Ellsworth rear wheel has play...like loose bearings.

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Ellsworth rear wheel has play...like loose bearings.
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Posted: Apr 2, 2020 at 3:25 Quote
My wife and I both have I9 torch hubs on our Ellsworth Epiphany bikes....same hubs for the past 6 years. Recently we've been getting some creaking and noticed the rear wheels have some play in them. I changed bearings less than a year ago and the free hubs get serviced regularly. I immediatly thought bearings so I bought a new set and installed....maybe slight improvement? I concluded the bearings must be loose in the housings or on the axles so I called I9 and spoke with a tech. They had not heard of that issue and suggested we send them in for evaluation. Our only wheels so ....not an option. I removed the bearings again and reinstalled with bearing retaining compound to take up any slack.. No improvement. The problem ultimately was the hex tapered axle that Ellsworth uses to hold the rear wheel on. Over the years, the tapered portion of that "axle" had seated further into that socket. The problem is not really on that end but the opposite side of the axle....the hex that goes into the derailleur hanger. It has a shoulder on it that prevents the wheel from being pulled tight between the chain stays......it bottoms out on the derailleur hanger. I carefully filed each flat on that hex back about 1 mm...effectively making that hex a little longer. This allowed the axle to go through the derailleur hanger about 1 mm further. Of course this made the axle stick out (to the outside) of the derailleur hanger slightly.....or at least flush with the outside. Therefore, I filed off 1mm from the end of the axle effectively making it 1mm shorter over all. This gives some room for the wheel to be pulled tight between the chain stays. Problem solved. ???? So, don't be so quick to blame your wheelset. There could be othe issues present. I hope this helps others with this this same problem.

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