I'm a bit at my wits' end (not that I know that much about bikes). I used an old Gazelle Formula Randonneur frame and switched out most of the parts. However, after some time of (rather light) driving, the wheel always comes lose and starts jamming.

Either the wheel isn't centered anymore and rubs on the frame where you can see "FORMULA RANDONNEUR" written.

wheel rubs on frame

Or it rubs b/w the cassette and the frame:

friction b/w cassette and frame

The only way I can prevent the wheels hinge from being too loose, is to tightening it down so hard that the wheel won't move :)

I went to a bike shop near but they only told me to simply readjust the wheel. While I am able to do that, I don't want to do it on a weekly basis or in the middle of the night. As far as they were concerned "this wasn't broken" -- but this can't be the solution to the problem, I hope.

I also found Rear wheel won't move or keeps falling off but I don't know how well this translates from a disk brake bike to mine.

Do you have any suggestions?

Some more pictures

non-cassette dropout cassette dropout QR skewer

  • Clarify please - are you trying to mount the wheel in the position in the photo? Or badk up the dropout slot where the worn paint is ? In the photographed position there is not enough support for the nut.
    – Criggie
    Apr 20, 2021 at 0:17
  • (Speaking from a postion of complete ignorance)... shouldn't there be a couple of washers here?
    – Strawberry
    Apr 20, 2021 at 10:51
  • "getting lose" This word doesn't exist in this way. But telling from the pictures you provided, you obviously mean "getting lost". ;-) Apr 20, 2021 at 11:33
  • @Criggie where the worn paint is, in the photograph the wheel travelled away from the spot due to me not being careful while disassembling the skewer
    – ljrk
    Apr 20, 2021 at 14:21
  • @rexkogitans I meant "getting loose" or "loosening" but I forgot an 'o' :)
    – ljrk
    Apr 20, 2021 at 14:21

5 Answers 5


It's some combination of:

  • QR springs not pointing the right direction. Try removing them completely while working on this, which can also help with the next thing.
  • Relatively thin steel dropouts not playing nice with this combination of QR skewer and axle ends. If the axle ends are poking through the dropouts and touching the QR nut or cam, or doing so as the whole thing presses together, it won't clamp right. This can happen sometimes putting new hubs and QRs on old steel frames. Solve by using a more traditional kind of QR, i.e. a steel internal cam one, and measuring to corrobrate you are well away from this being able to happen. Taking away the springs completely can sometimes be the quick fix to this problem.
  • Cam surfaces on the QR need lubrication. Put a drop of oil on the barrel that the lever pivots around.
  • The QR has some worn parts not seen in the photo, like the plastic bushing part.
  • You're undertightening the QR. Lubrication can help with this, or not, since external cam QRs are basically bad.
  • If your dropout alignment is wrong, for example by way of putting a 130 or 135 wheel in a narrower rear end, the QR is now needing to flex the dropouts back into being parallel before clamping happens. This can cause or add to the problem.
  • You've got horizontal dropouts and the external cam QR isn't providing enough holding force.
  • Thank you for the elaborate answer! I think the springs are pointing right, but the one closer to the cam doesn't move along the barrel, but I think this is intentional? The axle ends are not poking through the dropouts (I added some new photos), but mby a traditional internal QR would be a good idea anyway. The QR is new, thus probably not worn, but very cheap. I will lube it and try to find a replacement either way. The dropout alignment is not perfect, I think, but it did work before. It's something I will look into however!
    – ljrk
    Apr 19, 2021 at 18:28
  • 1
    @ljrk I couldn't tell before that you have horizontal dropouts. Using an external cam QR on them is likely the entire problem. This issue tends to result. Apr 19, 2021 at 18:48
  • I see! I'd never have thought of that being so crucial. I will get one and test & report back! TYVM!
    – ljrk
    Apr 19, 2021 at 18:50
  • 1
    @ljrk All QR skewers affect the hub adjustment on most hubs, so you need to have your bearings adjusted to accomodate for them so you don't get binding like that. It shouldn't be able to make it bind no matter how hard you have the QR fastened; that it can do that means you should adjust the hub. Apr 19, 2021 at 19:12
  • 2
    To flip @NathanKnutson's last point on its head - if you're having to leave the QR a little loose to avoid the hub seizing, it's too loose to be secure in horizontal dropouts
    – Chris H
    Apr 20, 2021 at 14:35

Check the serrated underside of the acorn nuts; the two surfaces on the QR that press on the outside of the frame.

I've seen one where the ridges were smoothed off and didn't bite into the frame, so a good push on the pedal could drag the drive-side forward and make the rear wheel bind on the left chainstay.

The first fix would have been a replacement skewer nut, but the cheaper solution was to use a small triangular hand file to deepen the grooves on the acorn nut. Doing it by hand took a while, but the sharp 60 degree corner made for some good ridges. The wheel has stayed in place properly for years now.

  • 1
    By recommendation of @nathan-knutson I'm getting a skewer with internal cam anyway, but this is sth I didn't think of. Although the skewer is new, the material is rather cheap and that could be part of the issue.
    – ljrk
    Apr 20, 2021 at 14:25

The only way I can prevent the wheel from getting lose is to tightening it down so hard that the wheel won't move :)

Sounds to me like you have to adjust the bearing play (assuming the rear hub allows you to adjust bearing play). The quick release axle compresses the hub which slightly tightens the bearings. This means the hub should have some play when the QR is open. When the QR is closed the wheel should still spin freely but have no play. It can be tricky to get right.

  • Thanks for the suggestion, this is a bit more difficult for me to fix so I'll first try @nathan-knutson 's suggestions, but it's definitely something I will keep in mind!
    – ljrk
    Apr 19, 2021 at 18:48

Rubbing on the cassette side shouldn't ever happen. Looking at the second picture it seems the locknut isn't sticking out far enough to touch the frame before the cassette does. When you take off the wheel and QR skewer, the locknut is the outermost nut with radial notches that touches your frame. This could have gone wrong when the axle was set up on the (assuming it's new) wheel.

This can be fixed by putting a larger spacer between the bearing cone and the locknut on the cassette side. That may make your wheel off-center within the frame, but I expect it already is off-center to the right. Adding a spacer on the right cone and removing a similar space from the left will move the wheel toward the left without changing the space between the dropouts and the locknuts. It's tricky to get the spacing on axles right, but with trial and error (and a variety of spacer sizes) you can see where the problems are and fix them. You'll need the right size cone wrench for the cones and locknuts. Lay down a towel to catch the bearings when you take apart an axle. If you see sparkles in the grease, your bearings are doomed and should be replaced. Park Tools has a decent tutorial about hub overhaul with pictures that explain better than I can.

  • Good catch, looks like there is a spacer missing? The smallest sprocket and lockring look awfully close to the frame.
    – Michael
    Apr 20, 2021 at 7:41
  • Or maybe a superfluous spacer has been added to the cassette?
    – Michael
    Apr 20, 2021 at 7:58
  • Sure - an extra spacer, or wrong-sized spacers, on the cassette could cause this, but that seems like a weird problem to have. Could also be that the lockring isn't tightened down all the way. @ljrk was the wheel purchased new/complete, or did you assemble the hub yourself? Does it shift well, or does it skip sprockets or jump out of gear?
    – Rich Moss
    Apr 20, 2021 at 16:59
  • Also, the dropout adjustment screws are backwards. They should be adjustable from the rear of the bike.
    – Rich Moss
    Apr 20, 2021 at 17:05

Looking at the position of your axle in the dropout, I think another link or two in the chain will help. It will move the axle so the QR can get a good grip. The other answers are good too.

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