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.
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.