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trick to centering wheel with horizontal dropouts?(3 posts)

trick to centering wheel with horizontal dropouts?DaveG
Jun 4, 2002 3:25 PM
Is there a trick that simplifies centering a rear wheel while installing it with horizontal dropouts? I don't mean adjusting the dropout screws (I've done that), I mean actually getting the wheel accurately backed onto the dropout screws. My Torelli is the first bike I've owned with such dropouts. Maybe all's it takes it practice, but it takes a while the get the wheels properly installed/aligned. My current (poor) technique is to clumsily snag the wheel between my knees, push the frame forward and clamp down. Sometimes it take a couple of tries. Is there a better way??
No trickKerry
Jun 4, 2002 4:44 PM
If your dropout screws are properly adjusted, you just pull the wheel all the way back and it centers automatically. Just before you clam the QR, set the bike on the ground so that the axle is up against the top of the dropouts. If the bike is sitting on the ground, and the wheel is pulled back against the DO screws, the wheel should be centered at the BB and the brake. If it is centered at the brake and not the BB, then change the DO screws. If it is off at the brakes, then the dish is wrong.
what I doDougSloan
Jun 5, 2002 9:15 AM
My old Bianchi has similar dropouts, and here's what I do.

When the axle is pretty much in place, standing over and behind the bike, I put my thumbs on the seat stays, then reach down with my fingers and pull skewer back snugly against the rear of the dropouts. Then, I reach forward with my right hand and around the front of the seat tube near the center of the wheel, then with my fingers on one side and my thumb on the other, grab the tire/rim and center it with the seat tube. Then, with left hand, close the skewer.

It's not nearly as complex as it seems in writing. I've been doing it that way for well over 20 years, and it's just automatic.

For rear opening track style dropouts, I use the same technique around the seat tube, but simultaneously pulling the wheel forward and centering it.

If the stops are set right, though, centering should not be necessary.