OK so having introduced myself here's my ulterior motive for signing up to the forum.
I've got standard mountain bike wheels, noticed a while ago that the back wheel was getting loose (ie moving slightly from side to side). Fair enough, must need tightening I thought, took it off. Thought I might as well clean it out rather than just tighten it and glad I did because I found the axle was bent, and not just a bit, I mean real bent.
OK, So I thinks I'd better change this before it either snaps or ruins the wheel. So off I toddles to get a new one, costs me £13 (unlucky for some). Fitted it and it seemed fine, wheel was running dead straight. Sorted, I thought, then only a week and about 100 miles down the line bleedin' thing is noticably wonky. Have it out, great, another bent axle Grrrr.
I'm assuming then that it's the runners in the hub that are bent then and causing the axles to bend. This seems backed up by the fact that both axles show uneven wear on the bearing runners (didn't think to look at them the first time unfortunately). So now I've got 2 bent axles and what I assume is a ruined hub. It's cheaper to buy a whole wheel than a new hub so looks like that's what I'll have to do, as a student I don't have a load of cash so pretty annoyed now. in the meantime the worst axle has gone back in to hopefully get me through the week till I get home from uni
All this while I'm supposed to be working on coursework I know this isn't so much a question as a bit of a rant but it'll hopefully make me feel better so sorry about that
Could be worn hubset races and/or bearings - hard to tell from your description. What kind of hub is it? Make and model will help us out. For traditional hubs (loose ball bearing types), axles bend for only a couple of reasons. Abuse - very old and brittle - improper adjustment on cones. Check for wear patterns on inside surface of races. Worn or out of round or wrong size ball bearings could also cause binding/bending.
Thanks for your reply. Bearings are fine and are new and replaced anyway - also there's no races in this wheel.
Cones are getting worn on one side more than the other, even though the bearings are still fine... that's why I think it has to be the wheel. The wheel/hub is unbranded but then it did only cost £20 (new about 18 months ago) so it's not exactly a quality piece of kit