Trouble keeping rear wheel centered...

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Peelay, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. Peelay

    Peelay New Member

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    Hi All,

    I'm new here but I'm hoping someone can help as my LBS hasn't been a whole lot of help. My setup: Fondriest Status Carb (steele/carbon) with Mavic Cosmic Elite wheels.

    So my problem is keeping the rear wheel centered. I noticed the wheel/tire was really close to the left chainstay and took it to my LBS. They adjusted it and just said that it would stay as long as it was really tight. Even still it wasn't perfectly centered but I could live with it. Shortly into my ride it was over again, way too close to to the chain and seat stays. At one point I hadn't noticed that it had moved over and it damaged the carbon on the seat stay!! So what's the deal? The bolt is as tight as I can get it without using a pipe on the end of it (not that I would). Is it my frame? The wheel/bolt? What can I do? Anyone out there experiece similar problem?

    Any help/advice/pointers would be greatly appreciated!!

    Cheers,
    Phill
     
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  2. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    The most probable reason I can think of is:
    1) If the axle protrudes too far from the locknuts the QR would bottom out against the axle instead of clamping the frame between locknut and QR. Then when you pedal the wheel can become misaligned in the frame. Remove the QR completely and check that the axle end is recessed slightly below the surface of the cutout in the frame. If it isn't, add a washer.

    There are a couple of other options, but they're a bit more far fetched.
     
  3. DaveN

    DaveN New Member

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    Hi

    Were the wheels handbuilt? I have a Campy10 Colnago and when the wheelbuilder in my LBS made up the wheel it was bulit slightly off centre as in the dishing of the wheel was incorrect. This would give the appearance that the wheel was not correctly aligned at the quick release.

    If this is the case realigning the the wheel at the axle doesnt really fix the issue at all. The LBS redished the wheel correcly and the rim is perfectly aligned now.

    Dave N
     
  4. graf zeppelin

    graf zeppelin New Member

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    I have adjustable drops and I noticed the same thing, although my wheel has never pulled over to the left quite so far as it was in danger of touching the left chainstay. Every three months or so, the bike goes into the shop and they reposition the wheel. I also have them have a glance at everything since its there. Seems, at least in my case, to be the forces put into the drive side pulling the adj drops a bit in the opposite direction, though I'll have a look at the wheel too. My former LBS put locktite on the adj drops and that seemed to help.
     
  5. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    Make sure the wheel is centered over the locknuts and that the axle is centered within the hub. As another poster mentioned, if the axle protrudes further than the thickness of your drop-out the QR skewer can't get sufficient purchase to keep the wheel tight.
     
  6. Peelay

    Peelay New Member

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    I'm assuming that the wheels are hand built at Mavic, but I know what you mean. The answer is no, they were purchased as a complete wheelset, not hand built at the LBS. This issue is relatively new as well. I've had the wheels for 3 years and the F/F for one. This thought had come to mind and I've checked the centering and it doesn't appear to be the issue.
     
  7. sam218

    sam218 New Member

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    Sorry I don't know much about bike terminology.
    Do you mean the hub locknuts? Do you mean if the axle protrudes farther than the width of the dropouts which can be remedied by tightening the QR nut?
     
  8. Peelay

    Peelay New Member

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    I checked out the axel and it doesn't protrude too far. There's room for it to be tightened further but I don't think I could close the QR unless I used a pipe if I made it any tighter.

    I guess I have two issues here. The wheel moves after I've closed the QR (and it's tight let me tell you, hurts my hand like hell when I close it, tighter than I'd like really) but even before that I have trouble getting it perfectly centered before tightening it. With the wheel off a close inspection the rear triangle seems to be in perfect alignment so I really don't know what it could be. Wear in the drop-outs?

    What are these far fetched options?
     
  9. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Try a different skewer that gets a better bite on the dropout. If you have horizontal dropouts,ther aare some skewers that just aren't suitable.
     
  10. need11@46

    [email protected] New Member

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    I once struck up a conversation with a rider I caught up with; he was having a similar problem. He installed a "star" washer between his hub and dropout (on the inside). It worked, as the added "grip" from the washer was all that was needed. You may need to balance this on the other side so you don't cause the wheel to sit off-center between the dropouts. Hope this helps.

    -Wm.
     
  11. Peelay

    Peelay New Member

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    Yes, this is a good thought. One thing I've noticed is that the dropouts used to be painted, that paint has since come off revealing the smooth steel. A "gripping washer" may do the trick... I'll give this a shot and let you all know how I make out.
    Thanks for all the great feedback!!!
     
  12. davidbod

    davidbod New Member

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    On my Ksyrium SSC SLs the front wheel has smooth ends on the lock nuts (the parts that contact the inside of the dropouts of the frame). The rear wheel has a smooth locknut on the non-drive side and a grooved lock nut on the drive side. The grooved lock nut should bite into your dropout so you don't get slip. The skewer which contacts the outside of the frame dropout should be grooved as well. Are your's smooth?
     
  13. Peelay

    Peelay New Member

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    All points of contact are grooved, however they are also noticably worn. Perhaps new skewers/QR/lock nuts may be in order. (I've already attempted using my front nuts on the rear as the grooves weren't worn as much, but that didn't do anything).
     
  14. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    That really shouldn't be needed, there must be something else going on.

    And you are absolutely positively sure that it's the axle that moves in the dropouts, or is there somewhere else where the move can occur?
    How did you check the rear triangle? Try standing the bike upside-down and stretch a string so that it lines up with both front and rear wheel. A buddy is really handy for this. Keep the string as close to hub level as possible without either frame or spokes disturbing the string. If everything is aligned correctly both "fore" and "aft" section of both rims should be on the same distance to the string.
    If you have a wheel that isn't tracking properly, then aligning by the chainstays will force the QR to try to settle at an angle which can cause it to slip later on. To keep the rim at the right place in the frame you need to consider three issues: dish, locknut/spacer combo, and frame (mis)alignment. Ideally the rim should be centered between the locknuts while maintaining the correct amount of dish and the chainstays should be symmetrical. If the dish is wrong, if someone used the wrong set of spacers "inside" the locknuts, or if the frame is lopsided then you can only center the wheel between the chainstays by setting the axle at an angle. (unless you have faults that cancel each other out , of course)

    Find a position where the wheel settles steadily (even if it's not tracking right). Note Rim/tire clearence and axle position. Now stick your wheel in "backwards" with the axle in the same position. If the rim isn't in the same spot then you have a dish or spacer problem. If the rim remains in the same spot then you have a lopsided frame.


    Well, if your locknuts aren't properly torqued and your bearing momentarily seizes, this can actually unscrew the hub and change the alignment of the wheel. It shouldn't be rideable afterwards though.
     
  15. Peelay

    Peelay New Member

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    This is a great idea, will try it this eve and get back to you with my findings!
    Thanks!
     
  16. zewol

    zewol New Member

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    if your LBS could not fix a problem that seems not so complicated maybe you should go see another one , I know some shops that are good at selling stuff but their mecanics are not very good.

    My opinion on this problem is that the wheel might need to be realigned (recentered) by truing it (as with a truing stand), i've seen some mavics get problems after a couple of seasons because of the spoke lenght (I work in a bike shop) and we had to modify them.

    and a good trick to protect your carbon parts on your bike is to but nail varnish on the unprotected surfaces. you DON'T want any cosmetic to remain scratched, it may end up screwing your precious carbon as it contacts water/doil/dirt!

    godd luck and congrats for buying a Fondriest, I hope you like it, mine is a charm! gimme a feedback on how you like it plz
     
  17. Peelay

    Peelay New Member

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    Just in case anyone is curious, now that the season has started up again here (canada) I thought I'd post a short follow-up about my wheel issue.

    In the end it turns out that my Mavic Cosmic Elites had reach the end of their life cycle as a performer (I'm keeping them as backups). With the help of posts here and my LBS we realized that the wheel was out of dish considerably and although re-trued just wouldn't co-operate for any length of time. The symptoms actually began with a clicking in my rear wheel, apparently cause by the spoke nipples. This could be fixed by adjusting tension of spokes as they had a tendancy to loosen. (I've read this elsewhere about Cosmic Elites). I don't knock them, they were my first Road wheels and when I started I was 40lbs heavier than I am now, so they've been through a lot.

    In the end, I decided it was time for a new wheelset. I had a few different brands and models in mind. The decision maker was when one of the owners of my LBS let me put his Zipp 404s on my bike and go for a rip. An hour later, my Fondriest and I are "zipping" around on a pair of 404s. They are some slick wheels, I almost took them to bed the first night! It's my first venture into Tubulars so I'm not excited about my first flat, but I'm sure I'll survive (I got a tutorial at the LBS and it's not as difficult as it's made out to be, especially w/ the tape instead of glue).

    Anyway, just thought I'd update this for anyone who read it and might have been a Fondriest owner or considering one or experienced a similar issue with Mavics or other wheels.

    Cheers,
    Phill
     
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