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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 09-04-11, 08:55 AM   #1
NikiMae31
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My handlebars/fork or something is crooked!?

So I just noticed this today on my first 15 mile bike ride. I don't know if it was like this before today or if I did something while I was driving the bike to the place I was starting the ride. I have a Jeep Cherokee so I just laid the bike down in the back with the seats down, once I got there, I carefully pulled the bike out. Partway through the trip I noticed that I needed to turn the handlebars to the left to go straight. Any ideas on how this happened and how to fix it?? I'm very perplexed and a little desperate.

In this shot I have the wheel lined up with the frame of the bike.


In this one, I have the handlebars lined up with the bike
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Old 09-04-11, 09:04 AM   #2
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looks like the stem slipped and moved it should not be that loose
loosen pinch bolts on stem strigthen it out reset preload and tigthen pinch bolts while your at it I'd check
all the other bolts to make sure something else isn't loose.
if it slipped
that easy it was not tight!
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Old 09-04-11, 09:13 AM   #3
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I think your diagnosis is correct, but the pictures appear to show a quill stem. She might lose her mind trying to "reset preload".

Niki, at the top of the stem is what looks to me like a rubber cover. When you remove it (just pry it out with fingernails or a screwdriver) you'll find an Allen bolt. Loosen the bolt a turn or two and then give it a little tap with a hammer. This will free the stem which you can then align with the wheel. Once everything is perfectly straight, tighten it back up, and put a little effort into it. Replace the cover and you're good to go.

Or, just take it back to where you got it, and they'll fix it for free - and if smart, check the other bolts as well, because that's really not something that should have been loose to begin with...
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Old 09-04-11, 09:22 AM   #4
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NikiMae31, Definately an easy fix following Six jours' advice. For whatever reason the stem wasn't tight enough and better you should find it before a ride than for learnng of the condition while actually riding! Be sure to fix it correctly, don't be tempted to simply align the handle bars.

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Old 09-04-11, 10:11 AM   #5
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Yes now that I can see it, it is a quill loosen the center bolt allign it and tigthen was hard to see on my Iphone LOL
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Old 09-04-11, 10:44 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the advice! I thought that it would be kind of an easy fix. I'll fix it a little later on today and let you all know how it goes. :-)
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Old 09-04-11, 10:50 AM   #7
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Straddle the bike while you are adjusting the alignment and sight down the center of the stem's handlebar clamp so it exactly centers on the front tire. If you try to align it while standing beside the bike you will never get it exactly right and the slight mis-alignment will drive you crazy.
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Old 09-04-11, 03:01 PM   #8
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MikiMae31: While you have the stem loose it would probably be a good idea to pull it out and make sure it has a light coat of grease on it to avoid it seizing in place down the road. This is common with quill stems and can be a major headache.
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Old 09-04-11, 06:15 PM   #9
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that is a really bad place to carry a lock
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Old 09-05-11, 02:23 PM   #10
NikiMae31
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Thanks again everyone! I got it all fixed. I even de-greased it and re-greased it like you said dsbrantjr.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
that is a really bad place to carry a lock
That isn't where I normally have it. I just quickly put it somewhere on the frame when I was done riding yesterday.
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