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Old 11-17-05, 07:17 AM   #1
Jared88
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My wheel is off center

Hi , i nocticed that my front wheel is off center and it is closer to the right side of my fork.....why is this so?
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Old 11-17-05, 07:31 AM   #2
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Either it's not seated properly in the front dropouts or the wheel has to be retued and recentered.
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Old 11-17-05, 08:45 AM   #3
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Could also be a bent fork. Any accidents on the bike? If you aren't sure, try the wheel on the fork of another bike to see if the spacing is off there too.

If it used to be OK, I have been trained to look suspiciously at the latest change (from my career in data processing). Has anything changed since it appeared to be centered?

And just in case (to echo the other poster)... Is the axle seated in the fork dropouts properly?
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Old 11-17-05, 09:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgregory57
Could also be a bent fork. Any accidents on the bike? If you aren't sure, try the wheel on the fork of another bike to see if the spacing is off there too.
Even easier than using another bike is to turn the wheel around in the fork, so that the old front of the wheel is now in the rear. If it is the wheel that has issues, it will now be closer to the other side of the fork.
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Old 11-17-05, 09:33 AM   #5
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Also, if the wheel has a quick-release axle, check the small conical springs at each end of the quick release skewer. The small ends of these springs should be pointing inwards, big end outwards. I've seen that one plenty of times, newbie assumes the big end goes inwards and then that side of the axle sits funny in the dropout as a result.
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Old 11-17-05, 09:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon
Also, if the wheel has a quick-release axle, check the small conical springs at each end of the quick release skewer. The small ends of these springs should be pointing inwards, big end outwards. I've seen that one plenty of times, newbie assumes the big end goes inwards and then that side of the axle sits funny in the dropout as a result.
Better yet, if it's a QR, lose the springs. You don't need them.
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Old 11-17-05, 10:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ofofhy
Even easier than using another bike is to turn the wheel around in the fork, so that the old front of the wheel is now in the rear. If it is the wheel that has issues, it will now be closer to the other side of the fork.
No kidding... Much easier than finding another bike!

And if it was a problem seating in the dropouts, which is corrected by simply double checking everything, the wheel will be centered, and you are done! (Assuming the tire is not a directional tire, but even then returning it is another simple step)
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Old 11-17-05, 12:11 PM   #8
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Hi , i have check everything , my wheel is quite true , the gap between the forks is consistant. My quick release springs are also in the correct position and the wheel is seated properly in the dropouts. I did have two accidents , one where i crashed into the back of a van at about 24km/hr about 3 months ago , but my shifter took the impact of the initial hit. The other was last week where i failed to unclip and fell over. Can all this cause a bent fork? My fork doesn't look bent to me. It is a scott cr1 fork if it helps......thanks.
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Old 11-17-05, 02:25 PM   #9
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I'm guessing that the front of your bike looks something like this:

I've exagerated the tweak, but I would imagine that if your fork were bent only slightly, it may still apear straight.
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Old 11-17-05, 02:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared88
the gap between the forks is consistant
What do you mean by this?

Does this mean that the tire is closer to the same side even if you flip the wheel around? If so, your forks are compromised.

If your fork were bent far enough that it was visually obvious, you would not have asked the question. However, a difference of a couple of degrees can make things look more off center by the time you get out to the rim/tire than at the axle. If the fork is bent, it should be replaced. I am no expert, but I wouldn't trust a bent fork (especially carbon) as far as I could throw my bike... And I ride a heavy bike, and don't throw well!
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Old 11-17-05, 03:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared88
Hi , i have check everything , my wheel is quite true , the gap between the forks is consistant.
How do you know? Did you flip your wheel in the fork as suggested earilier?
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Old 11-17-05, 09:04 PM   #12
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I had this problem. From spinning the wheel and checking the trueness, I came to realize that my fork was bent. I'd suggest to you from what you say that your fork is probably bent, too.

Try putting another, true wheel in the same fork, also.

If you come to realize that this is, indeed the case, I'd say that unless you know someone specifically who can straighten the fork, then you'd probably want to just replace it.
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Old 11-18-05, 01:04 AM   #13
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Hi , yeah i think my fork is bent at the dropouts , i took some pictures for you guys. And when i loosen my QR , there would be a gap between the fork and the hub , when i tighten it back the fork would bent and the gap is gone. Is this another sign of a bent fork?
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Old 11-18-05, 01:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared88
Hi , i nocticed that my front wheel is off center and it is closer to the right side of my fork.....why is this so?
Im going to suggest that it was made that way. Most of the bikes Ive had were that way. What i have done is file one side of the dropout until it is centered. Either have made the bike more precise in its alignment or worse. As it is now the forks and wheel appear visually to be aligned with the headtube.

Very little difference at the fork ends makes a big difference at the top.

Go to a bike shop and look at how those bikes appear.

All that being said your fork appears to be carbon and my understanding of it is that it doesnt bend. Much like you wouldn't be able to bend a fishing pole.
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Old 11-18-05, 02:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared88
Hi , yeah i think my fork is bent at the dropouts , i took some pictures for you guys. And when i loosen my QR , there would be a gap between the fork and the hub , when i tighten it back the fork would bent and the gap is gone. Is this another sign of a bent fork?
Is the distance between dropouts 100mm? It should be.

You need to check your dropout alignment with one of these:

http://www.parktool.com/products/det...8&item=FFG%2D1

This is the definitive method of determining if your dropouts are correctly aligned. This tool also is designed to correct any misalignment. A steel or Ti fork can be re-aligned with this tool. If it's Al, and not too badly bent, it can be "cold set" and re-aligned. Carbon - fuggedaboudit.

A poor man's method of checking this would be to put 9mm bolts in each of the dropouts. Put a 9mm nut on each to hold them fast. The bolts should be pointing EXACTLY at each other with NO offset.

Everything I have said assumes your wheel is correctly dished. You said it is. If your fork is steel or Ti, or not_badly_skewed_Al, your LBS can fix it easily with the tool I linked to. Well, that assumes it's not really f'ed.

Edit:
I looked again at your pictures and it sure looks like your fork is carbon. What is the distance between the dropouts? It should be pretty damn close to 100mm - just (very) slightly over 100mm. If not, you have a bad fork ;-( Those forks pretty much don't bend or change. They are what they are - and stay that way, unless subjected to some really extreme heat.

Last edited by cascade168; 11-18-05 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 11-18-05, 02:20 AM   #16
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One moral to this story is that carbon forks should be perfect out of the box. I have three myself and they are all perfectly aligned and 100-103mm between the dropouts. I have never heard that you can realign these babies. If you have a major alignment problem, then you should seriously start looking for a big crack somewhere. If you bent the Al dropouts enough to cause the problem you are describing then your fork is toast (IMHO). I don't think you can fix that. You should definitely seek an expert opinion at a competent LBS.
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Old 11-18-05, 04:39 AM   #17
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Hey cascade168 , thanks for the info. I measured the width and it seems a little wide.

Last edited by Jared88; 11-18-05 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared88
Hey cascade168 , thanks for the info. I measured the width and it seems a little wide.

So, it looks like the width is 104mm. I would contact the manufacturer (hopefully they have tech support that you can contact) and ask them if this is ok. It seems pretty sloppy to me. If there is no actual damage to the fork, maybe you can get them to replace it. When I get a carbon fork I check the dropout alignment immediately and measure the width. If there is a problem, this is the time to find it and get the fork replaced. Also, now you have a reference in case you suspect a problem later on, just as you have.
I have found the widths to be really close to 100mm (less than 1mm deviation on my three forks). Alignment and width should be precise and not change over time with a carbon fork.
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Old 11-18-05, 12:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared88
Hey cascade168 , thanks for the info. I measured the width and it seems a little wide.
You should also see if the center of the steer tube is actually in the center of the fork ends.
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Old 11-18-05, 06:33 PM   #20
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You should try a different wheel in the fork and see if you get the same results.

Al
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