Rear Wheel is killing me

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by fanatic, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. fanatic

    fanatic New Member

    I have tried for a couple of hours now to line up the rag mount with the rear sprocket. The rubber plates make the screws go crooked and then the metal plates overlap on themselves.

    Does anyone have any tricks? I am so ****ed right now I had to take a break.

    On another note-This wheel has 12 gage spokes and a freewheel hub. The hub is a lot skinnier than a coaster break. I am assuming that this will not be a problem?


  2. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    Some of the kits have rubber plates with too small of a bolt hole diameter
    that doesn't line up with the sprocket or metal plates.
    Just more crappy quality control.
    You just have to fight it. Grinding down the ends of the plates may help
    to make them fit so they don't overlap?

    The only manufacturer to make custom sized sprocket hub adapters for
    freewheel hubs as small as 0.9" is Manic Mechanic.
    Makes a true running install easy and lets you change sprockets fast too.

    What is 2 hours of your time worth? :devilish:
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  3. Lazieboy

    Lazieboy Member


    Hi. I got my plates to line up several times gotta go 1 bolt at a time slowly and help the plates. this last time mine did'nt line up but O whell it'll work for me.
    You might have to cut, grind,saw em to get it to work.
    Tauseef likes this.
  4. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Rear sprocket

    Hey fanatic,
    You can order a new sprocket setup complete. It will come as a matched set. But as long as you're not pushing a bolt into a spoke, you can use a common (flat) screwdriver to pry the plates in to place. It's only pushing against rubber. Just be very carefull that you're not also pushing those bolts against the spokes. That could couse a spoke, or spokes to break, being under pressure, while riding.
    Big Red.
  5. fanatic

    fanatic New Member

    Thanks for the heads up. I am at work right now, so I can have one of our mechanics grind it down a little. I am only missing it by a centimeter...

    Will I be okay with the skinny hub?
  6. Irish John

    Irish John New Member

    After installing a few dozen of these I found the following method best:
    Lock the right side of the axle in a vice so you can spin the wheel;
    Put the 9 bolts through the sprocket and push one of the rubber clamps over the bolts with, perhaps, one metal bracket between the sprocket and the rubber for spacing (optional);
    Push the sprocket and bolts and rubber assembly through the spokes and hold it there,
    Take the other rubber which has to be cut through to get it around inside of hub;
    Prise the rubber over the bolt ends working your way around all 9 bolts in sequence;
    Push the rubber in towards the sprocket so the sprocket stays on the wheel by itself and exposes as much bolt thread as possibe;
    Attach the metal clamps as you need them. To get them to fit without overlap use a sharp screwdriver to push the high bit away until it pops down flush with its neighbour;
    Put a flat washer and a split washer on each bolt and using a ring spanner to hold the nut against the bolt end;
    Turn the bolt onto each nut using a square drive ratchet wrench - it's easier than turning the nut onto the bolt;
    Tighten each nut only very slightly and put the bolts on in a cross patter to maintain a good fit;
    With all nuts slightly tight, centre the sprocket by eye then spin the wheel and check for up and down movement against a background object;
    Tap the high bits down until the sprocket has no hop (up and down movement);
    Then tighten each nut gradually in a cross sequence to eliminate vertical misalignment (wobble);
    Patience is the key and it is an easy operation;
    Towards the end is the time to eliminate wobble by tightening and loosening but you can do it just by tightening.
    You need vice because you need to spin the wheel as you go.
    Place a mat under you to catch washers and nuts that you drop.
    Job done!
  7. richirich1113

    richirich1113 Member

    Truly if you want a trouble free rear spocket adapter , like someone said in a earlier post, go to the Manic Mechanic website and check out their hub adapters. if you hub meets their criteria (every detail is explained) just go for it -you wont be sorry. i tried the rag joint at first it is a pain in the arse. it will never get perfectly true and you always have to make sure the bolts stay tight, the fiber pads keep copressing, it is a pain. Luckly my hub was ok for the MM adapter, it is simple to install, i have absolute perfect chain alignment and have never had to mess with it again. I switch between a 40T and a 44T from time to time. depending on where i ride and to change gears takes 10 min. I am endorsing the MM adapter cuz i have one on my bike and if it could help save another MB a world of headace itd be worth it.
  8. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    PLEASE, go to the hardware store and get replacement bolts, washers and lock-nuts for the sprocket before you do anything. Don't use the cheap chinese bolts, nuts and washers because they will break. also invest in some blue loc-tite and use it on the bolts for the sprocket even tho you are going to use lock nuts. as a matter of fact, you should use loc-tite on as many nuts & bolts as possible and you shoud replace as many nuts & bolts as possible with higher quality ones.

    well, this method works, but in some instances the rubber will make the sprocket too far out (making the chain alignment be off). it's a trial and error thing and you juyst have to mess with it.
    sometimes you put the sprocket on with the dished side out and then find out later that it needs to be flipped over to get the chain alignment right.
    Patience IS the key , as Irish john said, but there's also some trial and error to get it right.
    you can't just go around the sprocket and tighten all of the bolts in order. you have to do a cross pattern to spread the load across the sprocket (which will help keep it straight). you also have to concentrate on trying to make the sprocket as centered on the hub as possbile so there's no up & down movenent as the sprocket spins. once you have the sprocket bolts snug, spin the wheel and watch the sprocket. if you see the sprocket going
    "up & down" as the wheel spins true, then you have to adjust the sprocket and make it centered more.
    These sprockets wil never be perfect on the hub because of poor machining, but you can get it very close.

    as for the metal peices overlapping, i wouldn't worry about it. Mine overlap on both of my bikes and they're fine. They've been that way for about 2 -3 problems.
    more importantly is the bolts, nuts and washers that you use, the use of blue loc-tite, getting the sprocket as centered as possible on the hub and getting the chain alignment straight.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  9. Irish John

    Irish John New Member

    I never said tighten bolts as you go around. I said tighten in a cross pattern. But put the bolts on initially any way you like cos you only put them on 2 turns so you can adjust the sprocket before it gets too tight. I've never had a bolt break - the force on each bolt is minimal because the rubber sandwich bears the torque forces. I agree a clamshell sprocket fix is ideal but they don't fit on geared coaster hubs or many hubs for that matter.
    I use a clamshell if I can and the rubbers if I can't. I can get the rubber method pretty accurate - as accurate as a clamshell but bear in mind that all of these sprockets are not exactly round and neither are chainrings on the pedal cranks exactly round. That is how it has always been. I have had the rubber perish after 3 or 4 years but I haven't had the bolts coming loose because I don't overtighten them. If you overtighten them they will come loose and the sprocket will have more wobble from the start and the fix will not be as good as it should be. Experience is the best teacher I find. Same with truing wheel.
    I make my own clamps for the big Shimano Nexus multi-geared hubs and they are pretty good if I install them myself using the method I described above. Never had one fail yet but if your hub can take a machined alloy clamp onto the hub itself then use that but no sprocket wheel is exactly round and chain tightness will vary - the key is to minimise the amount of up/down hopping during installation. Minimising the wobble is similar to truing a wheel and there's a bit of a science to it.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  10. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    Yes, your hub is OK.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  11. BoltsMissing

    BoltsMissing Active Member

    No real need to grind anything, it eventually fits.

    My take on this is to first smear the rubbers with rubber grease, including the bolt holes on the rubbers.

    If you have the 3 plate type, put one bolt on each plate starting at centre bolt hole. Finger tight ( firm-take-up-slack) for now.
    I don't use the lock nuts or fibre nuts, it gives a false impression of tightness.
    I use ordinary nuts so to have a better feel when tightening for allignment and further fine adjustments.
    When you have all 9 threaded, mark a 1 and start finger tight/firm from 1, 3 , 5 and so on. So in effect you firm one bolt, miss the next and go the next.
    Cos it's 9 holes, you'll get to 2 cos it will leap-frog 1, keep rotating tightneing up the slack as you go.

    As far as the plates not spreading, as mentioned use a screwdriver to push them apart. Once in place while finger tightning, it will even out.
    Eventually it gets tighter, but keep rotating and evenly tightning.
    Once it's all done, then put on the fibre nuts and lock to the first nut using the 2 spanner method.
    Patience is key!

    However, I'm done with these rubbers and plates to.
    I think the newer option using a hub adapter is the way to go these days.
  12. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    With mine, the three plates overlapped, and it didn't seem to cause any problems. I think I spent four hours total truing the wheel before I was finally satisfied that it was as straight as humanly possible.

    Definitely replace the bolts and nuts with the highest grade they carry at the hardware store.

    As someone else mentioned, tighten them down GRADUALLY and in a star pattern. That will help keep everything true and even.

    I am on my second build after the frame of my first bike cracked. I am using a Worksman frame with Worksman wheels. When I took the stock rag-joint sprocket off the wheel of my first bike, there were two broken spokes, broken within where the rag joint gets clamped to the wheel. That's a big pile of Not Good.

    I bought the Manic Mechanic rear sprocket clamp and a Pirate Cycles sprocket instead of using the stock rag-joint sprocket after seeing the broken spokes. (While the Worksman wheel uses 11 gauge spokes and my old bike had 14 gauge spokes, I don't want to have to deal with broken spokes again.
  13. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Rear Wheel

    motorpsycho and Boltsmissing are pretty much right about everything. The only thing I might disagree with, (Sorry Moto,) is overlapping the plates. The plates are meant to but up against each other to keep them in place. Just use that screwdriver and make the plates obey you. Snugging the nut's, but not too tight, will help hold them in place while you do this.
    I use my wheel truing station to get the sprocket true'd also. You can make a quick, cheap one out of a old, thin type front fork. One that you can widen' out to fit a rear wheel. It makes it easy to observe the sprocket wobble in both directions. To adjust the backforthbackforth action, use a small peice of wood(2x4?) on the sprocket between the sprocket and a hammer. NEVER hit the sprocket with just a hammer. You can adjust a slightly tighter sprocket this way and it will stay in place better as you finish tightening it. THEN, just before you go for the finale "tightening" check the in and out wobble. You can use the last few turns of the wrench to adjust it in. The places where it is too far in already won't need quite as much tightening. I know the supplier that sold you the kit claimed it will install in a couple of hours. I've spent at least that much time on just a stubborn sprocket, so just take some time with it and do it right the first time. That's always how I do it becouse I'm a lazy old coot and I hate doing things twice.
    Big Red.
  14. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    I know john, i didn't mean that you suggested to just tighten the bolts as you go around.
    I was just re-referancing the cross pattern method of tightening the bolts.
  15. BoltsMissing

    BoltsMissing Active Member

    pics might help...

    If I would change anything, just for the cosmetics of the build, I'd use dome allen key bolts rather than the standard bolts.

    Wider flat washers on the nut side seems to offer more even coverage.

    Point is, no grinding of the plates was ever required, just get a screwdriver and force it apart, watching the end of the plates as you tighten. If it looks like it's ( ends of plates) going to slip, move on the the next one, and so on.

    <<<<Not part of this topic, but I've posted the thumbnail (shrunken) pics and raw pic format. Was curious to see how it looks.>>>

    I guess for this topic, a close up view explains it clearer.

    Attached Files:

  16. Irish John

    Irish John New Member

    In the early days of the 4 strokes we didn't know which sprocket size worked best so having to try different sprocket sizes gave me good practice at getting the sprockets set up. Then I'd break spokes on the left side and would have to remove the sprocket to replace it and over time I got much better at it and much quicker.Now I can put a sprocket on in 35 minutes. There's little short cuts that you learn over time. On a heavy steel bike I have learn to replace the spokes with DT Swiss because they are very unlikely to break. I buy them in packs from Chain Reaction on line (a great Northern Irish company I'm proud to say) and they cost Aus $14 for 37 with brass nipples as opposed to $2.50 each from my local bike shop. The Taiwanese s'steel spokes often have brittle batches and if your bike has those you soon know about it. The Chinese s'steel spokes are even worse. The 12guage galv steel spokes on the Grubee GT1 and the wheels are actually very good value indeed. Galv steel is stronger than stainless. Pity about the rest of the bike. If you take the rather ineffectual rear coaster brake off the Grubee rear wheel you can slide the standard sprockets over the threaded hub and a couple of threaded washers are all you need to fix it in place. As you cycle the sprocket tightens itself even more which makes for a really easy fixing. Those bikes have a rear V-brake so the coaster brake was never really necessary anyway.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  17. fanatic

    fanatic New Member

    I was able to get all of the plates lined up without any grinding, but I made a big mistake. I lined the pads up wrong. I put both pads on the inside of the spokes instead of one in and one out. Now I will have to pull everything apart again. Thanks to BoltsMissing for posting the pictures. Now I can do it right.
  18. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    before you take it all back apart, put the wheel on the bike and check your chain alignment (chain from the engine to the rear sprocket.
    it may be fine the way it is because sometimes when you have a rubber on the inside and a rubber on the outside, it may push the sprocket too far out and make your chain alignment wrong. every oncew in awhile there's a case where you can't put a rubber on the outside (between the sprocket and the spokes) because the sprocket will be out too far.
    you can also flip the sprocket over if the alignment is off as well.
    i know it's a pain, but it takes time to get it right, and chain alignment is VERY important.
    the instructions are useless in this department because no 2 rear sprockets will go on exactly the same way.
    just like so many other aspects of building one of these, a lot of it is trial and error.
  19. tommer2

    tommer2 New Member

    For gosh sakes guys get the MM hub adaptor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Put it on,10 minutes, lock tight and FORGET about it!!!!!!!!!!!!! PERFECT alinement. I,ve NEVER had a problem!:tt1:
  20. fanatic

    fanatic New Member

    The rear wheel is adjusted and lined up. I did the sprocket with the bottom of the dish toward the hub, then the rubber on the outside of the spokes. I have another set of rubber on the inside of the spokes with both sets of metal brackets. Everything lined up when I started tightening the bolts.

    I will be getting the MM hub adapter when I start upgrading the bike. I am trying to do everything right now as cheap as possible. I will start a build thread in the next couple of days.

    Thanks for all of your input.