I am experiencing a weird mass distribution on my front wheel. It feels like the front wheel is loose somehow, because if i tilt my bike slightly it will feel like the front wheel leans to the other side. This goes for both directions.

THe wheel is not wobbling/jumping when driving fast.. It just feels like i can distribute more mass to one side.

Do you know what could cause this?

  • 2
    Hold the front brake on and rock the bike back & forth and side to side see if anything feels loose. Also, with the front brake off hold the rim and see if it moves side to side. The movement may feel like a click or clunk. Update your question with the results. – KeithWM Nov 3 '18 at 9:37
  • What do you mean by the wheel "leaning"? Do you mean that the whole wheel/fork/handlebar assembly is turning around the steering axis? (This is normal.) Or is the wheel tilting relative to the forks (i.e., the top of the wheel becomes closer to one fork than the other)? Or something else? – David Richerby Nov 3 '18 at 10:25
  • Yes, check for a loose wheel bearing, and also for a loose headset bearing. – Daniel R Hicks Nov 3 '18 at 11:45

If by "lean" you mean that the plane of the wheel is shifting so that the top of the wheel becomes closer to one fork than the other, then it sounds like your wheel bearings are worn or loose. You can test this by holding the top of the wheel and trying to move it from side to side between the forks – if the bearings are in good condition, the wheel won't move in that direction.

If it is the bearings, the bike will seem to ride fine, which is consistent with your experience. However, the damage will be getting worse, which will eventually require complete replacement (which probably means a new wheel, in practical terms). You should get them fixed as soon as is convenient – it's not urgent but leaving it longer will make it more likely that they need replacement rather than adjustment. You'll probably need to get a bike shop to do the work, as it's probably not worth your while to buy the appropriate tools and learn how to use them.

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This is how bicycle steering works. The effect of called wheel flop and it disappears when you go over walking speed. The reason is the steering axis is not completely vertical, which puts the front wheel forward away from your feet.

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  • I don't think this is what the question describes. If you lean the bike to the right, the front wheel will turn to the right. But the question talks about it leaning to the left. – David Richerby Nov 3 '18 at 10:20
  • I think the question as written does not even mention left or right – ojs Nov 3 '18 at 10:53
  • Sure. But it talks about leaning the bike one way and the wheel "leaning" the other, so I picked left and right as examples. – David Richerby Nov 3 '18 at 11:22

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