can uneven spindles cause buckled wheels.
My son has a buckled rear wheel on a cheapish mtb bike, he claims he just 'rode down a kerb?'
The spindle on the rear wheel does not seem to be evenly spaced on either side of the hub (its out by about 4-5mm).
Could this be the fault of the factory installed spindle or is it the result of my son probably riding off large drops.
Any opinion would be appreciated.
It doesnt matter if a solid axle is not centred in the hub. It may have been bent by doing big drops. If the spokes werent tight enough the rim could have been buckled by even small drops. You will have to get a new rim (or rear wheel). Dont let him do any drops in the first 10 days of riding on it. Then get the spokes tightened as they seem to bed down in the first bit of use. With properly tensioned spokes the wheel should stand up to plenty of abuse.
You need a new bike
I suspect that the bike was taken down something taller than a curb.
Being a freestyle rider and having had more than my fair share of taco'd wheels, buy him a new wheel and make him earn it through excessive chores. It worked on me when I was younger!