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Old 06-15-03, 08:12 PM   #1
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Rear wheel wobbling

Hmmmmmmm.

I went out for my first longer ride since I returned home. I know my back wheel is slightly out of true, but nothing I can't live with.

While out riding today, when I was about 8 miles into my ride, I noticed that the back wheel felt like it was wobbling. I got off my bike and checked- the brakes weren't rubbing against the rims or anything, and the wheel didn't look any more out of true than normal. However, I'm not 100% sure that they aren't wacked out for some reason or another.

What I'm wondering is if there's a way to check the wheel to see if there's some real damage there, or maybe I just misaligned it- I'm about to take the wheel off and put it back on, but I won't be able to test it out until tomorrow.

I will still ride no matter what, but I hate a ride where there are mechanical problems. I hate that feeling with my bike. I was hoping that I could get a nice, fast ride in tomorrow morning before I headed out to teach my aerobics class.

Just looking for some opinions here.

Koffee
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Old 06-15-03, 08:16 PM   #2
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If the bike is stationary and you pick up the rear of the bike, does the wheel wobble back and forth in your hand? If so, this could simply be a loose lock nut and would be a 5 minute fix at the store.
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Old 06-15-03, 08:26 PM   #3
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Sounds like your bearing cone or cones have loosened up. It needs a simple hub adjustment if that is the case.
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Old 06-15-03, 08:27 PM   #4
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Actually, I've been reading the Park Tool website since I did this post- I suspect it's radially out of true. It wobbles up and down when I was riding, and not side to side like the last time I had trueing problems.
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Old 06-15-03, 08:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Koffee Brown
Actually, I've been reading the Park Tool website since I did this post- I suspect it's radially out of true. It wobbles up and down when I was riding, and not side to side like the last time I had trueing problems.
The thing is, wobble is a very vague word. The fact that it goes up and down visibly is most likey and indication of the wheel being out of round. To be sure, I would take the tire off and check the rim to see if it is out of round or it is some defent in the tire/tube. As long as the rim isn't actually bent, the store should be able to fix it, let them check it out for you; you talk as if you trust the store, so you should just take it in and ask.
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Old 06-15-03, 08:36 PM   #6
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Actually, if it seems radially out-of-true to the point where you can feel it, spin the rear wheel and eyeball where the tire meets the rim too. Maybe the tire's not seated evenly on the rim.
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Old 06-15-03, 08:37 PM   #7
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Koffee........therefore, if you spin your rear wheel while on a repair stand, you can seee this up & down motion, I take it. As your increase the rate of spin you can see your whole bike get into a rythmic motion. If that's the case, you need to tweek a few spokes.
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Old 06-15-03, 08:50 PM   #8
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Well, I'll be taking it into the bike shop tomorrow after I finish teaching my aerobics class. Unfortunately, I'm a little low on cash these days, having just returned from vacation, so hopefully, it won't be an expensive procedure! Even if it is, I'll have to cough up the money somehow, because the bike is too much of an important part of my life to go limping around with it. If I can't get a smooth ride, my day is ruined, literally.

<sigh>

I trust the shop- they recommended the wheel, said it was a good, strong wheel, and I paid good money for it, and I spoke with them today, so they will be taking a look at it tomorrow.
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Old 06-15-03, 08:54 PM   #9
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Oh, for what it's worth, my LBS thinks it may not be a trueing problem- the guy said it just may be misaligned or a hub problem that can be quickly adjusted, since I just put the bike back together. I'm just worried because when I spin it, I see a definite "bump" on part of the wheel, and when I was riding it, I noticed an "up down" motion that was bad enough for me to stop riding and turn the bike upside down and take a look at the wheel.

Note to all those from the lounge- while I was on my knees on the ground checking out my wheel, not one guy or group of guys stopped to help me- didn't even pause once. I guess I'm just not babe-a-bility factorable enough to warrant stopping for....
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Old 06-15-03, 09:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Koffee Brown
Actually, I've been reading the Park Tool website since I did this post- I suspect it's radially out of true. It wobbles up and down when I was riding, and not side to side like the last time I had trueing problems.
Koffee, if it wobbles up and down, that is worse than being out-of-true. It means your wheel is out of round. It is harder to fix than trueing a wheel side to side AND, you will probably find your spokes starting to break before long.

Glad to see you brought it to a bike wrench. They should be able to fix it for you, or recommend a new rim.

P.S., don't hop curbs with your road bike any more.
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Old 06-15-03, 09:27 PM   #11
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Damn!

I actually did hop a curb, but it was a slooooooow hop, and just once- I just refuse to believe that it did all that damage!

I bought this wheel because the LBS I'm taking it to tomorrow recommended this rim, and they claimed that it was a very strong rim.

Gulp... I'll be counting out my dollars before I head in tomorrow afternoon, then kissing it goodbye as I hand it over to my LBS.
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Old 06-16-03, 04:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Koffee Brown
Damn!

I actually did hop a curb, but it was a slooooooow hop, and just once- I just refuse to believe that it did all that damage!

I bought this wheel because the LBS I'm taking it to tomorrow recommended this rim, and they claimed that it was a very strong rim.

Gulp... I'll be counting out my dollars before I head in tomorrow afternoon, then kissing it goodbye as I hand it over to my LBS.
Koffee, you are better off hopping curbs fast than you are doing it slow. The reason is that when you land at higher speeds, the impact is spread over a bigger area and more rim/wheel surface than if you do it slow. If you are on a road bike, you are best to avoid curbs, potholes, and other obsticles altogether (of course, you knew that).

There is a chance that the LBS can straighten the rim if it is not too bad. Even then, a rim isn't too expensive. It is the labor that costs.
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Old 06-16-03, 06:04 PM   #13
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Update!

I took it to the LBS today. As soon as I got there, I took it in. My favorite sales guy was busy helping this other chick, so I got this newer guy I hadn't seen. I quickly explained my problem, mentioned that I thought my wheel was a little out of true, and also said that when I called, the guy said it could be that I need a hub adjustment. The guy waggled my hub, said it had too much give, and said I'd need a hub adjustment. There were a few bikes ahead of mine, and they said to come back in a few hours.

I came back a few hours later, and the bike still wasn't done. I said no problem, take your time, so the guy got my bike down and started working on it. When he said it was ready, about 20 min later, I paid for it and another item I'd picked up and took off. Instead of getting the smooth ride, I got the same wobbly feel.

I don't know at this point if I am just being overly sensitive and there's nothing wrong, or if there really is a problem. I'm not sure what to do next. I do know I am not in the mood to bring it back to that LBS right now. I'd call the Park Tool guy, but I really think he's tired of me calling to ask about my bike problems so I'm feeling kind of stuck. I think I'm going to sleep on it tonight, then decide what to do tomorrow. I had planned on doing a 25 mile ride tomorrow, but the feel of my bike is just so disconcerting, I just don't have a lot of enjoyment out of riding right now.
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Old 06-16-03, 06:32 PM   #14
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Take it back manana. It may be fixable; if you keeping riding on it....it may not be. If they are really good, they will finish the job you paid for; and call it even. What do you have for wheels?
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Old 06-16-03, 06:36 PM   #15
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Did you look to see whether the tire is seated evenly all the way around the rim on both sides? I ask partly because you were doing battle with those smaller tires a few days ago.

Here's a photo from Park Tool's site that shows the "bead line" molded into the tire. When you spin the wheel and observe the bead line from the side, it should not undulate up and down or disappear beneath the edge of the rim.

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Old 06-16-03, 06:40 PM   #16
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And what happens if the bead seat line is up too high?

<sigh> I'm beginning to be sorry I asked that question, cause I think I know what you're gonna say... Go ahead, say it... say it...

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Old 06-16-03, 06:53 PM   #17
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If the bead line is going up and down on you, then the first thing is to let all the air out of the tire.

Now take and push the tire valve into the rim firmly with your finger one time, just in case its thick base is hogging the place where the tire beads want to go. Pushing it deep into the rim lets it get out of the tire's way.

Now you've got a limp tire on a wheel Go around the wheel pinching the tire so you can peek inbetween the tire and the rim, and see if the inner tube got trapped between the rim and the tire bead anywhere. If you see a place where that happened, just kind of 'knead' the tire at that spot, to try to work the tube out of sight so it's not trapped between the tire and the rim anymore.

Once the tube is out of sight all the way 'round, then give the tire about 20psi of air and see if the bead line is bulging way up or dipping out of sight. If it is, use your thumbs to pull the out-of-sight areas up and push the bulging-up areas down. Once it looks reasonably even, add more air pressure and it should seat itself.

Alternately, you can just ask the LBS folks if they'd kindly seat your tire for you
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Old 06-16-03, 07:48 PM   #18
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Ok, that's not as bad as I thought it would be. I can handle that, but if I can't get the knot out, I'll bring it back to the bike shop as soon as it opens in the morning.

Thanks for your help!

Koffee
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Old 06-16-03, 07:58 PM   #19
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Sure thing. You're going to give me a treat for that, right...?
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Old 06-16-03, 08:08 PM   #20
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Will you marry me, mechBgon?

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Old 06-16-03, 08:10 PM   #21
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Ok, ok... maybe not marriage- that's punishment!

I'll send you a cheesecake! At least one forum member knows I make a mean cheesecake!!!
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Old 06-16-03, 08:26 PM   #22
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Originally posted by Koffee Brown
Will you marry me, mechBgon?

LOL... I can only imagine your honey-do list

"mech dear... "
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Old 06-16-03, 08:36 PM   #23
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Oh, I could never do that!

A girl never kisses and tells!
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Old 06-16-03, 08:51 PM   #24
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Originally posted by mechBgon
LOL... I can only imagine your honey-do list

"mech dear... "
...meaning, I would be fixing that bike every time you're about to go on a big ride which sounds like it happens often!
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Old 06-16-03, 09:37 PM   #25
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Really, it doesn't get messed up like this all the time!

It's just since I decided to take it on vacation that it's been acting up on me. Honest! 90% of the time, it's a good girl, and 10% of the time, it's been very very bad. Muy malo biclicleta!!!

<sigh>

Nope. This isn't working at all. I deflated the tire twice and kneaded it like dough, but it still has that kind of up/down wobbly look- just in one small part of the wheel- technically about 7 or 8 spokes away from the tire valve. It looks like a little bump when I am turning the wheel and eyeing the roundness of the wheel. I don't know if that makes sense to you. I'm getting tired of feeling up this bike wheel! I feel like a pervert, already! Sheesh!

The shop opens at 10AM, I think, so I will meet them at the door at 10:01AM sharp and have them take the tire off and eyeball the wheel like I did and see what's wrong with that. Aaaaaaugh! I really wanted to do a long ride tomorrow, but no chance of that now. I'll have to settle for a 25 mile ride, provided that they are able to fix the wheel in time.

Oh well. When it rains, it pours. Back to the drawing board (again).
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