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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 04-22-05, 07:42 AM   #1
palmertires
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Handling problem at moderate to high speeds

I am trying to identify where the trouble is on my bike. At low speeds, my bike handles well, no issues. As I pick up speed though, it feels like the bike wants to veer slightly from side to side (that is the best way I can explain it). I have been running at lower speeds in traffic because, at this point, I don't know what is wrong. I have noticed the rear brakes will stop the wheel in rotation without the brakes being applied, so they do need some attention, anyway. But, I don't know if the brakes are causing this problem...I am thinking it is either the rear brake, or the rear wheel rim. Any advice on things I can check to pinpoint the problem? I am hoping it is not something more serious, but if it is the rear wheel rim replacing that could get expensive. Advice on what else might cause this type of thing.
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Old 04-22-05, 08:22 AM   #2
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Most likely your rear wheel needs to be trued and dished. Bike shops usually charge $10 to $20 labor for this, it's worth it. While you're at it ask them to "tension the spokes", this should be automatic, but it's good to remind the mechanic if you're not familiar with him.

Al
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Old 04-22-05, 08:25 AM   #3
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What kind of speeds ar we talking?
Veer to one side only or both?
Is this on a windy day by chance?
Have you checked your hubs & headset for looseness?

I could go on...

Enjoy
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Old 04-22-05, 08:26 AM   #4
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Could also be wheel bearing adjustment
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Old 04-22-05, 09:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powers2b
What kind of speeds ar we talking?
Veer to one side only or both?
Is this on a windy day by chance?
Have you checked your hubs & headset for looseness?

I could go on...

Enjoy
I am not sure of the speeds, exactly, but if I am pedalling to keep pace with city traffic, that is when it occurs. The veering is maybe better described as a wobbling, shaking from side to side. I feel like if I take my hands off the handlebars the bike would not ride straight. The whole thing kind of shakes. I was hoping to have a friend who rides often take it for a ride to get a second opinion...And, I know it's not the wind because windy or not, the shaking is there.
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Old 04-22-05, 10:57 AM   #6
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Let's narrow this down a little further. You say it wobbles when you pedal. Does it feel the same when your not pedaling? It could be the seat is too low if it only happens while pedaling. If it occurs in both cases it could also be tire pressure. A tire low on air will give you the feeling of wobbling also.
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Old 04-22-05, 11:06 AM   #7
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I suspect the headset and/or your hubs are loose.
Headset:
Stand in front of the bike, squeeze the front brake and rock the bike forward and backward. There should be no movement.
Hubs:
Stand beside the bike, grab the rim (front or back) and shake it side to side. There should be no movement.
If either is loose and you don't know what you are doing take it to a shop immediately, either loose condition is a safety risk and will do damage to your bearings.

If both the headset and the hubs are snug then your front wheels may not be mounted in the drop-outs properly (re-mount them) or you may have bent forks.

Enjoy
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Old 04-22-05, 05:59 PM   #8
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It sounds to be a rim. A bearing would make a thunk at low speeds. If the rim has a flat spot it will make a gallop which you arent noticing as much at low speeds. Side to side out of true would make a lateral wobble. If your brake is dragging on the rim intermittently yet decisively then your rim is almost certainly out of true.
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Old 04-23-05, 09:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbikerinpa
It sounds to be a rim. A bearing would make a thunk at low speeds. If the rim has a flat spot it will make a gallop which you arent noticing as much at low speeds. Side to side out of true would make a lateral wobble. If your brake is dragging on the rim intermittently yet decisively then your rim is almost certainly out of true.
Yes, I believe this is the problem. Last night, I checked all of the other things mentioned, headset, fork, hubs, etc. All are in proper working order. It has to be the rear rim. Thanks for all the help. I will be riding smoothly before long.
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