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Front wheel loose in Salsa Cutthroat fork

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Front wheel loose in Salsa Cutthroat fork

Old 12-25-21, 10:01 AM
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Front wheel loose in Salsa Cutthroat fork

The front wheel in my Salsa cutthroat has play in the fork if you grab the wheel and push it side to side. Not much, maybe 1/2mm, but it's enough to feel and you can feel it when you start braking or go over bumps.

Now, heres what I've tried/eliminated as possible issues:

1) It's not the hub bearings, I put the same wheel in my MTB fork and there is ZERO play. Plus the wheel is literally 1 week old.

2) it's not the headset, with the fork out of the bike, I can push the wheel side to side and still get the same play in the fork. Plus the Headset is correctly tightened and the bearings are still smooth

3) the thru axle is tightened down plenty tight. Like very tight, and there's still play.

4) I put a different front wheel in the cutthroat fork, and there's the same play again

5) I took it to the bike shop, the guys greased the fork axle and tightened it down but couldnít figure it out.

it isnít much play, and probably doesnít affect anything, buts itís very annoying and a little concerning. Especially since Iím leaving for a 10 day bikepacking trip in Arizona next week.
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Old 12-25-21, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnUSA
The front wheel in my Salsa cutthroat has play in the fork if you grab the wheel and push it side to side. Not much, maybe 1/2mm, but it's enough to feel and you can feel it when you start braking or go over bumps.

Now, heres what I've tried/eliminated as possible issues:

1) It's not the hub bearings, I put the same wheel in my MTB fork and there is ZERO play. Plus the wheel is literally 1 week old.

2) it's not the headset, with the fork out of the bike, I can push the wheel side to side and still get the same play in the fork. Plus the Headset is correctly tightened and the bearings are still smooth

3) the thru axle is tightened down plenty tight. Like very tight, and there's still play.

4) I put a different front wheel in the cutthroat fork, and there's the same play again

5) I took it to the bike shop, the guys greased the fork axle and tightened it down but couldnít figure it out.

it isnít much play, and probably doesnít affect anything, buts itís very annoying and a little concerning. Especially since Iím leaving for a 10 day bikepacking trip in Arizona next week.
A complete stumper. I would suggest a close visual inspection of the interface between the axle and the fork when you wiggle it. Might take a second party to help. Based on your description of the issue and the things you have tried, I can't imagine that you wouldn't be able to see some movement between the hub and the fork.
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Old 12-25-21, 10:22 AM
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Do you get the same play when you push just the fork?

When you push the wheel do you push from somewhere around the rim or from the spokes closer to the hub?

If you can feel it when you brake is it a front to back movement? Can you recreate the movement with the bike standing still, applying the front brake and rocking the bike gently back and forth?
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Old 12-25-21, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Aroyobob
Do you get the same play when you push just the fork?

When you push the wheel do you push from somewhere around the rim or from the spokes closer to the hub?

If you can feel it when you brake is it a front to back movement? Can you recreate the movement with the bike standing still, applying the front brake and rocking the bike gently back and forth?
Hard to tell if I get play by just pushing the fork, but like I said, when I took the fork out of the bike with the wheel still on it, there was play. So thereís play even when the headset isnít involved at all.

theres play if I push from the rim or from the spokes, really anywhere.

If I squeeze the brake, the wheel sort of still turns maybe 1 degree or so, and thatís where you can really feel play, In addition to side to side

with the break, itís definitely a forward/backward movement not side to side. But side to side is still there
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Old 12-25-21, 10:56 AM
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thing which comes to mind is that the 'right side' fork opening for TA has a looser 'tolerance' ...
I would try inserting the TA without putting wheel into fork. tighten the TA into the left side axlenut leaving ride side loose.
Then check to see if you can feel appreciable 'play' in axle - enough to account for the the play you experience....
Honestly though, I can imagine that '1/2 mm' of side play can be felt, when braking or any other situation ...
I would still suspect something in the headstock/headset... try a slight over-tightening of the headset adjustment and see if the 'play' still happens...
'Play' of axle when thru the hub (without being in fork) ?
Centerlock or 6bolt disc ?
check everything...
on any bike... stuff which seems experienced in one area may be coming from another area/spot/part of bike...
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 12-25-21, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen
thing which comes to mind is that the 'right side' fork opening for TA has a looser 'tolerance' ...
I would try inserting the TA without putting wheel into fork. tighten the TA into the left side axlenut leaving ride side loose.
Then check to see if you can feel appreciable 'play' in axle - enough to account for the the play you experience....
Honestly though, I can imagine that '1/2 mm' of side play can be felt, when braking or any other situation ...
I would still suspect something in the headstock/headset... try a slight over-tightening of the headset adjustment and see if the 'play' still happens...
'Play' of axle when thru the hub (without being in fork) ?
Centerlock or 6bolt disc ?
check everything...
on any bike... stuff which seems experienced in one area may be coming from another area/spot/part of bike...
Ride On
Yuri
Thanks man!

For one more test, I squeezed the fork legs together tight by hand while my brother rocked the bike with the brake squeezed.

No play. So it seems that the thru axle just isnít tightening it enough. Because just squeezing the fork legs together by hand (with the axle installed) seemed to provide the extra tightness needed to prevent play.
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Old 12-25-21, 06:39 PM
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Are you using a non-boost wheelset in a boost fork?
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Old 12-26-21, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnUSA
Thanks man!

For one more test, I squeezed the fork legs together tight by hand while my brother rocked the bike with the brake squeezed.

No play. So it seems that the thru axle just isnít tightening it enough. Because just squeezing the fork legs together by hand (with the axle installed) seemed to provide the extra tightness needed to prevent play.
So does this mean you run out of threads when you fully tighten the axle and canít compress the fork legs/blades enough?

John
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Old 12-26-21, 12:28 AM
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hopefully the brazing on the dropouts is solid,
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Old 12-26-21, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Elvo
Are you using a non-boost wheelset in a boost fork?
No, I may be a total idiot sometimes but this is most certainly a 15x110 wheel in a 15x110 fork.

And the threads donít bottom out in the fork, it can still tighten more if thereís no wheel in the fork.

I just canít figure it out, itís a mystery. Itís almost like the faces of the fork dropouts arenít parallel or something.
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Old 12-26-21, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnUSA
I just can’t figure it out, it’s a mystery. It’s almost like the faces of the fork dropouts aren’t parallel or something.
Well, have you had that checked?

Otherwise, and I am not too familiar with this, so this may be off-base: that's a cf fork, right? Does the thru-axle use threaded inserts? If so, maybe one of them is loose?
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Old 12-28-21, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnUSA
No, I may be a total idiot sometimes but this is most certainly a 15x110 wheel in a 15x110 fork.

And the threads donít bottom out in the fork, it can still tighten more if thereís no wheel in the fork.

I just canít figure it out, itís a mystery. Itís almost like the faces of the fork dropouts arenít parallel or something.
Which Cutthroat do you have? V1 or V2? I have a 2019 (V1) and my fork and wheel is 15x100. If your bike is V2, is it the original fork? Were you affected by the Cutthroat fork recall (V2)?
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Old 12-29-21, 11:16 AM
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You took it to a bike shop and they couldn't figure it out? I'd go to a different bike shop.

Though without seeing it with my own eyes I can imagine from your descriptions that maybe this isn't a problem you believe it to be. But I can also imagine some problems too. Though none that even a half way capable bike shop mechanic shouldn't have found.

Maybe push that button on your phone that records video and post it.
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Old 12-29-21, 11:46 AM
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Yeah, if you’ve eliminated all the possibilities with the hub and axle, it’s the fork, probably the axle carriers, but perhaps a problem like a crack or delamination further up the leg, probably on the inside. Check thoroughly that neither axle carrier is loose; I’d probably stick the axle in each individually and tug and push to do that, watching for movement. If nothing there, try reinserting the wheel then watching the length of the fork for movement when you’re wiggling the wheel.

if neither of those examinations reveal a fork problem, you need to go back and reassess what the issue is, because there are not that many possibilities, and you’re already in pretty rarified territory, problem-wise. It sounds like you’re both thoughtful and thorough, but could you have misidentified the problem and been looking for a non-existent cause? Could you be seeing a brake disc flexing in the caliper, for instance?
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Old 01-01-22, 12:39 PM
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What did they say on the Bike Mechanics section?
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Old 01-01-22, 01:01 PM
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Is this a recall fork? https://www.salsacycles.com/support/...v2-fork-recall

Iíd also be looking at the inserts. Everything else should cinch up when the axle is tightened.
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Old 06-25-23, 12:14 PM
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I got the exact same issue, the axle is loosy on the non threaded side. How did you fix it ? I placed ŗ small strip of silicon tape for the moment between the axle head and the fork so it prevents the axle from sliding. I tried to wrap scotch around the end of the axle so it closes the gap and it seems to work also.

My cutthroat is two years old and I noticed the paint/varnish as worn out around the insert where the thru axle head is supposed to sit. Maybe it increased the issue over time.
would love a more robust solution if you have any suggestions.

Cannot post videos and photos cause Iíma noob atm.

Last edited by Mchtt; 06-25-23 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 06-26-23, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Mchtt
I got the exact same issue, the axle is loosy on the non threaded side. How did you fix it ? I placed ŗ small strip of silicon tape for the moment between the axle head and the fork so it prevents the axle from sliding. I tried to wrap scotch around the end of the axle so it closes the gap and it seems to work also.

My cutthroat is two years old and I noticed the paint/varnish as worn out around the insert where the thru axle head is supposed to sit. Maybe it increased the issue over time.
would love a more robust solution if you have any suggestions.

Cannot post videos and photos cause Iíma noob atm.
I bought a small rubber O-ring which fits around the axle, and I slid it against the head of the axle. When l tighten the axle, the O-ring sits between the axle head and the fork, and it seems to work.

My friend and I both had the issue, and we both used O-rings. The problem was completely solved and neither of us had any issues when we rode the Great Divide route last summer.

I know itís not the perfect solution, but the O-ring is pretty ďcleanĒ looking and seems reliable.

John
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Old 06-26-23, 01:18 PM
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Thanks for your answer, your solution seems better than mine, may you provide a picture of the o-ring + axle ?

have you inspected the “insert” after your journey ?



Last edited by Mchtt; 06-29-23 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 06-29-23, 07:46 AM
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I fitted an o-ring to the axle and there is no more shaking by hand. But I wonder if it's an ok solution long term as the axle is still virtually loose through the hole of the fork. It may imperceptibly shock the carbon while going through gnarly terrain 😬

My local bike shop mechanics told me the fork is ****ed and should be replaced. Fork is under warranty but Salsa did not answer to my request yet.
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Old 07-27-23, 06:15 PM
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I have a similar problem with a 2023 fork. The high tolerance on the non-drive side of the fork allowed the threads to carve in a partial new thread (cross-thread) on the drive side. It's manageable enough that the shop is balking at doing anything about it, not to mention the mechanic there is a bully a-hole...

Instead of an o-ring you might try a speedi-sleeve. They are thin shims usually used to repair the oil/grease seal surface on axles. I'm thinking about trying one. It's a $25 (edit: $40 with highway-robbery shipping) experiment. I ordered one, so you can wait until I try it.

www finditparts com slash products/205836/cr-slash-skf-99059 is the right one for a 15mm shaft. If you can get it to drop down the axle to the end, it might take up enough slack to give you back a completely rigid connection. The tool they provide will not work. You'll have to freeze the axle and boil the speedi-sleeve, then drop it on. Should be easy. You'll want to dry-fit it first to see how it fits into the fork end.

Last edited by Fast3ddy; 07-27-23 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 07-27-23, 11:52 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion but Salsa will take my fork under warranty.
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Old 07-28-23, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Mchtt
Thanks for the suggestion but Salsa will take my fork under warranty.
Did you do it through a dealer or direct?
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Old 07-28-23, 01:26 AM
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I contacted Salsa first, they told me they will take the fork under warranty but I had to ask the seller to fill a warranty claim. But the seller has to ask the distributor ! May be a long process but a new fork is 500Ä minimum and it appears even latest models are prone to this failure 🙁

hope it will be worth the wait
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Old 07-28-23, 01:30 AM
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I'm afraid another one will be similar. I have a whiskey fork on another bike I could steal. It's black/ raw carbon though.
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