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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 07-31-09, 09:27 AM   #1
bicycle78
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loose wheel

Hi. I have a quick question that I imagine has a very simple answer. But it's been puzzling me all day:

My back wheel is a tiny bit loose. The bolts are tight...everything's lined up... I don't get it. What's the cause of this? And how can I fix it?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-31-09, 10:01 AM   #2
LarDasse74
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It sounds like the bearings have developed some play. If you have loose cup-and-cone bearings (most bikes do) then you can adjust the bearings with a few tools. Is it a newer bike? Bearings often loosen on new bikes after the first few weeks or months of riding. Less expensive bikes and department store bikes are exceptionally bad in this respect and without proper adjustment they will become awful rattling beasts.

If the bike is older you should probably take the bearings apart, clean everything, inspect for any damage and replace if necessary, and regrease and re-assemble.

Check the park tool website for instructions and a list of tools you will need.

Good luck!
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Old 07-31-09, 10:10 AM   #3
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Yes, I second the above. You're probably lucky the wheel is too loose rather than too tight. The latter scenario would probably have caused bearing damage. Sadly, unless you buy your bike from a really good shop where you're actually related to the owner, you'd almost need to dismantle it and rebuild it yourself before riding it. Certainly true with department store, discount store and catalogue bikes.
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Old 07-31-09, 03:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proofide View Post
Sadly, unless you buy your bike from a really good shop where you're actually related to the owner, you'd almost need to dismantle it and rebuild it yourself before riding it. Certainly true with department store, discount store and catalogue bikes.
Hear! Hear!

I'd like add another category to the above: Internet-bikes. My admonishment to those who wish to buy something shiny, with vintage names, from China is: These should only be purchased with the full understanding that you will need a skilled bike-mechanic to assemble and adjust these before riding. This is more than just screwing some parts on here & there. You need special tools and grease and...

Get it?

Good.
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