How to Adjust the Hubs on Coaster Brake Wheels

    Step 1

    Stand your bike upright with your kickstand.

    Step 2

    Use your socket or adjustable wrench to loosen the axle nuts on both sides of the rear wheel hub.

    Step 3

    Set your bike down on its left side.

    Step 4

    Stick the cone wrench into the right-side cone, located on the hub.

    Step 5

    Turn the cone wrench clockwise until the cone just touches the bearings. Turn it back counterclockwise 45 degrees.

    Step 6

    Tighten both axle nuts with your socket or adjustable wrench.

    Step 7

    Stand your bike upright. Lift the rear wheel off the ground and move it left to right. Note any play.

    Step 8

    Spin the back wheel to check there is free movement in the bearings of the rear hub.

    Step 9

    Fine tune the adjustment, if needed. For wheel play, re-tighten the bearing cone. If there's resistance in the spin, loosen the bearing cone a hair.


  • The left bearing cone is immobilized by the reaction arm, therefore adjustments need only to be made on the right side.
  • English coaster brakes are built differently. When adjusting them, use a wrench to turn the whole axle.


  • When reassembling your bike, make sure that the axle nuts are affixed tightly. Loose axle nuts could wobble off while riding and you could lose your back wheel.

Things Needed

  • Bearing cone wrench
  • Socket wrench or adjustable wrench

About the Author

Christina Shepherd McGuire writes articles about adventure sports, fashion, mothering and natural living. Since 2003, her work has appeared in "Action Outdoor and Bike Magazine," "Teton Family Magazine," "The Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine" and several online publications. McGuire holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.