I just got a brand new bike and it came partially assembled in the box. I don't have a whole lot of experience when it comes to working on or building bikes but I managed to put it together. theres a major problem though. The front wheel gets caught in the brake pads and rubs against the metal part (fork?) its attached to.

I don't get it. I followed all the instructions and I bolted it on good. I adjusted the brakes and that seemed to help somewhat. it started spinning more without really getting stopped but then I noticed that the wheel wobbles a bit when it spins.

Do you know what the problem is? did I do something wrong? or is the bike wheel defective? What should I do? I would really like to avoid sending it back mainly because it would be a big hassle and plus, the box it came in is pretty much destroyed. can I somehow fix this on my own?

I was thinking of just bringing it to a bike shop but I'm pretty low on funds and I'm not sure how much something like this would cost to fix.

All help is greatly appreciated Thanks.

  • Fixing a wheel which 'wobbles' is not an easy or guaranteed task, at the LBS it is like $20 ish, but it may need to go back there at any time if it bends again. Fixing it yourself there are two options (usually), either buy a 'butterfly' spoke tightener and see this or similar, or take tyre and tube out and use screws in rim to tighten/loosen spokes. Best to check with supplier first and see if it can be replaced. Good luck.
    – W1ll1amvl
    Dec 10, 2014 at 19:55
  • I have trued a few wheels after watching pretty much every Youtube video on the matter and following Sheldon Browns guide, and I am very pleased with the result. However it takes a lot of time and I did buy a truing stand and several spoke wrenches (~100€ total). If it's a one time thing, the bike shop should be a lot cheaper and you know it's done right. If you like the thrill of "did I do everything right or will my wheel implode on the next ride", give it a go :)
    – linac
    Dec 11, 2014 at 15:23

2 Answers 2


The issue you are having is the wheel is "out of true". This is caused by uneven spoke tension. It can be adjusted, but it's easy to go wrong here and make it worse if you don't know what you're doing.

Most good bikes are bought from bike shops. This allows the shop to properly assemble and adjust the bike.

If you know someone who can do it (and possibly teach you) that would be your cheapest option. (six-pack of beer?). Otherwise, I recommend you take it to the bike shop.

If you do decide to do it yourself, you'll need a spoke wrench and a lot of patience. There are youtube videos that can show you how.

I still recommend a bike shop. Most bikes from stores are not properly assembled at all. Many times the bearings have not been greased. The "cheap" bike seldom is actually cheap.

  • 1
    Part of the cost of a bike from a proper shop is the work that went into properly assembling a rig. There is a lot of adjusting that usually needs to be done out of the box. Dec 10, 2014 at 17:45

New bikes at the very least require a full check and tune up out of the box. They also need to be "broken in" in many cases. New wheels can go out of true just from being ridden for the first time, one of my favourite things after building a new bike was to ride it around the shop and listen to all the spoke nipples make their "pinging" noises as they settled themselves into their spoke holes.

Bikes in boxes get banged around during shipping too, I've opened boxes and seen brand new bikes with their wheels completely taco'd because someone crushed it with a forklift during shipping. they also get banged around and dropped just from being handled. Building a bike out of the box is rarely a simple matter of "some assembly required," I worked in one shop that required a one hour bike build, the owner insisted every part have it's threads greased and be reinstalled, including the shift and brake cables.

Just because your bike is new doesn't mean it's going to be set up perfect.

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