Cone Spanners

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Aushiker
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Cone Spanners

Postby Aushiker » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:07 pm

G'day

Started playing with the Kojima this afternoon and pulled apart the front hub as it was loose. Given it was loose I just did it with my R-OE spanners, but reading up this evening in Chris' book, he suggests that one should use cone spanners for the job.

So my question is, is it worth getting a set of cone spanners? As one example, Phantom Cycles have a set for $38.95.

My plan is to build up my skills working on the bikes.

Thanks
Andrew
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Kalgrm
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Postby Kalgrm » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:10 pm

Yep, definitely. The one I've got I bought some 20 years ago and I used it once again just this morning (working on a mate's MTB with shot bearings).

I only have one though - a shifter or 15mm spanner is enough to work on the lock nut for the cone.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Postby europa » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:13 pm

Cone spanners are just very thin spanners. You will need them one day so if you're planning to work on bikes, it pays to buy them. However, the question as always is, 'how much'.

Mine have been collected over the years from here and there and rather than being a set of individuals like that, are just pressed steel with a spanner at each end. I've got two cone spanners that do 4 sized cones and that's all you need. I have however, picked up others over the years that are all sorts of shapes and sizes. Your lbs probably has some cheap ones. You don't go putting a lot of weight on them so they don't need to be high tensile steel.

My tip is - if you need it now, go buy what you need.

If you don't need them immediately, haunt second hand tool displays at flea markets and second hand shops - you'll pick up what you need over time, probably only spending a few bucks and having a lovely time in the process (assuming you like digging through old tools like I do).

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Postby Mulger bill » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:28 pm

You don't NEED cone spanners as such Andrew, but it's quicker with. Oh and the swear jar gets filled slower :wink: A shifter is fine on the locknuts.

For home workshop use, the pressed steel units of which Richard speaks are perfectly adequate, but if the money's burning a hole...

Shaun.

*Starting a religious debate* What's the best technique for perfectly adjusted bearings, first time, every time?
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Postby mikesbytes » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:41 pm

Doesn't it depend on the actual design of the component. Some need cone spanners because conventional spanners are too wide.

You have 2 options;
1. buy the cone spanners and put them away for when/if you need them.
2. discover one night that you can't adjust the thingiewejig attached to the watchyoumccallit and have to wait for the following day to buy the tool from the LBS.

Historically I've done 2.
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Postby Kalgrm » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:15 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Doesn't it depend on the actual design of the component. Some need cone spanners because conventional spanners are too wide.

You have 2 options;
1. buy the cone spanners and put them away for when/if you need them.
2. discover one night that you can't adjust the thingiewejig attached to the watchyoumccallit and have to wait for the following day to buy the tool from the LBS.

Historically I've done 2.

As far as I know, if you have cone bearings, you will need at least one cone spanner. So far, I've only ever needed the one tool which has a couple of different widths on it.

Mulger bill wrote:What's the best technique for perfectly adjusted bearings, first time, every time?

Ooh! Ooh! I know this one - it's a trick question, right? The "first time" part makes it impossible .... ;)

Having said that, I must have fluked it today. Got it in one go. My technique is to do the first side up tight, hand tighten the cone on the other side, THEN lube the thread and install the lock nut to hand tight. Hold the cone with the cone spanner and use the normal/shifter spanner to tighten the lock nut against it. Et voila! You're done!

Lubing the thread after installing the cone lets the lock nut turn on the thread without unscrewing the cone. (Another way would be to hand tighten the lock nut, hold the lock nut on the opposite side (already tightened side) of the axel in a vice and then tighten the lock nut against the cone on the second side.)

Cheers,
Graeme
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Postby europa » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:27 pm

One of my 'cone' spanners started life as a normal spanner, then got very intimate with my grinder :shock:

It's funny this fear and loathing of cone setups. I love them and have no trouble setting them. It's just feel and if you need to do it once or twice, so be it, but there's nothing scary or hard about them. Hell, and I'm a 'tighten the nut till it strips then back off half a turn' sort of mechanic.

I think I was lucky with the Dad I had. He's no mechanical genius and taught me how to unstuff stuffups :shock: But he also taught me mechanical sympathy, how to teach your fingers to 'listen' to the parts. To me, this business of having to rely on tension wrenches (yes, I have one, a very good that is used extensively when needed) for everything is an anathma, because I know how unreliable they can be and how easy it is to fool them. I'd much rather a system that relies on feel and which rewards feel. But then again, to me, a mechanical system is something alive that needs love and understanding, not a mindless pile of components to be subjugated by mathematical charts and cold hearted instruments.

Richard
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Postby Mulger bill » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:06 pm

Those last three lines, *sniff* beautiful :D

Think it's time I went back in the shed for a chat...

Shaun
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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scutmonkey
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Re: Cone Spanners

Postby scutmonkey » Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:26 pm

On this point , would anyone be so kind as to guide me in the direction of the correct size cone wrenches one would require to purchase to service a Shimano Exage hub (rear and front, RM 50/ HG 50)?
I know, a silly question for the more experienced, but I'm just learning this game. And wanting not to spend unnecessary dollars buying superfluous tools.
Thanks kindly!!

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Re: Cone Spanners

Postby koshari » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:13 pm

scutmonkey wrote:On this point , would anyone be so kind as to guide me in the direction of the correct size cone wrenches one would require to purchase to service a Shimano Exage hub (rear and front, RM 50/ HG 50)?
I know, a silly question for the more experienced, but I'm just learning this game. And wanting not to spend unnecessary dollars buying superfluous tools.
Thanks kindly!!

just get a pair of povvo reversable slotted ones, they wil do 4 sizes that fit 95 percent of hubs, $3ea/$6 a pair delivered

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Re: Cone Spanners

Postby LG » Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:04 pm

Rear hubs are 15mm, front are 13mm from memory.
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Re: Cone Spanners

Postby hedgehog » Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:13 pm

a vernier caliber is a good tool.

yeahhhh the grinder does a great job to adapt open spanners
for the thin axle nuts.

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Re: Cone Spanners

Postby bychosis » Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:17 pm

I've got a couple of the cheapies picture above. Becuase the cones don't need to be massively tight mine seem fine, I often use a shifter on the locknut and a cone spanner on the cone. I'm actually using a couple from the $30 Aldi bike tool set lately and they are fine.

As for technique to get it right, I'm at a loss. My best bet is to tighten the locknut onto one side, tighten the other cone to the right tension then pop the tightened side into the bench vice, hold the cone spanner over tighten the cone a bit with the cone spanner and then tighten it back to the locknut trying to return the cone spanner to the same position. If I don't put it into the vice I find the parts move to much and it needs an extra hand
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Re: Cone Spanners

Postby twowheels » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:41 pm

scutmonkey wrote:On this point , would anyone be so kind as to guide me in the direction of the correct size cone wrenches one would require to purchase to service a Shimano Exage hub (rear and front, RM 50/ HG 50)?
I know, a silly question for the more experienced, but I'm just learning this game. And wanting not to spend unnecessary dollars buying superfluous tools.
Thanks kindly!!

Poor quality tools are likely to fail or cause damage. If you have good quality hubs especially it is a wise investment to buy quality individual tools as you need them, as opposed to a set of lower quality.

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Re: Cone Spanners

Postby Jash Rider » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:51 pm

I bought a pair of quality cone spanners back in late '97. They've done a lot of work with a lot more left in them. Made in Japan. Can't remember the brand as the name has worn off bouncing around in the tool box for almost 20 years. I think they were about $10 each. One is 13/14mm the other 15/16mm.

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Re: Cone Spanners

Postby scutmonkey » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:23 pm

Thanks for the help, everyone. :D :D
Picked sonething up off an "unnamed online merchandiser" who just happened to be having a free shipping sale. Not so much a question of buying cheap or expensive tools, more just wanting to avoid buying the wrongsized ones.
Cheers again!

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Re: Cone Spanners

Postby Duck! » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:01 am

LG wrote:Rear hubs are 15mm, front are 13mm from memory.

Correct, the vast majority of cup-&-cone hubs use 15mm for the rear and 13mm for the front cones, and a 17mm for the lock nuts on both. You DO need cone spanners, or fashion a set by introducing a nornal one to a grinder, because normal spaners are simply too thick to fit once the locknut is tightened anywhere near touching the cone. A normal spanner is fine for most locknuts, but some (typically Shimano, but some others) have a flange over the flats on the nut, so need a cone spanner there as well.

To tighten cones properly, first ensure the cone & nut are firmly secured on one end of the axle (usually drive side of the rear hub, and disc side of a disc brake front, non-disc front hubs doesn't matter which side), with correct axle protrusion past the face of the locknut; 4mm on the front, 5.5mm on the rear. Screw the other cone on, and slightly overtighten it; you should still be able to turn the axle by hand, but with resistance. Fit the washers and spacers as necessary, then the locknut, screwed up finger tight against the cone. Now with your spanners on cone & locknut, tighten the two against each other. Some trick of friction between all the bits dictates that the cone will loosen slightly from the bearings as it's tightened against the locknut, so when it's properly snugged up against the nut, the axle will spin freely on the bearings, but with no slop.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Cone Spanners

Postby LG » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:26 pm

My technique is very similar to Duck's but never seem to have the skill/luck to get the adjustment right the first or second, or usually third time. I get it close to right as per the Duck technique then work out if its too tight or too loose. Once I know this I hold the already tight end of the axle in a vice and loosen off the lock nut on the other side while holding the cone steady with the cone spanner. By having the axle held firmly it is easy to re-adjust the position of the cone for fine adjustment without the axle spinning as the lock nut gets re-tightened. It's usually a change of a fraction of a turn (about 1/8 or so) .
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Re: Cone Spanners

Postby ironhanglider » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:52 pm

Of course once you get the wheel bearings 'perfectly adjusted with no slop' you then put the wheel in the bike and find that it doesn't spin freely once the QR is tightened up.

For my wheels that means a tiny bit of slop in the bearings when they are off the bike, but none when they are on.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Cone Spanners

Postby hedgehog » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:59 pm

check the cone part where the bearings slide on the cone for pitted surfaces.in my opinion.
and yes if the cone is pitted i do still yous it but with a bit of looseness not suggesting this,
but some times i do this.

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