Relatively Simple Rear Wheel Issue
Hey guys, I just dove into fixing up an old bike about a week ago. I'm new to cycling and probably wouldn't have this question otherwise, so I figure someone here will know what's wrong:
I'm trying to put the rear wheel back onto the bike after replacing the tire tubes. It's not a quick-release, it's just two slots that the axel has to slide into. Here's a picture:
First problem is that the axel has to practically be beat into the slots because they're super-tight. Barely big enough for the axel. Don't know if that's normal, but I'm using the same wheels that came with the frame. Second, axel is in the slots I'm not sure exactly how to align it right. Third, and MOST importantly... How can I make sure it stays on? Last night I got the wheel on, tightened the bolts, and went outside to try it out, and the force of the chain alone pulling on the wheel's cogs pulled it right off the frame. I really feel like I'm missing something here. Either a step I'm not taking or a part I'm not using... Because it's clearly not safe the way I'm doing it. Anyone care to advise? Thanks in advance!
You could clean/file the slots a little so they fit the axle better. As far as installation, tighten the drive side nut first, with the axle bottomed out against the back of the slot, as tight as you can. Before tightening the nondrive side, center the tire between the stays. Once the nondrive side nut is tight, tighten the drive side nut a little more if necessary.
Alright, so I used the method you described and I've got it installed nice and centered. But now, what's to keep the tug of the chain from pulling the axle back out of the slots? Are the nuts just supposed to be super-tight, so tight that they clamp down and keep the wheel axle from coming out? I'm pretty sure they were tight last time, but I can try again...
Ready to Ride
Yes. What frankenmike described will hold the wheel in place. You should also ensure the drive side is as far back as possible and use the non drive side to center the wheel, as described earlier.
Problem solved. It was just an issue of getting the nuts nice and snug, and making sure that they bite down on the frame. Just took a quick joyride around the neighborhood