Has my wheel been damaged?

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someone
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Has my wheel been damaged?

#1 Post by someone » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:42 pm

On Tuesday I had the tyre replaced on my rear wheel, but did not use the bike since riding it home until today.

Before going out I did my normal checks, one of which is to make sure the brake light works with both brakes. Oddly the rear peddle only lit it up with an extra effort after the brake was fully engaged. I cannot think why that would have changed, but I adjusted it and also had a quick visual check of the drum brake and it all looked okay.

On my way out of London though the bike started to feel very sluggish. It had been fine to that point and I wondered if I had got the gears messed up, though the revs suggested otherwise. A roundabout gave me a chance to go to first and reset, but the problem persisted so I decided to turn off into the B&Q car park to take a proper look, but when I slowed down to turn off the road I could then smell a burning smell.

When I pulled into the car park and the brake peddle would not move, and when I got off there was smoke coming from the brake drum.

I adjusted the brake to unlock it, then left it a while to cool down. After which I put the bike on the centre stand in gear to check it moved okay and the brake worked, and noticed it had a slight wobble as it rotated. Looking at the wheel adjustment marks, the one on the left was slightly further forward of the opposite one. I know both were the same before I set off though as it was one of the things I checked when adjusting the brake light.

So I turned around and came home a quiet way, but then when I got back and took another look the drum had changed to a brass colour, it was still grey in the B&Q car park.

Image

So now I have no idea what to do or whether the bike is even safe to ride, so any help with what to do would be greatly appreciated.

Does the colour change mean the wheel is no longer safe to use? If the heat had that affect I am wondering if it was enough to have weakened it too?

But if it is not necessarily damaged because of that, then what else should I be looking for to see if it damaged or safe?

And is this my responsibility or should it just be left to the company which changed the tyre to fix? I have not touched anything since then other than the adjuster for the light, which is simply a screw to raise of lower a spring attached to the peddle, and would have had no effect on causing the brake to lock. I am assuming the wheel was not tightened properly and slipped a little causing the brake locking.

I am terrible at complaining though (or just dealing with people at all) which means it not an easy thing for me to do, so I kind-of hope it is still safe to ride, because I can at least trust myself to align the wheel and tighten it to the correct torque. But I would also would like a year without breaking a bone, so do not want to take any risks by riding it if there is a problem.

Thanks.
125s are fun.

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Re: Has my wheel been damaged?

#2 Post by Baldrick » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:49 pm

Not got a clue what would cause that, maybe something not replaced correctly when re fitting the wheel, but my first port of call would be to whoever fitted the tyre as the problem only occurred since they worked on the bike.

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Re: Has my wheel been damaged?

#3 Post by Snod Blatter » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:38 pm

With a rear drum brake the lever on the drum is pulled more and more as you move the wheel back to adjust the tension of the chain. I would imagine the tyre place have tensioned your chain but not adjusted the nut on the end of the rod for the rear drum to suit the new position, so your rear brake has been on slightly all the time - as it heats it will expand and drag more. And more. And eventually you will oval the drum, as you have seen with the wobble.

The tyre place should have adjusted the rear brake to give at least some free play at the lever, making sure it doesn't drag. You will likely need a new wheel and brake shoes, I would try to bill them accordingly even if just for a used wheel. You can get drums skimmed but yours looks positively cooked, I wouldn't trust it.

Did you not notice there was no free play at the lever? That it moved less than normal? Is this why you had to adjust the brake light switch?
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Re: Has my wheel been damaged?

#4 Post by fastbob » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:20 pm

Wow, that looks like it's been very hot indeed, I wonder what effect this has had on the rubber cush drive ?

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Re: Has my wheel been damaged?

#5 Post by fastbob » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:29 pm

Baldrick wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:49 pm
Not got a clue what would cause that, maybe something not replaced correctly when re fitting the wheel, but my first port of call would be to whoever fitted the tyre as the problem only occurred since they worked on the bike.
Definitely, take it straight back ( if its rideable ) and show it to the tyre fitters before they try to wriggle out of responsibility. I bet they're closed on Sunday but I wouldn't wait till next weekend.

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Re: Has my wheel been damaged?

#6 Post by Snod Blatter » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:12 pm

fastbob wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:20 pm
Wow, that looks like it's been very hot indeed, I wonder what effect this has had on the rubber cush drive ?
And the wheel bearings!
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Re: Has my wheel been damaged?

#7 Post by someone » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:20 pm

Snod Blatter wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:38 pm
Did you not notice there was no free play at the lever? That it moved less than normal? Is this why you had to adjust the brake light switch?
As you have to remove the adjusting nut to take the wheel off, it is impossible not to re-adjust it. I am not sure how much attention they gave when putting it back, but the free play in the peddle felt normal enough that I did not feel any need to change it. That is what made the situation with the brake light so strange, it was not that the peddle being unable to move far enough to pull on the switch.

When setting off the bike did not sluggish as though anything was working against it. And I do not race off the lights so it is usually pretty easy to tell if there is even a little brake applied when setting off. It was only when on a 50 road when it started to feel sluggish and unable to accelerate.

But I checked the wheel adjustment marks before setting off, mainly out of curiosity, and both sides were in the same place, but were not when I stopped and saw the wheel had a wobble when on the stand. So I am pretty sure the axel was not properly tighthened causing the wheel to slip a little, which would pull on the brake rod and lock the brake.
fastbob wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:20 pm
Wow, that looks like it's been very hot indeed, I wonder what effect this has had on the rubber cush drive ?
I have wondered specifically about that too, there is surely no way they could have survived unscathed. It is why I am worried that the heat could have weakened the wheel.

It sounds as though I have no choice but to call the shop back and see what they say.
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Re: Has my wheel been damaged?

#8 Post by Snod Blatter » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:01 pm

someone wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:20 pm
As you have to remove the adjusting nut to take the wheel off, it is impossible not to re-adjust it.
Excellent point, well made. Thinking about it though, if the axle was loose then wouldn't the chain pull the wheel towards the motor, therefore not pulling the rear brake on? Unless the axle was so loose that the sprocket side moved forward and the brake side went backwards..

You have the bike in the state they gave it to you, can you not test everything for tightness? The axle would have to be really quite loose to allow for movement.
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Re: Has my wheel been damaged?

#9 Post by someone » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:28 am

It is not loose to the point of moving freely, so I was thinking it was probably something like a bump in the road that caused it to shift. But I guess it could have just been the chain, everything was fine until I got onto the 50 section which would have added more force.

Going by the wheel adjustment marks the left side is further forward (halfway after the second mark), although I am pretty sure the right side is where it was originally (just before the third mark). But I guess a change of angle on the right side could still be enough to lock the brake.

Tilting the wheel would see the brake lever shift a little backwards along the rod, but the tension bar will still be the same length so that would also rotate the brake assembly forwards within the drum, with the lever position held on the rod it would cause an effect like pulling on a wish bone and effectively tighten the brake.

The only thing to check for tightness is the axel, the screw on the tension bar is fine, the chain adjustors would not stop the wheel moving forward anyway, and the only other bolt is the adjuster nut on the brake rod. But the wheel being out of alignment is enough to say it must be at least a little under torque, else there must be a much greater problem.

But if I am not going to be fixing it myself then I want to see what the shop says before I even touch anything. As much as anything else just to prevent giving any reason for them to say I did something so they do not have to fix it. But if they say it should be safe enough to ride to them then I will obviously realign the wheel first.

Is there an easy way of finding the torque of something with just a basic torque wrench? I suppose I could set it to a lower amount and see if it clicks, then just keep increasing it until it does not, but surely that would also tighten it a little each time.
125s are fun.

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Re: Has my wheel been damaged?

#10 Post by Snod Blatter » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:16 pm

someone wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:28 am
Is there an easy way of finding the torque of something with just a basic torque wrench? I suppose I could set it to a lower amount and see if it clicks, then just keep increasing it until it does not, but surely that would also tighten it a little each time.
I don't know how else you would do it.. But an axle nut doesn't have to be mega tight (like the specs state) to properly clamp the axle. I bet 50Nm is enough, which is just a good heave with a spanner. If you can easily tighten it more with a spanner then it was loose, if not then it was likely okay.

I suppose the other thing to check (if you want) is the rear drum mechanism itself, make sure the shoes haven't come loose or aren't flat with the plate or something silly like that.
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Re: Has my wheel been damaged?

#11 Post by someone » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:06 pm

In the end I just called the shop first thing, and someone came over that morning to check everything out. He said it all looks okay and the bearings are fine, but I wanted to use my trusty Lidl torque wrench on it before riding just to be sure, as it had not let me down. The chain and looser axel explanation seems the only to make sense, although admittedly the first time I took the wheel off I did just tighten as much as I could with a spanner without any resulting problem.

Not had a chance to give it a test ride yet though. As some of the meter lights had blown I took the opportunity of finally changing those when tightening the axel, though it hardly needed any to get to 80 Nm. Then decided I should clean the front brake pads too, so did all that yesterday.

I was going to go out this morning but it was wet out, which was too much of a risk for me in case there is something wrong with the rear wheel and/or brake, the rear tyre is sticky as still only 60 miles old, and there is always the possibility I could have buggered up the front brake too. Call me fair weathered, but one wheel and no brakes is only for dry conditions.
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Re: Has my wheel been damaged?

#12 Post by fastbob » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:02 pm

Sorry, "He said it all looks ok and the bearings are fine" well he would wouldn't he . To me it looks like it's been in a bloody blast furnace, and the bearings could have all the grease melted out of them the Cush drive might be melted and the steel drum liner could well be warped. But if you're satisfied with the service you have received fair enough. If , on the other hand you believe that these oafs have buggered up your bike then they need to put it right. If someone caused my wheel to go from silver to brown I would not be satisfied until it was returned to its original condition. You paid them money for one thing and got another thing that you did not agree to . Simple as that. I noticed also that the wheel and brake plate are all covered in mucky finger marks. When I have tyres fitted everything is wiped clean as part of the fitting service. This alone speaks volumes about lack of pride that your fitters take in their work .

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Re: Has my wheel been damaged?

#13 Post by someone » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:39 pm

fastbob wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:02 pm
Sorry, "He said it all looks ok and the bearings are fine" well he would wouldn't he… If , on the other hand you believe that these oafs have buggered up your bike then they need to put it right.
If I cannot trust them saying it is okay after they have looked at it, there how can they do anything to convince me?

But last weekend I went from London to Bexhill on Saturday and to Stratford-on-Avon on Sunday and it everything was okay.

And those are not finger marks, it is just generally dirty down there and does not clean off, at least not with normal cleaning or grease removers. It is not a pride and joy bike, though, just one for riding and dropping and was already Cat D when I bought it. So the colour does not bother me either, only that it is safe to ride. Which right now I have no reason to doubt.
125s are fun.

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