I repaired a puncture in the back wheel of my bicycle and had some trouble re-attaching the wheel to my bike. I finally did it but now the chain makes a terrible crunching noise when I pedal forward, apart from when I'm in the first gear. I don't know what I've done! Everything looks like it's been put back correctly.

Question: Help! What have I done wrong?

  • Probably there was a washer on the axle that you got on the wrong side of the "dropout" to which the axle attaches. This makes the gear cluster off-center relative to the derialer. If not that then perhaps the axle is simply not all the way seated in the dropout slots. Commented Jul 6, 2014 at 1:28
  • 5
    How about posting a photo?
    – PeteH
    Commented Jul 6, 2014 at 8:01
  • @PeteH Or better yet, a video.
    – jimchristie
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 22:15
  • @romo Its over a year ago now - did you fix this problem? If so, what was the cause?
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 10:56

2 Answers 2


I hope it's fixed by now! But if it's not, most likely the wheel is not seated correctly. Take it out, and make sure the derailleur is pushed back so the chain loops around the cassette from the top in a counter clockwise direction.

If in doubt, I'm sure you can find a youtube demonstration showing you how...


If you have a chain hanger braze onchain hanger

or a chain slap braze on, the chain may have been looped onto the wrong side. Reassembly got it onto the right side.

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