Rear wheel alignment on my softride
Ok, I bought this frame used and I know it was a risk, but it is in quite good shape and the price was great.
With that out of the way, when I put the rear wheel on, the tire/rim did not seem to be in perfect alignment. That is, looking at the front of the wheel inside the chainstays, it is closer to one side than the other by a small amount. The center of the tread of the tire is just a millimeter or two off center from the break caliper hole. There is no play in the wheel. However, if I turn the wheel around backward, it seems to line up perfectly. I have tried this with another rear wheel I have and it is closer to center, but still off to the left a little.
Here are the facts about the frame and wheel: 1999 powerwing 700 frame bought used. Has original paint and just a few scratches. No chips or cracked paint or anything to indicate that the races or chainstays were bent anywhere and no signs of a crash. The wheel is a Campy Shamal w/9 spd cass. and it has been installed on another frame with no problems for some time.
I have put the wheel on without the skewers and inspected the axles and they are resting fully up into the races and the races are not deformed as far as I can tell. The wheel cants to the left if you are facing the same direction as the bike. I do not have the chain, crank or derailers attached at this point.
I have stared at this bike with one eye closed from all angles until I have a headache. To be honest, the wheel looks straight if you eyeball it from the rear. It's almost as if it is dished to the side a little. Is there any way to test the alignment of the frame? I thought I might complete the bike and paint the tire tread or something like that and see if the tread wear indicates anything funky.
I am quite experienced in building bikes and have done my share of engineering to make them right. I would like to try to fix this at home if possible, since the whole point of buying the used frame was to save money. Any adjustment would be horizontal, ie. shifting one race back or forward very slightly to bring the wheel into alignment. However, this would result in a hole slightly larger than is required to fit the axel into, and the skewers would have to be strong and tight to hold the wheel in place. However, I think that's how most dropouts are anyway to some extent. There would be no need for an expansion of either hole up or down, as this part is in alignment.
The alternative would be determining which chainstay would need to be slightly bent to correct the problem. However, this seems to be more drastic to me than grinding a little out of the hole.
If anyone has any experience or thoughts on this manner, they would be appreciated.