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I have a Civia Bryant which I ride around the city and to work everyday. Yesterday, while walking the bike into my apartment building, I noticed that there were noises coming from the front wheel. Later, when I was able to take a closer look, I noticed that the disc brake rotor was making contact with the brakes and that the tire was touching the fender too. I removed the wheel and tried to put it back while making sure it was aligned properly, but as soon as I tighten the skewer, it becomes misaligned again.

I haven't taken any spills nor has the bike gone through something that could explain this. I do ride in NYC streets everyday and when in traffic cannot avoid all potholes, but that's it.

Does anyone have any idea about what the cause of this could be and how to go about fixing it?

Thanks in Advance.

Edit: I should point out that I changed the quick-release skewer that came with the bike for a locking skewer. It is when tightening the hex nut for this skewer that the wheel becomes misaligned.

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Is the contact constant or periodic as the wheel turns? I ask because broken spokes can be easy to miss. –  amcnabb Jul 22 '12 at 2:42
    
Interesting, I didn't think about that. The contact was constant. I'm still unsure about what the actual cause was, but following the advice by Ken fixed it. I think it might have been a combination of debris in between the the brake pads and/or the dropouts, and a misaligned fender. –  AFranco Jul 22 '12 at 5:23
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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You may have overtightened things...you can do this with a quick-release, but easier when you apply a tool to the process. This can cause the alignment to go a bit wonky. This is actually the less likely thing...I mention it first as folks have a tendency to over-tighten things when they take them off and on a time or two and I'm about to ask you to remove the wheel!

My initial guess is that you didn't get the axle seated correctly in the fork. This could be caused by a bit of gravel or dirt or just the angle the bike was leaning. Take off the wheel and make sure everything is clean. While you are there, look for any damage to the end of the fork. If one side is a little twisted, you may have a fork issue but from your narrative you haven't had any crashes so probably not.

Once satisfied all is clean and undamaged, put the wheel on and "jiggle" it to make sure it seats well. Hand tighten the skewer and see if the wheel turns smoothly. You may have already bent your disc from earlier, so keep that in mind...if you are mechanically inclined and your disc is bent, you can straighten with a crescent wrench tightened so it just slides over the disc.

Tighten the skewer a bit more, make sure all is good, then tighten down...ideally with a torque wrench but realistically a "firm without cranking it down" tighten.

If it still gives you trouble, stop by your LBS and ask them to help you troubleshoot it. Many will give you a hand for free (or a couple bucks). Bigger stores less so.

Happy Riding.

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Thank you for your detailed answer! I followed the steps you outlined to the letter. Thankfully, the fork dropouts where intact. There was some dirt in there, so I made sure to clean the area. I also removed the skewers and made sure they were Ok. The rotor seemed to be Ok too, so I removed the fender to take it out of the equation. I put the wheel back on sans fender making sure to follow your tightening advice and voilà! Everything was smooth again! –  AFranco Jul 22 '12 at 2:51
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