Bicycle Mechanics - Wheel alignment
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I just bought a mountain bike yesterday. I also bought some accessories (pump, lock) and I hanged the bag they were in, on my steering wheel... Unforunately the bag touched the front wheel, got stuck between the brakes and the rim. I eventually stopped the bike after a few seconds, but the pump I was carrying in the back hit the spokes on the front wheel. As a result, the front wheel was a little bit warped (I tested it and while it was turning I could se it was not aligned and it periodically touched the brakes). I returned the bike to the shop and they aligned the wheel. Now I still can notice a slight warp but it is a lot better than before.
I also spinned the rear wheel and I noticed a similar wobble by watching the gap between the rim and one brake pad.
Is a slight wobble acceptable for a new wheel ? Does it depend on the qualiti of the wheel (my bike is dirty cheap). Should I worry abou the wobble?
10-22-06, 11:46 AM
Wheels should run true both laterally (side-to-side) and vertically (roundness) to within 0.5 mm according to Barnett's Manual, or to within 1.0 mm according to the Park Tool Big Blue Book.
Personally, I try to true my wheels to 0.5 mm, but sometimes settle for 1.0 mm.
10-23-06, 04:21 PM
most shops offer some sort of a warrenty on new bikes, like for cable stretching and the wheels settling in in.
10-23-06, 04:50 PM
I'd take it back again and show them the wobble. Also, have them check the front spokes very closely for damage. If the pump got caught in the front spokes well enough to bend them, it may have nicked them and done some bad damage - once a spoke is nicked, it can easily break.
If they won't take 5 minutes to do these easy checks for someone who just bought a bike, find a new shop.
10-23-06, 04:54 PM
Spend $5 on a spoke tool, and look on Sheldon Brown or Park Tool websites fro wheel truing. Its not difficult if you dont try to rush it.
10-23-06, 05:14 PM
Another excellent FREE "how to" resource for wheel truing and repair is Barnett's Manual Chapter 17 -Wheel Truing and Repair, which you can download as a 904 kilobyte PDF file from the Barnett Bicycle Institute website (http://www.bbinstitute.com/manual.htm). Scroll down the page and "right click" on "Download Chapter 17: Wheel Truing and Repair" to save the file to your hard drive.
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