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sideways wobble: tire wear?

This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Jacob McCrea 4 mos.

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HiddenVariable

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Mar 28 2014 at 12:02am #

with every rotation of the wheels under load, it feels like i’m riding over a rock on one side–the bike seems to jog to the side. the wheels are true and i made sure the rear axle at least is intact (that was jerry kraynick’s hypothesis after hearing my story).

so my working hypothesis is that there’s a bit of a bubble in the tire. i can’t confirm it, since it only happens under load, and the tire doesn’t seem to bulge at all (when not loaded–it’s hard to check otherwise). but the tires are worn, and i could imagine some bulge causing this feeling, and i wonder if anyone else has experienced this.


the beast

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Mar 28 2014 at 7:28am #

I have noticed my tires wobbling at times and always got freaked out tha my wheel was out of true, again…..but after have a strong wheelset built up my wheels stay pretty true. However, I have still seen the wobble occasionally. Many times, i will deflate the tire like half way, make sure itsd seated correctly and reinflate, it usually does the trick.


Benzo

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Mar 28 2014 at 8:02am #

How’s your spoke tension? Is it tight or is there a lot of flex when you squeeze the spokes together?


Marko82

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Mar 28 2014 at 8:06am #

It could be a bad belt in your tire too which is hard to notice (this happens on car tires), but most bike tires are of a different construction so not really sure if that’s applicable. Before you ride again I’d make sure you check the wheel rim for any hairline cracks which might be hard to notice – that can be really bad! You might also have a spoke way out of tension so check for that too while you are looking for cracks.

But my first thought is to check the wheel bearings. You could either have a chipped ball or a dented cup. With all the salty crap of the last few months, there could be some bad gunk worked its way in past the seals and messed things up.

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Also make sure you dont have the inner tube pinched between the tire and the rim. This will cause a noticable thump until it goes away with a bang.


JaySherman5000

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Mar 28 2014 at 8:30am #

@HiddenVariable: I have experienced what you are talking about. I was running 700×32 Continental Touring+ tires on my bike when I heard a rubbing sound with each rotation of the tires. When I inspected closely, I noticed my back tire had what looked like a tumor. Apprently, the fabric of the tire was coming apart and the tube was starting to push through. I’ll post a picture of it when I get home, if I remember.

Inflate your tires to max psi and then inspect them closely for deformities. Hopefully, you’ll find something and be able to simply change tires to fix it. You could also try just replacing your tires with a used set at Free Ride. If the problem persists, then it isn’t the tires.


HiddenVariable

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Mar 28 2014 at 3:08pm #

i don’t have a tension meter, but the spoke tension seemed pretty good by feel. in fact, i have had nothing but problems with this wheel since i got it; one of the spokes completely detensioned after a week or two of use. so i’ll check it again.

as far as bearings go, is it possible to diagnose that without taking the hub apart? i’ve not done any bearing work, and i’d rather not take it apart only to find everything intact but now dirty and hard to put back together.


Marko82

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Mar 28 2014 at 3:32pm #

^ first there shouldnt be any side to side play in the axle at all. Take the wheel off the bike and spin the wheel while holding the axle – it should spin smoothly without any grinding or roughness. If you feel anything other than a nice smooth spin you should probably take it apart and at least clean and regrease it – even if that’s not the thumping you are feeling. watch the first minute or so of this.


JaySherman5000

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Mar 28 2014 at 4:01pm #

The picture of my aformentioned bike tire tumor:


Jacob McCrea

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Mar 28 2014 at 4:06pm #

Lots of good advice above, as is typical for the board. You might try changing the direction of the tire on the rim, or moving the tire 180 degrees forward (or backwards) on the rim, or both. As others noted, it is possible, although perhaps not likely, for the tire to not be properly seated on the rim’s bead.

Also, spin the wheel and see if there is any “vertical runout” in the wheel and rim combination, i.e., see if there is an up-and-down wobble in the tire, as opposed to side-to-side.

My guess is there is a more fundamental problem, but you might try this before digging into the hub.

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