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Today my front wheel got flat. I took it for repair and when I went back home cycling it was very hard. It felt so heavy and that was not normal for speed 4, when I changed down to speed 3, 2, 1 it was also spinning slowly and feeling so heavy. I stopped the bike and spun both wheels, the front new wheel was spinning very slowly; almost not moving and the back older wheel was spinning fine and fast, so I realised there was a problem with the new wheel. I would like to know what the technician did wrong? How can it be fixed?

I want to know because when I go back to the bike shop I wish to be aware of what has happened so he doesn't fool me.

  • Hi, welcome to bicycles! Can you post a picture of your bike, particularly the front wheel? Or at least tell us what kind of bike it is, what kind of brakes it has, etc. – DavidW Jul 30 at 22:32
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    Did they solve your puncture by installing a new wheel? This definitely needs a few photos around the front wheel and brake area to say anything for sure. – Swifty Jul 31 at 7:21
  • Do consider taking the time to learn how to patch punctures yourself. Its not hard, and its a lot cheaper. Even if you install brand new tubes every time, doing it yourself will be cheaper. – Criggie Aug 1 at 9:52
  • Even better than learning to patch tubes, is to use a seriously puncture proof tire. Costs a bit more, but it'll definitely amortize very quickly with all the saved patching costs at your LBS. – cmaster Aug 3 at 19:45
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The most likely problem is that the brakes are rubbing. If you pick up the front of the bike, hold your head near the brakes and spin the wheel you shouldn't hear any noise from the brakes. If you do, then the brakes are rubbing and that's the first problem to be fixed. To be honest, I'd guess that's 99% likely to be your problem.

If you have fenders, and the new tire is larger in size than the old one, then there may not be enough clearance for it; that can also be detected by listening for rubbing sounds.

If the brakes are fine and nothing else is rubbing, pop the wheel off the bike and try spinning the axle; if it doesn't spin freely then that means there's too much pressure on the bearings. (Note this is really unlikely if the shop only changed the tire.)

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    The brakes could be rubbing because they are adjusted badly, or because the wheel isn't in straight. Worth checking the wheel is in the bike properly first of all – Swifty Jul 31 at 7:22
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Additional things worth checking;

  • Wheel is in the bike straight and secure
  • Brake cables are seated properly
  • Brake caliper is securely fitted and aligned well
  • Brake pads aren't touching the rim, or the tyre
  • Wheel bearings are rolling freely
  • Wheel rim width could be larger than the old wheel (if it was replaced) causing it to touch the brake pads set up for the old rim
  • Tyre isn't touching any fender or part of the frame
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Please remove the wheel from your bicycle (Quick release or bolts) and check for resistance moving the axle on it's own. A common axle construction features cone nuts, and lock nuts both inside the arms of your fork.

I've often observed that if the lock nut is not snug against the cone nut, they relative tightness can change just removing the wheel for any purpose, such as the flat tire service that you described. A properly tightened set of cone and lock nuts should move smoothly, yet have almost no play. You don't want them so tight that your bearings are wearing down excessively, just to make room to move. You don't want them loose enough to wobble or permit dirt and moisture into the bearing areas.

The lock nut is secured against the cone nut, once on each side of your hub. Once you have verified your axle bearing is moving well, replace the wheel onto your fork. It should be seated fully and centered (between the fork and the brake components).

This link provides a good how-to resource on adjusting the cone and lock nuts.

This page provides a decent photo pointing out the parts mentioned here. Your front wheel will probably have no spacers. Those are used on the rear axle.

I acknowledge prior contributors mentioned the bearings, but I felt a little more should be said addressing them.

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