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  1. #1
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    slight play in rear wheel

    I have some play in the rear wheel/rear end and I can't figure out what is causing it. With the bike on the ground I grab the top of the saddle with my right hand and the top of the rear wheel with my left hand. If I move the rear wheel laterally there is a tiny bit of play, or slop, in the rear wheel.

    Here is what I am working with:
    -new Flux
    -King Hubs/Sapim spokes/DT XR4.1d rims
    -XT cassette with Chris King lock ring

    Things I have checked so far:
    -adjusting cone on King hub is snug
    -dropout pivot nuts are tight
    -with the wheel off the bike, I can't detect any play in the cassette
    -skewer is tight

    Any ideas?
    Eat Food. Chop Wood. Ride Bike.

  2. #2
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Instead of grabbing the saddle next time, grab the seat post. Next, grab the frame. Next the rockers, then the top of the seat stay.... etc. By process of elimination you can narrow it down. If the slop is still there when flexing the wheel relative to the seat or chainstays, then there is play in the axle bearings. The reverse process will tell you if there is play in the frame or elsewhere.

    Also try stepping on the rear rim to hold the wheel down and lift up and push down on the seat post gently. A clicking there indicates worn upper shock bushings.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Instead of grabbing the saddle next time, grab the seat post. Next, grab the frame. Next the rockers, then the top of the seat stay.... etc. By process of elimination you can narrow it down. If the slop is still there when flexing the wheel relative to the seat or chainstays, then there is play in the axle bearings. The reverse process will tell you if there is play in the frame or elsewhere.
    Great tips! I can still feel the play when I grab the seat stay with one hand and the top of the wheel with the other.

    Is the play in the axle bearings controlled by the adjusting cone? I just got done tightening the cone, using the king adjusting cone tool, and it was pretty snug.
    Eat Food. Chop Wood. Ride Bike.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave in Driggs

    Is the play in the axle bearings controlled by the adjusting cone? I just got done tightening the cone, using the king adjusting cone tool, and it was pretty snug.
    Yep. Maybe you didn't adjust it correctly. The rear hub cones need to be a bit more snug than the front hubs.

    2 - 5mm hex wrenches... loosen.....turn the cone until contact is made...re-tightnen (100 in-lbs?)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave in Driggs
    -King Hubs
    the bearing preload needs adjusting. that's my bet. this issue happening repeatedly is what caused several of my friends to stop running King rear hubs.

    hopefully you won't have to do the preload more than once.

  6. #6
    ... I guess you won't be
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    getting the cone preload on the king hubs is a bit of a dark art - since when you tighten the locknuts, you will get some additional rotation of the cone preload gizmo. So - you have to account for this when you tighten the whole thing up....it's good practice, so get poppin!

    I cant wait for you to get the king/xt cassette wriggle at whenever you shift into the smallest three cassette gears......yes virginia - you'll need "the spacer"......

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    the bearing preload needs adjusting. that's my bet. this issue happening repeatedly is what caused several of my friends to stop running King rear hubs.

    hopefully you won't have to do the preload more than once.
    Yeah..like once every 1,000 miles...what an inconvenience!

    King hubs rock. Even if/when they do come out of adjustment, it takes less time to fix than a flat.

  8. #8
    ... I guess you won't be
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    after cleaning the innards of my king hubs several times over the years, you get to really appreciate that the real beauty of the hubs is inside, not outside......simple and incredibly well designed, and the cone/locknut system is much much easier than the old style cups/cones that many hub users rely on.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedThrills
    Yeah..like once every 1,000 miles...what an inconvenience!

    King hubs rock. Even if/when they do come out of adjustment, it takes less time to fix than a flat.
    insecure about your King hubs, and feeling the need to defend them? why don't you try to "convince" my 3 friends, instead of spouting platitudes and puffery on MTBR.com?

  10. #10
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    the saga continues

    I know you are all thinking, "he is not tightening the preload cone properly". I read all of your posts carefully AND watched the Quicktime movie on the King website. I tightened it again this morning and I went a bit beyond "snug" using the King cone adjusting tool.

    I still have play in the rear end when I grab the top of the tire and move it laterally.

    I have the exact same hub/cassette combo on my 5 SPot and there is no play there. My King hubs on the 5 Spot are almost three years old and have never needed adjustment.
    Eat Food. Chop Wood. Ride Bike.

  11. #11
    Mr.Secret
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    Take off the rear shock ' cause it's easier to isolate a loose TNT or rocker link that way. Grab the compression strut ( seatstay ) with one hand , the swingarm with the other and see if it's a TNT link. Then grab by the rear dropout with one hand and push back and forth laterally while feeling all the other pivots with the other hand to check for tightness er, I mean play. I still think it's your hub though. Good luck............
    Last edited by R.T.R.; 06-03-2006 at 04:52 PM.

  12. #12
    on a routine expedition
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedThrills
    Yeah..like once every 1,000 miles...what an inconvenience!
    I wish mine had only come out of adjustment that infrequently. My rear hub (with HD axle and funbolts) came out of adjustment once or twice a day when I was doing lift-serviced DH last summer. The front (20mm) got loose every couple of days. I should have kept my modified 3/32" allen velcro'd to my handlebar.

    I never had this issue during more XC oriented (or maybe it was "all-mountain," I'm just not sure anymore) riding with the QR versions of King hubs.

  13. #13
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    RTR has it right

    It's time to determine if the wheel is the culprit. Hopefully you have another rear wheel that you can swap out.

    If the new wheel has play.... it's likely the frame. I have seen issues with the pivot hardware where a bolt thread was damaged and it allowed for a tiny bit of play in the rear swingarm.

    I apologize if you've already done this and I missed it in a post.

  14. #14
    ... I guess you won't be
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    you could have a pivot that is slightly out of tolerance, from the factory.....this happened to me once after installing brand new pivots - one pivot would still wobble a bit no matter what [just happened to be the main BB pivot, so it was pretty noticeable]. After contacting turner, they sent me out a few new bushings and shafts for free, just so I could replace the not quite thick enough one on my bike. They said that sometimes a stray pivot might not be quite thick enough and that can cause a wobble/clunk loose pivot effect - even when brand new. Its rare, but it happens - but Turner is very quick to help fix it.

  15. #15
    Roy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Shorts
    RTR has it right

    It's time to determine if the wheel is the culprit. Hopefully you have another rear wheel that you can swap out.

    If the new wheel has play.... it's likely the frame.
    Also, stick the wheel in question on your Spot's frame, which you said doesn't have the play. If it has play on the Spot, then you know it's something with the wheel or cassette.

  16. #16
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    The hub is good. I put the rear wheel from the Flux in the 5 Spot and there is no play. None, zip, zilch, nada. The good news that I can obviously follow instructions and can tighten my rear hub properly. The bad news is that there is still play in the rear of my Flux.

    So I must have some play in one of the bushings. With the wheel off the bike and the bike in the workstand it is tough to feel any play and isolate which bushing it is. If I grab a seatstay with each hand and and torque them in opposite directions I can feel a tiny bit of play but I can't where it is coming from.
    Eat Food. Chop Wood. Ride Bike.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave in Driggs
    The hub is good. I put the rear wheel from the Flux in the 5 Spot and there is no play. None, zip, zilch, nada. The good news that I can obviously follow instructions and can tighten my rear hub properly. The bad news is that there is still play in the rear of my Flux.

    So I must have some play in one of the bushings. With the wheel off the bike and the bike in the workstand it is tough to feel any play and isolate which bushing it is. If I grab a seatstay with each hand and and torque them in opposite directions I can feel a tiny bit of play but I can't where it is coming from.
    Following this thread with interest. I have a large Flux and notice flex in the rear when riding. I've posted this a couple of times here. It is not the wheel/hub (switched rear wheels with another bike, wheels true, hubs in appropriately maintained, etc.). Aside from that negative evidence I can't figure out where it is coming from either. All the pivots/bushings are tightened to appropriate torques and don't appear to have any obvious play from wear or anything. Still love the bike, but flex is flex and something I didn't expect from the design/quality. Rode Five Spot and Motolite demos last week, and the rear on each felt very stiff in comparison.

  18. #18
    ... I guess you won't be
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    I've always found it really difficult to isolate if there is a bad bushing somewhere. What I've resorted to an it seems to work, is if I remove the horst link/ or TNT pivots entirely. By doing so I can grab the chainstay swingarm, rock it back and forth to see if it's wriggly. I can also grab the seatstay portion, extend it outwards so I have a real long lever, and move it side to side. This tends to narrow it down, and it's no sweat to do. This seems to be the most effective way to see if there is an obviously loose pivot. And, it gives you an opportunity to squirt some Prep M in the little horst/tnt pivots!

  19. #19
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    cowDawg, if I'm not mistaken, the Flux rear assembly is designed to be lightweight and XC race-oriented and therefore might feel flexy in tougher more technical terrain, especially if you are not whippet-thin like most serious XC racers.

  20. #20
    gravity curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    cowDawg, if I'm not mistaken, the Flux rear assembly is designed to be lightweight and XC race-oriented and therefore might feel flexy in tougher more technical terrain, especially if you are not whippet-thin like most serious XC racers.
    Good point -- one that has crossed my mind on more than one occassion.

  21. #21
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    A sloppy dropout bushing/shaft interface proved to be the cause. Turner is providing excellent customer service as usual and is sending a new dropout bushing kit.

    Thanks to everyone for all the help in figuring this one out.
    Eat Food. Chop Wood. Ride Bike.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowDawg
    Good point -- one that has crossed my mind on more than one occassion.
    Now that I think about this, however, isn't the rear tri the same on the flux as the five spot? The rocker is different, of course.

    Good to hear you figured out the problem Dave.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowDawg
    Now that I think about this, however, isn't the rear tri the same on the flux as the five spot? .
    It's exactly the same.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Shorts
    It's exactly the same.
    interesting. I thought I read somewhere that the 4X bikes used by Turner's sponsored pros were Flux fronts with 5-Spot rears set at 4" travel. that's where I got the notion that the Spot rear assembly was different.

    so what's the difference? rockers? shock stroke length?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    ..so what's the difference? rockers? shock stroke length?
    ...front tri, geometry, different shock stroke/ rockers.


  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    interesting. I thought I read somewhere that the 4X bikes used by Turner's sponsored pros were Flux fronts with 5-Spot rears set at 4" travel. that's where I got the notion that the Spot rear assembly was different.

    so what's the difference? rockers? shock stroke length?
    When Turner announced TNT, I went right out and immediately purchased a brand new Spot / Flux HL rear. I was planning on getting a Flux and I wanted the Flux to be HL. So now I have a spar SPot / Flux rear triangle...... just in case

    Like JNC said.... the difference (between a 5 Spot and Flux) is everything except the rear triangles.

  27. #27
    falling off since 1975
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    My wifes Burner had this problem. Turned out to be worn H-L washers. Well, it is ten years old

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Instead of grabbing the saddle next time, grab the seat post. Next, grab the frame. Next the rockers, then the top of the seat stay.... etc. By process of elimination you can narrow it down. If the slop is still there when flexing the wheel relative to the seat or chainstays, then there is play in the axle bearings. The reverse process will tell you if there is play in the frame or elsewhere.

    Also try stepping on the rear rim to hold the wheel down and lift up and push down on the seat post gently. A clicking there indicates worn upper shock bushings.
    I followed your advice. I felt play when grabbing the seat/wheel, seat post/wheel, rocker/wheel. When I grabbed the top of the seat stay/wheel, I felt no play. The dropout pivot must have play. Am I correct? The pivots are properly tightened which leads me to believe that I must have a defective bushing. They are less than a year old.

  29. #29
    FM
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    Fun bolts

    I'll bet $$$ king Fun bolts might solve your problem.

    I endured a flexy-feeling rear end, and drag/sloppy chain when coasting or backpedaling for years- and didn't even really notice it... until I went to fun bolts. Now having the fun bolts, I don't actually believe it's possible to achieve %100 correct preload on king hubs without them. Even if you get it right while static, flex in the flexy axle is going to make it too tight/ too loose under load.

    Keep in mind, when going to the funbolts, the cone/collar/axle get replaced with a better design. Pre-load and locking become totally separated- locking the cone down adds no additional pre-load onto the bearings. This simplifies adjustment and reduces maintenance- My hubs haven't needed adjustment once since I installed the funbolts etc.

    I went to fun bolts mainly to resolve the free-hub drag issues and was totally impressed with how much it stiffened up the bike. Honestly I felt a much bigger difference from funbolts than I noticed when going 20mm up front.

    It might seem like a lot of money till you feel the difference. Then it just feels like money. Not a significan weight gain either.

  30. #30
    Lay off the Levers
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    Yeah def negligible wt gain.

    I weighed the funbolts HD axle and associated parts and they were the same wt as the Hope skewer & std axle they replaced. The only wt penalty is carrying a hex tool big enough to remove the wheel to fix a flat.



    Orig QR Axle =60g
    Hope skwr = 60g
    Total = 120g

    Funbolts & preload ring = 50g
    1P HD axle = 70g
    Total = 120g

    +-10g on alpine scale.
    Last edited by Bikezilla; 04-14-2008 at 10:12 PM.
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  31. #31
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    FWIW, when I converted a QR hub to Fun Bolts for the RFX I couldn't go more than a ride or two without the hub coming loose. Eventually it took 3-4 rides for play to develop. Now it holds an adjustment for months. I have 7-8 King hubs (some 5 yrs old now) and I had this problem only with the one with Fun Bolts.

    I almost converted it back to QR but my patience paid off. I know of others who had the same issue and gave up on the FBs.


  32. #32
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde S Dale
    FWIW, when I converted a QR hub to Fun Bolts for the RFX I couldn't go more than a ride or two without the hub coming loose. Eventually it took 3-4 rides for play to develop. Now it holds an adjustment for months. I have 7-8 King hubs (some 5 yrs old now) and I had this problem only with the one with Fun Bolts.

    I almost converted it back to QR but my patience paid off. I know of others who had the same issue and gave up on the FBs.
    Thats a head scratcher for sure, since you have the additional pinch bolt to keep the hub from loosening. For the hub to come loose, either the pinch bolt would have to back out, or perhaps your bearings or freehub weren't fully seated in the hubshell?

  33. #33
    Lay off the Levers
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    Mine lossened up on me once...first trip to the bike park. Only had them for a little while. But that was the only time.

    On a semi-related note, CK sent me a new collar for the new 150mm hub I got. Apparently they had a batch they weren't happy with the spec, and proactively replaced them. Kewl
    Props to Larry for being proactive as well, as I had no idea about it.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

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