Rear wheel seats two different ways



Caden

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Jun 30, 2006
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My 2-year-old Trek 1500 with Bontrager Select wheels (which it came with) has always had this odd issue with the rear wheel. When putting the wheel back in after a flat or skewer change or something, I notice that the wheel seems to want to seat in one of two *different* angles, one of which has it rubbing on the brake on one side. I can't just put pull weight on the wheel and assume it's lined up. I have to manually line it up carefully between the brake pads and tighten the skewer at the right moment. Is this normal? My wife's Specialized doesn't have this issue. On hers you just drop the wheel in and it's straight - there's no nudging it into a different "stable" position. The frame on hers seems to hold the wheel in position.

Any ideas? I'm worried I'll hit a bump and knock my wheel into the brake if settles into the other position.
 

daveornee

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Sep 18, 2003
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Caden said:
My 2-year-old Trek 1500 with Bontrager Select wheels (which it came with) has always had this odd issue with the rear wheel. When putting the wheel back in after a flat or skewer change or something, I notice that the wheel seems to want to seat in one of two *different* angles, one of which has it rubbing on the brake on one side. I can't just put pull weight on the wheel and assume it's lined up. I have to manually line it up carefully between the brake pads and tighten the skewer at the right moment. Is this normal? My wife's Specialized doesn't have this issue. On hers you just drop the wheel in and it's straight - there's no nudging it into a different "stable" position. The frame on hers seems to hold the wheel in position.

Any ideas? I'm worried I'll hit a bump and knock my wheel into the brake if settles into the other position.
Is the wheel centered on the Locknuts?
Are the dropouts properly aligned?
Are the brakes centered?
What happens when you take your wife's wheel and place it in your frame?
 

Caden

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Jun 30, 2006
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daveornee said:
Is the wheel centered on the Locknuts?
Are the dropouts properly aligned?
Are the brakes centered?
What happens when you take your wife's wheel and place it in your frame?
Centered on locknuts? Do you mean whether it has more threaded axle protruding from one side or the other?

As for dropout alignment I have no idea how to see that or brake alignment without the wheel in place, which is the very issue of course. I don't have any sort of frame-checking jig.

Now your last question about trying my wife's wheel - THAT I should try! That'll certainly tell me if this wheel is just funny or my rear triangle/dropouts has some issue. I'll do that tonight.
 

daveornee

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Sep 18, 2003
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Caden said:
Centered on locknuts? Do you mean whether it has more threaded axle protruding from one side or the other?

As for dropout alignment I have no idea how to see that or brake alignment without the wheel in place, which is the very issue of course. I don't have any sort of frame-checking jig.

Now your last question about trying my wife's wheel - THAT I should try! That'll certainly tell me if this wheel is just funny or my rear triangle/dropouts has some issue. I'll do that tonight.

Your issue is that you don't know what is not aligned and/or centered.


http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=82


Explains centered on locknut. Some call it dish.

Checking Alignment (Symmetry)
covered in:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html


Using the string method works.
 

Caden

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Jun 30, 2006
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daveornee said:
Your issue is that you don't know what is not aligned and/or centered.
I think I might have figured it out. The brake caliper was rotated to one side. With the bike upside down and me putting the wheel on and pushing it fully into the dropouts the rim was hitting a brake pad, so I was shifting the wheel a bit left nearest the brake and this was lifting the axle just a tiny amount from the dropout on my left, but it *felt* like a second stable position. I was tightening the wheel at this point.

Now I've loosened the brake bolt and pushed the wheel all the way in. THEN I centered the brake. Now it looks right and feels fully set in. We'll see how it rides..