Introduction- Bike Front Wheel Not Centered
While checking your bike, you may notice that your bike’s front wheel is not exactly in the center of the fork, but leans toward one side.
There are a number of possible causes for an off-center front wheel.
It is possible that you have turned one of the quick-releases too far if your bike’s front wheel is rubbing the brake pad. This will make the wheel aligned to a side instead of centered between the forks. It is a fairly common problem, and has happened to almost everyone at some point.
This misaligned front wheel is because almost all modern bikes have a quick-release front end. But this can happen if your bike has two bolts on either side of the axle, and you turn a nut too far. Fortunately, it is easy to align the front wheel with the frame once this happens.
How to Check the Bike’s Front Wheel?
You probably need to adjust your bike’s wheel or the brakes if either is rubbing on the frame. The quickest way to check if your bike’s front wheel is not centered is with the brakes.
- Pull the front wheel brake lever as far as the handlebar can go. It needs to be at least a finger width from the bar at full compression.
- Watch the brake pads as it touches the wheel then let up the brake lever slowly until the pads are close to touching the wheel.
- The pads will be clear of the wheel, but if you notice that one pad comes clear first, the wheel is not centered in the frame, or you need to adjust the brake.
- If both brakes come clear of the wheel at the same time, then turn the wheel slowly while you hold the brake just clear of the wheel. This will help you detect if there is a problem with either side of the wheel hitting the brake pad.
Note: If that happens, you will need to true the wheel of your bike.
Fixing An Off-Centered Front Wheel
In this video, you will see how to fix and true an off-centered front wheel (courtesy: cjhoyle):
You can fix your bike’s front wheel that is not centered using the method stated below.
- Turn the bike upside down, then balance it on its handlebars and seat. You will then spin the wheel with your fingers.
- Check out your bike’s wheel as it spins and note the side that is rubbing. If it is very bad, you will notice that the wheel is not spinning, and it stops when it hits the brake pad.
- Turn the lever on the quick release counterclockwise to the side that is rubbing. Next, turn the lever on the opposite side with the same number of turns clockwise. After that, spin the wheel.
- Check out your bike’s wheel as it spins. If you notice that it is still rubbing the brake pad, you will repeat step 3 and check again. This means you will repeat loosening one side and tightening the other side until your bike’s wheel is centered between the two forks.