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Urgency on replacing bent rear axle

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Urgency on replacing bent rear axle

Old 01-06-11, 02:16 PM
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Urgency on replacing bent rear axle

I'm having a whole bunch of issues with my current bike and working on finding a replacement one (new or used). One of the issues is that my rear axle is bent most likely due to the fact that my rear wheel is installed on an angle. I was hoping to keep riding it with the bent axle until getting a replacement bike, but am wondering how safe that is. I was thinking if I'm making a left turn and it breaks, coming to a sudden stop wouldn't be good. Not sure how likely that is, but was wondering what you think about it :-)
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Old 01-06-11, 02:21 PM
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If its a QR axle, the QR has supported a broken axle , for a while.
at least long enough to get home, carefully.. Been there..
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Old 01-06-11, 02:25 PM
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Unfortunately it's not QR.
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Old 01-06-11, 02:48 PM
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Depending on how bent it is you are in some to a lot of risk. If it's only a little then the risk would be very slight. But note that you're likely wearing out the wheel bearings quickly with the axle bent since the bearing cups are on the axle. If the bend is between the cups then the bearings are now wearing badly. If it's only outboard of the cups then it's OK other than the risk of bending further or breaking.

Needless to say if you continue to ride it go around any potholes and do NOT jump over or ride of any curbs or ride any stairs. If it's a mountain bike then stick to only smooth walking paths until you either replace the axle or get another bike.
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Old 01-06-11, 02:50 PM
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It will fail sooner than later.
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Old 01-06-11, 05:01 PM
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Unfortunately it's not QR.
, you are aware of it,
it only takes a few minutes to replace., go get the new one..

I like Wheels - Boulder replacements , their axles have lasted so much longer than Campag's.
I think they got the temper right, Tulio was a bit to brittle - stiff.
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Old 01-06-11, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
, you are aware of it,
it only takes a few minutes to replace., go get the new one..
Unfortunately this hasn't been my experience when I last changed it (although it was my first time). Ended up turning into a damaged threading on the wheel for the sproket, and was without my bike for too long. Fortunately I had a disabled permit which helped me get to work without the hassle of local transit. I'm pretty sure I messed up the threading and in the end, the repair only cost me $20 and one hour of repair time at thespecialty shop I took it to, but the overall process that involved replacing the axle took me a while. Especially the part where I was to align the wheel in being centred, I actually ended up getting one of the volunteers at the do-it-yourself shop do it for me as I kept screwing it up. Regardless, I think I'll go replacing it within the next week, as I'm starting to get some squeeking from the rear of my bike, and I haven't been able to locate where it's coming from this time :-o
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Old 01-06-11, 07:35 PM
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Back before I knew better, I rode my bike with a broken axle.

But that's beside the point. That bike came with a freewheel. I changed the broken axle, and I can't remember but I think I bought a new wheel too, and it broke again. Then I bought a new wheel, this time with a freehub and cassette. Much stronger. Haven't broken an axle since and I still ride that bike on a daily basis. You may look into that kind of upgrade if you are currently running a freewheel.

Last edited by sknhgy; 01-06-11 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 01-06-11, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Sashko
...Fortunately I had a disabled permit which helped me get to work without the hassle of local transit....
A guy who's able-bodied enough to ride a bike but who has a disabled permit for parking his car....Do tell.
(Makes me think of Braille dots on the keys at the drive-through ATM.)
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Old 01-07-11, 08:30 AM
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BTW I forgot to mention that aside from just changing the axle, I also need to re-align my rear wheel so that it actually turns straight, which would lead to re-adjusting the brakes and rear gears. So don't know how long this'll take me, but I'm pretty sure it'll take me a while.

Originally Posted by sknhgy
Back before I knew better, I rode my bike with a broken axle.

But that's beside the point. That bike came with a freewheel. I changed the broken axle, and I can't remember but I think I bought a new wheel too, and it broke again. Then I bought a new wheel, this time with a freehub and cassette. Much stronger. Haven't broken an axle since and I still ride that bike on a daily basis. You may look into that kind of upgrade if you are currently running a freewheel.
I've been told this at the LBS, however I'm planning on replacing my bike altogether in the short-term, so I'm not looking to spend much cha-ching on this one. BTW it is using a freewheel at this point :-)

Originally Posted by conspiratemus1
A guy who's able-bodied enough to ride a bike but who has a disabled permit for parking his car....Do tell.
(Makes me think of Braille dots on the keys at the drive-through ATM.)
I had my appendix removed, and I got a disabled permit for two months so that I could get back into work sooner. With the public transit being unpredictable and lately making me walk at least 3 times as far as I typically had to, the permit was definitely justified given my condition. When I felt well enough to ride, my disabled permit still hadn't yet expired, so I made the best of it while still working on getting my bike back on the road.

Nice, I haven't noticed the Braille dots on the keys at drive-through ATMs. I'll have to see if I notice them on the one(s) I use next time :-)

EDIT: Come to think of it, I bet you the Braille dots are for a blind passenger, as you can either go back-wards into the drive-through ATMs, or have a blind person sitting in the back seat.

Last edited by Sashko; 01-07-11 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 01-07-11, 08:37 AM
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A bit more information on the bike would be helpful for the more knowledgeable folks on this forum. It shouldn't be difficult at all to get the wheel properly aligned in the dropouts.
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Old 01-07-11, 09:08 AM
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Before changing the axle you have to get the rear end of the bike straight or the new axle will bend and brake again. Most likely i suspect the rear dropouts are out of alignment. You need to get that 1st or any new axle will bend and brake again.
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Old 01-07-11, 09:17 AM
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The axle holds the ball bearings which the wheel turns on in alignment!

If you ride with it bent, you're liable to mess up your hub. I bet the axle cones are probably already shot.
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Old 01-07-11, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rdtompki
A bit more information on the bike would be helpful for the more knowledgeable folks on this forum. It shouldn't be difficult at all to get the wheel properly aligned in the dropouts.
Indeed, however that also gets the gears and brakes out of alignment, hence the extra adjustment required, and I'm hoping I can do all of this within one day :-)

Originally Posted by ultraman6970
Before changing the axle you have to get the rear end of the bike straight or the new axle will bend and brake again. Most likely i suspect the rear dropouts are out of alignment. You need to get that 1st or any new axle will bend and brake again.
I've been told this by one of the LBS' the last time I went to visit them, so I know that when changing the axle I need to fix the alignment of the wheel, and I've done it before in my place with my bike upside down, so I know how it's done. I just noticed then that everything else (gears & brakes) got out of alignment.
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Old 01-07-11, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Sashko
EDIT: Come to think of it, I bet you the Braille dots are for a blind passenger, as you can either go back-wards into the drive-through ATMs, or have a blind person sitting in the back seat.
Perhaps the real reason is that at the factory that makes ATM keys, it's simpler to make all keys with Braille on them than it is to make a special run of Braille-less keys that can be used only for drive-through machines. But the "blind-passenger" hypothesis is perfectly sensible and attractive. Just as there's a good reason to have a disabled permit that's not immediately obvious,

Back on topic,...
1) I believe axles don't typically "bend" in the sense that a paper clip does. My understanding is that bending stress causes a tiny crack to appear on the side that is in compression and the axle deviates at the buckle. The axle is, in that sense, already broken. An axle that looks bent should be replaced immediately because when the crack propagates all the way around, it will break in two. So says Jobst Brandt, anyway.

2) Bet your cones are OK. An axle that has "bent" breaks such a short time later that the cones won't have time to "notice" that it was bent. Besides, the beauty of the cup and cone design is that the bearing can tolerate a fair bit of misalignment (from a "bent" axle, say) without binding. You might see that the burnished surface of the cone where the balls were running is not perfectly round but it won't get pitted and "shot" from that degree of misalignment alone. The cone will probably still run smoothly with the new straight axle installed, too.

3) And yes, you want to be sure your dropouts are aligned in all dimensions. Not only will wonky dropouts put bending stress on your new axle and eventually break it; the old bent axle may have itself succeeded in bending the dropouts. Since the locknuts are clamped to the dropouts, the dropouts will tend over time to bend to match the deviation of the axle.
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