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Campy hubs question - mystery vibration(7 posts)

Campy hubs question - mystery vibrationJFR
Sep 23, 2003 11:48 AM
I have a set of Campy Scirocco wheels. If you grab the wheel when mounted, either wheel, there is a tiny little bit of side to side play in the hub. Both hubs seem to have same amount of play.

I questioned two different "experts" at two diff LBSs, and of course got two diff answers.

A1: There should be NO play. Period. No hub should have any side to side play, none at all.

A2: There should be SOME play. Campy hubs are like that. If you tighten a Campy hub to have no play, you'll toast the bearings (and races?) in no time.

This topic came up as a result of an occasional vibration I pick up under certain extreme pedaling conditions. The vibration is clearly pedaling related, versus wheel speed, cause it doesn't happen when coasting regardless of speed (max sp to date = 43mph).

It seems to happen when I manage a perfect heavy-torque/high-cadence circular spin going... like when you floor the throttle, seated, to jam up and over a short rise.

The vibration is slight and does not seem to effect efficiency. It also seems that I can't always re-create it either (only if the torque/cadence/spin is just right).

If not the hub(s), any other idea?

Thanks for your input.

re: Campy hubs question - mystery vibrationdivve
Sep 23, 2003 12:51 PM
My experience as far as Campagnolo goes is only with Record hubs, but there should be no play. Adjust as smoothly turning as possible without play. In my opinion not being able to adjust the play out of a hub is either a sign of wear or lower grade bearings.
thanks -nmJFR
Sep 23, 2003 3:02 PM
Adjust the cones...PT
Sep 23, 2003 2:25 PM
Check out this link for the best set of instructions on adjusting the cones/bearings in a hub I've ever seen:

Basically, you want a very little bit of play in the hub with the quick release barely engaged (half-way locked down). Then when you tighten the quick release fully there should be no play at all -- perfect!
thanks for the info and link! -nmJFR
Sep 23, 2003 3:04 PM
Vibration not likely your bearings - here's how to adjustKerry Irons
Sep 23, 2003 5:07 PM
Both of your experts were WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Loose bearing hubs should be adjusted to the point where there is no binding and/or no play. Binding is a roughness felt when you turn the axle. If you have to have play to eliminate binding, you adjust so there is play. A high quality hub can be adjusted to eliminate play without any binding, but many hubs cannot. So your first source is wrong to say that no hub should have play - you may have to have play to eliminate the binding, and binding will destroy the cups, cones, and bearings. Your second source is wrong to say that you'll toast the bearings if you adjust to eliminate play - I've adjusted Campy Record, NR, C Record, and HPW hubs to eliminate play since the '60s and never toasted any hub in something like 200K miles.

Your vibration is not likely from the play in hub bearings. Since this vibration comes under high load, I'd point to the chain, cassette, or chainrings. Perhaps even BB or pedals, but not likely due to play in hub bearings.
Your input is very much appreciatedJFR
Sep 24, 2003 8:06 AM
Good info! Thanks a lot!