Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Sturmey-Archer 3-spd -- Bad wobble in rear wheel

    Yup, this is an old bike. I use it as my commuter, since no one will bother messing with it.

    It's got a Sturmey Archer 3-spd hub on it and it's been riding fine up until a few weeks ago, when I noticed that the rea wheel had developed a really bad side-to-side wobble. As I ride it, the rear wheel shifts about 1-inch sideways with each revolution, always at one point, sort of like how a wheel would react if a bunch of spokes at one point were really out of tension.

    I finally had a chance to look at it this past weekend.

    I took the wheel off and the bolts were tight and secure. I spun the wheel in my hands and it spun smoothly and with no wobble at all; the wheel is perfectly round and true, even when back on the bike.

    I re-attached the wheel and adjusted the shifting.

    But the wobble is still there!

    What could it be? It seems to only occur with a bit of speed. It happens while pedaling or coasting. It feels as if the wheel isn't bolted on at all. But since I know the wheel is on tight, I've continued to ride it like this.

    I'd appreciate any tips you can give me. TIA.

  2. #2
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    other Vancouver
    Posts
    6,424
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by hankjohnson View Post
    I'd appreciate any tips you can give me. TIA.
    It sounds like the bearings are out of adjustment. Adjusting them isn't any different from conventional bicycle hubs as seen here: http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=105 . For all the details of adjusting Sturmey-Archer hubs, consult the guru: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/sturmey-archer/adj.html
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Antwerp, Belgium
    My Bikes
    commuter, racer, ATB,
    Posts
    226
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It is simply impossible to tell if the wheel is true by spinning it in your hand.

    +1 on checking the bearings.

    Replace broken or missing balls, add grease and adjust. Read the article by Sheldon Brown on servicing SA hubs if you are new to this.
    Last edited by Berre; 11-06-08 at 06:36 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Backwoods of Ontario
    Posts
    2,104
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I know you said the wheel is true, but with your desciption I'd be looking for a broken spoke. If a bearing problem was allowing up to an inch of movement at the rim, that thing would be flopping and wobbling all over, not just one specific spot.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    5,415
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If the bearings are tight and the wheel spins true when you have it off the bike, I would check the rear frame for cracks, which would also cause the rear wheel to wobble.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    726
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Possibly a wobble only when your weight is applied? Broken rim? Broken nipples?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northampton, MA
    My Bikes
    Iron Monkey: a junkyard steel 26" slick-tired city bike. Grey Fox: A Trek 7x00 frame, painted, with everything built, from spokes up. Jet Jaguar: A 92 Cannondale R900 frame, powder coated matte black with red and aluminum highlights.
    Posts
    957
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That actually sounds to me like a cracked frame. Check the bearings anyway — it makes a big difference in the performance of the hub — but if that doesn't fix it, see if the frame's cracked.
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
    Passionate lover of construction

  8. #8
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    These are all great suggestions. The wheel spins true in my stand. I didn't specifically look for a broken spoke; it just didn't occur to me. Cracked frame(!), I'll have another look this weekend. That's definitely not safe. I'll report back with my findings.

    Thanks guys!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    yreka, ca
    My Bikes
    like 15. my favorite a 1951 schwinn spitfire cruiser. also have a 1959 amf roadmaster, 1962 jch deluxe cruiser among others.
    Posts
    542
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    +1 on cone adj. definatly inspect the frame and everything else. i own like 5 3speeds, all s.a. and those bearing cones can get you. good luck.

  10. #10
    I make stuff up
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Oregon, the damp side
    My Bikes
    '85 Ritchey Commando, '96 Specialized Sirrus, '06 Surly Cross Check
    Posts
    187
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Another vote for a close inspection of the frame's rear triangle. Check all the other stuff too. Good luck.
    It's around here somewhere . . .

  11. #11
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ok, I figured it out. I feel stupid!

    It turns out that the tire on the rear was [likely] original and was so badly worn out that it was down to the casing and threads in some spots. My theory is that under load, the tire was collapsing under my weight. That would explain why I couldn't feel anything when the bike was in the stand or in my hands.

    A few weeks ago, while leaving work, the tire gave up on me and I literlly had a blow out. A loud pop and my tire basically disintegrated.

    When i got it home, I saw how bad the tire was. I probably just never noticed it because the fender was always covering it.

    Anyway, I ordered some new Kendas and got them on the bike a few days ago. Hey, no more wobbling!

  12. #12
    Gear Hub fan
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV
    My Bikes
    Civia Hyland Rohloff, Swobo Dixon, Colnago, Univega
    Posts
    2,830
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Enough crap on the roads in Nevada so I inspect tires at least as part of every pumping them up. Riding on worn tires is just not safe!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •