Diagnosing a wheel problem?

So here it is:

The wheel on a new unicycle sits far too close to one side
, about 3/4" space between the frame on the Left side and less than 3/8" on the Right side.

When the wheel is flipped the gaps also switch, keeping those same dimensions, but on the different sides, now 3/4" on the Right 3/8" on the Left.

This would indicate a problem with wheel and not the frame

What should I be checking, adjusting, etc.? What are the obvious solutions— it’s a Qu-ax 20" Trials with the yellow hub — if anyone else has run into this problem or could share their knowledge/experience, it would be great to read it. :slight_smile:

It’s dished incorrectly. Tighten up all the spokes on the side that has the bigger gap by about 1/2 turn each, then check again.

Good point but don’t just tighten the ones on the too big gap side to fix it. First, tighten those as mentioned. On the next iteration, loosen all the spokes on the too small side. Then tighten the too big gap side again. Then loosen, and so on.

Thanks. Seems to be it.

Still bunk


The LBS couldn’t fix it cheaply: With a new wheel, if the cost of fixing it is less than the hassle of returning it I’d consider the option-- it wasn’t. I returned it. Just over two weeks later, it came back. Whatever UDC did to fix it, the wheel is still offset on the frame with a 2.5:1 gap ratio favoring the left.

I don’t know what UDC did; I’m thinking it needs to be rebuilt, but I’d rather defer to the forum for a an informed opinion.


Pictures please? Honestly, I don’t see what’s so weird about it. It’s just improperly dished. Just get out your spoke wrench, and you can fix it in like 15 mins. Machine built wheels can’t be expected to be perfect all the time.

The frame isn’t the same lengths on the bearing brackets, you need a small (1mm thick) shim to put in the bearing holder.

That’s unlikely where the gap changes side when the wheel is flipped.
The original assessment about dishing the wheel should fix the problem.

But the problem is the same on the other side if he flips the wheel.

I think it’s still a problem w/ the spokes.

I had this same problem on my b*ke. The rim was rubbing the brake pad, but on only one side. So I did as Harper said, but only going in 1/4 turn incriments, making sure the spokes retained the same overal tightness. But now it was rubbing on the other side only. 45 minutes after starting it was near perfect w/ a +/- 1/16" wobble, only noticable as a slight pulsing when I apply the brakes.

Just add a shim anyways.

I’ll put a picture up when the camera is charged.
I don’t have a spoke wrench.

Here’s the the thing, the LBS was loosening the tension on the wheel when the spoke stripped out of the nipple. They recommended a rebuild stating that there’s too much tension to properly adjust the spokes alone, so I sent it back to UDC who presumably did something to it, at least fixing the stripped spoke, but it sits the same way. This might just be a full on return because I’m not interested in re-shipping for every trouble shoot and I don’t think paying out to fix a new wheel is a fair deal.

Any thoughts? It rides fine, but my suspicion is that the dish will effect it eventually.

Step one: Find out what UDC did.
Step two: …?

Buy a spoke wrench, and do what was suggested in prior posts. The wrench may set you back $7.oo. You’ll learn how to fix your wheel and have a tool for the future.

Or spend 30 seconds putting something in to shim the bearing and never worry about it again.

^^^^that’s not the problem. If you do that as a makeshift solution, an improperly dished wheel won’t be as strong as a correctly dished one, so it’s only treating the symptoms, not the cause.

Agreed. I just assumed that’s what UDC would have done.