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Help-rear wheel "wandering"

Big dave 3Big dave 3 Posts: 304
edited September 2008 in Road beginners
Hi, I am a road newbie after some advice. I have been riding mountain bikes for 15 ish years, so I am used to these.

However, recently I thought that I would try a hybrid/racer:

http://www.falconcycles.co.uk/CORP/cb/levante.html

I am finding it hard to adjust with the hard ride/poor brakes but the handling seems very poor.

Going round bends/corners, the rear wheel seems to be "wandering/wobbling" & going all over the place. Thats the best that I can explain it sorry!

I have changed the tyres, upped the pressure to 80 psi. Problem still persists.

There is a slight buckle on the wheel. Its only slight & teh wheel seems to be about 2-3 mm at worst out here & there.

WOuld this cause teh rear wheel to feel like it's wobbling, or am I just used to thick mountain bike tyres that grip well?
/

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  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    It could account for the wobble, as could poorly adjusted hubs. Road tyres grip far better than knobbly mtb tyres on the road.
  • Good point! I HAdnt thought about the hubs.

    Well I have semi-slicks on my mountain bike (Specialized crossroads armadillo elite) & the bike grips brilliantly, in fact far better than the road bike.

    I have continental contact reflex on the raod bike & I had Kenda tyres on before that. BOth had the wobble & I felt like I was going to fall off the bike when taking corners that the mountain bike would happily deal with
    /

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  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Is there any movement side to side if you grasp the wheel? That would indicate hubs.

    Semi-slick mtb tyres should still not grip as well as road tyres, I think they may offer a psychological advantage though. The semi-slicks I use to have still had a textured centre tread patter, not completely smooth like true slicks, this means that there is less rubber in contact with the road, and they were liable to wash out on hard cornering. The crossroads still have less contact patch than slicks.

    Cont contact tyres should grip better than the Kenda's, only they do wear quite quickly.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    scraping the barrel here, but are the tyres fitted evenly on the rim? Is the wheel inserted fully and correctly in the dropouts?
  • alfablue wrote:
    Is there any movement side to side if you grasp the wheel? That would indicate hubs.
    .

    Where would I grasp the wheel to check this?

    If I grasp it where the pads meet the rims, then yes the wheel can be moved from side to side a bit. That is normal though isn't it?
    /

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  • alfablue wrote:
    scraping the barrel here, but are the tyres fitted evenly on the rim? Is the wheel inserted fully and correctly in the dropouts?

    I would rule out the tyres being unevenly fitted to the rim, as I have put a new set, as well as the old set of tyres on the rim, & the problem is still apparent.

    I will check the rear wheel position in the dropouts now.
    /

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  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Big dave 3 wrote:
    alfablue wrote:
    Is there any movement side to side if you grasp the wheel? That would indicate hubs.
    .

    Where would I grasp the wheel to check this?

    If I grasp it where the pads meet the rims, then yes the wheel can be moved from side to side a bit. That is normal though isn't it?

    The pads should move, of course, but not the rim. Grasp it anywhere really, there should be no lateral movement (unless you really strongarm it). Play should be fairly obvious and there should be none. It is not unusual for hubs to need tightening after some use. Having said that, I would be surprised for some small amount of play to cause your problem, I think it would have to be quite pronounced.
  • alfablue wrote:
    scraping the barrel here, but are the tyres fitted evenly on the rim? Is the wheel inserted fully and correctly in the dropouts?

    The bike is in a stand at the moment & I have pushed the wheel as much as I can vertically (from below) in the frame & this is the position that the wheel was already in.
    /

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  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Big dave 3 wrote:

    If I grasp it where the pads meet the rims, then yes the wheel can be moved from side to side a bit. That is normal though isn't it?

    If you're doing what I am picturing in your head then no, not at all! There should be zero lateral movement in the wheel when correctly in place.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Big dave 3 wrote:
    alfablue wrote:
    scraping the barrel here, but are the tyres fitted evenly on the rim? Is the wheel inserted fully and correctly in the dropouts?

    The bike is in a stand at the moment & I have pushed the wheel as much as I can vertically (from below) in the frame & this is the position that the wheel was already in.
    If you are talking about inserting the wheel, you really have to do this with the bike on the floor as only then can you be sure it is fully in the dropout.

    If you are talking about checking for play, as Biondini says, there should be zero play (when the skewer is tightened).
  • OK, Ive put my Cube mountain bike on the bike stand & can hardly move the rim from side to side when yanking it.

    When I do the same thing on the racer, you can move the rim & wheel fairly easily from side to side, when i grasp the rim where the brake pads are.

    Does this mean I need a wheel rebuild? Or a new wheel? Or just tighten up the spokes?

    Cheers for all the advice by teh way! :D
    /

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  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Big dave 3 wrote:
    OK, Ive put my Cube mountain bike on the bike stand & can hardly move the rim from side to side when yanking it.

    When I do the same thing on the racer, you can move the rim & wheel fairly easily from side to side, when i grasp the rim where the brake pads are.

    Does this mean I need a wheel rebuild? Or a new wheel? Or just tighten up the spokes?

    Cheers for all the advice by teh way! :D
    It is most probably the hub is loose, though the spokes could be poorly tensioned (would have to be way out to allow significant play, however, and then I would expect a very out of true wheel, and / or breaking spokes or noises from the spokes). Take it to the Local Bike Shop and they should be able to properly diagnose and can easily tighten the hub or re-tension the spokes as required, I would guess for no more than £15 to £20, tightening the hub being the quicker job, but they may have a minimum charge.
  • jjojjasjjojjas Posts: 346
    my trek 1.5 is doing exactly this.
    Like you I ride MTB and I tour/commute on a tourer every day. I have a 3 week old trek 1.5 and I too notice a sort of "did that just slide??" moment every once in a while. There is no lateral play in the rear hub, but I'm suspecting that the bike is so rigid (in comparison to my other rides) that when I do change direction with the tyres being so hard that it is actually "skidding" a cm or so....particularly with it being so we lately....and me not being used to skinny tyres :?
    it looks a bit steep to me.....
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    I have ridden a Trek 1.2 (same frame as a 1.5) and I think the frame is very good, certainly rigid in the rear triangle, probably the stock tyres on wet roads doing this.
  • At the risk of asking the obvious: have you checked the recommended PSI on your tyre wall? 80 psi is seriously low for most road bike tyres.
  • Are you really a big bloke Dave? :D
    The reason I ask is that anyone at all beefy would find it quite easy to flex a wheel slightly, particularly a road wheel by "yanking" the rim.
    However if your hub bearings are particularly slack then you would be able to move the rim sideways between finger and thumb, no pressure required. It would feel different too - movement with a noticeable stop at each side.

    Another point - 2 to3mm wobble seems a lot for what I assume is a fairly new bike. If you bought it new it might be time to take it in for the "free" service!
  • At the risk of asking the obvious: have you checked the recommended PSI on your tyre wall? 80 psi is seriously low for most road bike tyres.

    80 psi is low?! :shock:

    I was nackered after pumping the tyre up to that! OK I'll see what the tyre says the recommended pressure is.
    /

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  • david 142 wrote:
    Are you really a big bloke Dave? :D
    The reason I ask is that anyone at all beefy would find it quite easy to flex a wheel slightly, particularly a road wheel by "yanking" the rim.
    However if your hub bearings are particularly slack then you would be able to move the rim sideways between finger and thumb, no pressure required. It would feel different too - movement with a noticeable stop at each side.

    Another point - 2 to3mm wobble seems a lot for what I assume is a fairly new bike. If you bought it new it might be time to take it in for the "free" service!

    Im average 13 stone build. OK I'll disconect the brake cable, so the pads are clear & then try & move the rim with just my fingers & see how the rim moves then. The rim did seem very slack in comparison with the mountain bike rim.

    I bough the bike off e-bay, but the bike does seem in mint condition, so I assume it's hardly been used.
    /

    Marin Team HT (customiosed commuter)

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  • At the risk of asking the obvious: have you checked the recommended PSI on your tyre wall? 80 psi is seriously low for most road bike tyres.

    Recommended psi for the continental contact is 70-85 psi according to website. Should I ignore this & try & pump the tyres up more? :?
    /

    Marin Team HT (customiosed commuter)

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  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    You need higher pressures the heavier you are. Note that load on wheel includes your weight plus bike weight, and any gear or luggage you carry, and the CTC say about 70% is carried on the rear wheel


    Tyrepres.gif

    (from the CTC web site)

    Your weight is 82kg, bike maybe 10kg, so 92kg, x 70% = 65kg so for a 25mm tyre it looks like the minimum would be 95psi.

    You need a track pump really, to achieve these pressures, a valuable investment for any cyclist, I recommend a Topeak Joe Blow.
  • Big dave 3 wrote:
    At the risk of asking the obvious: have you checked the recommended PSI on your tyre wall? 80 psi is seriously low for most road bike tyres.

    Recommended psi for the continental contact is 70-85 psi according to website. Should I ignore this & try & pump the tyres up more? :?

    I'd say not, you want to keep it on the high side - so, 85 psi - but it sounds like you've got another prob than tyre pressure.

    I'd get a decent shop to have look - it's difficult to advise without looking and I think the obvious stuff has been covered.
  • Well I took the bike to my LBS & they checked the hubs-all OK.

    They checked the spoke tension & They were all setup exactly how they should be.

    Apparently, the wheels are cheap & probably imported for cheap from China or somewhere like that.

    They are Rigida Nova anodised black double wall narrow profile rims with machined side wall equipped with alloy 32 hole quick release hubs.

    There is no point trying to tighten the spokes, as that will throw the tension out in other places of the wheel & mess up teh setup. I was told that I'd have to spend £150 ish on new stronger wheels/rims to be built by hand & that would cure the problem. But the tech. said that he wouldn't bother.

    Well at least he was honest & told me not to waste my money & didnt say that he could cure it.

    Does this seem right? :?
    /

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  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Well, it is a cheap bike, and the wheels are probably cheap like you were told, however I can't see why it can't be fettled, I mean, there's no magic involved, spokes and rims are not made of jelly if they are cheap.. Yes, just tensioning some spokes will probably put the rest out, but what is to stop them re-tensioning the whole wheel, if that's what it needs, other than time and effort on the mechanic's part, and cost on your part. Sounds like he thinks that if you buy a cheap bike this is what you have to put up with! I have had cheap bikes but have never had such issues, sure, the wheels would go out of true quickly, but I always managed to get them to work satisfactorily.

    Okay, that's what I think, but hopefully someone with more experience will put me right.
  • AidanwAidanw Posts: 449
    Did you buy it new?
    The bike shop should offer a free tune up after a month/few hundred miles.

    It sounds like your hubs need looking at but it is hard to tell through the interwebs!
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