I recently moved cities and met someone to buy a used "vintage" bike from them. While test riding at a slow speed I gradually applied the brakes. The front brake seemed to jump from light pressure to completely locking the front wheel at once and threw me over the top promptly!
My first thought was that the front wheel was out of true - causing the brake to apply harder as the other side of the wheel came around. However, the wheel was mostly straight.
Eventually I discovered that when braking, the frame and fork were flexing enough to cause the downtube to contact the front wheel. This contact caused the downtube to completely seize the front wheel instantly.
Has anyone else encountered this before? What fix would you even go about to stop the downtube from striking the front tire? I searched online and didn't find similar stories - so perhaps this super dangerous maintenance issues is rather uncommon?
- Shogun Selectra - old frame, probably from the 90's
- 62cm frame
- 700c wheels
- Rubino 28mm tires (seller said previous owner had 32mm tires) I didn't get the exact rim measurements. Tires seamed an average height for modern road tires
- wheels mostly true
- plenty of clearance for the tires in the fork (next time I'll have to check the downtube too)
edit - photos from comment
The frame paint was indeed worn away at the contact point between the front tyre and downtube - though looked like erosion over a long period of rubbing.