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Old 08-07-08, 04:24 PM   #1
sgp7679
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Whats wrong

I was riding my bike today and its fairly new, i got it april of this year, and the rear wheel started making a weird squeaking sound. I got off to check it and it has a slight wobble from side to side. Its not the spokes. I think that it has to do with the hub bearings. what could go wrong with a new bike and its bearings? is something just loose? please help.
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Old 08-07-08, 04:32 PM   #2
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If some spokes started to work loose, then that could very well cause the wheel to wobble somewhat and produce a squeaking sound as the spokes rub against each other.

The other possibility is that your hub has loosened up somewhat, which is allowing the whole wheel to slide left and right on its axle. Different hubs have different ways of adjusting the bearings.

Both of the above will make the wheel look like it's wobbling. Neither is a particularly difficult fix; take it down to your LBS and they should be able to fix you up PDQ.
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Old 08-07-08, 04:46 PM   #3
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The axle has cone shaped nuts on each end that point into the centre and interact with the bearing balls inside. To visualise how the cones work, think of sticking your fingers in your ears, and holding your hands still while nodding (try it). See how your head pivots between your fingertips? If the cones are screwed in too tight, the wheel sticks a bit - if they'e too loose, it wobbles. So they may need to be adjusted.

If your wheel has a quick release, it's supposed to wobble a tiny bit when the quick release is open, and stop wobbling when it is closed.
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Old 08-07-08, 06:33 PM   #4
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From the side of the bike grab the tire at the top of the wheel and push it side to side while holding the frame nearby. If you feel the wheel clicking side to side then the bearings are loose. If you can't click the tire side to side but the rim wobbles side to side when you spin the wheel then it's the spokes that have let the rim go out of true.
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Old 08-07-08, 07:23 PM   #5
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From April to July have you had it in for a follow up tuning? I'm sure that's the cure.
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Old 08-07-08, 07:33 PM   #6
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^^good point - new bikes usually need some adjusting in the first few weeks.
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Old 08-08-08, 12:03 AM   #7
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i know its not the spokes. So i can just tighten up the hub? would i just tighten the cone nuts? Its not a quick release axle.
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Old 08-08-08, 02:06 AM   #8
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i know its not the spokes. So i can just tighten up the hub? would i just tighten the cone nuts? Its not a quick release axle.
Did you check to see if the rim wobbles from side to side from BCrider's post? Loose cones will give a solid clunk at each end of the wobble.

When you say "it has a slight wobble from side to side", is that when you spin the wheel by hand and look at it between the brake-pads? Or slight wobble when you grab the tyre and push it sideways?
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Old 08-08-08, 11:16 AM   #9
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it wobbles from sided to side when i grab the wheel and move it. It does have a poppy feel.
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Old 08-08-08, 07:05 PM   #10
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it wobbles from sided to side when i grab the wheel and move it. It does have a poppy feel.
Loose hub bearing. Have it properly tightened. Then if it still squeaks, have it rebuilt.
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Old 08-08-08, 07:27 PM   #11
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You can tighten the cones yourself, but you need cone wrenches - usually two, although in a pinch you might be able get by with one cone wrench and one normal adjustable wrench (eg crescent wrench) (see linked picture). Each side of the axle has a cone nut, and just outside it is a locking nut (see thumbnail sketch). The cone wrenches are very narrow and allow you to hold the cone with one wrench and tighten the lock nut next to it with the other, without the wrenches interfering with each other or the hub or cassette. If there is only a small amount of play in the hub, put one wrench on the (outer) locking nut on one side of the hub and one cone wrench on the (inner) cone on the other side. Screw the cone a bit tighter into the hub until the wheel spins smoothly with no binding, but no wobble. Then hold that cone still with one wrench, and tighten it's own lock nut against it with the other.

I've occasionally done this with the wheel still in the bike (and for sure you need two thin cone wrenches then) but it's easier if you take it out. If you do it in the bike, as a last step you have to tighten the very outside axle nuts that hold the wheel in the dropouts (right side of thumbnail sketch).

But if it's a new bike it may have other things that need to be checked or adjusted, so take it to the LBS this time.



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