Wobbling Rohloff rear wheel in Africa

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
takeonafrica
Posts: 216
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 7:57pm
Contact:

Wobbling Rohloff rear wheel in Africa

Postby takeonafrica » 11 Aug 2010, 7:08pm

Hello again - I have another thing I need to fix with my bike... but first I need to figure out the problem - can you help?

Over the last few days I've noticed the rear wheel wobbling rather a lot. I don't mean that it needs truing, the wheel itself seems ok. But when I fix it in the frame and hold it by the tyre, it wobbles sideways - it's as if I've not done up the quick release but I definitely have. I can feel it wobbling when I cycle too.
Sorry this is a bit vague - I'm not sure quite how to explain it.

Any ideas? and how to fix it?

I'm in a large town at the moment so this is the best chance I have of sorting out before heading to the Congo, where I really don't want it to turn into a serious problem.

Thanks for any help. Everyone here has been great with advice in the past I'm hoping for a little more!

Helen
ps if you know of a bike repair place in Yaounde, please let me know!
http://www.helenstakeon.com
Books: Desert Snow and A Siberian Winter's Tale

takeonafrica
Posts: 216
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 7:57pm
Contact:

Re: Wobbling rear wheel

Postby takeonafrica » 11 Aug 2010, 7:19pm

Oh forgot - it's a rohloff bike if that makes a difference...
(sorry, I'm rubbish with maintenance)
http://www.helenstakeon.com
Books: Desert Snow and A Siberian Winter's Tale

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Wobbling rear wheel

Postby thirdcrank » 11 Aug 2010, 7:24pm

If it's wobbling enough to be noticeable when you are riding, that sounds mighty loose. Take the back wheel out. It might just be loose cones although, if you have ridden far like that, they may be damaged by now. It could be that the axle has broken and everything is just being held together by the q/r. If so, you will soon find out when you remove the wheel.

rualexander
Posts: 2360
Joined: 2 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Contact:

Re: Wobbling rear wheel

Postby rualexander » 11 Aug 2010, 7:55pm

thirdcrank wrote:If it's wobbling enough to be noticeable when you are riding, that sounds mighty loose. Take the back wheel out. It might just be loose cones although, if you have ridden far like that, they may be damaged by now. It could be that the axle has broken and everything is just being held together by the q/r. If so, you will soon find out when you remove the wheel.

It's a Rohloff hub so it doesn't have cones and doesn't have a regular axle either. I can't think what could be causing this, when you have it fitted in the frame can you see where the wobble is originating? Sounds like it may be some kind of bearing wear though.
Did you get the sprocket removed when you were having the problem with the chain? If so, something may have been damaged in the process of removing/replacing the sprocket?
Otherwise, might be best to contact someone at St John St Cycles for advice, or even the folk at Rohloff.
I assume you've also posted this on the Thorn forum.

takeonafrica
Posts: 216
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 7:57pm
Contact:

Re: Wobbling rear wheel

Postby takeonafrica » 12 Aug 2010, 9:50am

Thanks for the replies.
I've not yet changed the sprocket - I picked up the parts and tools yesterday and am after this internet session off to track down a mechanic with a vice and wrench to do the job.

I've now taken off the wheel and the looseness is originating on the side opposite the sprocket - the black part (axle?, with the axle ring assembly in) within the silver hub casing moves about a bit.
http://www.helenstakeon.com
Books: Desert Snow and A Siberian Winter's Tale

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Wobbling rear wheel

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Aug 2010, 10:06am

In spite of my lack of knowledge of the intimate details of the innards of a Rohloff hub, the fact remains that if the wheel is so loose, even when it's tightly clamped in the frame, that you can feel it wobbling when you are riding, something quite serious is either going wrong or has done so. I.e. either something is very loose or it has already broken. Assuming the q/r referred to goes right through the axle, that can hold everything together after a fashion for some time - it's happened to me with a conventional hub. As rualexander suggests - time for specialist advice. A Rohloff hub is a sophisticated bit of equipment costing more than plenty of bikes. Protect your investment.

User avatar
Penfold
Posts: 223
Joined: 30 Jan 2007, 3:07pm
Location: Black Country in the heart of England (Gods country)
Contact:

Re: Wobbling rear wheel

Postby Penfold » 12 Aug 2010, 5:46pm

Here is the best bit of advice (IMHO) :idea:

Dont fanny about with it at all....

Take it to your local bike shop and let a trained mechanic sort it out. Better spend a few quid on a repair than feck up a Rohloff hub by blindly having a play :roll:

Go on, you know it makes sense

Graham
I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything,
I still believe that people are really good at heart.
- Anne Frank

There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England.
- Winston Churchill

rualexander
Posts: 2360
Joined: 2 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Contact:

Re: Wobbling rear wheel

Postby rualexander » 12 Aug 2010, 6:23pm

Penfold wrote:Here is the best bit of advice (IMHO) :idea:

Dont fanny about with it at all....

Take it to your local bike shop and let a trained mechanic sort it out. Better spend a few quid on a repair than feck up a Rohloff hub by blindly having a play :roll:

Go on, you know it makes sense

Graham


Problem is Penfold old chap, takeonafrica is in Yaounde in the Cameroon where Rohloff trained mechanics (or any bike mechanics for that matter) are a bit thin on the ground.
You're not related to Nutsey by any chance, are you?

rualexander
Posts: 2360
Joined: 2 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Contact:

Re: Wobbling rear wheel

Postby rualexander » 12 Aug 2010, 7:16pm

Helen,
If you read through this thread from singletrackworld, you will see that someone had what sounds the same as you have and he sent it back to Rohloff for replacement of worn bearings. What you need to find out first is how far you are likely to get riding with worn bearings and then decide if you need to send the wheel back to Rohloff for repair (not easy from where you are I expect, but the main international courier companies must have a reliable service from somewhere), you might have to wait around for a couple of weeks doing other stuff (no great problem on a trip like yours I guess?).

User avatar
Penfold
Posts: 223
Joined: 30 Jan 2007, 3:07pm
Location: Black Country in the heart of England (Gods country)
Contact:

Re: Wobbling rear wheel

Postby Penfold » 12 Aug 2010, 8:59pm

rualexander wrote:
Penfold wrote:Here is the best bit of advice (IMHO) :idea:

Dont fanny about with it at all....

Take it to your local bike shop and let a trained mechanic sort it out. Better spend a few quid on a repair than feck up a Rohloff hub by blindly having a play :roll:

Go on, you know it makes sense

Graham


Problem is Penfold old chap, takeonafrica is in Yaounde in the Cameroon where Rohloff trained mechanics (or any bike mechanics for that matter) are a bit thin on the ground.
You're not related to Nutsey by any chance, are you?


DOH !!!! Foot in mouth time again.... :oops: I never clocked the final line of the initial post.....2/10 see me after skoole :roll:
I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything,
I still believe that people are really good at heart.
- Anne Frank

There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England.
- Winston Churchill

takeonafrica
Posts: 216
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 7:57pm
Contact:

Re: Wobbling rear wheel

Postby takeonafrica » 13 Aug 2010, 11:21am

If only there was a Rohloff trained mechanic here!!
I've emailed SJS and Rohloff and they've both replied saying that they suspect worn hub cap bearings and that the wheel will need to be sent to them for repair. They did say that continuing cycling on it shouldn't do more damage though. But since I am heading to the Congo for 3months it might be better to get it repaired beforehand...

Would happily wait around a couple of weeks but I've got expiring visas meaning I need to be out of Cameroon and into DR Congo before long. So we've agreed that it'll be best to send the wheel from Kinshasa....

I did manage to find a regular bike mechanic and after a several failed attempts using the chain whipe and wrench, he managed to bash the worn sprocket off with a hammer!! the tried and trusted African way!
New sprocket and new chain now in place. At least I managed that.

New problem is that I can't turn the gear twist shifter. Hoping it's just due to solidified dirt and grime and with a good clean and degrease will move again. But if you have any other ideas??

Truly fed up with bike issues right now!
Helen
http://www.helenstakeon.com
Books: Desert Snow and A Siberian Winter's Tale

User avatar
julk
Posts: 732
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 8:17pm
Location: Dalkeith

Re: Wobbling rear wheel

Postby julk » 13 Aug 2010, 4:08pm

Helen,
If this problem happened suddenly then you may simply have the gears out of sync with the gripshift....

1. If you have an ex-box it may have been refitted out of sync with the gears.
Try undoing the thumbscrew and take the ex-box off leaving the hex peg visible.
Now try turning the grip shift - if it moves then the ex-box was put back on out of sync with the gearshift. Double check by turning the hex peg with a spanner, each slight movement is a gear change.

To fix an out of sync ex-box, turn the grip shift to gear 14, turn the hex peg (8mm spanner) as far anticlockwise as it will go and refit the ex-box back into place, it may need a slight wiggle of the gearshift to fit. You should now have 14 gears available from the grip shift.

2. If you have an internal gear change the cables may have been cross connected if for example you were in gear 8 at the time the wheel was worked on, note which gear the grip shift is in and disconnect the cable quick release connectors near the rear brake. Now try pulling the cables from the grip shift, not hub, and see if anything moves, try turning the grip shift. If they move easily then just try refitting them.

To fix turn the grip shift to gear 14. Pull the rearmost gear cable from the hub fully out (you will feel it change each gear) and attach it to the short cable with quick release connector furthest away from the brake stay at the brake.
Attach the shorter gear cable from the hub to the other quick release connector.

3. If the cables/gripshift won't move then the problem is in the grip shift and/or the cables attached to it and they will need cleaning/replacing as necessary.

4. If the hub is refusing to change gear, either via the ex-box hex peg with a spanner or via the internal cables being pulled by hand then there is a new problem in the hub.

Best of luck.
Julian.

rualexander
Posts: 2360
Joined: 2 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Contact:

Re: Wobbling rear wheel

Postby rualexander » 13 Aug 2010, 4:29pm

With regard to the twist shifter, first try disconnecting the cables at the bayonet connectors as if removing the wheel.

If the shifter is still stuck then it must be due to something bunging up the cables. Are you carrying spare inner cables? Try removing the old inner cables and cleaning them, the shifter should turn freely with the cables removed.
I asked about the spare cables because you may find it hard to refit the old cables through the outers if the end is not a neat cut after removing the bayonet connector, and if you have to cut the cables to give a neat clean cut end they may then be too short to then refit the bayonet connectors and still join up with the connector on the hub cables.

If after disconnecting the bayonet connectors, the shifter turns freely and moves the cables, then the problem must be at the hub end. Try pulling the hub cables with your hands, you should feel the gears changing in the hub and the cables will move, one up and one down. If the cables don't move, then the problem is either in the axle ring assembly or further inside the hub. The axle ring assembly is a reasonably easy part to replace if you have the part as a spare. It is also possible to just replace the cables in the axle ring assembly if they have broken, but I'm not sure if faults in the axle ring would give the symptom of stuck shifter or not.
Refer to the online manual : http://www.rohloff.de/en/download/descr ... html#c1453

Julk has got in while I was typing this and his theory may be most likely if the problem has occurred straight after you put everything back together following the sprocket replacement.

takeonafrica
Posts: 216
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 7:57pm
Contact:

Re: Wobbling Rohloff rear wheel in Africa

Postby takeonafrica » 13 Aug 2010, 7:02pm

you guys really are great!
The shifter is stuck even with the bayonet connectors dettached. So it's to do with the shifter end, not the hub.
I am going to clean it tomorrow as there's quite some dirt and what i suspect to be dried sweat around the shifter and see if that helps. otherwise I'll look more closely at the cables as you have suggested.
Too many beers to do it now, so a job for the morning.

Oh, and I can change the gear by pulling the internal cables by hand when the bayonet connectors are dettached, so the hub end I'm sure is fine.

Thanks again; really appreciate the help, especially from people who know what there talking about (plenty of helpful people here, but they have less of a clue than me! :) )

Helen
http://www.helenstakeon.com
Books: Desert Snow and A Siberian Winter's Tale

takeonafrica
Posts: 216
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 7:57pm
Contact:

Re: Wobbling Rohloff rear wheel in Africa

Postby takeonafrica » 14 Aug 2010, 9:40am

I've cleaned it to no avail.
Ages ago the screw on one of the cable stoppers came off and was lost. I solved the problem with tape and it's been fine. Anyway, I removed the tape to take a closer look and it seems as if the end of the cable has got wedged down inside the housing. Will have a go at pulling it free but not quite sure how as there's not much room to get hold of the end of the cable...
http://www.helenstakeon.com
Books: Desert Snow and A Siberian Winter's Tale