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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 08-19-02, 03:05 PM   #1
mbologna
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Front Wheel Alignment?

I transport my bike to our weekly group rides by taking the front wheel off,and loading the bike into the backseat of my car. However, I seem to have a difficult time getting the front wheel locked back into place properly (that is, not rubbing against the brake pads). Any ideas? It looks like the brakes are in the correct position.

This is getting really annoying, because sometimes it takes 15 or 20 minutes of locking everything down and re-doing it, before I get it right.

I ride a Klein Quantum, if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance!

Mark
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Old 08-19-02, 05:04 PM   #2
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EDIT:Let me try to reword this. It didn't sound right.

I used to find that I had the same problem with my Schwinn MTB. Try turning only the end of the QR skewer that looks like a lever, while holding the nut in place with the other hand. Do the same to put the wheel back on.

When I had this problem, it was because the front fork on the Schwinn required that the QR skewer be loosened considerably in order to get the wheel out. I would just spin both ends of the skewer in my rush to get the wheel out. I have found that only turning the lever end helps to keep the wheel centered when it is reinstalled because this forces you to slow down, and to make sure that the wheel is fully alligned and installed and not sitting crookedlyin the dropouts. This would cause the wheel to rub on a brake pad. Pokey is right though, it really doesn't matter what end you turn.

Hope this reads better now. When it was first typed it was in a rush, and as I read over it now, it didn't really make much sense even to me.
-Moab

Last edited by moabrider47; 08-20-02 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 08-19-02, 06:10 PM   #3
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that's BS! take the QR out,hold it in your hand and turn the lever end.The lever end is fixed and turns the whole shaft.It does NOT matter whether you turn the fixed lever end or nut or both!!...there is nothing simpler than putting a front whel in the dropouts.You are not seating the axels correctly or possibly the 'lawyer tabs' if you have them are interfeering.Or maybe you have a bent axel that is screwing the pooch.If all else fails, do it the FRED way and tun the bike upside down and let gravity do it.

Last edited by pokey; 08-19-02 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 08-19-02, 11:08 PM   #4
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if you're running V-brakes, it's the spring tension of the brakes that's causing the rub. this happens to me (only on the front wheel) whenever i change my tire or take off the wheel...and i'm running xtr brakes..just make sure you carry a phillips head screwdriver w/ you and center the brakes when you put the wheel back on. (push down on the handlebars and wiggle the wheel to make sure it's totally in the drop outs). good luck bro
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Old 08-26-02, 08:23 AM   #5
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When you are putting the wheel back on, try lifting the front end by the two sides of the quick-release (nut and lever). This will help to set it into the fork correctly. If that doesn't work, flip your bike over like someone else suggested.

The problem is most likely that you have the wheel in crooked, where one side of the quick-release is just a little higher/lower than the other side. This small difference becomes much larger by the time the wheel gets to the brake pads.
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Old 08-26-02, 09:16 AM   #6
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Front wheels should not need any positioning in the dropouts. Just stand the wheel vertically, lower the fork onto the axle so the axle is all the way into the dropouts, and fasten the QR while bearing weight on the stem to ensure that the wheel's all the way into the dropouts. If the brake is rubbing afterwards, then either the brakes need to be adjusted using the spring-tension adjusters or centering adjuster, or your front wheel has a dishing problem, or your fork is out of alignment. HTH
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Old 08-26-02, 10:03 AM   #7
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I used to have that problem with my prissy purple road bike...

Turns out the problem was in putting the wheel on upside down - with the QR lever on the right instead of the left. It was just that simple...

BK
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Old 08-26-02, 10:48 AM   #8
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Thanks all! LBS mechanic looked at it, and made some adjustments to the brakes. Now, if only I had asked y'all sooner, instead of fighting this for weeks!.......
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Old 08-27-02, 03:35 AM   #9
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Be careful not to bump the brake calipers and knock them out of whack when you transport the bike or re-install the wheel.
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Old 03-17-08, 08:07 AM   #10
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how do you fix it?

either the brakes need to be adjusted using the spring-tension adjusters or centering adjuster, or your front wheel has a dishing problem, or your fork is out of alignment.

how do you fix it?

I have an Iron Hose Maverick with disk brakes. When I drop the front wheel back in, if the axle sits properly in slots, then the brakes rub. I have to loosen the wheel, reposition it so one axle is not quite dropped right in, then tighten it there.

I took it back to the store - their answer was, "don't take the front tire off if you can avoid it"
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Old 03-17-08, 10:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Front wheels should not need any positioning in the dropouts. Just stand the wheel vertically, lower the fork onto the axle so the axle is all the way into the dropouts, and fasten the QR while bearing weight on the stem to ensure that the wheel's all the way into the dropouts. If the brake is rubbing afterwards, then either the brakes need to be adjusted using the spring-tension adjusters or centering adjuster, or your front wheel has a dishing problem, or your fork is out of alignment. HTH
+1
That seems to be the most common problem. The bike needs to be upright with the wheels on the ground when the QR is closed.
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Old 03-17-08, 10:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-323 View Post
either the brakes need to be adjusted using the spring-tension adjusters or centering adjuster, or your front wheel has a dishing problem, or your fork is out of alignment.

how do you fix it?

I have an Iron Hose Maverick with disk brakes. When I drop the front wheel back in, if the axle sits properly in slots, then the brakes rub. I have to loosen the wheel, reposition it so one axle is not quite dropped right in, then tighten it there.

I took it back to the store - their answer was, "don't take the front tire off if you can avoid it"
If your fork is out of alignment you can file the drop to correct it (tiny amounts and test often). Or you can shim the other side. I used double sided tape and a thin piece of plastic (from a battery blister pac) for one bike until I could get around to filing the other side. That was ages ago and I never got around to filing it.
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Old 03-17-08, 10:30 AM   #13
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^^^ Before determining if the fork is out of alignment, check to see if the wheel is slightly out of dish by flipping it in the fork.
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Old 03-17-08, 11:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Front wheels should not need any positioning in the dropouts. Just stand the wheel vertically, lower the fork onto the axle so the axle is all the way into the dropouts, and fasten the QR while bearing weight on the stem to ensure that the wheel's all the way into the dropouts. If the brake is rubbing afterwards, then either the brakes need to be adjusted using the spring-tension adjusters or centering adjuster, or your front wheel has a dishing problem, or your fork is out of alignment. HTH
We have a bingo!

I was at the start of a group ride once and a fellow was convinced he needed to redish his front wheel. He had even taken a spoke wrench out of his tool bag before I stopped him. mechBgon's recommendation is all that it took.
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Old 03-17-08, 02:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-323 View Post
either the brakes need to be adjusted using the spring-tension adjusters or centering adjuster, or your front wheel has a dishing problem, or your fork is out of alignment.

how do you fix it?

I have an Iron Hose Maverick with disk brakes. When I drop the front wheel back in, if the axle sits properly in slots, then the brakes rub. I have to loosen the wheel, reposition it so one axle is not quite dropped right in, then tighten it there.

I took it back to the store - their answer was, "don't take the front tire off if you can avoid it"
You fix this by going to a different/beter mechanic (or learning to do it yourself). You should not have to booger the wheel in the drop-outs to get the brakes to work right.
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Old 03-17-08, 02:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-323 View Post
I have an Iron Hose Maverick with disk brakes. When I drop the front wheel back in, if the axle sits properly in slots, then the brakes rub. I have to loosen the wheel, reposition it so one axle is not quite dropped right in, then tighten it there.
It's not that hard to fix.

1. Loosen (don't remove) the two 5mm allen bolts that hold the brake caliper onto your fork.
2. Make sure that your front wheel is seated firmly in both dropouts.
3. While squeezing your brake lever, retighten the two caliper bolts.
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Old 03-17-08, 05:12 PM   #17
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^^^ Before determining if the fork is out of alignment, check to see if the wheel is slightly out of dish by flipping it in the fork.
+1 That's exactly how to determine if it's the fork.
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Old 03-24-08, 08:55 AM   #18
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Yep! that worked thanks!
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