Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales
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Horizontal dropouts have a certain amount of "play" by nature (left & right; up & down). You often have to hold the wheel centered while you tighten the QR skewer. You often can't just pull it back & tighten without paying attention to it. Notice the above picture has adjusting screws in the horizontal dropouts. They are designed to help the wheel get aligned properly. Not all frames have adjusting screws, or they may be set wrong.
Modern vertical dropouts have much less play and the rear wheel "should" just sit in the right (and only) spot so you can tighten the QR without fiddling.
Then there's the possibility of the wheel being the problem (broken axle, loose spokes, bad dishing etc ........) or frame alignment problem ..
Last edited by Homebrew01; 09-16-09 at 10:46 AM.