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Old 10-13-11, 04:37 PM   #1
JeffOYB
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Rear wheel keeps pulling over...

My wife rides a 1983 Team Miyata. We have a rear wheel on it that is probably from 2000. We have the QR clamped down hard. When she powers away from a stop she often pulls the rear wheel over. The only way we can prevent this is if we clamp it down hugely, maximumly tight. That seems wrong. I'm guessing that the new(er) wheel axle is a bit longer than the stock axle -- didn't they change specs? This was probably a 6-speed bike as stock. The wheel seems to go in and out of the rear dropouts easily, though. I've used a wide variety of wheels on this bike over the years, never with such results. But we haven't tested other wheels this time. I just made a test of inserting a thin washer onto either end of the axle against the locknuts -- but I guess this just makes the axle effectively a bit longer yet. A bike mechanic told me to try this -- maybe I misunderstood him. Is there a better way to attempt a shim to fix this? Is there any other fix? Any other idears? Thanks, JP
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Old 10-13-11, 04:44 PM   #2
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axle protruding past the dropout face? using a closed cam skewer with steel faces/nut?
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Old 10-13-11, 05:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
axle protruding past the dropout face?
This is what it sounds like to me as well. That would explain the washers. And adding washers doesn't make the axle longer, it effectively makes the hub wider which makes the axle protrude less. If the issue is a too-long axle, add the spacers behind the lock nuts so you don't have loose spacers to deal with when inserting the wheel into the drop outs.
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Old 10-13-11, 05:21 PM   #4
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Hi, Jeff... Reptile is on the right track. It sounds like the axle is protruding too far, particularly if the axle has been replaced. There have been plenty of "standards" over the years- there's no easy way to tell without looking at it carefully. One test is to take the skewer out and remove the spiral "volute" springs. They can get in the way. Put the skewer back in and tighten it down and see if that fixes it.

If it does, then there's a couple options: shorten the axle by 3 or 4 millimeters, put washers between the cones and locknuts, or just do without the springs. They don't do much except make it easier to put the wheel back in the dropouts.

Also, if it's an aluminum-handle exposed-cam skewer- toss it and get a good steel, closed-cam skewer. They work 1000% better.
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Old 10-13-11, 05:24 PM   #5
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If it's not the axle, the next suspect is the quick release lever. Most modern QR levers (even on a 2000 wheel) are designed for vertical dropouts and can't clamp firmly enough to hold a wheel in a horizontal dropout:

http://sheldonbrown.com/skewers.html

The solution is to replace the modern QR unit with a traditional enclosed cam unit. Shimano and some other companies still make this type of skewer.
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Old 10-13-11, 08:41 PM   #6
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+1 on the Shimano (or similar) closed skewer. If you can see how the mechanism works it won't clamp securely enough. If the axle protrudes too far, serrated washers will take up the excess length and also help to "bite" into the dropout for a better grip.
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Old 10-13-11, 08:58 PM   #7
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The axle must not protrude beyond the outside face of the dropout. This causes the quick release to tighten against the axle instead of the dropout plate. As others have said, shorten the axle or move the dropout outward by using a spacer between the axle nut and the inside of the dropout. Some axles can be moved laterally (especially older ones) within the hub by adjusting the cones and locknuts.
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Old 10-14-11, 09:19 AM   #8
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Also- In addition to what's been mentioned, check the cone locknuts to make sure they are installed properly. I've seen locknuts installed backwards with the serrated face inward.

Check that axle protrusion beyond the dropout though. Later model wheels most likely came from aluminum frame bikes which had thicker dropouts- hence longer axles.
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Old 10-15-11, 05:33 PM   #9
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Hi all... OK, I checked the axle. Rats. That wasn't it. The axle is a mm within the outer surfaces of the dropouts. The QR was, however, an exposed-cam type. I guess. I don't really know what that is. I replaced it with an older one with an "enclosed" cam. We'll see how that goes... JP
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Old 10-15-11, 06:18 PM   #10
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What u can do is to get large serrated washers and put them in there. U have 2 issues in there...

1 the quick release is not tightening anything no more

2 the serrated contact area is just old now.
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Old 10-15-11, 07:10 PM   #11
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I had this problem on an '85 Schwinn World Sport. I had spread the 126mm rear frame to accept a 130mm hub but had not bent the dropouts back inward, so they were splayed outward ever so slightly. There was more clearance at the back of the dropout than the front. The problem persisted until I took a large crescent wrench and twisted the dropout until the back end of the dropout no longer splayed outward andthe dropouts bore squarely against the locknuts. After that, no problem with the axle moving. I rode the bike for four years then sold it.

You are correct in not using skewer tension to correct the problem. The skewer is strong enough to compress the axle slightly and if you turn up the tension, it will cause the bearings to run too tight and will ruin the cones. A quick release axle is normally a tiny bit loose when out of the bike so that the slack would go away and a tiny bit of pressure would be applied to the cones after you close the skewer.
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