and I had a new axle (he didn't have any cones on their own) and a bag 'o' bearings.
One thing. If you're ever doing this, don't be an idiot like me and not make a note of where abouts on the axle the cones are located. I'd made sure that I'd got the right spacings between the nuts etc, but I'd not made a note of how far on the axle the cones where. The new cones where a different size as well, so I needed different spacings. This made putting everything back together an interesting job.
I did eventually get everything back together again, on the second attempt anyway. First time I tried I was out by about 15mm, which put the bottom gear too close to the frame.
It's now running like a champ, and actually seems to be running easier than before. I'm finding getting up hills a breeze.
Perhaps they were overdue for a service. I've done 700 miles on that bike now, and I'd done nothing to the wheels at all.
My next job will be simpler, changing the tyre on the back wheel that's getting a bit worn.
Overall I surprised myself with how straight forward it was.
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