Does this Axle-Nut look safe?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by PocketBiker, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. PocketBiker

    PocketBiker Member

    I feel pretty good about my bike, as I'm getting closer to the finish line, but the way the rear wheel mounts on the bike, kind of bothers me.

    The axle nut is pretty close to the opening of the slot. Add to that, the "washer(ed) nut" isn't much larger than the 3/8" slot. (only about 1/8" of washer on the top and bottom) It doesn't look good to me! I'm thinking that I should find a thinner nut, and add a larger diameter washer between the nut and the slot. Am I correct, or not? Bad enough, if I'm just riding around at 10 miles per hour, but now I'll have an engine pulling steadily forward on that axle more like 30 MPH and I don't want the wheel to move!

    As for the position of the axle. I'm thinking that I should add a chain link or two, (which will mean, buying another chain) to move the axle back a 1/2", more in the middle of that slot. I mean, does this look normal, or is my uneasiness warranted?

    Maybe there is a way to secure the axle better?? Do those two nuts REALLY hold it in place with no movement?

    Thanks!! Jim



  2. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    it is always hard to tell from a pic, but those don't look bad

    if your chain run is good, you shouldn't get much force there, but if your chain tries to climb up the sprocket teeth, the best axle setup will often get pulled out of the dropouts

    if those nuts feel like they're tightening properly, it should be good to go

    with any new build, it is important to keep an eye on the chain run to be sure it will stay in place
  3. PocketBiker

    PocketBiker Member

    Thanks for the good advise, Crassius! And, I am happy that the present position and hardware looks okay to you. I just gave myself an education and Googled rear slot images. After seeing the different installations, I realize that mine is very typical.

    I found that there are 3 main configurations; Slot aiming backward, downward and, in my case... forward. In almost all of the photos, the washer(ed) nut is the same as mine with the same amount of minimal surface contact on the top and bottom.

    A few of the slot designs looked insanely minimal to me, like this one.


    This location is how I would like mine to be.... more in the middle of the slot. (I can see that the original location was even closer to the opening as mine is now)

  4. PocketBiker

    PocketBiker Member

    My Rear Axle Modification

    I just could not ignore how poorly engineered the rear wheel attaches with just two bolts. Engineering-wise...... it's poor, to say the least. So, I went to work to come up with a solution to keep the wheel from wanting to shift fore or aft. With the load on the two sprockets and the need to keep them from moving...... the two nuts, just didn't do it for me!

    So, I rolled up my sleeves and started cutting and grinding..... and I'll show you my solution, with which I am VERY happy!!

    Now, again, I say that you could put in a thimble.... what I know about bicycles! I don't know what problems others have had with the rear wheel moving; I can only account for my Wallmart bike, such as it is. And, it is ridiculous! That being said, if others have this same concern, maybe some of you will appreciate my solution.. It's easy and costs practically nothing to fabricate.

    At first, I didn't like the position of my bolt and I was thinking of lengthening the chain, but I decided, what I really wanted to do was keep the chain and make it impossible for anything to move! In other words, I needed to keep the axle from wanting to move fore...... or aft. (on both sides!) The first thing to do would be to block the wheel (with the bike upside down) in the exact position wanted, with the pedal chain taut .

    A solution for keeping it from moving aft was as obvious, as it was simple; I would need to find some steel plate the thickness of the fork and cut, file, and grind it to fit in the slot behind the axle bolt, so that the axle could not move rearward. I found a piece of gate-steel for only 60 cents that was the perfect 3/16" thickness. The slot was 3/8" wide and the length was only 3/4" long, so I hack-sawed and filed two pieces, to shape to fit in the slot. Here you can see one of the filed steel pieces, in the slot, behind the axle bolt.


    Now, it took a little more head scratching to find a solution to keep the axle from wanting to move forward, but again, the solution was pretty easy. (I wanted to install some larger dia. washers on the inside of the fork anyway) so, the solution solved two problems. I would find some sheet steel (maybe 1/32" thick) and it would serve as a giant washer between the fork and the small nut (another bit of poor engineering) And, I used the two bolt holes that hold the fender and rack on to help hold it in place. You can see here the large hole where the 3/8" axle fits, and the other two holes, where the fender and rack bolts go. This steel plate, becomes a huge "washer" just behind the fork on both sides. This large steel fixture holds the axle back, keeping it from wanting it to move forward.


    Finally, with the bike upright, here it is installed (behind the fork) It's almost not visible, though you can just see the right, lower edge of it. This "invisible" piece of steel, will give me a tremendous amount of confidence, that my rear wheel is mounted solidly!!

  5. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    that's a good example of a solution in search of a problem, but at least it looks pretty.
  6. PocketBiker

    PocketBiker Member

    Your rudeness is only surpassed by your ignorance. (something I wouldn't expect from bicyclists) Don't criticize someones work, unless you are familiar with the specific problem of a specific bike. I'm guessing you know NOTHING about the Wallmart bicycle I bought. In the future, keep you ignorant comments to yourself. Your rudeness is beneath the quality of this forum.
  7. Timbone

    Timbone Active Member

    Every bike is unique and, since most of us don't have welding as a free or cheap option, the use of fasteners to hold things down is always problemmatic. Each bike presents its particular problems. Please keep sharing these ideas. Thanks, Man!
  8. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    They are called axle tugs.



    They keep your back wheel from moving forward or turning side to side.

    Keep in mind a bicycle is meant to handle .2 human HP, throw 2-3HP at it needs a little help in some cases, and they are cheap, like $12.
    mogogear likes this.
  9. PocketBiker

    PocketBiker Member

    Thanks Timbone.

    I always really appreciate your kind and constructive comments. They help to keep me going ... ha.....ha..... I've noticed most everyone on this forum is very kind and helpful. Honestly, I'm always surprised at the cheapness of the bike I bought. I don't remember bikes being built like this, when I was a kid. The fun challenge for me is to take this sub-standard piece of equipment, and turn it into something higher than "standard." This mod. is one of about three that this painted, Chinese piece of metal desperately needed to bring it up to satisfactory, let alone..... safe!

    Yes, I had a lot of fun writing up the mod. for the guys on the forum...... People can take the information and either use it, or not.... I am extremely happy with it!
  10. PocketBiker

    PocketBiker Member

    Hello KC. Yes, I am familiar with them. In fact, I bought them from Piston, but they were too small, and besides, I just really enjoy designing and building my own solutions. No offense to the small tugs, but as Timbone mentioned, every bike is different. I could see, as far as those tugs go, "one size does not fit all."
    I really enjoyed addressing my particular bike and custom build the mod. But, thanks.... as usual..... for your help. My bike is nearing the "finish line", and after addressing the many issues, I'm becoming very happy with it!
  11. Timbone

    Timbone Active Member

    I don't think there is ever a "finish line" wit these things! I find that there is a certain "wackamole" theory at works with motorbikes: you find a weakness, address it, made an adaptation that's a real improvement, but then find that there is some kind of weakness in that system.

    I have three plans in my head for a full electrical system for my bike. I foresee problems with each. And some problem or problems will crop up. I will also swith to one of those dellorto carbs soon. And probably a new exhaust. It never ends!

  12. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    those are made like they are because the tires need to come off quickly & easily to fix the numerous flats that bikes get & the chain needs to be adjusted quite often by sliding the wheel back a bit
  13. PocketBiker

    PocketBiker Member

    I appreciate that. My wheel is off with 6 bolts...... but until then, it is solid, secure and I don't have to wonder if it is shifting...... As far as moving the axle back as the chain "stretches", yes, I had to consider that...... It's a simple matter of filing the two metal slot-pieces (which cost 30 cents each) a little more with the round file, allowing the axle bolt to slide back a bit more. It's a 30 minute job.

    It suits my style.......

  14. PocketBiker

    PocketBiker Member

    Perhaps, I should give my definition of "finish line." I start the engine and ride it down the street........ with no more major work to be done

    I started this bike a month ago, because I suddenly got the urge to turn wrenches. (an escape from my regular life) I realize, with this hobby, the wrench-turning will never end! Like I say, for me, the wrench-turning is where it's at. When it ends.... riding the bike ends.
  15. 2old2learn

    2old2learn Member

    Which brings up the eternal mystery: Is it the journey......or the destination?
  16. PocketBiker

    PocketBiker Member

    Ha...ha...... That's an easy question for me.... I love the journey.... problems and all! The chase is more fun than the capture! :devilish: