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Thread: 1FG hub play

  1. #1
    jae
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    New question here. 1FG hub play

    I just took my new 1FG out for its first ride, and it was a real treat! It's geared 38:19, which is close to perfect for the trail I rode.

    However, the rear hub has now developed about 2mm of side-to-side play. I couldn't hunt up any technical information on the hub (labeled as "Cannondale Fire"). I'd like to see if I can save myself a trip to the LBS and associated downtime by fixing it myself. I thought I'd ask for advice here before I just start monkeying around with it and maybe wind up screwing it up worse than it is already.

  2. #2
    jcw
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    Quote Originally Posted by jae
    I just took my new 1FG out for its first ride, and it was a real treat! It's geared 38:19, which is close to perfect for the trail I rode.

    However, the rear hub has now developed about 2mm of side-to-side play. I couldn't hunt up any technical information on the hub (labeled as "Cannondale Fire"). I'd like to see if I can save myself a trip to the LBS and associated downtime by fixing it myself. I thought I'd ask for advice here before I just start monkeying around with it and maybe wind up screwing it up worse than it is already.
    First off, is it the Ultra model with headshock and disc's, or standard rigid model? Not that it matters to your problem, but I've been contemplating getting one and would be interested to hear how you like yours.

    As for your hub, C-dale just changed all their names this year (used to be expert, competition, etc. and are now earth, wind, and fire) and I'm not sure if the internals have changed along with the names. C-dale hubs of the past were all standard ball and cone type hubs, so I'll assume they're the same. What you'll need is a 17mm box/open end wrench and a 15mm cone wrench. If you don't have a cone wrench, now would be a good time to buy one if you plan to do regular maintenance on your bike. So, remove wheel, remove QR skewer, lay wheel flat on bench top with non-drive side facing up. As you look at the axle, closest to you will be the lock nut, then there will be one or two spacers, then the cone which extends into the hub body. If you look closely at the outer edge of the cone you'll see 2 flat surfaces for the cone wrench. This is why you need a special cone wrench, a regular wrench is too wide to fit. So slide the cone wrench into the flats, and then use your 17mm box wrench for the locknut - lefty loosey or counter-clockwise as you're looking at it. When you loosen the locknut 1 or 2 turns you can then turn the cone. You need to tighten the cone a bit. Start out 1/4 turn at a time. I use my fingers for this as I have better feel than with a wrench. The trick is to get it just the right tightness. I like to slightly overtighten to start with, as the cone always seems to loosen when you tighten the locknut. So tighten the cone until there is no play at all in the axle. Then snug up the locknut while holding the cone with the cone wrench, but don't tighten it fully yet. Now put down the wrenches and check the axle for play. What you're shooting for is a barely detectable amount of play in the axle. When you crank down the QR (or axle nuts) the added pressure will snug up the cones that final little bit. If you tighten your cones to remove all play, then when the wheel is installed it will be a bit overtightened, and of course if there is too much play, there will still be some slop. The trick is acheiving that proper tightness. So at this point, if you still have no play in the axle, put your 17mm wrench on the drive side locknut and back off the cone bit by bit until you just develop that bit of play and then retighten just until that play disappears. More often than not however, when you initially tighten the locknut, the cone will loosen. In this case I again use the 17mm on the drive side and tighten the cone bit by bit to remove all play, and then snug up the non drive locknut again. When you get it just right, then hold the cone with the cone wrench and fully tighten the locknut with the 17mm. This final tightening generally has the effect of slightly loosening the cone. Again the axle should have just a barely detectable amount of play with the wheel off the bike, but there should be no play when properly installed on your bike. Hope that makes sense, and is helpful.
    "The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule by fictitious miracles."
    John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 1815

  3. #3
    jae
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcw
    First off, is it the Ultra model with headshock and disc's, or standard rigid model? Not that it matters to your problem, but I've been contemplating getting one and would be interested to hear how you like yours.
    It's the Ultra model with headshock and discs. Before I decided on a bike, I was sure that I wanted discs and an EBB. I wasn't as sure about whether or not I wanted front suspension. I've owned a 'dale with a headshock before, and the headshock proved to be reasonably reliable, so I went ahead and picked up the Ultra.

    The loose rear wheel aside, my overall impression of the Ultra is mostly positive. It's certainly not the lighest SS around, though. I've got a large, and, juding by the bathroom scale, it weighs in at 26-27lbs. That's with the stock Maxxis High Roller 2.35 tires. I'd image it could lose a pound or two off the wheels with a lighter wheelset and tire selection, if one were so inclined.

    About the only other negative I can think of, based on doing just a couple of rides so far, is the stock Ritchey single bolt seatpost, which is a hunk of garbage. It's impossible to tighten the bolt enough to prevent the clamp from moving and causing the nose of the saddle to raise skyward during normal riding. Ritchey should be too ashamed to put their name on it in big white letters, and Cannondale should be ashamed for spec'ing it on any bike. A Thomson post has cured that problem, though.

    As for the ride, I don't know what to say other than it rides like a Cannondale hardtail with a headshock. To me, that's a plus. The stock 36:18 gearing is pretty good for most of the riding I plan to do with it for now, though I may drop down to a 32:18 when I decide to take it out on some steeper trails.

    -Jeff

    P.S. Thanks for the tips on the rear hub. I tried, but I wasn't able to adjust the bearings to remove the play. Neither was the shop I bought it from. You could tighten up the cone, but the play remained. A shop with a more capable mechanic did overhaul the bearing assembly for $15 and get things right again, though. I'll see how it holds up on my ride tomorrow!

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