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Wheel/brake alignment and spokes

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Jack, 9 Oct 2007.

  1. Jack

    Jack New Member

    Location:
    UK
    Hey

    Recently cycling home, there was quite a loud noise from my back wheel area. I didn't know what it was, so I cycled on home.. (perhaps not the best plan, oh well). I looked at the wheel back at home, and a spoke has broken. Also, the wheel is not aligned inbetween the brake pads anymore.

    I turned the bike upside down, and took the wheel out, and then dropped it back in. When I make sure its definitely all the way down into the sort of teeth/grooves for the wheel to drop into (whatever you call them), it resumes its position pressed against one of the brakes, rather than being aligned between the brakes.

    All I can think that has happened is that when the back wheel was last put on, it wasn't pushed all the way down into the teeth/grooves that it sits in, and was tightened not all the way in. When I heard the noise, that was the wheel falling down finally to the bottom of the grooves - the spoke broke on the impact. Does this sound reasonable do you think? It's just my best guess.

    Anyway, I don't really know what to do. :biggrin: It's not ridable at the moment, and the small screw ontop of the brakes used for small adjustments is far too precise for how offer centre the brakes are here - they need some sort of major realignment it seems. Is that easy to do? And can I just snap the spoke off, and forget about it?

    Sorry for the long post! Thanks Cycle Chat.
     
  2. Take your wheel to a good bike shop, ask them to;

    Replace the broken spoke,

    TRUE the wheel (make the rim straight by checking and adjusting the tension of individual spokes). And

    Check the DISHING (ensure that the rim of the wheel is located centrally between the ends of the wheel axle).

    (Its easier for the bike shop if you remove the bike, tyre and tube from the wheel first).

    When all of the above have been done readjust your brake block alighnment and adjust the brake spring balance.
     
  3. barq

    barq Senior Member

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    When you say the wheel is not aligned you presumably mean it is 'out of true' (warped) where the broken spoke is? Or do you mean the rim rubs the blocks continually as you turn the wheel through 360 degrees? What I'm getting at is whether the problem is dishing, trueness or both.

    I would guess the sound you heard was actually the spoke breaking rather than the wheel re-seating itself in the dropouts. Spokes can go with a real bang because they should be under a lot of tension (especially if they are drive side spokes on the rear wheel).

    As for the broken spoke... it will need to be fixed so go to a local bike shop. If you have to use the bike then removing the spoke, or wrapping it around another spoke will keep it out of harm's way. The last thing you want to do is cause more damage by getting the spoke caught in your rear mech. However I wouldn't advise using the wheel if you can possibly avoid it because you risk making things worse.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Jack

    Jack New Member

    Location:
    UK
    Thank you for the advice. :biggrin:

    I mean the wheel rubs the block everytime it turns round. What does that make the problem? I haven't really looked at the wheel for it being warped, I presumed it wasn't.. is that likely?

    Thanks.
     
  5. John Ponting

    John Ponting Über Member

    Location:
    Herts
    every force has an equal and opposite ... or so they say.

    Applies to spokes as well. Break a spoke and the one on the opposite side will/can pull the rim out of line. A non symetrical wheel will hit the pads; could even hit the chain stays.
     
  6. barq

    barq Senior Member

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    John has put his finger on it. The spokes on each side pull in different directions, now that one has broken things are out of balance. I'm sure your LBS will be able to fit a new spoke and re-true the wheel. Shouldn't be expensive.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Jack

    Jack New Member

    Location:
    UK
    Thanks very much everyone, didn't know if it was an LBS jobbie, but it seems it is.

    I'll take it down there as soon as I can. Cheers.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Jack

    Jack New Member

    Location:
    UK
    Bike is in with the shop to get new spoke and wheel trued. :blush: Thanks all.