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Old 01-17-07, 10:15 PM   #1
formula4
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Messed up bike + noob mechanic

I've been riding for a long time now, but I am no good when it comes to mechanical stuff at all. I found an older road bike (A Western Flyer)... it shifts perfect and all... except the when let go of the bars the front wheel turns left on me! Just like the misaligned front end on my truck.


Ideas? I got this bike to learn the mechanics of a bike anyway. This would be a good start for me.
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Old 01-17-07, 10:20 PM   #2
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Assuming you mean that the wheel turns, and the bars don't, you need to tighten the quill stem (assuming its quill). There should be a 6mm allen bolt at the top of the stem. Center your wheel and give that a good snug.
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Old 01-17-07, 10:29 PM   #3
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Sorry, the bars do too. It's as if I am turning it to the left... when I am not.
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Old 01-18-07, 04:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by formula4
...except the when let go of the bars the front wheel turns left on me!
Maybe you're leaning to the left when you let go of the bars?
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Old 01-18-07, 04:52 AM   #5
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yeah sounds like the weight distribution is shifted over to the left and making the bike turn. But then again i could be wrong...
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Old 01-18-07, 05:37 AM   #6
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Bent fork or head tube? Misaligned wheel? Bent wheel?

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Old 01-18-07, 07:17 AM   #7
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See that the rim of the rear wheel is in the centre between the chainstays and seatstays; then see that the front wheel is in the centre of the forks. Get them centered by loosening the axle nuts and shifting the rims and tightening the nuts again. If that doesn't work then find out why they cannot be centered.

When your wheels are centered in the frame and fork, step back and spy from the front and back to see if the front wheel is in the same plane as the back wheel, use a long straight edge to be more accurate, then you will see if the frame is bent or twisted.
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Old 01-18-07, 09:40 AM   #8
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Contrary to conventional knowledge, a poorly aligned bike won't make you "steer" in any direction. That's all weight distribution, and maybe a little bit of one leg being stronger than the other. If your rear wheel was out of alignment, however, the bike would "drift" to one side but the handlebars would stay straight. What it comes down to is, if your bars are turning, you're leaning in that direction... or the double cheeseburger and fries decided to reside on that side of you.
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Old 01-18-07, 09:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc
Bent fork or head tube? Misaligned wheel? Bent wheel?

Aaron
Probably caused by one of these. I recently fixed one of my commuter bikes that had this problem by bending the fork blades sideways until the bike tracked straight. The trick is to measure the fork dropout spacing measurement before you start bending and keep checking the measurement after each bend to ensure that the spacing ends up as it started.
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