I've not really maintained a bike since I was young (loooong time ago) and just got one second hand but the rear wheel slips off on hard uphill rides?

Im sure its something simple so sorry if its a stupid question but the bolts are as tight as I can get them, is there something missing that I should be doing? Ive added some images if needed!

Thanks for any help :D

Rear Wheel Image 1Rear Wheel2

  • Can you elaborate on how the rear wheel falls off? Does the entire wheel release from the bike (come out of the dropouts)? Or are you talking about the chain falling off?
    – sevargdcg
    Sep 10, 2013 at 14:45
  • There should be ribbed washers on the inside the dropouts, with the ribs facing outward to grip the surface of the dropout (in addition to the nuts which should have a ribbed surface facing the dropout). If these are missing or seem "wimpy" see if a bike shop can supply something better. Sep 10, 2013 at 14:45
  • Thanks for your help, the full wheel itself is dropping off the frame....which part is the dropout?
    – Natalie
    Sep 10, 2013 at 17:05
  • The "dropout" is the slot in which the axle fits. Sep 11, 2013 at 1:02

1 Answer 1


As @ Daniel R Hicks has suggested you need the proper hardware. From the photo it appears you have conventional/automotive nuts. You need flanged nuts or oversized washers with a serrated face or both. The oversized washers are thicker and have a larger overall diameter but the correct size hole for the axle.The dropout is the slotted section of the frame that the axle slides into. You may have an issue with the condition of the dropouts. If the rust has pitted the frame enough, the hardware may be biting into the high spots resulting in insufficient grip by the nut. Clean the clamping area with some emery cloth, wire brush or a file then clamp the nut tight. The Park Tool BlueBook has a torque value of 22-33 footpounds as a guideline. To give you a comparison that is about 1/3 of what you would tighten a cars lugnut.

  • Thats great, and easy to follow thanks so much for your answer! :D
    – Natalie
    Sep 12, 2013 at 17:36

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