You’ve probably had the problem in the past of your rear wheel rubbing against the frame of your mountain bike.
This is annoying in the first place, but it can also be really dangerous!
This article will show you how to identify this problem in the first step and then fix it permanently. In addition, you will receive practical advice and tips that can be implemented immediately.
Let’s get started!
The most important things at a glance
- The rubbing of the rear wheel on the frame of your mountain bike can be caused by various reasons. These include incorrect hub adjustment, a bent axle, a rear wheel installed at an angle, bearing wear, or a deformed frame.
- Visual inspection of the rear wheel, hub, axle, and frame can help quickly identify the problem.
- Then, depending on the cause of the problem, there are several repair procedures, some of which you can do yourself.
- In addition, regular maintenance of the bike and the use of high-quality components can help prevent the rear wheel from rubbing against the frame.
Causes of rubbing of the rear wheel on the frame of your mountain bike
Let’s save time and get straight to identifying your problem.
This chapter summarizes the most common causes of a rear wheel rubbing against the frame.
One thing in advance: 99.9 percent of the time, the cause is one of the reasons we’ve mentioned. We will look at the solutions in the next chapter!
Incorrect adjustment of the hub
An incorrectly adjusted hub can lead to the rear wheel not being centered and rubbing against the frame.
The consequence of a bent axle is a misaligned rear wheel that consequently rubs against the frame.
In this case, the axle must be repaired or replaced.
Crooked rear wheel
If the rear wheel is crooked, it may rub against the frame.
Provided that this cause is behind the rubbing, you can rejoice!
The solution to this problem is simple: remove the rear wheel and install it correctly.
After 5 minutes of work, the problem is solved…
Wear of the bearings
Quite often, wear of the bearings is the cause that the rear wheel can no longer rotate freely, which leads to rubbing the rear wheel on the frame.
In this case, the bearings must be replaced to fix the problem.
A deformed frame is a super disaster and involves extensive repair work and high costs, among other things.
We keep our fingers crossed that this is not the cause of your rubbing rear wheel!
Rubbing rear wheel: Identify the problem.
To identify the problem of a rubbing rear wheel on your frame, you can follow a few steps.
Step 1: Visual inspection of the rear wheel
The first step in identifying the problem is visually inspecting the rear wheel.
Take a close look at the rear wheel:
- Is it centered?
- Are there any signs of damage or wear?
Be sure to also look at the tire tread and check for even wear.
Step 2: Checking the hub and axle
The second step is to check the hub and axle.
Ensure the hub is properly adjusted and the axle is not bent.
The easiest way to check this is as follows:
- Turn your mountain bike over.
- Rotate the rear wheel.
- Observe it from a bird’s eye view.
If you notice a wobble, the hub, and axle may be damaged.
Step 3: Check the frame for damage
The third step is to check the frame for damage.
Check if the frame is deformed or if there are signs of cracks or other damage.
Primarily, it would be best to look closely at the area around the rear wheel to ensure the frame is not damaged.
Once you’ve identified the problem, you should act quickly to fix it. In the next few sections, I’ll show you how to fix the situation to ensure your mountain bike operates safely and effectively.
Here’s how: Fix the rubbing rear wheel on a mountain bike frame
Once you’ve identified the cause of the rear wheel rubbing against the frame, there are several steps you can take to fix it.
Fix 1: Adjust the hub
If an incorrectly adjusted hub causes the problem, the hub can be readjusted to solve the problem.
You must open the hub and adjust the cones correctly, ensuring the rear wheel is perfectly centered.
You can find detailed instructions on how to adjust the hub in the manual of your mountain bike or this video.
Fix 2: Repair / replace the axle.
If a bent axle causes the problem, you must inevitably replace it. Unfortunately, a repair is only possible in rare cases.
Since this procedure is difficult to describe in words, here is a step-by-step tutorial in video form.
You can find instructions for repairing or replacing the axle in the manual of your mountain bike or on various online platforms.
Fix 3: Correct installation of the rear wheel
You can rejoice if you have identified the rubbing rear wheel and found that your rear wheel was only installed incorrectly or crooked.
Solving the problem will take you a maximum of 5 minutes of your time:
- Turn over the mountain bike
- Open the quick release on the rear wheel
- Remove the rear wheel and install it correctly
- Close the quick release
Fix 4: Replacing the bearings
If the bearings are worn – which can always happen – they must be replaced.
Don’t panic: At first. This sounds worse than it is.
Fix 5: Check and repair the frame.
If a deformed frame causes rear tire rubbing,
unfortunately, you can rarely remedy it with a repair.
This means that, in most cases, the frame must be completely replaced.
This is especially the case if you notice deformations, cracks, or other damage that could significantly endanger your safety while mountain biking.
Please save money in the right place!
To prevent the rear wheel from rubbing against the frame of your mountain bike, some proven preventive measures exist:
Regular maintenance of the bike
Regular bike maintenance ensures that problems are caught early and fixed before they become major issues.
Regularly check the rear wheel, frame, and other major components like brakes, chains, and gears to ensure everything is in good working order.
Checking the wheels and frame after crashes or accidents
After a fall or accident, it’s important to check your mountain bike for obvious damage: Look at the wheels and frame and check both for cracks or other signs of damage.
The immediate repair can help prevent problems that could occur later.
Use high-quality components
Using high-quality components and a high-quality mountain bike can help significantly increase the durability of your bike.
Please: Only choose components specifically designed for mountain bikes and from reliable manufacturers.
Always use high-quality tires, brakes, and other essential components to ensure your mountain bike is reliable and safe.
Frequently asked questions
How do you center the back of a bike wheel?
The rear wheel can be centered by adjusting the tension of the spokes in the hub. It is important that the tension is the same on each side to align the rear wheel correctly.
Why are my back wheels rubbing?
Back wheel rubbing can be caused by several things, such as an incorrectly adjusted hub, a bent axle, or a rear wheel installed at an angle.
Various reasons can cause a rubbing rear wheel on the frame of your mountain bike.
In most cases, the causes can be quickly identified by visually inspecting the rear wheel, hub, axle, and frame.
Fixing the problem requires different steps, depending on the cause.
We keep our fingers crossed that your bike will run smoothly again soon!
Hi dear visitor! I’m Sebastian, a bike maniac who loves to spend a lot of time on two wheels in nature (I love white chocolate, so I absolutely need a calorie-burning balance that’s fun to boot 😅). Blogging is my second great passion. That’s why cyclinghalloffame.com regularly features new bike-related content.