Bicycle Mechanics - Aligning wheels
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09-07-06, 01:21 PM
This may be a stupid question.... but I recently trued my wheels (on a new bike) and noticed that the rear wheal is not centered in the frame. I assume that this is due to the cassette on right side. Is there a way to center the wheel or doesn't it really matter? I'm just concerned because the front wheel is centered and the alignment is off buy about 1cm. Thanks.
09-07-06, 01:32 PM
The process of centering your wheel to the frame is called "dishing".
This is probably best done with the tire off so you can see the real center of the rim.
If you're up to it, you can tighten the drive side spokes only by 1/2 to one full turn at a time.
This should bring the wheel over to the right and thus center it.
if it's off to the right instead, then tighten the NON-drive side to pull it left.
Make sure you releive all tension in the wheel by pressing on the rim latterally on the ground (wheel off the bike) You'll hear "ping, ping pong". After that, just true it up nice nice.
Hope this helps.
09-07-06, 01:37 PM
Thanks... I thought it might be a dishing issue. I may give it a try since I don't really care too much if I wreck this set of wheels. One more question. The rim is not centered on the axle. If I attempt to dish the wheel won't it cause the wheel to curve concave and thusly weeken it? Thanks again.
09-07-06, 03:21 PM
Whoa! Before you start re-dishing a wheel, you have to measure the dish to be sure its off.
To measure the dish, pull the wheel all the way back into the dropouts and measure the distance from the rim to the non-drive side chainstay. Now take the wheel out, flip it over and do the same thing. If the distance is about the same its NOT a dish problem.
I would just center the rim between the chainstays, theres always a little play in the dropouts, and just ride.
Typically on 8, 9, and 10-speed rear wheels the spoke tension on the non-drive side is only about 2/3rds as much as on the drive side. The trick is to center the rim and get enough tension into the non-drive side spokes to avoid spoke failure due to flex and at the same time to not get the tension on the drive side so high as to exceed the tension limit of the rim. To center the rim you can reverse the wheel on your truing stand and/or use a dishing gauge. Reversing the wheel on the bike will give you some idea of how well the rim is centered but it's not an accurate measurement. The rim should be centered between the seatstays and between the chainstays.
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