How to service cup and cone hubs

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Maintenance

How to service cup and cone hubs

Pros and cons of Shimano-favoured bearing system; cleaning, inspecting and replacing


What is a cup-and-cone system?

While cartridge bearings are favoured by many respected wheel manufacturers, the era of the cup-and-cone system has not ended: Shimano, the world’s largest component manufacturer, continues to use it.

A cup-and-cone system has three constituent parts: a bearing surface – the ‘cup’ contained within the hub shell, ball bearings, and a metal cone that holds the bearings against the cup.

The cup and cone bearing system is serviceable and still favoured by Shimano, despite the popularity of cartridge systems

Unlike a cartridge system, the bearings in a cup-and-cone system are loose, rather than contained within a race, and unlike a cartridge system, in which the bearing is thrown away when worn, it serviceable.

Both systems, however, have their advantages and disadvantages.

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