Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB beginners

Front wheel flex - Reba SL

darkspiritdarkspirit Posts: 40
edited January 2014 in MTB beginners
I'm new to this so please bear with me. ..

When standing over my 26in bike looking down at front wheel and put a lateral left to right load on it the wheel/fork moves considerably. .. Not quite enough for the tyre to touch the stanchion but still a lot more than I thought it would. ..

I've made sure the QR is tight (guessing it's a 9mm qr?)

Is this normal?

There is very little front/back flex in the forks but side to side is bad imo...



  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Sounds like the wheel might need tensioning.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Tighten spokes?
  • No SweatNo Sweat Posts: 103
    Front wheel bearings? Try lifting the wheel off the ground and wiggle it side-to-side with your fingers on the rim and braced against the top of the fork arch - if you feel any movement other than flex (and assuming the QR is fixed properly), the bearings are worn or not properly adjusted. (If loose ball bearings - check for damaged bearings/cups and adjust cones/lock-nuts. If 'sealed' bearings - replace).
  • Thanks for the tip, gave it a go but no movement. .

    is a nearly new bike so godly bearings etc should be ok.

    The movement does require a bit of force to generate and it feels springy as if it's metal flexing etc. .
  • No SweatNo Sweat Posts: 103
    Does sound like you are seeing flex in the wheel itself.

    Could still be 'normal', in the sense that, if you push hard enough, any wheel build will flex to some degree. It all rather depends how heavy / strong you are.

    I would suggest that you take it to your LBS (preferrably the one you got the bike from) and ask for their comments.

    Can you see flex in the rear wheel as well? Whilst not exact (as spoke lengths and spoking patterns may be different), try plucking spokes on the front and rear wheels (non-drive side) - if they make similar pitched sounds then the spoke are tensioned to a similar range, any great difference might suggest the wheels are tensioned differently.

    I'd still ask your LBS though.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    You are looking at the tight things, QR, hub and spoke tension.

    How much do you weight ?

    I weight about 100 kg and have to make sure the QR is tight enough or the wheel moves to the side. Apart from that on my 29er no problems at all of that type.
  • Im a hefty lad 17.5 stone :)

    There is no flex from the rear wheel, just the front... I was thinking maybe it was the forks but probably more like you say spoke tension or something...

    Ill try and take a vid to demontrate but ill also take it back to the shop tonsee what they can do..

    it might all be normal movement and its just me being daft/picky :)
  • No SweatNo Sweat Posts: 103
    Mmm. 17.5 stone - that may have sometning to do with what you are seeing

    Bikes are not really built for large lateral loads - they are meant to carry load vertically whilst you ride them - which means your weight is central and effectively remains so even when you are cornering. If you stand by the bike and lean against it, especially if you are 'a hefty lad' you will see some flex, which may not be apparent when you ride it.
    When you pedal, you apply some lateral force at the BB and this will be greater if you are heavier. I am 10.5 stone and I could make the front wheel rub against the rim brakes of my first MTB when pedaling hard. My second bike's wheels were a bit stiffer and those wheels did not rub against the brakes. 15 years on I still have both sets of wheels, which have survived without (touch wood) any spoke breakages - the flexy nature of the first ones did not not make them too weak, for me, at any rate.
    Your bike probably has disc brakes, so wheel rub won't be an issue for you, even if your wheels are on the flexy side!

    I'd still get them looked at by your LBS, to be on the safe side.
  • Upon closer inspection the flex seems to be at the fork crown/headset... must get shop to have a look altgough maybe halfords isnt the best option for that? Maybe pay local LBS to have a look?

    Tried the same 'test' on my old GT aggressor and there was no movement...
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Read Parktools and check the headset. Takes two minutes.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

  • Will do, cheers :)
  • Quick update... couldn't see any problem with the headset so returned bike to shop. They were surprised to see the amountof flex also and are looking into it and contacting SRAM about a set of replacement forks...
  • Well, all I can say is excellent customer service from Halfords... due to fault with the flex and another small issue they've offered to replace the bike completely with a brand new one :)

    Happy bunny :)
Sign In or Register to comment.