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Dust cap loose after cone & bearing replacement
So, I have the exact opposite problem of anotherjeff's thread below!

I was trying to learn a bit more about maintenance on my bike and decided to do the cones & bearings (they were trashed). The bike shop ended up doing the rear wheel and I did the front ... suffice to say that the rear wheel is fine, while the best I can say about the front is that 'it spins'!

When I was putting it together, I went through the process of tightening it as much as I could and then backing off just a little bit so that the wheel spun freely. I think I am now at the point where if I tighten it anymore, the wheel struggles to turn (this is before placing it on the spokes and tightening the quick release mechanism).

However, when I tried to fit the axle to the forks, there was not enough axle hanging off the sides to fit into place. I was only able to fit the wheel after I had removed both washers which is clearly not right. Now I am in the situation where the washers are not fitted, the wheel can rock from side to side, and the dust cap is clearly not pushing up against the seal ring (the gap is clearly visible).

I am not sure how to tighten/move the dust cap without readjusting the lock nuts and seal ring (since the wheel stops spinning if I tighten the lock nuts any further). Should I just whack it with a mallet???

The only other thing I can think of is that maybe the bike shop gave me the wrong size bearings, which is causing the dust cap t sit further away from the seal ring. I will check this, but was wondering if people had any other ideas.
I forgot to add that the wheel itself spins rather well now (3 years with the same bearings & cones was not that pleasant) and that it seems to wobble less the faster I ride Wink
Mountain: Giant Trance X3 2010
Road: Giant OCR C3 2007
could be:
* balls too large - are they the same size as was there before? Front wheels usually have different sized balls than the rear.
* new cones? different size/shape.

on another note: radial spoking (as shown in the picture above) leads to a great deal of stress on front hub, which can result in cracking and total failure at the most inopportune moment.
Hi Nigel,

I was thinking that the balls might be wrong. I don't have the old ones anymore (doh!), but I do have the full specs on the wheels from the Shimano website. I will measure some of the spares to see if they are right. I threw out the packaging that came with the cones (ahhh ... slow learner Wink so I can't check it now, but it looks correct.

As for the spokes, the wheel came that way. Can you change the spoke pattern on any wheel, or do the lengths of the spokes limit you to the pattern they came with? I have attached the image from the wheel specs and I can't really tell what the pattern is that is shown.
Mountain: Giant Trance X3 2010
Road: Giant OCR C3 2007
different pattern, means different spoke lengths. Take a look at Sheldon Brown's wheel building web article, and all of the attachments.
And don't change the spoke pattern on a hub. This can lead to the aforementioned failure (see Nigel's reference list + Roger Musson's book http://www.wheelpro.uk). If the company producing the hub ok'ed it for radial spoking I would say you are on the safe side (well, they built the wheel that way, so it should be good). So: While Nigel is right that a radial spoke pattern is not the best way to build a wheel (looking at it from an engineering point of view, focusing on durability, I guess) it should be no problem on a road bike as there is not much load on the wheel (well, definitely less than off road with disc brakes...). If there was a bigger problem, we'd know about it by now: there's so many road bikes out there with radially spoked front wheels...

For off-road use I'd also build something different (32 spokes cross 3), especially if the bike has disc brakes. There's (the same) reason why rear wheels usually have no radial spokes (well, I should say "few" radial spokes, look at those weird Campa wheels).
Thanks for the comments Joe, Nigel.

I have measured the ball bearings and they definitely look correct. The specs from Shimano call for 3/16" (4.76mm) bearings and they appear to be a touch under 5mm.

So, I will start from scratch again and see how I go. Otherwise it is off to the bike shop for me!
Mountain: Giant Trance X3 2010
Road: Giant OCR C3 2007

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