I replaced my brake pads about a week ago and today I noticed that, when turning (or generally under lateral force), the rim touches one of the brake pads (depending on which way I'm turning.

I hadn't noticed it before but today was the first wet day so maybe the sound was louder because of this.

I don't notice myself slowing down at all, but don't really want to be unnecessarily wearing down my brakes.

The brakes aren't super close when released, maybe 2-3mm on each side.

I would expect a certain amount of flex in the wheel, but as I built the wheel myself I just wanted to check that this wasn't a problem with my build (though its already done 1000 miles probably so it cant be too bad!)

There would be room to widen the brakes slightly if this is all that might be required.

When stationary and holding the wheel and applying lateral force manually I can make the rim touch either brake pad without a great deal of effort.

Any input appreciated


  • Have you checked spoke tension with a tensiometer when you built the wheel?
    – arne
    May 27, 2014 at 10:01
  • No, I don't have a tensiometer. Compared to an existing wheel it seemed similar, maybe slightly tighter than the other wheel. May 27, 2014 at 10:12
  • 2
    Well, it's hard to judge how much "lateral force" you're applying, but certainly brakes could be adjusted close enough that this happens. If the bearings check out (zero "play" when you "rattle" the wheel back and forth) and you don't sense any drag then I wouldn't worry about it. May 27, 2014 at 11:21

1 Answer 1


You should check the wheel hubs. They may have too much free play. Take out the wheel and wiggle the axle. See Sheldon Brown's page here: http://sheldonbrown.com/cone-adjustment.html The new brake pads may be closer to the rims than the old ones so that the fault showed up.

  • I checked the hub and didn't see any movement. I've been riding since and haven't noticed the problem again either and I haven't adjusted the brakes. Maybe there there was something caught in the pad causing a noise that has since come loose... Jun 2, 2014 at 12:07
  • In my experience it's easier to detect bearing play by moving the wheel/hub body assembly with respect to the spindle/axle/frame as there is more lever arm. Jan 29, 2018 at 4:57

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