Got a wheel wobble

Workshop tales, trials and disasters.
Maintenance tips, techniques and myths.
Technical discussion, description and outright lies

Got a wheel wobble

Postby HelmutHerr » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:37 pm

A mild wobble developed in my rear wheel on the commute home today. Can't feel it when I pedal, but it shimmies when coasting.

Is there a common reason for that? I can get it back to the shop on the weekend, but I should check if it's likely to be something dangerous before I take it out again tomorrow.

I've only had the bike since last Thursday, so some breaking-in problems are expected, and most mammals my size live in the water to support their weight, so the poor thing's under pressure.

Single speed Surly Ogre, FWIW.
HelmutHerr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:16 pm

by BNA » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:17 pm

BNA
 

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby Crowz » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:17 pm

Might need to true the wheel. Wouldn't think you'd have to after less than a week though! If that is the issue make sure you don't pay for it...
Crowz
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:37 am

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby HelmutHerr » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:29 pm

Cheers.

It feels a bit cyclic, so it might be out a little.
HelmutHerr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:16 pm

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:14 pm

HelmutHerr wrote:Single speed Surly Ogre, FWIW.


It may be worth lots as disc rims let you get away with a bit more.

It's definitely a LBS truing job, most wheels would settle to some extent early on and seeing as you're a big unit...

Now, make sure there's no busted spokes or any that have drastically loosened off.

No? Using whatever means, spin the rear wheel and check for truth and roundness, your thumb held against the frame is accurate enough for this.

If things don't look too wobbly, do a slow test ride listening for creaking and feeling for added flex.

If you've got to that stage without one of the voices saying "nope" then chances are you'll be right but I for one wouldn't be slamming many gutters or chasing a max speed record.


Of coure, you could whip out the tools and retrue the wheel yourself if you are able but this early in the relationship with the LBS it doesn't hurt to let them know once in a while that you're still around.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
User avatar
Mulger bill
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 25800
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:41 pm
Location: Sunbury Vic

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby HelmutHerr » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:33 pm

Solid gold, Mulger.

The spokes seem in good shape, but I gave the pedals a crank and sure enough the wheel wiggles by a few millimetres at one point of rotation.

I'm enjoying it too much to leave at home while the sun's still out, so I'll give a creak test tomorrow morning and take it gently for the day.

Thanks.

Mulger bill wrote:Of coure, you could whip out the tools and retrue the wheel yourself if you are able but this early in the relationship with the LBS it doesn't hurt to let them know once in a while that you're still around.

I don't have the maintenance skills to attempt that myself, and since this is the first Ogre (but not the first Surly) they've built up, hopefully it'll be useful feedback.
Last edited by HelmutHerr on Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
HelmutHerr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:16 pm

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby ironhanglider » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:37 pm

HelmutHerr wrote:A mild wobble developed in my rear wheel on the commute home today. Can't feel it when I pedal, but it shimmies when coasting.

Is there a common reason for that? I can get it back to the shop on the weekend, but I should check if it's likely to be something dangerous before I take it out again tomorrow.

I've only had the bike since last Thursday, so some breaking-in problems are expected, and most mammals my size live in the water to support their weight, so the poor thing's under pressure.

Single speed Surly Ogre, FWIW.


Hi HH,

Bugger, you expect better from a new bike. I tried looking it up but I only came up with a geared version. It looks like a good, tough bike so once your wheel problems are sorted it'll serve you well.

One common reason is a spoke nipple unscrewing.

If this is the case you have at least one spoke that has come loose. You are likely to find a loose spoke very quickly by just feeling the tension. A few turns of the nipple will bring it back to the tension of the other spokes on the same side and your wheel will be straight again. This is less than a 5 minute job however this addresses only the symptom but not the cause.

The cause is that all spokes lose some tension when at the bottom of the wheel under load. Heavily loaded wheels lose more tension and so will require more starting tension than is required for the wheels of a lithe young girl (or a climber).

If your problem is a loose spoke, it will get worse rapidly and may effect others as they start to share the load. Take the bike back and get the shop to fix the buckle, and increase the tension on the spokes all round (increasing the tension all round and re-trueing will take a bit longer but it is not a big job). If you continue to have problems you may need to get stronger wheels.

If you are mechanically competent you should consider getting a spoke key and learning something about wheel building because the warranty period for the moving parts is not very long. Once past the warranty period you will either need to do it yourself or pay someone else to do it. Wheel building/truing is not the black art that some make it out to be and is easy enough to do at home with minimal equipment.

If it is not a loose spoke then something else is going on which needs to be looked into.

Cheers,

Cameron
ironhanglider
 
Posts: 1098
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:44 pm
Location: Bruce, ACT

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby HelmutHerr » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:54 pm

ironhanglider wrote:The cause is that all spokes lose some tension when at the bottom of the wheel under load. Heavily loaded wheels lose more tension and so will require more starting tension than is required for the wheels of a lithe young girl (or a climber).

Hmm.

Near the end of my trip in the morning the rear wheel started to feel...saggy, but I assumed it was just me crushing the life out of the tyre.

I'll recheck the spokes in the morning, but the risk is that I don't know what I'm looking for in the first place. :P
HelmutHerr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:16 pm

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby JustJames » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:40 am

HH, if you've only had the bike a week, it's worth looking for something that you just failed to notice before.

Check that the tyre is properly seated in its bead before you worry about the wheel going out of true.
My bike blog. Long on rumination, rambling and opinion. Why let facts ruin everything?

http://pedallingcharm.wordpress.com/
User avatar
JustJames
 
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:50 am

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby HelmutHerr » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:52 am

I pulled the beastie outside where I had more room, and found a whole five spokes loose and springy.

I don't have the right tools so I tightened them up a bit with a shifting spanner, and they were okay for about five Kms before getting loose again.

I'll give them another twist before I ride home today, and try to drop it into the LBS tomorrow for a look see.

While we're on the topic, what's a reliable multitool to have under the seat?
HelmutHerr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:16 pm

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby laterstarter » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:12 am

HelmutHerr wrote:I pulled the beastie outside where I had more room, and found a whole five spokes loose and springy.

I don't have the right tools so I tightened them up a bit with a shifting spanner, and they were okay for about five Kms before getting loose again.

I'll give them another twist before I ride home today, and try to drop it into the LBS tomorrow for a look see.

While we're on the topic, what's a reliable multitool to have under the seat?


Have a look at the Lezyne tool sets. I have one that has a chain breaker with a number of spoke nipple slots as well as a standard array of hex spanners etc. The nipple tool got me out a situation with a very loose front wheel spoke, with wobble and break rub.
laterstarter
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:37 am
Location: Brisbane

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby HelmutHerr » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:56 am

Thanks.

I was having a look at a Knog multitool, but I'm not sure if they're serious repair tools or an accessory to go with skinny jeans and a neon fixie.
HelmutHerr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:16 pm

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby ironhanglider » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:15 pm

HelmutHerr wrote:I don't have the right tools so I tightened them up a bit with a shifting spanner,


Please tell me you are joking.

Do not attempt this again without the right tools. The nipples are almost certainly made of nickel coated brass which is very soft compared to steel tools, even with the greatest caution it is very easy to turn the 'flats' on the nipples into 'rounds'. Once the nipple has been rounded it is useless for adjusting tension and will have to be replaced. If you have damaged your wheel by attempting to fix it yourself then you are exposing yourself to extra cost as it will void any warranty. Take it back to someone with the right tools and get it fixed properly.

It is likely to be a relatively easy fix for your LBS if they have a decent wheel person.

I'm looking forward to hearing your reports of a wheel that has been fixed and is performing like it should.

Cheers,

Cameron
ironhanglider
 
Posts: 1098
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:44 pm
Location: Bruce, ACT

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby HelmutHerr » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:52 pm

ironhanglider wrote:Please tell me you are joking.

Afraid so, but thanks for the tip. If it's less horrifying, I was very gentle because I didn't want to make it worse. I assume that's why they loosened up so quickly.

Bike shop wants to put spoke freeze on it, but the internet seems to have a pretty low opinion of that approach.
HelmutHerr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:16 pm

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby ironhanglider » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:33 pm

HelmutHerr wrote:
ironhanglider wrote:Please tell me you are joking.

Afraid so, but thanks for the tip. If it's less horrifying, I was very gentle because I didn't want to make it worse. I assume that's why they loosened up so quickly.

Bike shop wants to put spoke freeze on it, but the internet seems to have a pretty low opinion of that approach.


Hi HH,

Thread lockers do have their place, but they treat the symptom (spokes unscrewing) rather than the cause (spokes losing tension under load). If the spokes are already up to the recommended maximum tension that the rim can take, then a thread locker is a viable option. To increase spoke tension beyond the recommended max risks the rim failing due to fatigue cracks around the spoke holes. If you are a big unit on a 24 spoke wheel or less then it is likely that they can't put enough tension on the spokes to stop them unscrewing (and the shop shouldn't have sold you a wheel that was not fit for purpose).

I'm willing to bet that the spokes aren't up to sufficient tension. Spokes that are not up to sufficient tension also risk failure due to fatigue, particularly if they are not stress relieved. This will not occur for a while and probably be outside the warranty period, at which point they will recommend a new wheel. If applying thread lock is all they do and they don't increase the tension then the wheel will probably stay true ok, but you will start breaking spokes down the track.

I don't know anything about the wheels you've got so I don't know anything about the rims, hubs or number of spokes. Characteristics of strong wheels are 1) lots of spokes 2) deep rims and 3) minimal dishing.

The old rule of thumb for rims (that admittedly had all the strength of a well cooked noodle) was that you should have at least the same number of spokes as your belt size in inches. You can do with less spokes if you have deep rims (such as 30mm or more) or hubs that don't have the capacity for derailler gears. You mentioned that your bike is a single speed, but that can be achieved with either a dished or an undished wheel. See Sheldon on Wheelbuilding. This is a good place to start for wheel theory.

Cheers,

Cameron
ironhanglider
 
Posts: 1098
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:44 pm
Location: Bruce, ACT

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby HelmutHerr » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:45 pm

Thanks for the Sheldon Brown link.

The wheels are Novatecs with 36 spokes. Alex-19 rims. They got picked to support a large rider, but I may be exaggerating my weight. I'm 120kgs, which is heavy, but not crushing.

Single speed Ogres are rare, from what I've seen, and they're fully set up for derailers and IGHs. I started SS to get my fitness up and get used to the bike before deciding on gearing options.

I want to become fully self-sufficient with bike maintenance, so I'm wondering if it might be better to get it re-tensioned at the shop then take over tensioning myself with the proper tools. The risk is that as a novice I might break something.
HelmutHerr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:16 pm

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby ironhanglider » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:14 pm

HelmutHerr wrote:Thanks for the Sheldon Brown link.

The wheels are Novatecs with 36 spokes. Alex-19 rims. They got picked to support a large rider, but I may be exaggerating my weight. I'm 120kgs, which is heavy, but not crushing.

Single speed Ogres are rare, from what I've seen, and they're fully set up for derailers and IGHs. I started SS to get my fitness up and get used to the bike before deciding on gearing options.

I want to become fully self-sufficient with bike maintenance, so I'm wondering if it might be better to get it re-tensioned at the shop then take over tensioning myself with the proper tools. The risk is that as a novice I might break something.


They sound like a combination that should work ok.

particularly if the hub looks more like this,
Image

Than this:
Image

BTW it will seem obvious by now but IGH's build stronger wheels than derailer gears because of the lack of dishing. IGHs and disc brakes are becoming more common as the preferred commuting rig.

Cheers,

Cameron
ironhanglider
 
Posts: 1098
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:44 pm
Location: Bruce, ACT

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby HelmutHerr » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:41 pm

Yep. Looks like the top hub.

I rode a few Alfine IGH bikes when I was shopping around last month, and I don't think I'd go back to derailers now. The question is whether to go minimal with a 3 speed hub, halfway with the Alfine 11, or chuck the tax return in and get a Rohloff for the long haul.
HelmutHerr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:16 pm

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby usernameforme » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:56 pm

This sounds like the wheels weren't properly stress-relieved to me... This should have been done by the company and I would not call this a "breaking in" issue.

Do the hubs look exactly like the hubs that are posted above? If so I don't see too many issues with that build holding your weight up
Need a cycle computer? see here
usernameforme
 
Posts: 906
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:01 pm
Location: Adelaide

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby ironhanglider » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:14 am

usernameforme wrote:This sounds like the wheels weren't properly stress-relieved to me... This should have been done by the company and I would not call this a "breaking in" issue.

Do the hubs look exactly like the hubs that are posted above? If so I don't see too many issues with that build holding your weight up


I'm going to disagree with usernameforme here slightly, if only because I draw a distinction between bedding in and stress relief. Lack of stress relief doesn't cause the spokes to lose tension, but stress relief will help to prevent them breaking from lack of tension. Bedding in (getting the spokes to take up their final shape as part of the building process) might do a bit, but not to a large extent. My money is on a plain old lack of tension from the beginning.

The upside for HH is that I agree with usernameforme that the components you've got should be capable of being built into a reliable wheel assuming it is not something bizarre like full radial spoking.

Cheers,

Cameron
ironhanglider
 
Posts: 1098
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:44 pm
Location: Bruce, ACT

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby usernameforme » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:06 pm

I just want to make sure I'm on the same page as cameron:

By stress relieving I mean removing spoke wind-up (and from my understanding stress relieving does that). As the wheels only lasted a few days, it sounds as if the SWU unwound itself when you were riding the wheel.

Lack of tension from the beginning sounds like a possible problem too, either way I think the wheels weren't built properly to begin with and this sort of thing should be fixed under warranty.

Speaking of bizarre wheels, I saw a 32 radial front wheel this morning :? made me look quite a few times to make sure I was seeing it right
Need a cycle computer? see here
usernameforme
 
Posts: 906
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:01 pm
Location: Adelaide

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby HelmutHerr » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:04 pm

Late update but I haven't been round for a while.

Thanks for the info. Shop retensioned the spokes about ten days ago and now worries so far.
HelmutHerr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:16 pm

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby ironhanglider » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:26 am

usernameforme wrote:I just want to make sure I'm on the same page as cameron:

By stress relieving I mean removing spoke wind-up (and from my understanding stress relieving does that). As the wheels only lasted a few days, it sounds as if the SWU unwound itself when you were riding the wheel.


SWU will usually only be to the tune of about 1/2 a turn or so, and will usually spring back with a ping in the first few turns of the wheel. I suspected overall tension because it sounds to me like HH was experiencing an unwinding of several turns.

usernameforme wrote:Speaking of bizarre wheels, I saw a 32 radial front wheel this morning :? made me look quite a few times to make sure I was seeing it right


Not many 32 hole hubs are intended to be laced that way, particularly if the spoke heads were in. In this case I think it was unlikely since it was more likely to have been built for an aesthetic and heads out look better. I wouldn't be game to ride on such a wheel because I'd be too nervous about hub flange failure.

Cheers,

Cameron
ironhanglider
 
Posts: 1098
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:44 pm
Location: Bruce, ACT

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby Stuey » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:17 pm

I have a dead stock as new Giant CFR2 which came with (and still has) 32 spoke radial fronts using Shimano 105 hubs, head out. Sorry to hijack... :wink:

Image

Image
Stuey
 
Posts: 797
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:38 pm
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby ironhanglider » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:23 pm

[quote="Stuey"]I have a dead stock as new Giant CFR2 which came with (and still has) 32 spoke radial fronts using Shimano 105 hubs, head out. Sorry to hijack... :wink:

No hijack, just thread drift :wink:

I did some googling and it appears that 105 hubs have been designed to cope with radial lacing. (meaning that they are probably heavier than they'd otherwise need to be) I'd be confident to ride on them and trust the hubs not to fail, although I still wouldn't choose to build them that way.

Cheers,

Cameron
ironhanglider
 
Posts: 1098
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:44 pm
Location: Bruce, ACT

Re: Got a wheel wobble

Postby il padrone » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:02 pm

usernameforme wrote:I just want to make sure I'm on the same page as cameron:

By stress relieving I mean removing spoke wind-up (and from my understanding stress relieving does that).

Partially, but not really. The way I understand it, stress is built up in steel spokes (or any steel component) when they are bent but not permanently set. They are thus under continual stress as the steel wants to move back into the prior position. This stress contributes to eventual failure. Spokes laced up are crossed over other spokes and this creates a slight bend.

Stress-relieving involves turning this bend into a cold-set (permanent bend) in the spoke. Sheldon Brown describes this well and advocates using an old crank end to flex the spokes at the cross and set the bend in them

Image


This all may be less relevant for a radial-spoked wheel as there are no spoke crossings. The only reason to 'de-stress' the wheel is really to ease the spokes into a good seating as you describe.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18423
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Next

Return to The Shed

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit