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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 10-03-05, 04:54 PM   #1
Rodzilla
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Can This Be Fixed?

Hello everyone. I have a question on a bicycle that my friend owns. First of all, I need you to know something. I know nothing about bikes, NOTHING. Get it? Ok.

Anyway, my friend owns this bike, and he says that when he bought it, he couldnt assemble all the parts of the bike, so he went to a shop to get it done. When he rode on it (this was back at home, of course) he discovered that the rear wheel touched the frame of the bike. It doesn't wobble, it just stays spinning at an angle. He got the bike free with a new mattress that he bought (HAHA!) and as a result, he wasn't interested in finding out if the bike could be fixed or not. Well, I'm thinking of buying it off of him, but I would like to know if the problem can be fixed, and if it can be, how much it will cost. Here are some pics of the bike. It has only been used once, and it was only to discover that there was a problem. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Part where the wheel touches the frame.


The bike.


The bike, again.
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Old 10-03-05, 04:59 PM   #2
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Yes, this can be fixed. It looks like someone put a new and different-sized wheel onto that frame. It needs to be "re-dished," which you can get done at a local bike shop (LBS) for minimal cost (maybe 10-20 bucks, I'm not sure.)

Is the rear shifting normal?
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Old 10-03-05, 05:05 PM   #3
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Rear shifting? Umm, I don't know what that is. I would say that it is abnormal though.
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Old 10-03-05, 05:15 PM   #4
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Sounds pretty sure that you have a different wheel than the original in there. Take it to a shop and ask them to re-dish it. I wouldn't advise trying to do it yourself unless you really feel inclined to so do; it's not rocket science, but it kind of takes experience in order for it not to be an exercise in frustration.

After it's re-dished, you'll probably want to have the shop check and adjust the rear derailler also. That shouldn't cost you a lot.
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Old 10-03-05, 05:18 PM   #5
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Here's a pic of the bike as seen from the manufacturer. The wheels seem to be different sizes. Are they? i live in Duarte, CA. About how much would the total cost of fixing it cost me? For the last two things that you said, I mean. Thx.

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Old 10-03-05, 05:21 PM   #6
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Looks to me like the bike has semi-horizontal dropouts not vertical. If it does it can be easily fixed by loosening the nuts holding the wheel on and realigning it.
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Old 10-03-05, 05:22 PM   #7
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Well before we get down to the LBS - has anyone checked to see if the rear hub is fully in the dropouts in the frame, and properly tightened? Looks to me like the person who assembled didn't tighten enough, and the pull of the chain pulled the drive side forward a bit. Seems more likely to me than somebody having assembled it that way, and then pronounced it "good to go".
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Old 10-03-05, 05:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bidaci
Looks to me like the bike has semi-horizontal dropouts not vertical. If it does it can be easily fixed by loosening the nuts holding the wheel on and realigning it.
this would be my first guess as well. someone probably didn't tighten down the axle nuts properly, and tension from the chain pulled the wheel out of alignment. it's generally best to loosen one nut at a time and make the alignment in small increments.
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Old 10-03-05, 05:25 PM   #9
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looks to me like it's just misadjusted in the dropouts. try loosening the axle nuts and positioning the wheel so it's centered in the rear triangle. then re-tighten the bolts when it's straight.
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Old 10-03-05, 05:57 PM   #10
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Good eyes. Mine are horrible. I couldn't really tell about the rear dropouts. Don't go to the LBS, follow the advice of the guys above.

Get two wrenches that'll fit the outside nuts of the rear wheel. Get someone to hold the bike up by the saddle, and turn the cranks and shift the right shifter so that the chain goes onto one of the smaller rear cogs. Next, spin the cranks again and shift the left shifter so that the chain goes onto the large chainring in front.

Now straddle the rear wheel while propping the front of the bike up against a table or something. Loosen the nuts on each side enough until the wheel's axle slides a bit and the chain slackens. Hold the wheel by the ends of the axle, near the nuts, and center the wheel/tire behind the tire and seattube. Pull the wheel back so that the chain is fairly taut, keeping the wheel centered, then tighten down on the nuts on either side of the wheel. Tighten these nuts evenly on both sides, but make sure that they are tight.

When you're done, lift the back of the bike and spin the rear wheel. See if you're still having the problem.
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Old 10-03-05, 08:00 PM   #11
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Loosen the two axle nuts. Pull the wheel back as far as it will go. Tighten the right hand axle nut. Position the tire mid distance between the two chainstays (where your picture shows it is rubbing). Tighten the left hand axle nut.
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Old 10-03-05, 08:38 PM   #12
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The way to tell if it's a dishing problem or sliding in the dropouts is to check the centering up by the brakes. If the rim is fairly well-centered between the brake-bosses, then it's probably dished correctly. Then the real problem is the axle-nuts aren't tight enough and the wheel slipped under pedaling load. Just loosen the axle-nut, re-center the wheel and really crank down on the nuts, about 30-40 lb*ft should do.
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