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Can repositioning rear wheel inner axle cause front derailleur chain rub?

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Can repositioning rear wheel inner axle cause front derailleur chain rub?

Old 06-12-23, 04:56 PM
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Can repositioning rear wheel inner axle cause front derailleur chain rub?

Hello,

I am a novice at adjusting bikes.

I have a Bulls WildCross with a 3 x 7 gear casette.

Last month I took a few hours to adjust my front derailleur to completely remove all chain rub. Apart from on cross gears (1x7 and 3x1).


One other issue I had was that my rear wheel wobbled a bit on the axle. The issue was simple, take out the quick release skewer and tighten the inner axle with a wrench a bit. After that the rear wheel was solid and still spun freely.


Today after some other issues, I noticed the rear wheel wobble is back. I took off the wheel and removed the quick release skewer. I went to tighten the bolts on the inner axle again. Last time I got it perfect in one go. This time it took a lot more adjusting to remove the wobble but to keep the wheel spinning.

While I was doing this, I noticed the thread showing on each side was uneven (on the inner axle that is coming from the bolts inside the wheel). So I tried to even it out by loosening one side and tightening the opposite side, so that a more even amount of thread is seen on both sides. Then I reattached the wheel.


So ultimately I have 2 questions.


1. Does it matter if the amount of thread on each side of the rear axle is uneven? Should the axle bear towards one side or the other (the side with the sprockets vs the side without)?


2. Did repositioning the inner rear axle in this way cause the front derailleur chain rub to return? (In the sense that the rear sprockets are now a few mm slightly unaligned as to how they were before)?


My front derailleur had no chain rub, but right now, even using 2 x 5 is causing chain rub, which it absolutely should not.
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Old 06-12-23, 05:22 PM
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A wobbly wheel that stops wobbling after tightening the QR skewer, and then starts wobbling again suggests that the hub axle is broken. Remove the skewer completely and see if you can pull the axle ends out of the hub. If the axle comes out in two pieces you can assume it's broken.
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Old 06-12-23, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Groosalugg
I am a novice at adjusting bikes.
Your local bike shop will fix your issues.

There was a BF thread here about cone wrenches and how a lot of DIY get it wrong and crush the bearings.

Search will find the thread.
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Old 06-12-23, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by soyabean
Your local bike shop will fix your issues.

There was a BF thread here about cone wrenches and how a lot of DIY get it wrong and crush the bearings.

Search will find the thread.
Unfortunately the bike shops here are rip off merchants. I live in a foreign country atm and only speak basic language. I bought a brand new bike which is covered under warranty. Within a few days the rear wheel started losing air (but not from a puncture as I had installed 2 new flatless tires).

I returned it to the bike shop and produced my warranty. The culprit was a loose shrader valve. The merchant tried to charge me Ä32 to turn the schrader valve twice with a tool. Despite the fact that they sold me a poorly assembled bike. I had to take it to another bike shop (from the same chain) for them to repair it under the warranty.


I would still like for somebody to please answer my 2 questions as I require the knowledge.

1. if it doesn't matter about the thread on each side, this is easily reversible.

2. Again, if its possible that readjusting the rear axle can misaligned the sprocket vs the front derailleur, I can easily reverse it with a wrench.

My bicycle still rides fine, these are just annoyances I would prefer to solve. I currently do not have finances to throw at it, especially as bike shops where I live charge extortionatetly for minimum labour, that is Ä32 to turn a valve twice, it was less than 5 seconds work as the next guy did it right in front of me.

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Old 06-12-23, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Groosalugg
Within a few days the rear wheel started losing air
If you think that is a problem, you have a whole lot more to discover.

It's always the rider's responsibility to check the entire bike before riding, that includes loose fastners.

Warranty isn't going to cover a loose axle nut that causes a wheelset to separate while riding.

BF search and YT videos will be help.

I suggest you search and read as many threads as you can, and watch as many videos as you can.
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Old 06-12-23, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat
A wobbly wheel that stops wobbling after tightening the QR skewer, and then starts wobbling again suggests that the hub axle is broken. Remove the skewer completely and see if you can pull the axle ends out of the hub. If the axle comes out in two pieces you can assume it's broken.
Hiya, no that's not it. I have had this happen on a previous bike. Its not the QR skewer that causes the wheel wobble, but the inner axle bolts themselves. Over time, as my wheel spins when I ride, they loosen, and my rear wheel has a slight wobble. I remove the skewer so I can get to the axle bolts, then I tighten them with 2 wrenches. They have to be tight enough so the wobble is gone, but not so tight because then the rear wheel will only complete a few spins before stopping.

I have had what you describe happen to me on a previous bike however, I went to tighten the 2 bolts on the inner axle, and the thing snapped in 2, I was able to pull out each piece from each side with a crack in the center.

What I am curious about, whether it matters that the amount of thread showing on the inner axle on each side has to be even. As it wasn't, but that's what I did is even it out a little. But now my front derailleur rubs my chain and it didn't after I toggled it about a month ago.

Thanks for replying
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Old 06-12-23, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by soyabean
If you think that is a problem, you have a whole lot more to discover.

It's always the rider's responsibility to check the entire bike before riding, that includes loose fastners.

Warranty isn't going to cover a loose axle nut that causes a wheelset to separate while riding.

BF search and YT videos will be help.

I suggest you search and read as many threads as you can, and watch as many videos as you can.
That was the problem. The bike shop resolved it in the end. I did check the bike, it happened a couple of days after I used the bike, with little milage. The warranty did cover it and does so where I live.

But please, I would like to stay on topic.

I have only these 2 questions in my previous 2 posts. That's all I need to know. I have searched google for these, but cannot find any topic asking similar questions.

1. Does the amount of thread have to be equal on the inner axle from the bolt on the rear wheel?

2. If you even it out like I did, can that cause chain rub on the front derailleur (due to slightly adjusting how much thread is on the sprocket side mean that the rear sprocket is now a couple of mm misaligned to its previous position)?
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Old 06-12-23, 06:25 PM
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Again, BF search and YT videos will be help.

I suggest you search and read as many threads as you can, and watch as many videos as you can.
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Old 06-12-23, 06:42 PM
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Iíll answer your questions:

1) As long as the axle doesnít extend beyond the dropout face on either side, youíre good to go. Having the exact same number of threads showing isnít critical.

2) The axle has zero effect on side-to-side wheel position, which is determined by the lock nut faces. This should be abundantly clear to anyone who makes even a cursory examination of how the wheel is mounted.

That said, there is something very, very wrong with your wheel, and/or your attempts to repair it.

Last edited by smd4; 06-12-23 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 06-12-23, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Iíll answer your question: As long as the axle doesnít extend beyond the dropout face on either side, youíre good to go. Having the exact same number of threads showing isnít critical.

That said, there is something very, very wrong with your wheel, and/ or your attempts to repair it.
Ok thank you
​​​I have to wait until tomorrow to adjust it, but I am going to twist it back to its original position to see if this removes the chain rub on my front derailleur, as adjusting that was a complete pain and I had all of the chain rub completely gone, and now its in almost every gear except 2x6,7 and 3x5,6,7. I just wonder if adjusting the rear axle position inside the rear wheel has made the rear sprocket go out of alignment with the front derailleur.

My bike rides fine. I just don't want to hear this noise or the wear and tear it will cause to the chain/derailleur over time from the rub.

The rear wheel isn't the problem. Why I mentioned it was because of its relation to the front derailleur issue. Maybe wobble was the wrong term, there is a very minor shake in the rear dropouts, if I tried to shake the wheel. But tightening the inner axle completely removed it and the wheel was solid. After so and so miles it's not really surprising to me that it has come a little looser. I could tighten it more, but that means that the wheel wouldn't spin as freely (when I put the wheel up in the air and turn the pedals, it stops a quite a bit quicker when the axle is too tight).
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Old 06-12-23, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Groosalugg
Hiya, no that's not it. I have had this happen on a previous bike. Its not the QR skewer that causes the wheel wobble, but the inner axle bolts themselves. Over time, as my wheel spins when I ride, they loosen, and my rear wheel has a slight wobble. I remove the skewer so I can get to the axle bolts, then I tighten them with 2 wrenches. They have to be tight enough so the wobble is gone, but not so tight because then the rear wheel will only complete a few spins before stopping.

I have had what you describe happen to me on a previous bike however, I went to tighten the 2 bolts on the inner axle, and the thing snapped in 2, I was able to pull out each piece from each side with a crack in the center.

What I am curious about, whether it matters that the amount of thread showing on the inner axle on each side has to be even. As it wasn't, but that's what I did is even it out a little. But now my front derailleur rubs my chain and it didn't after I toggled it about a month ago.

Thanks for replying
It sounds like you have two problems here. The big one is the wobbly rear wheel. The other is that you're trying to understand it by looking at the front derailleur. So forget about the derailleur and fix the wheel first. They might be related but the front derailleur isn't going to tell you how to fix the hub.

My guess is when you "adjusted" the hub you only adjusted the locknuts on the ends of the axle, and when you started riding again everything loosened up again. You have to adjust the cones against the ball bearings running in the cup races, and then tighten the locknuts against the cones. This requires a pair of cone wrenches and removal of the freewheel, since it's usually the freewheel side that works loose first.

parktool.com has a series of videos on bike repair. Look up rear hub overhaul. It sounds like you never properly tightened the bearings and I'm afraid that by now the whole hub should have to come apart. At minimum, you'll need a set of hub cone wrenches, a freewheel removal nut specific to your freewheel, and a large adjustable wrench or bench vise to grip the nut. There's no avoiding this.

Last edited by oldbobcat; 06-12-23 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 06-12-23, 08:57 PM
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If the Axle is not even, side to side, then the Quick release may NOT be gripping the Frame on both sides and THAT is not good! How much of the axle is sticking out on the right side? how much is sticking on the Left side? Measure in millimeters, please. It Should be about 5mm per side.... If not, then it needs to be corrected... also.. the Jam Nut NEEDS to be Tightened against the Bearing Cone nut TIGHTLY.. this can only be done with the proper Cone Nut Wrench.. a rear wheel typically needs a 15mm cone Nut wrench used on it. The Drive (Right) Side should be set and Tightened first, then go to the Left Side... The Gears will be in the way of doing the Drive side... You SHOULD take the wheel to a Bike shop to have this all done since there is a High chance that a ball bearing or two will get out of positiion and cause other problems such as ..MIS-ALIGNED WHEELS That come Loose While Riding, and Cause Chain Rub.
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Old 06-12-23, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Groosalugg
.....I have only these 2 questions in my previous 2 posts. That's all I need to know. I have searched google for these, but cannot find any topic asking similar questions.

1. Does the amount of thread have to be equal on the inner axle from the bolt on the rear wheel?

2. If you even it out like I did, can that cause chain rub on the front derailleur (due to slightly adjusting how much thread is on the sprocket side mean that the rear sprocket is now a couple of mm misaligned to its previous position)?
1. Not exactly, but you want to keep it close. IF the axle protrudes beyond flush of the drop out, it can prevent the QR from clamping. It basically gets "high centered".
2. IF you installed the wheel crooked. Stand behind the bike and see if the vertical center plane of the wheel is in the vertical center plane of the bike. It helps have the bike propped as vertical as you can. OFTEN, the NDS axle doesn't bottom all the way on the slot like the DS. You have to line up the wheel before clamping the QR.
Edit-
I also wonder if you are properly tightening the lock nuts against the cone? That's what keeps the proper cone adjustment when swapping the wheel in/out.

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Old 06-23-23, 09:59 AM
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Once the axle, cone nut adjustment, and proper tightening of the lock nuts is complete (either by you using the correct cone wrenches, or the local bike shop), you should hang the bike by it's rear wheel on a hook or similar, and release the rear QR lever. The weight of the bike will pull the wheel back all the way into the dropouts, and this should yield the proper left-to-right alignment of the rear wheel in the frame. Then tighten the QR. You will likely have to go back and tweak the FD adjustments that you made while the rear wheel was wobbly and/or misaligned.

I had to do this to one of my bikes recently because the rear wheel was not exactly centered in the dropouts causing the bike to creak obnoxiously when pedaling.
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Old 06-23-23, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Keefusb
Once the axle, cone nut adjustment, and proper tightening of the lock nuts is complete (either by you using the correct cone wrenches, or the local bike shop), you should hang the bike by it's rear wheel on a hook or similar, and release the rear QR lever. The weight of the bike will pull the wheel back all the way into the dropouts, and this should yield the proper left-to-right alignment of the rear wheel in the frame. Then tighten the QR. You will likely have to go back and tweak the FD adjustments that you made while the rear wheel was wobbly and/or misaligned.

I had to do this to one of my bikes recently because the rear wheel was not exactly centered in the dropouts causing the bike to creak obnoxiously when pedaling.
This may be the Worst advice i've ever heard. Depending on what gear combo the bike is in, the rear wheel may be pulled out of the dropouts by CHAIN TENSION, and any number of bad things could then happen. Try pressing the wheel's axle into the dropouts with the bike in an inverted position, and the gears in the small/small position next time, ok?
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Old 06-23-23, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
This may be the Worst advice i've ever heard. Depending on what gear combo the bike is in, the rear wheel may be pulled out of the dropouts by CHAIN TENSION, and any number of bad things could then happen.
I certainly wouldn't put a poor bike through this, but hanging a bike by the rear will won't let the wheel go anywhere.

Just pull the wheel into the dropouts and center it when it's on the ground, if you don't have a proper work stand.
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Old 06-23-23, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
I certainly wouldn't put a poor bike through this, but hanging a bike by the rear will won't let the wheel go anywhere.

Just pull the wheel into the dropouts and center it when it's on the ground, if you don't have a proper work stand.
hang bike by back wheel, vertical dropouts, "loosen the QR...".. bike is maybe in big front, big rear gears... add a hefty rr. der. cage spring, and a chain cut a bit too short by using the "big/big+2" sizing technique.to the equation... try it, and stand back for safety.

the chain tension will force the wheel out of the frame... and will usually do so in small dia, gear combos too.
Horizontal dropouts or a different gear combo will change the equation, but that chain tension is a big variable.

now.. consider horizontal dropouts, and a external mounted der.hanger... the wheel will end up FARTHER out of alignment... and Stamped steel.crimped in place, dropouts are NEVER evenly deep.... etc.

the "Hang the bike by the back wheel, then loosen and retighten the QR" advice is a dangerous exercise awaiting final failure.
for some.. just the act of hanging the bike could result in calamity, eh? especially someone struggling to just align a rear wheel on a bike...

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Old 06-23-23, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
the "Hang the bike by the back wheel, then loosen and retighten the QR" advice is a dangerous exercise awaiting final failure.
for some.. just the act of hanging the bike could result in calamity, eh? especially someone struggling to just align a rear wheel on a bike...
Yeah. Definitely seems to be an overly cumbersome way to center a wheel in the frame.
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Old 06-23-23, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Keefusb
Once the axle, cone nut adjustment, and proper tightening of the lock nuts is complete (either by you using the correct cone wrenches, or the local bike shop), you should hang the bike by it's rear wheel on a hook or similar, and release the rear QR lever. The weight of the bike will pull the wheel back all the way into the dropouts, and this should yield the proper left-to-right alignment of the rear wheel in the frame. Then tighten the QR. You will likely have to go back and tweak the FD adjustments that you made while the rear wheel was wobbly and/or misaligned.

I had to do this to one of my bikes recently because the rear wheel was not exactly centered in the dropouts causing the bike to creak obnoxiously when pedaling.
I wonder how you cope with roadside puncture repairs if there isn't a nearby tree or lamp post to hang the bike.
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Old 06-23-23, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bfuser7891023
One other issue I had was that my rear wheel wobbled a bit on the axle. The issue was simple, take out the quick release skewer and tighten the inner axle with a wrench a bit. After that the rear wheel was solid and still spun freely.

Today after some other issues, I noticed the rear wheel wobble is back. I took off the wheel and removed the quick release skewer. I went to tighten the bolts on the inner axle again. Last time I got it perfect in one go. This time it took a lot more adjusting to remove the wobble but to keep the wheel spinning.
You need to allow for skewer preload on the axle when adjusting the bearings, so they're not too tight when it's fastened. I'd be concerned that you overtightened the bearings first time and damaged them, making it difficult to adjust for free running with no side movement.
Originally Posted by bfuser7891023
While I was doing this, I noticed the thread showing on each side was uneven (on the inner axle that is coming from the bolts inside the wheel). So I tried to even it out by loosening one side and tightening the opposite side, so that a more even amount of thread is seen on both sides. Then I reattached the wheel.
It doesn't have to be even on both sides, just as long as neither side sticks out so far that the quick release doesn't clamp on the frame. If you have the type of derailleur mount that goes over the axle you'll normally have more stick-out on that side.
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Old 06-23-23, 05:10 PM
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Sorry I suggested something that is so dangerous. Next time I do this, I will be sure to wear my motorcycle leathers, gloves, and a face shield. I'll also have my cell phone pre-dialed for 911 as well. Thanks again for the safety advice...
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Old 06-24-23, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Keefusb
Sorry I suggested something that is so dangerous. Next time I do this, I will be sure to wear my motorcycle leathers, gloves, and a face shield. I'll also have my cell phone pre-dialed for 911 as well. Thanks again for the safety advice...
you can carry the leathers, gloves, and face shield in the backpack with the rope in it... if you're in my region, bring a bow and a weighted arrow too.. we have a lot of BIG trees around here..

on a more serious note, here's hoping your rides are flat-free..

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