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  1. #1
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    Wheel Not Centered in Fork

    I bought a new bike & the wheel looked straight up & down, but it was obviously left of
    center in the fork. The salespeople said no big deal, so I figured no big deal since I knew nothing.

    But I've read that a wheel like that means either my fork is messed up or the wheel isn't
    dished properly. I tried putting a fender on the other day, and that was just a joke because the
    fender was centered & the tire was off to the left, so there was no way the fender wasn't going
    to rub.

    Is that true? Is this something I should be concerned with?

  2. #2
    Bikaholic blamp28's Avatar
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    Take it back to the shop and have them properly dish the wheel. This should have been done before you picked up the bike. The reason they said it was "no big deal" was that they didn't feel like taking the time to do it right and you were easily convinced.

  3. #3
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    Turn the wheel around and install it the other way. If it's still off-center in the same direction/manner, the fork is bent. If it's off-center in the opposite direction, the rim isn't centered relative to the hub (front wheels don't have "dish"; the rim should be centered on the hub). But indeed, in either case, it has to go back to the shop; a new bike should not do this. It'll just be helpful to be armed with the knowledge of what needs to be remedied.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    +1 on flipping the wheel over first..
    Bike shops have a fork alignment reference tool, Fork out of the frame, then they test it and do some Blade bending
    to get it back in alignment R/L & Fore and Aft

  5. #5
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    Ok.......thanks for the advice.

    I've only been reading up on bikes for about a month now, and I wouldn't sell a bike to somebody if the tire
    wasn't centered in the fork. I don't understand why nobody at the store seems to care about it.

    They said they sent the bike back to the mfr for warranty, but then it came back, & they told me the mfr said it
    was normal for the tire to be off-center. That's how they make them. I can't imagine a mfr ever saying that.

    I wonder if they even sent it to the mfr, because I went there on a Sunday afternoon & got the bike back on
    a Wednesday afternoon. The factory is only about 6 hours away, but that still seems like an awfully fast
    turnaround.

    Plus when I got the bike back yesterday after the bike shop guy said he'd check the dish of the front wheel
    there was a valve cap missing and the tire was at 20 PSI. I pumped it up to 65 PSI and this morning it was as flat
    as a pancake. I bought the bike from this shop because I thought they were known for good customer
    service, but I'm not impressed at the moment.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    +1 on flipping the wheel over first..
    Bike shops have a fork alignment reference tool, Fork out of the frame, then they test it and do some Blade bending
    to get it back in alignment R/L & Fore and Aft
    I read about flipping it over, but it's not that easy because of disk brakes. I think I'd have to remove some of the brake parts to do the flip test.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacAttack View Post
    Ok.......thanks for the advice.

    I've only been reading up on bikes for about a month now, and I wouldn't sell a bike to somebody if the tire
    wasn't centered in the fork. I don't understand why nobody at the store seems to care about it.

    They said they sent the bike back to the mfr for warranty, but then it came back, & they told me the mfr said it
    was normal for the tire to be off-center. That's how they make them. I can't imagine a mfr ever saying that.

    I wonder if they even sent it to the mfr, because I went there on a Sunday afternoon & got the bike back on
    a Wednesday afternoon. The factory is only about 6 hours away, but that still seems like an awfully fast
    turnaround.

    Plus when I got the bike back yesterday after the bike shop guy said he'd check the dish of the front wheel
    there was a valve cap missing and the tire was at 20 PSI. I pumped it up to 65 PSI and this morning it was as flat
    as a pancake. I bought the bike from this shop because I thought they were known for good customer
    service, but I'm not impressed at the moment.
    Total giant BS from the shop and manufacturer(?) that bikes are normally built with off center front fork alignment. If that is their official and final statement, that can be considered fraud in most circles. If a bike shop manager will stare you in the face and dare say such things, I would advice you return that bike for good and get your money back or report them to the CPSC for selling defective and possibly dangerous bicycles!...Seriously!

    Chombi

  8. #8
    Mechanic/Tourist
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    Fork is bent, or dropouts are misaligned or one dropout not allowing axle to seat properly or undished wheel. Your shop should be able to tell which one. Go direct to Giant if you have to, then check with your lawyer or consumer affairs in your state.

  9. #9
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    It wasn't from Giant. I didn't want to mention the mfr, because they are checking on things for me. I think it's the
    bike shop doing a bad job, not the mfr. I'm not even sure if the bike ever made it to the mfr.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Well the with held information does help

    its a Mountain Bike , probably with a Sus fork ? you said fender mointing?

    Well maybe the front wheel was not dished , You have to do that to make room for the Disc ..

    If its off to the right, thats probably the case..

    FWIW Giant is the contract builder for many other brands in addition to what they make under the Giant Brand.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Well the with held information does help

    its a Mountain Bike , probably with a Sus fork ? you said fender mointing?

    Well maybe the front wheel was not dished , You have to do that to make room for the Disc ..

    If its off to the right, thats probably the case..

    FWIW Giant is the contract builder for many other brands in addition to what they make under the Giant Brand.
    It's a hybrid bike with disc brakes. The tire sits on the left side of the fork.

  12. #12
    Bikaholic blamp28's Avatar
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    Photos?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by blamp28 View Post
    Photos?
    I'm not at home. It just looks like a normal tire shifted to the left side of the fork. Nothing exciting.
    It's closer to center after the bike shop guy tweaked it or whatever he did to it, so it doesn't look quite as bad now except for the flat tire part.
    It's still not perfectly centered though.

  14. #14
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    The guy in the shop is not taking care of business(you). There is no reason that the wheel should not be centered in the fork.

  15. #15
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    If no help from shop or mfg you could always take it to another shop, explain the situation and ask them to determine and document what is wrong. If they charge you just add that to what the shop will need to do to compensate you.

  16. #16
    Junior Member Davey62's Avatar
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    Did you loosen the wheel and site down the wheel to see if you could true it?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacAttack View Post
    I'm not at home. It just looks like a normal tire shifted to the left side of the fork. Nothing exciting.
    It's closer to center after the bike shop guy tweaked it or whatever he did to it, so it doesn't look quite as bad now except for the flat tire part.
    It's still not perfectly centered though.
    I'm hoping that this is a steel fork......or else you're in much bigger trouble with that "cold setting" the shop did to it......

    Chombi

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
    If no help from shop or mfg you could always take it to another shop, explain the situation and ask them to determine and document what is wrong. If they charge you just add that to what the shop will need to do to compensate you.
    I took it to another shop on Sunday. The guy said one side of the fork was further forward than the other side & it was skewing the wheel. That's when I took it back to where I bought it, and they said they were shipping it back under warranty.

    That was on a Sunday, bike was back in my hands on a Wednesday. The shop is just 5 hours away, but still that seems like a really fast turnaround, but I guess it's possible.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacAttack View Post
    I took it to another shop on Sunday. The guy said one side of the fork was further forward than the other side & it was skewing the wheel. That's when I took it back to where I bought it, and they said they were shipping it back under warranty.

    That was on a Sunday, bike was back in my hands on a Wednesday. The shop is just 5 hours away, but still that seems like a really fast turnaround, but I guess it's possible.
    Unless the bike company is in the next town down the road and not any farther, they could be playing with you. Anyway, if it had to be shipped farther, it couldn't have left in the mail Fedex or UPS till Monday, and unless the comapny drops everyting in their warranty claims department Tuesday to get something back overnight, It most likely won't make it back to the shop till Thursday. Any distinguishing marks you know of on the fork that can tell you if it was replaced, cuase you shouldn't go for less than a replacement in this case IMO, cause you should have recieved a bike with no defects in the first place when you bought it recently. That's what warranties are for.
    It's still a big possibility that "Biff" the big mechanic in the back room had his way with your fork and gave it a heave to try straightening it out. Again, acceptable in some cases with a steel fork (if it's not the heat treated high end Reynolds types, those will just spring right back) if the guy knows what he's doing, but a big no-no for other materials like aluminum and certainly will not even work with CF.

    Chombi
    Last edited by Chombi; 09-16-10 at 05:29 PM.

  20. #20
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I've heard that the forces that are exerted on a fork by the disc caliper can bend the blade it's attached to
    if the brake mount was added to a under designed fork, not specified stronger for the application..
    perhaps this is the case .

    meeting low price point rather than good design.

    Note: this fork is asymmetric the blade with the disc mount is actually larger
    than the one without the brake attached to it.

    http://www.tout-terrain.de/2/product...ork/index.html
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-16-10 at 07:05 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    I've heard that the forces that are exerted on a fork by the disc caliper can bend the blade it's attached to
    if the brake mount was added to a under designed fork, not specified stronger for the application..
    perhaps this is the case .

    meeting low price point rather than good design.

    Note: this fork is asymmetric the blade with the disc mount is actually larger
    than the one without the brake attached to it.

    http://www.tout-terrain.de/2/product...ork/index.html
    Maybe mine is asymmetric also, and maybe that's what the guy at the other bike shop saw when he told me one fork was in front of the other. Anyway I took the bike back to the shop tonight where I bought it. A different guy checked out the fork, wheel, tire & fixed the flat. He said everything looks ok now.

    Whatever the guy did last night to the wheel has it almost dead center, so I'm going to quit while I'm ahead. He was out, so I couldn't ask him, & there were no notes.

    Maybe it's just a case of bad luck as far as the flat, and bad communication/service from the tech dept. I still have his msg on my phone saying "you can come get your bike..........they said everything's good to go.............that's just how they make 'em" (referring to my way-off center tire).

    I also have no idea why nobody checked the wheel to begin with. Everything I read says check the wheel or the fork if the wheel is off center. You'd think the tech would know that better than me.

    I found out also that he may have sent the bike to their local chain store wty dept, not the manufacturer. So that's probably why it got back to me so quickly.............maybe it never left the city.

    By the way it's a steel fork.
    Last edited by MacAttack; 09-17-10 at 08:59 AM.

  22. #22
    John Wayne Toilet Paper nhluhr's Avatar
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    Is this shop Performance Bike?

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You see a larger diameter blade on the left than the right?
    that's what those German builders did.
    the wheel is still centered in the fork .

    You can test the fork for blades out of whack, but it involves removing it from the bike.
    so you can have a flat surface to refer to then .. for measurement reference.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacAttack View Post
    I'm not at home. It just looks like a normal tire shifted to the left side of the fork. Nothing exciting.
    It's closer to center after the bike shop guy tweaked it or whatever he did to it, so it doesn't look quite as bad now except for the flat tire part.
    It's still not perfectly centered though.
    Quote Originally Posted by MacAttack View Post
    Maybe mine is asymmetric also, and maybe that's what the guy at the other bike shop saw when he told me one fork was in front of the other. Anyway I took the bike back to the shop tonight where I bought it. A different guy checked out the fork, wheel, tire & fixed the flat.
    <snip>
    .

    Maybe this is just me, but if I had a customer return (repeatedly?) and had to tweak the forks; I would throw in a flat repair for the trouble... The first time.
    This smells like a serious LBS internal communications/disgruntled employee/bad customer relations issue.
    - Solo Attack: When you attack, let the sprint group lead you out. You take no points. But when they sit up, you put your head down and hold threshold. Remember: When you see Jesus you are still about 2 minutes from blacking out. Hang on.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhluhr View Post
    Is this shop Performance Bike?
    No......my girlfriend got a bike there though, got a good deal & no problems. She hasn't really been there for service though.

    I don't think the bike shop I went to was intentionally bad. Everyone there is always nice & usually helpful. It's just that I showed 3 different people that the tire was way off center & the last time I even had a fender on because it made it stand out even more (bike wouldn't even roll w/ a fender on, not a chance), and I had to ask a 4th time before someone finally straightened it. I think maybe they were just sort of clueless.

    The flat was fixed for free, and the guy showed me there was a thorn or something stuck in it, so maybe it just got picked up off their floor or maybe it was there before they got it.

    Anyway it's almost perfect center now, so hopefully no more problems.

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