When using a freewheel'd hub is it normal for the drive side of the axle to flex a little bit?

I replaced the kickstand on my bike and the new one sits closer to the rear tire with about 2 mm clearance. However, since I did this I picked up a squeak/rub, but only when I'm applying power. I back off the power or coast and the squeak goes away. Upon closer inspection I have found that the tire is rubbing in spots, but with very little force.

This is the same setup in another question of mine where I was having axle troubles (Reoccurring Bent Axles, any reasons or upgrades?). I have replaced said axle with a stronger one (so the LBS told me) close to the same time, and so far, no other major issues. The wheel is true, but tire does have a spot or 2 where it is out of line. I have checked for play in the bearings, but none is there.

Given that it only rubs though when applying power and it doesn't at all when on the stand then I'm lead to believe that the driving forces is causing the drive side of the wheel to move forward and causing my issue. Am I right here and is it normal? If it is normal, is such a flex going to be a bent axle later?

  • 2
    Frames flex under load as well. Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 18:02
  • So if you remove the kickstand, the problem goes away?
    – Batman
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 18:11
  • @Batman Yes, but it is the only thing that comes that close to the tire. It is a folding double leg stand so it is probably bigger than usual. the tire is 26x1.75. Taking the stand off isn't going to help. I'm well attached to it and the past few weeks without have been a real pain.
    – BPugh
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 18:42
  • Kickstands are classically a problem for tire rubbing, in large part because they tend to rotate on the mounting bolt. And as Alan says, frames flex under load too (as do wheels). Without observing it closely it would be hard to guess what component is flexing. Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 21:03
  • 1
    2 mm clearance is very little. It could be pretty much anything at that low clearance, especially if you're not featherlight.
    – Batman
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 22:50

2 Answers 2


As @Batman says, 2mm is VERY little clearance on a bike. It is more likely to be the frame flexing (more so the chain and seat stays) causing the tyre to move around a bit. I would see if there is a way to mount the stand a little further forward on its bracket. You want to create as much distance as you can between your stand and the tyre as possible.

Video example of a frame flexing to show what is meant by flex


In my case this problem is because the wheel is out of true and the axle is bent. For some reason it wasn't taking long for me to put a slight bend in the axle and so I have to adjust its orientation when installing the wheel. As a side note, I did take a file to the kickstand and gave the tire some more wiggle room.

Dan's answer above really answers this question better, this answer is to document my findings and fixing it.

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