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  1. #1
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    Broken Rear Axle??

    I recently noticed my rear tire was wobbling side to side. I took my bike to the LBS and the guy yelled at me saying that I don't take care of my bike? The rear axel is cracked & needs to be replaced. My bike is 8 years old and my question is did I go down a big curb too hard or does the part slowly break down over the years. I decided to take my bike to another LBS to have fixed.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I ride quite a lot of hard city miles and I've never broken an axle but I have seen it happen to friends. The bigger issue for me is your LBS mechanic yelling at you. I would find different shop to deal with. Let your dollars do the talking and take your business elsewhere. Depending on the hub you have many of them can easily be serviced with minimal tools/skills.
    Last edited by kaseri; 10-13-11 at 01:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Personally, I've never broken a hub axle, but I've certainly bent a few.

    Hey, it happens, and now I'm replacing a lot of them for customers. Usually it seems to happen because a bearing lock nut gets loose, the balls run out of their race and start running on the axle on one side, and the weakened axle snaps after a seemingly insignificant hit. The quick release skewer holds the hub together until the grinding, squeaking, wheel wobbling, and poor braking drive the cyclist to the shop to "fix the back tire."

    The best solution is prevention. Examine your wheels regularly and get them adjusted or overhauled at the first sign of trouble. And there's no reason to tolerate getting yelled at by a shop mechanic.

  4. #4
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    Axles (Not axels BTW) break. It could be from a single big impact, but usually is the result of metal fatigue that happens over time.

    If you look at a schematic of a rear hub you'll find that the axle is supported at either end, and subject to loads inboard of the ends (depends on hub design). The loads are both the axle weight and from the chain pulling the hub forward. That flexes the axle, and eventually it'll fail at a thread - usually the first one inboard of the right cone or bearing.

    It's been eight years, so hopefully for not a lot of dough you can go another eight years, if something else doesn't fail first.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Check the rear dropout alignment. The tools to do so look like T-handles with adjustable cups on the ends. It's a 5 minute job.

    Better yet, have that same mechanic at the same LBS do it for you:

    If it turns out they are not parallel - or close to parallel as they should be, yell back at him:


    "You've been servicing my bike for 8 years? What am I paying you for?"


    A "payback is a *****" opportunity awaits...

    Wheels installed in quality BUT misaligned dropouts are going to end up with bent axles - and accelerate the eventual - a snapped axle.

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

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    5. My all time favorite book is:

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  6. #6
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    If your bike has a freewheel then broken axles were fairly common from either abuse or long term fatigue. Freehubs, particularly Shimano's design, support the axle far better on the drive side and broken axles are now quite rare.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    And the nature of the steel and it's heat treatment, processes,
    there is a range of hardness and/or ductility, that can be made ,
    by controlling the process of that heat treatment.

    hardening, OK for some purpose, is inappropriate for others.

    I think Axel is some guy that fronts Guns And Roses.
    or is it a particular style of spinning jump in figure skating..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-13-11 at 09:13 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    And the nature of the steel and it's heat treatment, processes,
    there is a range of hardness and/or ductility, that can be made ,
    by controlling the process of that heat treatment.

    hardening, OK for some purpose, is inappropriate for others.

    I think Axel is some guy that fronts Guns And Roses.
    or is it a particular style of spinning jump in figure skating..
    ...or a FPS gamer I used to hang out with at Dwango-SJ and H2H-San Jose.

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by americanlt2 View Post
    I recently noticed my rear tire was wobbling side to side. I took my bike to the LBS and the guy yelled at me saying that I don't take care of my bike? The rear axel is cracked & needs to be replaced. My bike is 8 years old and my question is did I go down a big curb too hard or does the part slowly break down over the years. I decided to take my bike to another LBS to have fixed.

    Thanks
    A few weeks ago I had to take my Trek Multitrack rear wheel to the LBS. Rear wheel wobble. Used mainly on an asphalt paved MUP with no riding off curbs or anything like that. Replaced the axle while I waited. No big deal and not expensive. According to the guy at the LBS, this happens. Just from mileage. About 6,000 miles on it before it broke.

    If an owner or worker at an LBS treated me as you comment I would look for another LBS. I deal with one local bike shop and one in Trappe, PA. Nothing but good things to say about both of them.

  10. #10
    29er Rider MNRon's Avatar
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    Really, the wrench "yelled" at you? Or did he (or she) just say that this is probably a case of neglect but we can fix it for you?
    Don't take life too seriously, you won't get out alive anyway.

  11. #11
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    MN, he said that I'm not taking care of my bike and need tune-ups ect... I felt like I was in a Seinfeld episode or something.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteknight View Post
    A few weeks ago I had to take my Trek Multitrack rear wheel to the LBS. Rear wheel wobble. Used mainly on an asphalt paved MUP with no riding off curbs or anything like that. Replaced the axle while I waited. No big deal and not expensive. According to the guy at the LBS, this happens. Just from mileage. About 6,000 miles on it before it broke.
    That is a very early failure for any decent hub, particularly if you aren't a abusive rider. Does the bike have a freewheel or a freehub?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteknight View Post
    If an owner or worker at an LBS treated me as you comment I would look for another LBS.
    +100 but not being there we really don't know how harsh the exchange really was.

  13. #13
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Last/only axle I broke was on a '94 C-dale hybrid that had a freewheel hub. Broke after about six years and lotsa miles.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Last/only axle I broke was on a '94 C-dale hybrid that had a freewheel hub. Broke after about six years and lotsa miles.
    Similar experience here. The only broken axle I've ever seen was on a friends '88 Trek 1100 with a Maillard 7-speed freewheel hub and a ton of miles under his and the previous owner's use.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    That is a very early failure for any decent hub, particularly if you aren't a abusive rider. Does the bike have a freewheel or a freehub?


    +100 but not being there we really don't know how harsh the exchange really was.
    It has the typical Shimano 7 speed Megarange freewheel.
    According to the LBS this axle failures are not frequent but than not unknown. I weight 180 and am carrying roughly 25 to 35 pounds on a rear rack on most rides. We ride year round except if there is snow on the trail. Freewheel and chain replacement around every 2000 to 2500 miles.

    The two local bike shops I frequent have me spoiled. I go in knowing exactly what I want and what the going rate for it is. So I don't try and haggle prices. I get our bikes and repairs through the closest one but they don't stock good clothing. So the shop at Trappe gets our clothing business. Both treat the wife and I like friends when we walk in the door.

    I am always amazed at the low cost of parts for our bikes and how durable they are. Compared to car parts the bikes are the best bargain going. So if a part breaks occasionally I don't get bent out of shape. Compared to bowling or golfing the bikes are dirt cheap based on hours of use.

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