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If you don’t use the spacer, you can set your preload by tightening down on the hub nut until you get the right amount. This is all about feel, so unless you are experienced with this, it’s difficult to explain exactly how much the nut should be tightened to get the right amount of preload. A hub socket, like you see here, is definitely a great investment if you’re maintaining your equipment properly. You can try it by tightening the hub nut with a pair of channel locks, but the experience is almost certainly more trouble than it’s worth.