This has to seem like a really dumb question, but... Occasionally, I need to take the front wheel off my touring bike, but I always seem to have much more trouble getting it back on than I should! Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong, please? Here's the problem: If the front brakes are working perfectly, and I need to take off the front wheel and then reinstall it (with quick release hubs), the wheel rim often doesn't line up with the brake pads as it had before I took it off. When I put the fork back over the wheel, should I press down on the bike to seat the fork as I tighten the hub? or should gravity itself be enough to seat the hub in the fork slot? Should I be concerned about where the springs are that sit on the quick release hub as I lower the fork down onto the hub? Should I just wiggle the wheel about until it centers between the brake pads (assuming the brakes worked fine before I took the wheel off) and THEN tighten the quick release?
I've seen so many people reinstall a front wheel almost in their sleep, but it is NEVER that simple for me, so after years of struggle, I'm asking for help, please! rcd