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  1. #1
    Newbie tshrode's Avatar
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    Nerve-racking rear wheel

    I recently rescued from my parents basement my moms old 1985 trek 600 series. The bike is in pristine condition as it has always been stored inside and it hasn't been ridden in at least 10 years, everything on it is original except for the bar tape. I gladly swooped it up on a recent visit back home to MN and brought it with me to Denver. I oiled it up and dusted it off a little and it was good to go. On a recent ride though however I was going to cross the street at a red light and as I put torque on the chain the whole rear wheel jerked right out of the drop out (I almost went down in the middle of the intersection!) I pulled the wheel back into the dropout and snugged it up good and thought I would be fine. About 20 mins later the same scenario happened in a less busy intersection thankfully. I phoned my gf to come pick me up because I was very concerned it was going to happen again and it bit up some of the paint which was kind of a bummer. I took it to Bicycle Village later that day (they were the only shop open at this hour on a sunday) Needless to say the guy in there was a total prick and pretty much tried to tell me my bike was a piece of **** . He was little of no help and basically just re-tightened what I had already done previously. I'm sort of reluctant to ride it at the moment because i'm afraid this will keep happening. It has the original titanium wheels on it but they are straight. Will I need to replace the wheel or is there something wrong internally that I don't know about? I'm looking to get some insight on what this problem might be caused by it is the first real issue i have had with a bike. Thanks Guys!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I don't think you are tightening down the skewer properly. They are a lever,not a knob in a nutshell. You only twist the skewer while the handle is in the open position til the point that it is just barely getting ready to tighten down.

    Then you MUST flip the skewer lever from the open position to the closed position. The leverage acted upon the skewer by the flipping of the lever is a LOT more than just spinning the lever til it feels tight.

    When you flip the lever to the closed position, it should get tight very quickly and then opening it should be fairly hard to do.

    So spin the skewer lever while in the open position til you take up most of the coarse slack in the axle then flip it to the closed position with significant tension resisting the closure of the lever.

    Here is a good video:
    Last edited by bobotech; 08-20-12 at 11:41 AM.

  3. #3
    Mechanic/Tourist
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    Quote Originally Posted by tshrode View Post
    I oiled it up and dusted it off a little and it was good to go. ..... I took it to Bicycle Village later that day ...and basically just re-tightened what I had already done previously.
    Mistake one is thinking a bike you are not familiar with is "good to go" without checking it over thoroughly.

    Perhaps you did not tighten the q/r, but it's unlikely the bike shop person also tightened the q/r improperly. It IS possible that he did not check the axle or q/r springs. If the axle sticks out on either side of the wheel further than the dropout is wide then the wheel will not clamp properly. Likewise if the narrow part of either q/r spring is not pointed toward the inside/axle rather than out toward the lever.
    There's no such thing as a routine repair.

    Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

    If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

    Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Even if a QR is adjusted well, there can be slippage if the axle cannot bite into the frame (friction alone isn't enough). If you look at any of the better hubs, especially from the horizontal dropout era, they were all made so the locknut was serrated, or were concave leaving only a thin circular rim (foot), which could cut into the frame.

    It's the quality of the dentation of these older designs that made them hold so well, but later on people started using softer materials on axles, while at the same time dropouts got harder, and many hubs today cannot hold securely enough against high chain tension. Many blame the Alloy headed external cam skewers of the eras, and these didn't help but it's the failure of the axle to bite that's the issue.

    Usually when I hear of slippage, I see a frame with nice pretty dropouts, whereas the dropouts on top of the line older bikes like they were used as pull toys for a pit bull.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
    Mistake one is thinking a bike you are not familiar with is "good to go" without checking it over thoroughly.

    Perhaps you did not tighten the q/r, but it's unlikely the bike shop person also tightened the q/r improperly. It IS possible that he did not check the axle or q/r springs. If the axle sticks out on either side of the wheel further than the dropout is wide then the wheel will not clamp properly. Likewise if the narrow part of either q/r spring is not pointed toward the inside/axle rather than out toward the lever.
    I believe from the original posting, that he brought the bike to Bike Villiage who tightened down the rear wheel but hasn't ridden the bike since then.

  6. #6
    Mechanic/Tourist
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
    I believe from the original posting, that he brought the bike to Bike Villiage who tightened down the rear wheel but hasn't ridden the bike since then.
    Yes, that's true - as OP is anxious I figure it's best to check those items as well as tightness of the q/r lever before riding again.
    There's no such thing as a routine repair.

    Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

    If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

    Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

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