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Rear wheel alignment
The story of my bike is...

I have an old Peugeot Carbolite 103 that I bought off somebody who left it out to rust for a few years. The frame is in great condition. I had a 700 wheel lying around that I put on the front, and bought a dirt cheap 27" rear wheel for the back (the original wheels were, I believe, 27").

The problem is...

When I pull the rear wheel back in the rear triangle slots so that both ends of the axle are fitted into the grooves, the entire wheel is angled to the right. I don't think it's a truing issue because a) the wheel has 7 miles on it; and b) spinning the wheel shows that it's consistently angled to the right rather than going in and out of alignment.

I tried...

Tightening the quick release as much as possible while the wheel is aligned so that one end is fitted into the groove of the rear triangle, and the other end of the axel is sorta halfway fit into the groove. This works for a couple miles before the wheel slides back out of alignment and starts rubbing the rear triangle again.

I want to know...

what do do! I don't want to commute by car anymore but this bike has been a huge pain in the...
Well, it sounds like the quick release is not tightened sufficiently. The observed problems cannot be caused be the axle not sitting in the end of the drop outs. The main "problem" with old frames is the tolerances. That's (I believe) the reason for them to have screws in the dropouts to make wheel alignment easier when replacing a wheel. You first put in a wheel, align it, adjust the screws and afterwards you can just swap the wheels without bothering about alignment.

On quick release levers and how to use them look at: http://bikeride.com/remove-install-wheels/
Sounds like the dropout screws are either (a) missing, or (b) incorrectly set. Some pics would be nice though.

Diagnosing blind, we might as well be trying to tell a bus driver how to repair a spleen.

Pics are great!Big Grin

Quick releases don't need a lot of force to work correctly, and over tightening can cause worse problems that under tightening. And there is no way of judging torque, so it's by feel alone.

Over tightening can actually cause a frame to warp/bend. Not much, but enough to affect the mechanics of the bike. I'm not saying this is the answer, but it could be a problem. Only close the quick release so that it leaves an imprint on your hand. It shouldn't take a Hurculean effort to close, or open the skewer.

Good Luck!Smile
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
Thanks for the tips - I tried placing some washers on back there. We'll see how that works out. If it doesn't, I'll post pics
Washers?! Why? Quick release skewers are serrated to that they don't slip. Washers are plain so that they do. Don't put washers there.
If the dropouts are too thin or the axle a little too long, sometimes the inside of the skewer bottoms out on the end of the axle instead of clamping against the outside of the frame. Putting washers might fix that as long as they are big enough to fit over the axle. But Joe_W is right, it's not an ideal way to fix that problem. Instead it's better to trim down the axle or find another skewer with a deeper indent on the inside of the end pieces so it doesn't bottom out.

It could also just be a worn out skewer. Sometimes the cams wear down over time and don't tighten properly. +1 on not overtightening. If you have to clamp down with a ton of force, something else is going on.
I found I had to use extra tension with the quick release on my bikes with horizontal dropouts. (steel frames).
If I didn't then the wheel would slew over when climbing steep hills.

Fit the wheel in the frame with the axle as far back as it will go.
(touching the back of each dropout.)

Now measure the distance from the center of each end of the axle to say the front edge of the bottom bracket.
What you are trying to do is make sure the drop outs are square to the frame.
ie: Is one side longer than the other?
From what you are saying, it sounds like one side is around 1/2" out.

The only other option, if the dropouts are square, I guess the dish of the wheel could be wrong?
Turn the wheel round and check again to see if it's the same or the offset/angle has reversed.

You could also check for symmetry of the rear end.
See Sheldon:-

Scroll down to the symmetry section.
Ride hard or ride home alone!
My problem is always assuming the person is talking about a factory wheel that has been properly dished. Good point UK.

And DON'T put washers on the skewer. You're asking for a BAD accident when those babies slip out. Not to mention the huge amount of damage that will occur on your bike.
Dedicated scholar of bicycles

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