Front wheel coming loose everytime I go ride.

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7/7/2020 12:14 AM

Hey guys,
I made the mistake of buying a cheap complete BMX two months back (United) with looseball nuts on the front wheel. After 2 months of riding, I tighten everything up before riding every time because the wheel comes loose after riding for 15 minutes. It's really annoying going out with a solid tight bike doing a few hops and 180s so start feeling the front wheel come loose after 15 minutes. It messes with my mind because everytime I send something I feel that loose front wheel slack. Are loose bearing front wheels just a NONO for the serious rider?
Am I tightening my front wheel wrong (tight about 85-90% of max)? P.s. The slack is not my forks, stem or bars, I know this for sure because they don't move at all (had them professionally set up and tightened by a mechanic who spent like 10 minutes making sure everything was perfect).
Thanks.
Mad

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Control of my bars helps me feel in control of my life.

7/7/2020 9:12 AM

That's weird. Even on all my cheap bikes that doesn't happen.

Hmmmm..... I wonder if some lock washers would help. Or if the nuts have no ridges on them, I could see them slipping but dang that seems fast.

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Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus. Insta: SilentNightSun

7/7/2020 9:15 AM

Fortyseven wrote:

That's weird. Even on all my cheap bikes that doesn't happen.

Hmmmm..... I wonder if some lock washers would help. Or if the ...more

I need some serious help with this. Really affecting my riding mindset.

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Control of my bars helps me feel in control of my life.

7/7/2020 10:13 AM

You’re 100% sure it’s the nuts outside the dropout, and not the lock nuts against the actual hub?

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Scooter kid trying to ride a bike.
@scootereyn

7/7/2020 3:41 PM

Get a new wheel

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It’s all bmx

7/7/2020 3:53 PM

When you say slack. Do you mean if you grab the wheel with your hand and move it right to left there is play/slack? If so your cone nuts need to be tightened for the bearings for the hub. A video of this happening would also be helpful to actually see what is happening.

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7/8/2020 1:54 AM

Whookid570 wrote:

When you say slack. Do you mean if you grab the wheel with your hand and move it right to left there is play/slack? If so your ...more

Something to do with the cone nuts yeah, the 14mm nuts I have on the outer are tight AF but something still makes a loose vibrate noise everytime I land a jump. I'll need to undo the bolts again and tighten the cones. So long!

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Control of my bars helps me feel in control of my life.

7/8/2020 9:07 AM

OK, so yeah I think Ready is onto something. If it is a loose bearing set up there should be the cone nut that presses up against the bearings and keeps them in place and then a lock nut on the outside of that. The lock nuts have to be snugged up against the cone nut by using two wrenches to get them real tight and not move. I'm not sure if that's what you got but that might be the issue from what it sounds like. Pics would help everyone help you figure it out.

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Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus. Insta: SilentNightSun

7/8/2020 2:53 PM

Loose ball parts suck. They always have, and they always will. 1pc cranks, threaded headsets. All of them used to drive me absolutely nuts as a kid. I spent more time tightening up bearings than I did riding.

That was all pleasantly forgotten during the 90s, when they replaced all that shit. I can't believe someone would still make a wheel without sealed bearings. I mean yeah, might save £8 per bike, but I would rather pay that £8.

They should be banned like the rest of the shit from the 80s. I'll never forget when I got my Peregrine Super Pro in 1997 and being able to ride for months without having to piss around with my wheels. It really was a revelation.

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7/8/2020 4:14 PM

yep just get a sealed bearing front wheel

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7/8/2020 6:21 PM

If they're continuously loosening up like that, something is definitely damaged in the hub. You said you took it to a mechanic, but did they take the bearings out and inspect the ball bearings and the bearing seats? Something has to be worn out or even missing a bearing(s) or maybe the axle is bent. Fork dropouts could be bent too.

If they tightened everything properly, it should stay tight. Unsealed hubs are definitely not as good as sealed hubs, but if you maintain them they'll last a good while (minus axles bending from grinding, anyway) They should be making sure one side of the locknuts is tight by using a cone wrench & an adjustable wrench (that's what I use at the shop here, but some shops might use 2 cone wrenches. I use a cone and adjustable cause it works better for me) by jamming them together holding the inner nut with the cone wrench and tightening the outer nut against it.

Then for the other side, this is where they adjust the bearings making sure they spin, but aren't too tight or too loose. Snug them up against each other but don't make them real tight yet. Spin it and see how it feels: If it feels too loose, get the inner nut a bit tighter. If it feels too tight, get it a bit looser. You want it to spin as best as possible without feeling notchy or having any play (wobble feeling when you move the axle side to side or up & down) then tighten them again by jamming them together once the hub is adjusted.


If the mechanic is not doing that, either find a better shop or do it yourself. If he is and the issue persists, I'm betting internal hub damage. Or if you mean your axle nuts that secure the wheel to the fork aren't staying tight, they could be stripped, or you need washers in between the nuts and the fork. There's a lot of factors there I can't say for sure without seeing the bike in front of me

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7/8/2020 6:36 PM

ACBMX wrote:

Loose ball parts suck. They always have, and they always will. 1pc cranks, threaded headsets. All of them used to drive me ...more

I'm calling BS..

I grew up in the 70s through 80s, I never had a single issue, and we rode the shit out of our bikes..

I now have several bikes, at least a dozen over 50 years old, a couple almost 80 years old. Not one issue..

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7/8/2020 6:41 PM

sundaybmxRR wrote:

If they're continuously loosening up like that, something is definitely damaged in the hub. You said you took it to a ...more

Great instructional post ^

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7/9/2020 12:12 AM

ACBMX wrote:

Loose ball parts suck. They always have, and they always will. 1pc cranks, threaded headsets. All of them used to drive me ...more

Black Swamp Ghost wrote:

I'm calling BS..

I grew up in the 70s through 80s, I never had a single issue, and we rode the shit out of our bikes..

I now ...more

I've realised one of my washer's hook has snapped off and the other washer's hook has bent. I'm being serious, I think it has everything to do with the cone and lock nuts which are loose.

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Control of my bars helps me feel in control of my life.

7/9/2020 12:13 AM

gun32gtr wrote:

yep just get a sealed bearing front wheel

I bought one.

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Control of my bars helps me feel in control of my life.

7/9/2020 12:16 AM

sundaybmxRR wrote:

If they're continuously loosening up like that, something is definitely damaged in the hub. You said you took it to a ...more

Thanks man this is really helpful, I'll speak to a mechanic. I have a bud that is a bike mechanic and he checked my front wheel about 3 weeks ago concluding that everything is OK. He just recommended that I keep an eye on the locknut to make sure it's snug.

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Control of my bars helps me feel in control of my life.

7/9/2020 12:18 AM

I'm going to go riding tomorrow morning with snug locknuts and se eif everything is OK if not I'm going to post pictures of my whole front will in high quality, maybe some videos for you guys who've been really helpful thank a lot! P.s. Are washers necessary for the front wheel to be tight, as I stated above mine have bent and snapped, they don't appear to be a necessary item? Thanks so much

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Control of my bars helps me feel in control of my life.

7/9/2020 2:50 PM

ACBMX wrote:

Loose ball parts suck. They always have, and they always will. 1pc cranks, threaded headsets. All of them used to drive me ...more

Black Swamp Ghost wrote:

I'm calling BS..

I grew up in the 70s through 80s, I never had a single issue, and we rode the shit out of our bikes..

I now ...more

Mad Mars wrote:

I've realised one of my washer's hook has snapped off and the other washer's hook has bent. I'm being serious, I think it has ...more

Those "hooks" on the washers are normally unnecessary, and perform no function whatsoever on a properly tightened wheel. They are only there to keep your wheel from falling off if for some reason they were not tightened up properly. They have nothing to do with the issue at hand, except in your past case they might have saved you a dentist bill.

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7/9/2020 3:08 PM

Black Swamp Ghost wrote:

Those "hooks" on the washers are normally unnecessary, and perform no function whatsoever on a properly tightened wheel. They ...more

This, they’re a useless gimmick.

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Scooter kid trying to ride a bike.
@scootereyn

7/9/2020 5:27 PM

Black Swamp Ghost wrote:

I'm calling BS..

I grew up in the 70s through 80s, I never had a single issue, and we rode the shit out of our bikes..

I now ...more

Mad Mars wrote:

I've realised one of my washer's hook has snapped off and the other washer's hook has bent. I'm being serious, I think it has ...more

Black Swamp Ghost wrote:

Those "hooks" on the washers are normally unnecessary, and perform no function whatsoever on a properly tightened wheel. They ...more

They are called lawyer washers lol. Due to all of the lawsuits resulting in kids with smashed in faces.

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7/9/2020 6:33 PM

Mad Mars wrote:

I've realised one of my washer's hook has snapped off and the other washer's hook has bent. I'm being serious, I think it has ...more

Black Swamp Ghost wrote:

Those "hooks" on the washers are normally unnecessary, and perform no function whatsoever on a properly tightened wheel. They ...more

ACBMX wrote:

They are called lawyer washers lol. Due to all of the lawsuits resulting in kids with smashed in faces.

Lol, makes sense, never heard them called that..👍

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7/10/2020 9:04 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/10/2020 9:06 AM

It would be a lot easier you could post pics Mad Mars. I'm with ghost on the loose bearing set up. Of course they're not as good but literally every bike I have besides my BMX bike has loose bearings and I very rarely have an issue with them. They sometimes can be a bit difficult to find that perfect spot and they do move sometimes a bit. But not to any wild degree. Like one bike I have I didn't notice the little bit of wobble on my front wheel and I gotta tighten it up but it's not even noticeable when I ride. I mean if it's wobbling all over the place to the point that you are feeling it, something is not right. Or basically if it's going from tight to wonky in 15 minutes, something's not right. You could have a stripped axle or one of the nuts. But typically they stay together pretty well. I ride bikes daily. Not all of mine get ridden daily but I ride pretty much every day, barring a snowstorm that is so deep I can get through it or health issues which thank God have not been prevalent over the last year. So, point being, I put miles on my bikes and I'm barely ever futzing with the loose bearing hubs. Usually it's a set it and forget it type thing.

That being said I'm not usually doing tricks on my exercise bikes. But I did use cheaper bikes to start off with tricks and I was not ever having to mess with the hubs. I was not hitting big airs or anything like that with them though. I guess if you're getting some massive airs or landing really hardly, maybe it could really push a lousy hub. I don't know.

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Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus. Insta: SilentNightSun

7/10/2020 9:20 AM

Fortyseven wrote:

It would be a lot easier you could post pics Mad Mars. I'm with ghost on the loose bearing set up. Of course they're not as ...more

Thank you for your thorough response. I received a brand new female front wheel. This problem is of the past. Thanks everyone.

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Control of my bars helps me feel in control of my life.

7/10/2020 9:21 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/10/2020 9:21 AM

Ji

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Control of my bars helps me feel in control of my life.

7/10/2020 9:23 AM

Completely replaced front wheel with a female. Ignore the Photo
Back tyre. Needs air.

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Control of my bars helps me feel in control of my life.

7/10/2020 9:26 AM

That's a great looking bike!!!! Maybe don't toss that other wheel away. You might want to keep it as a spare if you figure out what's wrong with it.

But yeah, great looking bike and glad you got a new front rim!!!!

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Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus. Insta: SilentNightSun

7/10/2020 9:37 AM

Fortyseven wrote:

That's a great looking bike!!!! Maybe don't toss that other wheel away. You might want to keep it as a spare if you figure out ...more

Thank you for your encouragement man, your posts were helpful! Here's that dammed back wheel (United 🤒🤒) in my storage as you recommended. *grunt** Photo
Grunt...

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Control of my bars helps me feel in control of my life.

7/11/2020 6:42 AM

Mad Mars wrote:

I've realised one of my washer's hook has snapped off and the other washer's hook has bent. I'm being serious, I think it has ...more

Black Swamp Ghost wrote:

Those "hooks" on the washers are normally unnecessary, and perform no function whatsoever on a properly tightened wheel. They ...more

readybmxer wrote:

This, they’re a useless gimmick.

You know, there was a time when I first started riding, they helped. Mostly because my front wheel was not the best but I was hoping around and I noticed my wheel had become loose. When I checked it, I was literally being held on by those hook washers...lol

They are no longer necessary since I check my bike more often now but it helped that one time I was negligent about tightening up my wheel before riding that day.

The threads and hardware were so soft on that complete. I remember REALLY snugging it down after that and it felt like it started loosening the "tighter" I got it. Indication of collapsing threads

Nothing worse than a soft shaft and 2 nuts that wont fo their job...

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7/11/2020 8:21 AM

Black Swamp Ghost wrote:

I'm calling BS..

I grew up in the 70s through 80s, I never had a single issue, and we rode the shit out of our bikes..

I now ...more

I'd say you're few and far between.

when i was 12 or so , sure bikes were fine.


but when I actually started to gain bike control and could progress my riding.. The bikes were holding us back.

1 piece cranks bent on the first day and DIDN'T break if you got lucky.
frames broke. we used to joke that GT stood for Gone Tomorrow. Most of us had frames welded back together by someones dad or the metal shop teacher at some point.
loose ball bearings would eventually wallow out the bearing seat.
fuck mag wheels
quill stems were never really tight as they only clamp in one area, down the steer tube.
and don't get me started on shit ass head set cups.

Glad you did not have the same experience that me and my friends had.

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7/11/2020 8:28 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/11/2020 10:12 AM

Mad Mars wrote:

I've realised one of my washer's hook has snapped off and the other washer's hook has bent. I'm being serious, I think it has ...more

Black Swamp Ghost wrote:

Those "hooks" on the washers are normally unnecessary, and perform no function whatsoever on a properly tightened wheel. They ...more

readybmxer wrote:

This, they’re a useless gimmick.

lol.

not useless at all. They were, as mentioned, designed to limit lawsuits from people that didn't know how adjust bikes.

Think about how many lawsuits had to happen before they came up with this washer system?

Last time I was in a Target, the bikes had stickers on the forks say, "forward" so the kids putting the bikes together knew what way to put the fork / stem on the bike. smile

I think today many of those forks are uni directional to prevent that issue.

Those are for the bikes and riders and builders (using that term loosely of course) that those washers were invented for. To stop lawsuits...

But yea, useless to anyone that knows how to work on a bike.. smile

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