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Problems re-installing front wheel
#1
Hello everyone, I'm a new member to these forums, however I've been watching Alex's videos for awhile now and find them very instructional and informative. Thanks for the vids, Alex!
Anyways, I recently overhauled my front wheel bearings, and am having a small problem: I can't get the wheel back onto the fork! The nuts that go on the axle after the cones aren't allowing enough clearance to slide the axle back into the fork slots (sorry for the improper terminology.)
It seems to me the solution would be to tighten the cones a little more, which would allow the nuts to screw in a little more, giving enough clearance. But if I tighten the cones anymore, the wheel would not spin freely.
Any and all help is much appreciated! I use my bike on a daily basis getting to school and work, and after just a day of not being able to ride, I miss it!
Thanks in advance! =]

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#2
Hi, What kind of wheel/bike is it on? You have a picture you could post here? To me without knowing it sounds like something is too big or not the right size. Lol just trying to help.

Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#3
Its a mountain bike wheel, 26" diameter. Unfortunately I can't put a pic of it up, because I don't have a camera. I'm not sure how the problem could be a size issue, because it fit before...maybe the hub is pitted or broken and could be messing something up?

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#4
Bikeman,
That's possible, but I will be honest I am no pro at this. I know ya use your bike for your main transportation and all but maybe when Alex, Dave, or cycleuk gets a chance they can have an answer for ya.

Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#5
Hi Bikeman,
Did the axle slide out of the forks easily when you took the wheel out for overhaul? What I'm trying to see is if it was a perfect fit to begin with. If the forks were spread a bit to accommodate the spacing all along, then it's just something you realize now and has been that way since.
If it was a perfect fit before the overhaul, then check that the replacement bearings you used (if you did replace the bearings with new ones) are the same size as the original ones, and the same number used.
Aside from that, unless you have accidentally added additional spacers to the axle assembly (highly unlikely), I can't think of anything else that might screw up a front wheel axle spacing.

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#6
As Spymaster says, unless you have changed something then it should fit. You may have to start again.
A tip is to only undo the nuts on one side. Leave the other side nuts tight. (unless you are replacing the cones.)
Make sure that you take note of the position of nuts, washers and how many balls. Undo any side and slide out the axle. Retrieve the balls and make sure you have an even amount. Clean up the balls, cones and cups. Now make sure that you have equal number of balls in each side.( 10 I think per side?) Too many in one side will give the problem you describe.
Put some grease in one cup and slide the axle part way. Drop the balls in around the axle, making sure they are seated properly, and then push the axle all the way in to hold the balls. Hold the axle and turn the wheel over, making sure you don't let go off the axle or the balls may drop out.. Place the wheel down on a surface, so that the axle can't drop out, grease the other cup and fit the remaining balls / cone / nuts.
When complete, adjust the loose cone/nuts to get the right feel when turning the axle by hand.
Make sure you have any washers etc in the right order. See Parker website for info'. http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=105
N.B. If you have QR axles then DO make sure they don't protrude beyond the fork edges or they won't clamp up. !!!!

[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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#7
Ok thanks for the help guys! I've figured out what I think the problem was: The last time I had taken my wheel off, I screwed it back on really tight. I think this caused the fork to become accustomed to that pressure. After I removed the wheel to overhaul the hub just a few days ago, the fork began to slowly bend inwards, because the wheel wasn't there to keep the fork in place, similar to the warping that occurs to the neck of a guitar when the strings are removed for a period of time. My frame is made of steel, which could explain this flexibility.
Anywho, I got it back up and running with few problems afterwards (just a bit of an issue with play in the hub), so thanks a bunch guys! Do you think my explanation as to what happened could be accurate?

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#8
I've had a few bikes over many years and not seen that happen. I would only expect the fork ends to "spring" not distort unless really stressed.
There are standard dimensions for forks (100mm or 4"). That's the same for all my road bikes and MTB forks?
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/cribsheet-spacing.html
Your hub should drop into this.

[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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