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  1. #1
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    Windsor Oxford - bad threads on front wheel axel?

    While riding on a trail last year my wife's bike lost one of the nuts securing the wheel to the fork in tall grass. We never recovered it (barely managed to ride it back, using the interior clip, keeping an eye on it and going slow). Now I got some replacement nuts from a shop (admittedly free used parts) and they get really, really tight on it after a few turns unlike the other nut, which is still original. Is it possible that the thread size is just a smidge off or did something get damaged and what can I do?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by thiocyclist View Post
    ... Is it possible that the thread size is just a smidge off or did something get damaged and what can I do?
    If the remaining original nut from the other side of the axle threads on without resistance then either the replacement nut is damaged, a locking nut or has a slightly different thread pitch.

    Brad

  3. #3
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    If the original nut threads on OK and the replacement does not then it is reasonable to conclude that the new one does not have the correct thread.

    Properly-torqued fasteners rarely come loose so you should make sure that all of the fasteners on your wife's bikes are tightened sufficiently. Critical ones like the front wheel should be checked frequently, like before each ride. If I had nutted axles I would carry a suitable wrench on the bike.

  4. #4
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    The replacements both look a bit rusty, could be some damage there. They both start to thread pretty well though which makes me think pitch is the same... And they don't appear to be locking.

    How would I go about finding the correct thread?

    Yeah, I just forgot to check the nuts before the ride. I had just set her bike up, but I guess the drive to the trail really loosened things up.

  5. #5
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    thiocyclist, Take the good nut to a hardware store, find a bolt that it threads onto and then find a matching nut.

    Brad

  6. #6
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    You may need a washer as well.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    While riding on a trail last year my wife's bike lost one of the nuts securing the wheel to the fork
    in tall grass.
    Skipped the pre ride safety check , did we?

    the wheel should have been checked before the ride .

    from Now on make sure things are Known to be tight enough..

    before you or she ride the bike.. any brand bike.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-26-14 at 12:22 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    You may have 9mm or 3/8 threads.
    Best to stop by the LBS with your good nut.

  9. #9
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    First make sure you can move the remaining nut to the other side. If that nut works on either side, it shouldn't be hard to get a replacement for the missing one. LBS, LBS, LBS...
    Last edited by rpenmanparker; 01-26-14 at 04:12 PM.

  10. #10
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    thiocyclist, Take the good nut to a hardware store, find a bolt that it threads onto and then find a matching nut.

    Brad
    He'll have a better chance at a bike shop. Front axle threads are either 9 x 1mm or 3/8" x 26tpi.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    You may need a washer as well.
    Not sure which kind of you are thinking, but I know I'm not missing anything besides the original nut. Still have the clip that goes over the fork and acts similar to a washer, with grooves in the circular portion. That's how we managed to ride back.

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Skipped the pre ride safety check , did we?

    the wheel should have been checked before the ride .

    from Now on make sure things are Known to be tight enough..

    before you or she ride the bike.. any brand bike.
    I appreciate a good scolding as much as anyone but as you may have guessed I've already realized this was a mistake on my part, now if you have any idea about finding a replacement nut that might help instead of being self-righteous...

    After this incident I asked many friends if they'd ever thought to check the front axel/fork nuts and they all said no, and these are people who ride mountain trails each weekend (sometimes multiple times a week... they are typical CO people). So I guess you'd better hit the road and get to spreading your gospel.

    Quote Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
    First make sure you can move the remaining nut to the other side. If that nut works on either side, it shouldn't be hard to get a replacement for the missing one. LBS, LBS, LBS...
    I actually got the replacements as freebies from my LBS. Neither works but I did as you said and swapped the working nut to the other side to be sure it wasn't the axel threads. It's the replacement nuts. I may go back there with the one working nut (and pay them for something that works if they have it), hopefully that way we can match threads up as others have suggested.
    Last edited by thiocyclist; 01-27-14 at 09:21 AM.

  12. #12
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    Take the wheel to the LBS and root around in their junk drawer until you find the right one.

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    After you tighten the axle nuts properly, paint a line across the axle and the nut. Now you can visually check the tightness. If the lines don't line up, something is wrong.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  14. #14
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    Try the good nut on the side where your nut is missing. Does it thread on? If so, the problem is the replacement nut, not the axle.
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson) San Remo Plus, 1989 Trek 520, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
    Try the good nut on the side where your nut is missing. Does it thread on? If so, the problem is the replacement nut, not the axle.
    We have already been down that road.

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Bikes direct ?. It's their sales.. ask them .. others say you just ship the whole bike back.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    After you tighten the axle nuts properly, paint a line across the axle and the nut. Now you can visually check the tightness. If the lines don't line up, something is wrong.
    Good idea!

    I guess I could contact BD but I'm going to the LBS tomorrow anyway with the working nut, if I have time. Snowy here so I won't be riding (I've wiped out enough that I guess I figured out that I'm not *that* hardcore), but I can walk over there at lunchtime.

  18. #18
    Mike J
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    Quote Originally Posted by thiocyclist View Post
    Good idea!

    I guess I could contact BD but I'm going to the LBS tomorrow anyway with the working nut, if I have time. Snowy here so I won't be riding (I've wiped out enough that I guess I figured out that I'm not *that* hardcore), but I can walk over there at lunchtime.
    Dang. Wish my LBS was close enough to walk to. But then, I'm glad I don't have snow here.

  19. #19
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    Update, I had to go to the LBS with the existing good nut and they had six kinds of threads that all looked exactly the same but had small differences for bike wheel axels. They IDed mine and ordered me a couple of new ones.

  20. #20
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    When I had a threaded axle like that, I always carried a "dog bone" tool with me. Doesn't do you any good for this problem now, but might be useful in the future. You can find them on ebay shipped to you for a couple bucks. Probably not the highest quality metal, but they worked well for me in emergencies a couple of times when something slipped mid ride.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  21. #21
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    An axel is a figure skating move or a dual line sport kite trick.

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