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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 09-17-10, 02:47 PM   #1
RebelWithout
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Wheel fitting very tightly

I just picked up a bike and pulled the wheel off but for the life of me could not get it back on. I finally figured out you needed to pull a little (More than I'm comfortable with honestly) to get it to fit right. The reason is this little piece that goes through the wheel hub, and as it's been a while since I have messed around with bikes I can't figure out if it's normal/supposed to be there or not. Heres a pic: ( cell phone =/ )

http://img829.imageshack.us/i/56764531020134278180.jpg/

And the other side, there really is no extra clearance:

http://img267.imageshack.us/i/56764503820134267560.jpg/
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Old 09-17-10, 02:57 PM   #2
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The original wheel may have been replaced with one that is wider between the locknuts. Less likely but possible is that the rear triangle was bent in an accident. The proper fix is to have the frame "cold set." to the proper width and centering. Take it to a shop unless you want to tackle http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html
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Old 09-17-10, 11:20 PM   #3
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I imagine that's expensive and I'm really looking for more of a utility/beater bike. I'm going to go to our local bike co-op tomorrow and see if I can pick up some new wheels. If I can't is it a huge problem to just make it fit?
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Old 09-18-10, 07:29 AM   #4
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Invest in a simple caliper, I have a nice digital one I got at Harbor Freight for $15, and I have also bought their simple plastic one for $1.50. You are trying to install a wheel that is wider than your frame. Either cold set it, or just get a wheel that is the right size. I routinely put six speed (wider) rear wheels on five speed bikes.
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Old 09-18-10, 07:42 AM   #5
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Are there threads on the hub on the side without the sprocket, just outboard of the flange that holds the spokes, opposite where the sprocket is in picture #2?

It looks like you have a singlespeed wheel that's been respaced for a wider frame. The best solution would be to remove the spacers and either buy a new axle or shorten the old one. Generally speaking, making an axle wider by adding spacers without getting a wider hub weakens the axle a bit; plus, there's no art or skill involved provided you can do a fairly good job cutting through the axle with a hacksaw, unlike cold setting a frame.

You just have to make sure the rim remains centered. Assuming the person who respaced the wheel did a good job, you simply have to remove the same thickness of spacers from the right and the left. However, I would check. Put the wheel in the frame (or just lay it on top of an upturned frame, and see to it that the hub protrudes evenly from both sides), then see if the middle of the rim lines up with the rear brake's bolt or the hole in the frame for it, if it's removed.

The axle is the threaded stub sticking out of both ends of the hub. The locknuts are holding the spacers against the cone nuts. If you remove the locknuts from each end of the hub, the spacers will slip off. They are the little cylinders just inboard of the outermost nuts.

The locknuts also serve to hold the cone nuts in precise adjustment because they are what the ball bearings run on. If you fiddle with the locknuts, you have to find a source which will tell you how to set the cone adjustment. There's advice on this forum or on various cycling sites or books.
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Old 09-18-10, 09:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
Are there threads on the hub on the side without the sprocket, just outboard of the flange that holds the spokes, opposite where the sprocket is in picture #2?

It looks like you have a singlespeed wheel that's been respaced for a wider frame. The best solution would be to remove the spacers and either buy a new axle or shorten the old one. Generally speaking, making an axle wider by adding spacers without getting a wider hub weakens the axle a bit; plus, there's no art or skill involved provided you can do a fairly good job cutting through the axle with a hacksaw, unlike cold setting a frame.
+1

It looks like a Frankensteined single-speed/multi-speed conversion. That's not necessarily a bad thing- it sounds like it worked OK before you removed the wheel. Rebel, you might want to take it back to whoever you picked the bike up from and have them make it right, either by respacing the hub or widening the frame. Or you can put up with spreading the frame each time you put the wheel back on- it's not really a big deal.
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