Forum home Road cycling forum Workshop

Rear wheel seized up

TheGardenGnomeTheGardenGnome Posts: 170
edited April 2018 in Workshop
I have a relatively new wheel (1 month now from Halfords) that seized up on me while cycling. It felt like the brakes had been applied and slowed me to a stop- the brakes were actually fine and were not the object that stopped me. I tried to take the rear wheel off and I couldn't pull the quick release lever, it was jammed like a mofo- I don't recall ever tightening it to this level ever. I managed to pull it using a rag I had, worried that I would end up cutting myself from the QR with all that force.

So... Once the QR thingy came off, the wheel was rolling just fine, so I refitted the QR and headed home, the wheel acting a bit strangely- I can't describe it, I also noticed the QR skewer was slightly bent near the threaded area when I refitted it.

I took the wheel off at home and removed the cassette and I find this:



There's a red plastic piece and behind that some bearings, is that item meant to even be plastic? What reasons would there be for this to crack and for my wheel to break? I am a heavy rider at ~110kg, I'm not hopping on pavements, I've done it ones or twice but it's rare... Would this cause the damage?


  • gazza1286gazza1286 Posts: 45
    Presumably you've undone the lock-nut on the first image?
    The second image appears to suggest that the hub is a cup and cone bearing system. It looks like the drive side cone has unwound allowing the ball bearings to fall out of the race. This will have caused the wheel to lock up.
    Take it back to Halfords. They've sold you a wheel with a slack hub. This should never happen even after years of riding. It's a 5 minute repair assuming that there's no damage to the hub.
  • I've sent back the wheel and they'll fix it "in good will", the last time something was fixed for me in good will I had some role to play in breaking the item- is there any possibility I may have broke it inadvertently? All I did with the wheel was fit on the cassette and tyre/tubes and use it for commuting for 400 miles.

    They did immediately seem to know what the problem is, I'm wondering if I'd have to inspect any bike item I buy which then leads to the problem of how would I even know something off the shelf ready to use.
  • My spare wheel has now begun to also behave strangely, it's wobbly now and rubs against the mudguard when I apply pressure to the pedals. Either one heck of a coincidence or something is wrong with the frame or me...
  • I took the wheel off, removed the QR skewer and then the axle? fell out with the nut that holds all stuff together...
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    You need to practice your DIY maintenance skills. Locknuts are called locknuts for a reason.

    You need proper cone spanners, and follow the Parktools link to see how to look after cup and cone hubs.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

  • I figured as much, I have not been doing anything to the hubs yet the lock nuts come undone by themselves. I have some cone spanners now, but looking at my spare wheel, I think the axel has snapped.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    If the axle snaps then the 2 halves are free to drop out of the opposite ends of the hub once the QR is removed. Nothing to do with maintenance or locknuts.

    My son managed it on his MTB when pavement hopping on his paper round, and he didn't weigh 110 kg.

    Could be that you need to spend a bit more on a better quality wheelset. Maybe something designed for loaded touring, or some hand-built for a rider of your weight.
  • The new wheel I brought from did not have the axle drop out when the QR was removed- the lock nuts somehow worked themselves loose (if they were loose at the time of purchase, I was ignorant of this).

    My spare wheel had the axle fall out in two the moment the QR was released. I've been plagued with bad luck maybe.

    Thanks for the advice guys. I'm contemplating (as I have 2 spare front wheels) if the axles can be used from them, or maybe visit a bike store and buy a new one, I'm getting a bit desperate as I don't want to miss a day of cycling...
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    An axle from a front wheel will be too short for a rear.

    Take the 2 halves of the broken axle to the nearest LBS or Halfords and they should have a suitable length replacement. With a pair of cone spanners you can swap the cones and locknuts, reassemble the bearings with fresh grease and adjust to remove nearly all the play when the locknuts are tightened against the cones. A tiny amount of play in the bearings should all but disappear when the wheel is installed an the QR tightened. If in any doubt, too loose is better than too tight. Youtube is your friend.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    And yes, you do appear to be having a run of bad luck. I for one have never checked the tightness of the locknuts on any new wheels / new bike, and never had anything come undone.
  • I'm being told by the wheel is not covered under warranty as it was subjected to excessive "wear and tear", and that they have 1 more wheel in stock... I suspect their implication is that the hub is irreparably destroyed (and the wheel too).
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    1 month old - excessive wear and tear - on the hub? You're not Steve Abraham ! and ... Rather assuming you haven't jetwashed it ?

    IIRC - Under 6 months it's assumed the fault was there at manufacture - after 6 months the onus is on you.

    Nope - I wouldn't accept that - if you paid by CC get them involved now. If not - check if your debit card is visa - they may be able to assist - but basically I'd be after the replacement cost of a wheel from them.
    I wouldn't buy the replacement wheel from them either. (point of principle now!)

    Years ago - when I bought my CX I rode it for one month solid commuting in January - the front wheel ended up graunching and it looked like there had never been any lube in the ballrace - it was swimming with rusty water. The LBS took it back and agreed to replace it under warranty - no fuss. The replacement wheel has done many miles since - with no further checks on the race ...
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,832
    I agree. Take it back and state it's "not fit for purpose ". You'll be protected under the Sale of Goods Act. Refund or Replace on an item that new.

    Don't let them fob you off.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    It's consumer rights act now ... but same thing ... not fit for purpose... (assuming you haven't ridden 10k miles in the month and jetwashed the axles every ride)
  • Never jet washed anything in any of my bikes. I'll see what Halfords say when I go to the store, being a round midget never helped anybody so we'll see. I managed to transplant an axle from an older wheel that I had lying around with curved rims, into the broken axle wheel. Not the wisest choice, I'd rather die peddling than drive to work. It's done well, 50 miles so far but I'm still getting a new bike with touring wheels. I've learned a new skill at least thanks to Park Tools and you guys :)

    Now I just need the balls to defend my consumer rights...
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Best advice I can give - keep calm - talk to them as you would a colleague discussing a problematic technical issue - ie just a matter than needs to be resolved - when you get fobbed off - ask to speak to their manager - keep going - if you get the store manager with the same fob off - then go to HO - you could go all Social Media on them - just don't rant & rave - keep it concise, stick to the facts and don't offer opinion other than that you think it's unsatisfactory or similar.
    That way, you get to fight from the moral high-ground - and someone shouting and screaming only has so much energy to do so - once they stop, they've lost ...
Sign In or Register to comment.