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Drifting to the left
#1
A couple days ago i had a bad spill and messed up my front tire. i brought my front tire into the shop and they said all they had to do was true it. When i got back home and attached my tire back onto my mountain bike i realized that while i biked my front tire and fork would drift to the left. When i let go of the handle bars it would start turning by its self to the left. This would not happen before.

I checked my brake pads and their not touching the rim at all. Any ideas? Iam new to this Smile
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#2
lc41y

Check the front wheel is correctly fitted into the front drop outs... Do you have suspension forks? Could they be miss-balanced? Maybe the balance of your un-true wheel mistook you…
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#3
Could be that you didn't get the wheel all the way into the fork as stated above. It's also possible the wheel itself is slightly off center if the shop didn't true it carefully. You can check this by flipping the wheel over and seeing if the bike pulls the other way when the wheel's been reversed. Finally, you could have bent your forks. This can often be fixed if you have steel forks, but not for other materials.

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#4
will be one of the above suggestions. when the wheel is in the fork. check the distance between the rim and fork on each side. are they the same? they should be. You must find out why this is and fix it. Try the wheel in another fork then another wheel in your fork and the cause should become clear.

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#5
DaveM’s suggestion of reversing the wheel in the front fork is a great idea – try that and see what happens…

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#6
Last night i finally got the opportunity to flip the front wheel. Sadly i could still feel the bicycle turn to the left. I am now begging to think my crash affected my back wheel but it is hard for me to tell if anything is bent or broken. Any more suggestions?

-Thanks a lot
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#7
Ic41y,
Do you have suspension forks?

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#8
Twisted forks will cause "drifting" and so will a damaged headset.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/pull-side.html

Perhaps get someone to check fork alignment.

Check the headset isn't loose. - Pull front brake on HARD, and holding the bars, rock the bike back and forth. You should feel if the headset is loose, but be wary that it's not the front brake rocking.

Also lift front of bike and check that the steering turns "smoothly" with no notches.
Ride hard or ride home alone!
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#9
Marcdominic: Yes i do have suspension forks Smile

CyclerUK: Seems like a simple plan to try and see if i can bend the forks the other way. Sadly its pouring rain outside and will have to try this another day. I will keep you guys posted. Again, Thank you guys
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#10
lc41y,

Don't just go "bending" without checking if the forks are out. !! If you start bending then you could make it worse or damage the forks completely if it's not done right.

There are ways of checking, so do a search for "fork alignment checks". I'm assuming that if you banged the front wheel then you also shocked the forks.

You should look at the frame as well and wheel alignment between front and back.
Ride hard or ride home alone!
  Reply
#11
Ic41y,
The reason I ask is that suspension forks often have an adjustable pre-load. Less pre-load on the left may cause your symptoms: not by too much though as the forks themselves are pretty rigid beasts – but worth checking…
It’s pissing down here today too, and I’m just drying my clothing out after getting back from work – still better than raining on the way to work where I have to change into a fresh pair of socks! Public transport tomorrow (where more rain is further forecast in the morning) as I’m picking up an old rigid lightweight steel Trek as a Summer project Smile…

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#12
I finally was able to take apart my front fork and it turns out they were bent really bad. With a little bit of effort i was able to bend the fork back until it was even. I put it back together and the pull was barely there. A little more fine tunning and should be back to normal. Thanks a lot guys.. and if your wondering how they could be bent and unbent so easily... its because its a garbage 2nd hand bike passed down from my brother.

Thanks again!
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#13
Ic41y,

Great to hear you got it sorted. BTW the bike I picked up on Friday was is fact an old Specialized RockHopper – any bike that goes well, once restored is worth its weight (ish). So, enjoy and happy cycling…
p.s. I don't normally restore bikes this is just a cheap (I hope) and interesting Summer project...
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