Off center wheel : LUSENET : Mountain Bike Hash Forum : One Thread

Greetings to all mtb gurus. I come to seek enlightenment. Need your insights. I found that the front wheel is off centre in proportion to the fork - meaning that looking straight from the front of the bike, there is more space on the right of the fork compared to the left. I have verified that the wheel is not out of true. Is this a concern and what am I looking at? IS it a bent fork or a bent frame? Or could it be the headset not probably installed? (Names of the wrench would not be released at this point). Please advise what can be done? Is this the cause of my scary high speed wobble down genting sempah everytime? Also I looked at the rear wheel and there is equal spacing between the seat stays. So I am puzzled why the front wheel is off centre as I did not have any knocks or falls to the fork and I weigh only 65kg. The specs of my bike is as follows: Bike is Specialized Epic S-Works 2003 Fork is Manitou Super Skareb Hub is Hugi, Wheels Mavic UST3.1

Thanks, Allen

-- allen (, July 07, 2003


Are you using a hugi disc brake hub? If you are, the rotor mount on your hub causes the hub flange (where the spokes attach to) to move inward to the hub's centre to allow space for the rotor and caliper.

It is therefore easy to misalign the rim when building a wheel.

If it is not a disc hub, get a buddy's wheel and put it in place. If it's still off centre, it's a fork problem. If it is not, rebuild your wheel!

Those who seek enlightenment will get the alignment! ha ha.


-- jmz (, July 08, 2003.

You wheel has not been "dished" properly. This means that the spoke tension on the drive side and non-drive side are not equal, causing the rim to be offset to the side with the higher spoke tension. In your case I think the drive side tension is higher than the non- drive side. Your wheel can appear to be true (both radially and laterally) but still not be "dished" properly.

What you need to do is to tighten the non-drive spokes and/or loosen the drive side spokes. Do it in SMALL AMOUNTS. Start with maybe 1/8th of a turn. It's best to use a dishing tool but in a pinch you can use your fork.

How did it happen? Most likely the wheel was not built properly.

-- Joe (, July 08, 2003.

Folks, Thanks for replying. I did not have another wheel but I did have another frame - so I put the front wheel in and guess what it is right on center. So it seems to confirm that this might be a fork problem or is it? BTW, I am using the HUgi Hub with Avid discs. Does anyone know if this is covered by warranty by the LBS (assuming it is a fork problem)? I dread the thought of spending more money on a fork because this is hardly 6 months old.


-- allen (, July 08, 2003.

Strange. Are you sure you are putting the hub axles flush to the fork dropout?

Sometimes it could be as simple as that.

Or, you could have damaged one side of the tube and the legs are not extending fully on the rebound.

Or it could be an assembly fault where they did not press in the tube fully into the steerer clamp.

Anyhow, just measure from fork seal to steerer clamp. You should get equal reading for both sides. Otherwise, that's your bug!

If I were you, just bring back to shop and thell them your fork defect is causing you to lose control on high speed descents, and you nearly went into an oncoming car.

It's worth a try. If you have to stick to your fork, go do this: Double check if your dish is correct. If it is, just grind a bit of metal away from your fork dropout so your hub axle sits level. Nothing a Made in China cylindrical file can't handle! Don't remove too much metal though, you'll sacrifice the strength of your fork dropout.

-- jmz (, July 08, 2003.

Quick way to check the dish. Put the wheel in the drop-out. Eyeball the offset. Now flip the wheel over and insert into the drop-out the other way around. Check the offset again. If the offset has moved to the other side, then it's the wheel dish. If the offset is on the same side, then your fork alignment is off.

-- Joe (, July 08, 2003.

Ok. I am feeling so depressed as I write this. I did the tests as you guys mentioned. Firstly, as much as I can tell from measuring the stanchions from seal to crown they are equal and I don't have a micrometer. However, as I did the wheel flip thingy, like joe said, the offset is still at the same side. I am fearing the worst. I am literally very upset that I might be sold a bent fork because I have definitely not done anything to make it bent - I'm no hucker. Actually I'm upset because that LBS (some of you I'm sure knows who) would unlikely give me a warranty replacement. My next purchase of anything will not be from that shop.


-- allen (, July 08, 2003.

allen ,

i feel so sorry for you as i myself would just die if i had a bought a skareb super and it bent (probably) as you said. are you sure you did not do any harsh riding ? you don't really have to huck to cause it bend (if it did) .

-- Jeff (, July 09, 2003.

Hi ugly, Well, to answer your question on harsh riding - think about it - I am probably riding the same trail as you are riding and in fact most of us are riding around KL. Has anyone bent their fork so far? I am 65kg hardly beyond the weight specs of the skareb. Short of jumping off 6foot drops I don't think any XC riding could leave a fork bent. It is unbelievable...

-- allen (, July 09, 2003.

First of all, just to let you know that I feel you! I feel your pain! let me tell you bout myself. I am 100kg! I upgraded from a no name fork to a judy TT and have been thrashing it for about 5 months. Normal trail riding, but I do sometimes do crazy things mostly free ride stuffs. I even wipeout once in a ramp jump! and i have to admit the judy TT is not holding up that well anymore, but it is still not as bad as your fork. i have no idea who LBS is, but if you have not done anything wrong to void your fork warranty why not try to reason with him? If it does not work, you can just ask him to help you sort this problem with the fork company. All the best.

-- alex c. tseung (, July 09, 2003.


Your best bet is to take it back to the shop, maybe they can have a look at it to see what's wrong. Especially check the drop-out for any damage (although drop-out damage would be unlikely to cause an offset on a lateral plane). Take measurements; try to see if you can find out where the misalignment is. Maybe you could even salvage the fork by cunning use of spacers?

Speak politely but firmly to the bike shop. It may be a defective fork, but it's hardly the shop's fault, and I doubt if they knew about it. Keep us posted on what happens.


-- Joe (, July 09, 2003.

alex , i think LBS means Local Bike Shop.

-- Jeff (, July 10, 2003.

Yeah, spacers. Now I remember, I had a Rock Shox Quadra 21R (R version man!) and the wheels were off centre. So I put in spacers and rode till happily ever after.

Allen, just as long as the stroke's plush, you can keep ridin it. Close one eyelah, enjoy the ride. That wil more than make up for the problems. Cheers.

-- (, July 10, 2003.

OK folks, As a closure to this saga, I have to let you know that Answer Products the makers of the Manitou skareb fork has agreed to warranty the fork. I am jumping for joy. What a relief!! It was just an email to their warranty dept and its all settled - no questions, no doubts. No stupid questions like how hard you are riding - NO. This is what I call service excellence. We'll guess I can now see u guys at the trails.

-- allen (, July 14, 2003.

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