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Rear hub not properly adjusted

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Rear hub not properly adjusted

Old 10-05-15, 08:36 AM
  #1  
SentinelAeon
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Rear hub not properly adjusted

Hi there,

A while ago i had some problems with my rear gear shifting, namely i had trouble getting chain to the largest cog in the rear. I tried all possible things and finaly just barely got it there. I also had problems with my rear brakes not working well and my rear wheel getting twisted for no reason ( no jumping or anything ). And only the other day i thought of what could be the reason.

Could it be that when i reasembled the hub i didn't put it in the right position ? And because of that the bicycle rim is actualy not in the middle but a bit to the side. I will post a picture to show you what i mean ( not a picture of my bike btw ). Should the distance between the rim and bicycle frame be the same on left and right ( see green line ) ? That would certanly explain the twisted frame and shifting problems.

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Old 10-05-15, 10:58 AM
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it sounds like you didn't get the hub properly centered on the axle.
With a q/r axle this will both affect how well the wheel can be clamped in the frame and also where the sprockets sits WRT the dropout and the derailer.
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Old 10-05-15, 11:29 AM
  #3  
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If you're working with a cup and cone bearing, you want to remove the left side nuts and cones and keep track of the spacers. Just leave the right side alone and remove the axle from the right. No need to take it apart and you will not get parts mixed up.
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Old 10-05-15, 11:58 AM
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andr0id: The thing is that i already disasembled it once meaning completely removed every last part of it off so now its probably misaligned. It looks like this without the hub part ( not picture of my hub, its from internet ):


dabac: Exactly, i am pretty sure hub isnt properly centered. Can i check this without removing axle and hub ?

Can someone verify this ... if you remove tire from the rim and then measure distance between rim and frame ... it has to be completely in the middile right, meaning distance on both sides ( between rim and frame ) has to be the same ? Because when you put together this hub and axle, even if u miss by a small amount the tire wont be in the middle and i am pretty sure this is what happened.
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Old 10-05-15, 12:10 PM
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^^ Not necessarily. How do you know your wheel was true to begin with?
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Old 10-05-15, 01:25 PM
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The rim not centered between the seatstays can be caused EITHER by the wheel not being dished properly - in which case the fix is to adjust the left/right spoke tension balance. OR by the hub not being properly centered over the axle.
Since you admit to having taken the axle assembly apart, I suspect the latter.
The fact that the wheel isn't staying in position strengthens this suspiscion. You want the locknuts at the same distance from the axle ends on both sides. And on hollow axle/quick-release hubs, the axle protrusion outside the locknut HAS to be LESS than the thickness of the dropouts. If the axle protrudes past the outside face of the dropout, the quick-release will bottom out against the axle end before pinching against the dropout.
If that happens, the wheel will not stay in position on a bike with horizontal dropouts.
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Old 10-05-15, 04:49 PM
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As @dabac says, you want the locknuts at the same distance from the axle ends on both sides.

Assuming your rear axle components were in the same position as when they left the factory before you disassembled them, then both locknuts should be immediately next to the dropouts. That's why the distance between dropouts is called "over-locknut distance".

Also, if your wheel is original to the bike, it should be correctly dished (although not necessarily true any more - that's another issue). You can easily check for trueness by spinning the wheel and looking for variation in the distance between the rim and a stay.

The position of the rim between the stays is NOT the way to tell if your hub is centered. That relationship can vary depending on how the axle is set in the dropouts. It has to be visually confirmed and adjusted every time you remove and replace the wheel.

What you may have done is moved spacers from one side to the other. The spacers should be between the cones and locknuts. You can check this without a complete disassembly. I could be wrong, but on an original factory setup, I would expect the same number of spacers on both sides, UNLESS there is one spacer that's thicker than the others. I would expect that spacer to be on the right side, to compensate for dishing.

Last edited by habilis; 10-05-15 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 10-06-15, 04:15 AM
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Thank you for all the replies !!

When i said same distance between rim and frame, i ofcourse meant in the case where rim is completely true. Alright i should be getting my casette removal tool today so i should check the hub and axle soon, and then i will post some pictures where you can verify that i did it correctly. But i am pretty sure wheel is not in the middle. Why ? Because no matter what i did ( and i did every single thing possible as far as gears are concerned ) i barely got it to the biggest cog. I mean as far as i remember from previous experience, it wasnt that hard to get the chain even OVER the biggest gear (if u didn't properly adjust high limit). Well here it is impossible. Now either hub/axle setup is moved to 1 side or i mixed nuts somehow, which i hope i didn't. Allright, please stay with me when i post pictures in the coming days
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Old 10-06-15, 06:27 AM
  #9  
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Where the rim is in relationship to the frame has nothing to do with problems shifting to the largest cog, unless you have added a really excessive amount of spacers to the right side.There is typically not that much spacing between locknut and cone on the left side, so it's rather difficult to shift the hub very much to the left. Certainly if the problem arose immediately after the hub overhaul then one would suspect that you may have done that, but we need clear info before jumping to that conclusion.

1. Did the problem only occur immediately after the hub overhaul?
2. What specifically did you do to adjust the rear derailleur ("all things possible" is too vague).
3. Did you follow a guide to adjust the rear derailleur, such as a repair manual or the instructions at Rear Derailleur Adjustment - Park Tool?
4. If you pull down on the derailleur cable at the down tube will it then shift to the largest cog?
5. Knowing what your equipment is would help - picture from the side of derailleur and pic of levers.
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Old 10-06-15, 08:51 AM
  #10  
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Is it a Shimano hub?
If so, there may be technical docs available that show what spacers are used and where.

Could your wheel be shifting in the DO's when you pedal? This results in the axle moving forward on the DS and the tire rubbing the left chain stay.

BTW- is the wheel "offset" the SAME amount between the chain stays AND the seat stays?
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Old 10-06-15, 11:33 AM
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On a 700c wheel with a free hub the big axle spacer goes on the non drive side. If you put the spacer on the drive side by mistake your wheel will not be centered. Could be off by several mm's. I've accidentally done it myself before. Pull the wheel & look at the spacers inside the locknuts. Swap spacers around & you'll probably be OK.
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Old 10-06-15, 08:31 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by SentinelAeon View Post
i ofcourse meant in the case where rim is completely true.
True and correctly dished are two different features. True means the rim is flat, and perpendicular to the axle.
When spun, a true wheel when seen head-on will not show any sideways movement. True doesn't say anything about where the wheel sits in the frame/fork, as long as it isn't wobbling.
Dish is a little tricky.
Usually it means that the rim is centered between the locknuts, which for a correctly assembled hub and a properly aligned frame/fork will put the rim in the middle.
If you have gotten your axle spacers out of order - which would explain BOTH your shifting problems AND your wheel centering problem, then it gets a little awkward to talk about dish and centering, as you've lost the use of the locknuts as reference points.
If all was well with your bike BEFORE, take the axle apart again. Shuffle spacers around to get the driveside locknut sitting closer to the smallest sprocket. It can't sit flush though, you need a little clearance for the chain not to rub against the inside face of the dropout.
Make sure you have even protrusion of axle on both sides, and less than the thickness of your dropouts.
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Old 10-08-15, 04:53 PM
  #13  
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Alright, i did some work on bicycle. Basically i had to replace a broken spoke and for that i had to remove a casette. I checked the axle and it appers to be ok, measured both sides and they are equal:



The rim seems to be in the middle so that is ok. As for gears, i decided to leave it alone for now since i can shift normaly to all gears. The reason i had such trouble setting it up properly a few months ago must be in the rear derailleur or derailleur hanger being bent.



I had some problems truing the rim. While the easiest way is to simply check where rim is touching the brakes, it certanly won't make the rim completely true. And while probably the main reason of truing is to make sure the brakes arent touching the rim while driving, if you want a completely true rim, you have to do it some other way. I saw some homemade truing stands on youtube, i might do something like that in the future. Or maybe some kind of homemade tool that you install in place of braking system and then measure the rim.
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Old 10-09-15, 02:29 AM
  #14  
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O
Originally Posted by SentinelAeon View Post
I had some problems truing the rim.
Well, we learn from our challenges.
Originally Posted by SentinelAeon View Post
While the easiest way is to simply check where rim is touching the brakes, it certanly won't make the rim completely true.
No trueing stand does that. "Completely" true depends A LOT more on the guy doing the work and the condition of the rim to start with. To true a wheel you need a way to spin it, and something to act as a reference point. Trueing stands does this easier, slicker. But not much principally better. At least not until you get into the realm of dial gauges...
Originally Posted by SentinelAeon View Post
And while probably the main reason of truing is to make sure the brakes arent touching the rim while driving...
Kinda-sorta. While brake rub certainly can be quite annoying, it takes a fair amount of untrue before the actual brake drag becomes an immediate problem while riding. What ALSO happens with an untrue wheel is that your contact patch no longer follow a straight line. The wheel will start to shift sideways and back on each rotation. Quite annoying and outright dangerous when you get up to speed.
Originally Posted by SentinelAeon View Post
if you want a completely true rim, you have to do it some other way.
Again, the quality of the true is far more dependent on the person doing the work than what equipment is being used. Trueing stands mostly make the work faster and more comfortable.
Also, be wary of the phrase "completely true".
First off, there's no such thing. That's all down to how accurately you intend to measure them.
Next, we don't need it. We ride on randomly uneven surfaces, on air-filled tires with their own deviations from round and true. Better than "good enough" will bring no noticeable improvement.
Third, sometimes it's not even desirable. Few rims are exactly round and true even at the start. Often wheel work ends up at a compromise between true, round and spoke tension. And sacrificing a good spoke tension balance on the altar of trueness is rarely a good idea.
Originally Posted by SentinelAeon View Post
Or maybe some kind of homemade tool that you install in place of braking system and then measure the rim.
Put a zip tie around each fork leg or chain stay. Firmly but not full-on tight. Cut slightly longer than neede for the tip to reach the rim. Rotate the tie around the stay/fork leg to increase or decrease clearance.
Easier to see than brake pad clearance. Dirt cheap. No storage issues. Good for sub-millimeter accuracy, if you think you need it and have the patience.

Last edited by dabac; 10-09-15 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 10-10-15, 04:39 AM
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I went on youtube after you mentioned zipties and found this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ4g1QNg4dU

Looks easy enough, thank you for your advice ! The only question that pops in my mind is ... when you first set the ties, how do you know that they are positioning your rim in the middle ? What if you accidently set them up on the part where your rim is twisted ? Then you will incorectly adjust the whole wheel to be moved to 1 side. Maybe i am worrying to much but you need a starting point to set up zipties. Or maybe it isnt as important as long as the rim is true ( even if its a bit to 1 side )
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Old 10-10-15, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by SentinelAeon View Post

Looks easy enough, thank you for your advice ! The only question that pops in my mind is ... when you first set the ties, how do you know that they are positioning your rim in the middle ? What if you accidently set them up on the part where your rim is twisted ? Then you will incorectly adjust the whole wheel to be moved to 1 side. Maybe i am worrying to much but you need a starting point to set up zipties. Or maybe it isnt as important as long as the rim is true ( even if its a bit to 1 side )
When you think you're done, flip the wheel over. In a properly dished wheel the rim Will remain centered and not move sideways when the wheel is flipped.

Or try FB's triple can trick. Put three cans on a table so that you can lay the wheel flat, resting with the rim on the cans. Measure distance from outside face locknut to table. Flip wheel and repeat.

And yeah, a little off is more an aesthetic than a functional issue. A lot off will influence tracking, balance and tire wear. In extreme cases even rim brake performance.
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Old 10-21-15, 03:45 PM
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Hello I did some more work. I had to replace front brake pads (squeal) and noodle (was broken). Then i worked on truing my rear wheel and i think i did it pretty well, i simply turned the bike around, set the brakes so tight that it was a hair distance between braking pads and rim on both sides. Then i simply rotated it slowly and as soon as i found a spot that wasnt true, i fixed it. I am really happy with the result. I did notice though that my wheel also goes up and down, meaning it is an elipse, rather then a perfect circle. The difference isnt big, i measured it and it is probably 2-3mm, you can check it on picture i posted. Is it even worth fixing that ?
Oh, about the question whether wheel is in the middle, i think it is not. I suplied 2 pictures where i measure the distance between rim and bicycle frame on both sides and you can see there is a difference (on 1 side imbus tool perfectly fits and touches both frame and rim, on other it wont touch both rim and frame, there is more distance on that side), and that side is the one that probably makes it difficult for gearbox to switch to largest cog. Like i said, i managed to fix it so it gets to largest cog no problem now, but i am pretty sure it isnt supposed to be as hard, i even had to twist shifter holder a little.
Other then that, i posted a few pictures of hub and other things so in case you notice something wrong or broken, you can let me know and i can fix it I really enjoi fixing my bike and learning new things. I break something from time to time but if i remember how much money i used to pay just for simple things like align gearbox, replace braking pads, etc. i will save me a fortune ! )

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Old 10-23-15, 08:17 AM
  #18  
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bump
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Old 10-23-15, 09:00 AM
  #19  
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There's no reason to "bump" a post, except to annoy those who have already seen the last post you made. Your wheel is out of round (assuming you are checking the rim and not the tire) and not dished properly. You need to either read instructions on what is necessary to get a true, round, dished and properly tensioned wheel (videos are best only as a secondary resource - check Repair Help Articles - Park Tool and Truing Wheels (sheldonbrown.com)) OR find a knowledgeable friend or a bike co-op that can help you. It's not sensible to write out all the in's and out's of wheel work when there are plenty of resources available.

I would also suggest for purposes of clear communication that you Google bike parts diagram and use the correct terms. There's no such thing as a "gearbox" on a bicycle.

p.s. The video you referenced is not a good one. He only mentions tightening spokes on one side at a time to correct trueness, and that is poor practice. Doing so may pull the wheel out of round and prevents you from detecting uneven spoke tension on the other side, which would indicate a physically bent rim.


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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 respect others by taking 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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Old 10-23-15, 09:36 AM
  #20  
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Figure 1 shows that the RD hanger is not properly aligned. This would explain shifting problems.

It's quite possible that the dropouts are not aligned. This would explain why a perfectly true wheel could be off center in the frame.

One possible test you can make is to note the position of the wheel in the frame at a particular point on the wheel, e.g. the valve hole. Then reverse the wheel (driving side on the left). Note the wheel position on the frame at the same point. If the wheel is still off center in the same direction, then there is a frame or dropout alignment problem. If the wheel is off center but in the opposite direction, then the wheel is improperly dished (not centered).

Regardless of the cause, repairs will not be easy. The nipples show rust. Even wheel truing will not be easy.
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