Jump to content
snowdriftless

Aligning your rear wheel.

Recommended Posts

snowdriftless
I just found THIS posted on Cycle world. Seems like an easy way to align your rear wheel that can save you a few bucks on buying an alignment tool. I'll be using this method next time I need to adjust my chain.
  • Like 1

P1: Vice? I have no vice, I'm as pure as the driven snow!
P2: Yeah but you've been drifting
 
All the gear all the time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bmwpowere36m3
Yup, time consuming... but effective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
scordiaboy515
I don't understand why people make this task so difficult...go to Northern Tool and by a cheap pair of dial calipers, take off the lock nut on the adjuster, loosen the axle nut but keep it snug, make your adjustment, measure how much of the stud is exposed...make the other side the same and your done....7a4hRxJ.jpgvM9lJmG.jpg
 
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rick
Along with being simple to do, that's simply brilliant!!
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gregjet
This makes an assumption that the end of thread to axle hole is always the same. I suspect it may not be and even a smaee bit out will make a real difference. If you are going to use this method ( and it is a good method IF you know they are even) , I suggest that you pull the axle carrier out and measure from the nearest end of the hole to the end with the aforementioned verniers. if they are equal ( and I mean REALLY equal) put back together and off you go. If not CAREFULLY file the thread end flat until they are . You could use a power tool but carefully.
 
If anybody does this , could you let us know if they were equal or how much adjustment you had to do. PLEASE. I am doing mine this way and rough checking with a laser level down the chain.
  • Like 2

Go forth and modify my son...go forth and modify...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bmwpowere36m3
All I can say is my rear wheel is straight via strings and the wheel/chain adjuster threads are NOT equal, nor the hash marks (about 1/2 hash difference).
 
You're making a lot of assumptions when you start arbitrarily measuring things.... and then inferring results.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
scordiaboy515
This makes an assumption that the end of thread to axle hole is always the same. I suspect it may not be and even a smaee bit out will make a real difference. If you are going to use this method ( and it is a good method IF you know they are even) , I suggest that you pull the axle carrier out and measure from the nearest end of the hole to the end with the aforementioned verniers. if they are equal ( and I mean REALLY equal) put back together and off you go. If not CAREFULLY file the thread end flat until they are . You could use a power tool but carefully. 
If anybody does this , could you let us know if they were equal or how much adjustment you had to do. PLEASE. I am doing mine this way and rough checking with a laser level down the chain.
Already done that.....the wheel will be aligned within .010 of an inch....way closer than it has to be. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
scordiaboy515
All I can say is my rear wheel is straight via strings and the wheel/chain adjuster threads are NOT equal, nor the hash marks (about 1/2 hash difference). 
You're making a lot of assumptions when you start arbitrarily measuring things.... and then inferring results.
....not assuming anything, measured both chain adjusters when I had it apart, they are virtually the same in dimensions.  It's the most accurate way to center up the rear wheel....if it's good enough for Pro Stock bikes that go 200mph in the quarter mile it's good enough for me   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rick
Haven't yet, but will check mine this way and see if it agrees with where I now have it.
 
But if there is a delta it would be easy enough to note the difference and use this way for the future.
 
Have always wondered if when having the wheel "straight" as far as the chain's run is concerned winds up being straight in relation to the frame. You'd hope so, but ----

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bmwpowere36m3
Haven't yet, but will check mine this way and see if it agrees with where I now have it.  
But if there is a delta it would be easy enough to note the difference and use this way for the future.
 
Have always wondered if when having the wheel "straight" as far as the chain's run is concerned winds up being straight in relation to the frame. You'd hope so, but ----
They should be, but might not be... then it comes down to what's more important: straight chain, straight wheel or compromise both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bmwpowere36m3
All I can say is my rear wheel is straight via strings and the wheel/chain adjuster threads are NOT equal, nor the hash marks (about 1/2 hash difference). 
You're making a lot of assumptions when you start arbitrarily measuring things.... and then inferring results.
....not assuming anything, measured both chain adjusters when I had it apart, they are virtually the same in dimensions.  It's the most accurate way to center up the rear wheel....if it's good enough for Pro Stock bikes that go 200mph in the quarter mile it's good enough for me 
Most accurate way.... no.  Is it easy and gives good results, yes (so long as you preform the dimensional checks).  The beauty of the strings is that very small changes in the rear wheel, result in BIG (easy to measure) changes up front.  Thus you can achieve very, very good alignments with nothing more than string and a ruler. By the way, I have the same Gilles spool mounts and my threads are not even as mentioned previously.  So, YMMV.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rick
Haven't yet, but will check mine this way and see if it agrees with where I now have it.  
But if there is a delta it would be easy enough to note the difference and use this way for the future.
 
Have always wondered if when having the wheel "straight" as far as the chain's run is concerned winds up being straight in relation to the frame. You'd hope so, but ----
They should be, but might not be... then it comes down to what's more important: straight chain, straight wheel or compromise both.
yep, if the sprockets are not in the same plane, the chain can't be straight when the wheels are. Think I'd rather have the wheels in alignment 1st.  
This is a case where a single sided swinger rules. The chain tension is adjusted by rotating an eccentric hub. Set it and forget it. But oh man are all of those parts expensive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest 2wheeler
I just found this video on youtube, and wanted to check what everyone thinks about this one. The two things in particular are the using the swingarm bolt as a reference point, and using the allen wrench to snug up the wheel.
 
Thoughts???
 
 

 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bikergeek
[div]I've seen a few videos on the "stringing" method. One question from a newbie.
 
Isn't there any concern about the front wheel being off or the bars not being perfectly centered before you measure with this method?[/div]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
conejo
I just found this video on youtube, and wanted to check what everyone thinks about this one. The two things in particular are the using the swingarm bolt as a reference point, and using the allen wrench to snug up the wheel.  
Thoughts???
 
 

 

 
I like this one. Measuring off the swingarm pivot makes sense to me. That pivot should be perpendicular to the midline axis of the bike, so aligning the rear axle to it should keep the rear tire inline and tracking straight.
 
Using the allen wrench to pull the adjusters tight is clever. Probably going to use that too.
 
 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sorkyah
I just found this video on youtube, and wanted to check what everyone thinks about this one. The two things in particular are the using the swingarm bolt as a reference point, and using the allen wrench to snug up the wheel.  
Thoughts???
 
 

 

I like this one. Measuring off the swingarm pivot makes sense to me. That pivot should be perpendicular to the midline axis of the bike, so aligning the rear axle to it should keep the rear tire inline and tracking straight. 
Using the allen wrench to pull the adjusters tight is clever. Probably going to use that too.
 
 
 
it might be perpendicular to the midline of the bike, but it may be off a bit to the front tire causing a slight lean issue

ATGATT... ATTATT, two acronyms I live by.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rowdy
So it seems like there are two important things that come into play here. Wheel/tire alignment and chain alignment. The problem is that those two might be at odds with each other when trying to get things "perfect". Which one is more important?

Why can't left turners see us?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gregjet
Scordia...,
Thanks for that. I will check mine also JIC it would make the alignment easier once it is confirmed as right.
I agree, FR/REAR wheel alignment first then ensure sprocket faces are aligned then that the chain is straight
 
 

Go forth and modify my son...go forth and modify...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rick
My right side end cap does not pull in as tight as the left. The result is that I have less threads showing on that side than than the chain side with the marks on the swinger in perfect alignment. So making that distance even side to side would be a mistake - on mine. I suspect the alloy ones fit much, much better.
 
Gonna pull off the side covers and measure to the swingarm pivot at some point. Sure would be an easier measure if that bolt was hollow and a rod could be slid thru. In the meantime, it's already 60F (@8:30AM) and suppose to get to 70 here today (normal would be 38-40F!), so more riding, less wrenching.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
avanti
IF it (alignment was correct from the dealer and no one has screwed it up, it is simple enough to keep it aligned. Simply mark the top of each adjuster nut with a Sharpie and note how many turns (or partial turn) on either side you chose to start with and do the SAME number of turns (or partial turn) on the opposite side. Since nuts have six points it is easy to reference partial turns. I'd suggest doing this in steps, side-to-side, and also note where you started from on the marks on each side of the swing-arm as a secondary check. When done the change in distance from the reference mark on each side of the swing-arm to the indicators should be the same. No need for measuring bolt length (which may or may not be the same side to side), etc. It took me a matter of minutes to adjust my chain this afternoon doing it in this fashion. ALL THE BEST!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pattonme
that's a whole LOT of 'ifs' @avanti . Dealer techs who do new bike setup are not uncommonly the most inexperienced numbskulls on the payroll if they're even paid at all. I've done probably 300,000 miles by now and never have I gotten all worked up over perfect wheel alignment. I do like his stick a tool in the teeth bit. Stealing it.
 
I would hardly call a mounted tire's edge a reliable point of reference (the string method) plus who has the time to deal with all that hoopla. Aside from measuring from pivot to axle which is the fastest, most consistent method, I've seen folks clamp a carpenter's level to the sprocket or side of the tire as a faster means of doing 'the string'.
 
Do the pivot to axle once, then slap a thick 12" ruler against your sprocket and see where the end lines up on the chain links. If they're right on, then just use that method going forward. Otherwise note down the deviation and repeat said delta the next time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
avanti
Just saying, pattonme... that IF (and, I understand the term and what it implies... btw, I think it was just one "if") it starts out correctly aligned it is easy to keep it that way, nothing more or less.  Mine was, but I've considerable evidence that my dealer didn't assemble mine according to the way other dealers do--since ALL was correct. ALL THE BEST!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wangshin248
I don't understand why people make this task so difficult...go to Northern Tool and by a cheap pair of dial calipers, take off the lock nut on the adjuster, loosen the axle nut but keep it snug, make your adjustment, measure how much of the stud is exposed...make the other side the same and your done....7a4hRxJ.jpgvM9lJmG.jpg
Remove axle nut dude, to calibrate and adjust tension chain !
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.