This is regarding Fulcrom Race 418 DB as delivered originally on a Bianchi XR3. Probably used for 5-6000 km.

Last week, I went to Belgium for some cobblestone riding in terrible weather. Returning home with the front wheel taken off. When putting things together, I faced problems.

First, a lot of noise from the brakes. Checked, and the pads were all gone. Also, the pistons not retracting all the way. Got them pushed back in and installed new pads.

Now, the wheel is not spinning freely when the thru-axle is tightened.

What I have tested:

  1. Brake pads removed completely, and still the same problem. Not caused by brake pad rub.
  2. Used the axle from my gravel bike, same problem. x) Did not test with my gravel front wheel, as the tire is too wide and I don't want to do all the tubeless install again..
  3. Spinning it in the fork with the axel only slightly fixed. The spinning is OK.

As I have read up, this could be caused by pressure on the bearings. Could this come from riding in rain and a bit of muddy roads?

Do I have any options to adjust this without taking them for a service? From videos, it seems like I will need some special tools for demounting, and it's not even clear to me what exactly I should look for when taking it apart..

  • 1
    Does any noise come from the hub while it is spinning? May 17, 2023 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


It's a bit hard to answer without being there, and your best recourse may be to take the bike in.


As I have read up, this could be caused by pressure on the bearings. Could this come from riding in rain and a bit of muddy roads?

By pressure on the bearings, you might mean excessive preload - in this context, how tightly the wheel is getting squeezed by the thru axle or the quick release. A further discussion is at the link. But imagine you took your QR and really tightened it, or you tightened a cup and cone hub. If you tried to rotate the axle with the wheel off the bike, you'd probably feel like the bearings were notchy, as if the axle wanted to index (like a shifter). If you mounted the wheel, you'd damage the bearings.

With a thru axle system, I don't think there is a way to excessively preload the wheel. Also, I think you should notice that the axle feels notchy way before you couldn't turn the wheel, and it's also not clear how the preload would have been adjusted if all you did was a wet ride and drive home. You can try turning the wheel axle while it's off the bike entirely just to check - the bearings should turn smoothly. Anyway, if it is some sort of preload issue, then I would take it in to a store. I think your Fulcrums use cartridge bearings, and with most cartridge bearing systems, there's not an easy way for a user to adjust the preload.

What do you mean by the front wheel not turning smoothly? Is it rubbing against something part of the frame? When you look at the brake rotor, is it rubbing against the pads in the caliper?

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