Wheel Part Salvaging - Page 3 of 16
The next nut on the axle is the locking nut, a flat nut that sits on the outer face of the cone nut to lock it in place. Since the cone nuts also include a bearing race, it is important that they are held in place on the axle to maintain the correct tension between the bearing face and the ball bearings. The entire weight on the axle rides on the two cone nuts, which sit on the ball bearings. There are two ways to remove the locking nuts: by using a cone wrench to grip one of the cone nuts or by using a second wrench to hold one locking nut as you loosen the other. Most of us do not own a set of bicycle cone wrenches, so just use a pair of wrenches to loosen one of the locking nuts by turning it in the counter clockwise rotation as you hold the opposite nut from moving with another wrench.
If you are using the two wrench method, then it will be random as to which of the locking nuts comes loose. If you loosen the non-freewheel locking nut then it is easier to pull the axle because as you will soon see, the freewheel cone nut is buried beneath the face of the freehub where a wrench cannot reach. Either way, you can certainly remove the locking nut once it has been loosened as the axle threads should now be fairly clean.
As luck would have it, I managed to get the freewheel side locknut free from the axle, so now I have the added challenge of removing the cone nut that is sitting in the freehub opening where a wench cannot fit. You can't even use a socket on the cone nut since it only has two flat sides, but not to worry, there is always a way. Also, note the spacer found between the locking nut and cone nut to allow the locking nut to clear the outer face of the freehub.
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You can build it yourself from our easy to follow DIY plans!