Basic Bicycle Repairs : How to Adjust a Bicycle Wheel Hub
Basic Bicycle Repairs : How to Adjust a Bicycle Wheel Hub

Hello, this is Russ with the Salt Lake City
Bicycle Collective. Online at Also here on
behalf of Expert Village. Today I’m going to show you how to adjust a front or rear
hub, they’re generally both the same. First thing you’re going to want to do is remove
the two rubber dust caps that are on there. Often hubs will have these to keep dirt from
going inside to where the bearing are. You’re going to need two special wrenches for this.
Probably going to have to locate them at a bike shop or in the event you’re in the Salt
Lake area, you can come down to the Bike Collective and you can use our tools. Two tools, one
is a 15 millimeter, the other is a 17 millimeter. 15 millimeter is normally the inside one.
You can see that its a pretty flat interface, you’re going to be able to a regular wrench
in there, so you’re going to need these wrenches. After you do that, you’re going to want to
take the 17 millimeter on the outside one and go ahead and turn them counter-clockwise.
This will allow those to loosen up a little bit and after you do that, kind of a dance
back and forth trying to figure out how much tension you need to make sure that the wheel
is probably adjusted. On this side, I’m going to go with the 15 on the inside and then a
17 on the outside and I’m actually going to roll this out a little bit and that will create
my hub to spin just a little bit better. If you’re working with a quick release wheel,
the adjustment that you’re actually looking for it to be just a hair loose if you were
to push it as hard as you could. And the reason you want this is as you tighten the quick
release down, it creates compression on the bearings a little bit and that will give you
the absolute proper hub adjustment. What I’m going to do is double check this side, make
sure its nice and tight before I go ahead and finish the other side. Just going to lock
these two together. The look real good. Flip the wheel back over, go to this side, see
how my hub adjustment is. Feels like its a little bit smoother than it was before, which
is good. Slide the 15 back on the inside. 17 on the top. Start to tighten those together,
but not make them totally tight. I’m going to double check it. See how I feel about it.
It could probably still be just a hair looser, so I’m going to go 17 on the outside over
here and 15 on the inside over here and loosen that just a hair and then I’m just looking
for that proper adjustment where its just a hair loose. Might take you a couple tries.
Go back and forth. After I get to that part, I’m going to come back over to this side.
15 on the inside, 17 on the outside and go ahead and just crank those down the rest of
the way. And now that I have that nice, smooth hub adjustment, I can go ahead and reinstall
my disc brake on this particular wheel or in some situations, reinstall the cassette
on the back wheel and go ahead and install that back into the bike. Once you clamp it
in there, you want to make sure that the wheel doesn’t have any movement side to side. If
it does, it means it needs to come back out again and tighten that 15 on the inside just
a little bit more to create a little bit more tension on the hub.

41 thoughts on “Basic Bicycle Repairs : How to Adjust a Bicycle Wheel Hub”

  1. vvortex3 says:

    Please talk more slowly…

  2. rob b says:

    yes, its a bit tricky to get is juuust right.. not a thing you have to do very often tho..

  3. you toob says:

    thanks man cool videos

    5 star rating !!

  4. gdmsndmxr says:

    Great video…my LBS did a bearing job and made it too tight so now I will get some cone wrenches and fix myself.

  5. 063209dr says:

    Great video.

    Every new bike I've purchased the hubs were overtightened. I've had to adjust them in a similar way to your video. Manufacturers need to see your video.

  6. James Fairchild says:

    Talk slower.

  7. Spencer Seow says:


  8. Matthew Tate says:

    you fixed bikes when you was 3 ye right

  9. doritodude1033 says:


  10. David Chen says:

    is there a way to get rid of the quick release?

  11. Matthew Du Puy says:

    Exactly the clear instructions I've been looking for to tighten my loose rear hub. There are so many bad tutorials out there. This is the best by far. Thanks so much!

  12. thetart20 says:

    @mdupuy 100% agree, thanks!

  13. Matthew Waldron says:

    Wow! thanks for that, i have been looking for clear set of instructions for a while now. Thanks

  14. Flavio Mattos. says:

    Thanks! very good point! Now i my self can do it fitting in and fitting out the hub.

  15. Knightlore10 says:

    Quality video thanks. A poorly adjusted (too tight) hub is also responsible for brake pad rotor rub. Eventually fixed the problem by adjusting the front cones.

  16. Josh Bastian says:

    Thanks, very helpful.

  17. BasedBaller says:

    I will admit that these videos are very useful, but lack the very specifics that some beginners or only slightly experienced amateurs need. After searching for 1/2 an hour, I came upon a generic site with made by one person that had everything, even though he obviously had no site-making experience. The more professional something gets, the less it is willing to provide or thinks of providing.

  18. John Evans says:

    finally found a video that actually helps me. Thank you so much. 🙂

  19. mr simplicity says:

    do we need your tools or can we use a wrench or spanner or something cos mine is real wobbly

  20. anthonyskibbles says:

    thnxs man. i thought i was going to have to buy a new hub

  21. Karl XZY says:

    Geebus man slow down a bit. Sounds like he had one too many coffees that day.

  22. HighAway says:

    all im looking for freewheel hub repair.. and i got stumped over here…damn you!

  23. quilope says:

    Hella confusing, bro! SO much information SO fast and with no noob-friendly explanation. I don't even know what is going on here… <:(

  24. Aydin Sanchez says:

    thx helped a lot

  25. Angelo L says:

    @quilope amen

  26. alfamonk says:

    no problem understanding this..and i'm not American. Maybe you need to put simple subtitles up for the Americans watching!

  27. BattyBitz says:

    Not in Utah!

  28. Peter 3337 says:


  29. BattyBitz says:

    Jokes man. I also doubt that.

  30. thebarak says:

    He speaks quite clearly actually, and there are sub-titles for those who have trouble. This video has convinced me that I should go to a shop to have my bearings checked and adjusted.

  31. romalomalonman says:

    He's in salt lake city. Roll that around in your head for a minute and see it from his perspective.

  32. alegriasde arte says:

    My rear wheel doesn't look like that and it wasn't assembled with the same tools this guy is using here.

  33. stuart dillon says:

    has anyone complaining about the speed he talks taken into account he was probably busy at the time. the video is only short , and he works in a real shop he may have had a customer waiting for that wheel lol

  34. datalaforge says:

    This was very helpful. Thanks so much!

  35. Logan Stein says:

    I had my LBS do a front hub overhaul which helped, but after scraping my front wheel against a small curb on the right side.. Kinda made the hub "wiggle" come back. I think its supposed to be snug. Are 7mm and 15mm cone wrenches standard for quick release hubs?

  36. Alan Hudson says:

    So what's the great rush ! . Talk slower and people might learn something

  37. Mike Strickland says:

    great video, really clear, really helpful – thanks pal

  38. TrailRiderMTB says:

    wait… what?

  39. Angelo Medina says:

    nice and tight

  40. Angelo Medina says:

    just a hair

  41. chandler albers says:

    Mines a 1951 schwinn spitfire. I had this drag problem accord today when it was riding just fine last summer

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