Need Experienced Advice On Rear Wheel/Brakes/Skewer/Etc-
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  1. #1
    Peg Leg Pedaler
    Reputation: FueledByPBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Need Experienced Advice On Rear Wheel/Brakes/Skewer/Etc

    Hi. I have an older KHS Solo One softail I bought in its current state. It was custom built and has a lot of unconventional parts and mods for a MTB. Its a single speed. The weirdest thing about it is that the rear wheel uses 2 allen bolts that scree into the hub rather than a skewer or solid axle with nuts. It literally had a 1" bolt that tightens down into the left and right sides of the hub. The second weird thig is that it has bmx lollipop style tensikners which Im sure is because it uses 2 bolts instead of 1 axle. The problem with those right now is that the blocks on tthe backs of the tensioners are both loose enough for my to wiggle but if I snug them down, the chain gets super tight and binds up. Ive tried everything to fix this but nothing woks.

    Now onto the rear brake. It has an Avid linear pull rear brake. The bike literally fell over today and the brake flew aparts. Ive soent hours today trying to put them back together but the rear wheel wont roll no matter what adjustmets I make. The left pad is always rubbing on the rim. This might be a coincidence but the rear wheel also looks off center, towards the left. I have no idea how to center the rear wheel especially with 2 bolts instead of 1 axle. Nothing is wrong with the rim, hub, etc. Its all straight and the bearings are good. I dont know what the hell this guy was thinking when He slapped this thing together but its basically a very cool looking, non functional non practical piece of shit at this point. I also think the rear hub is too wide for the frame because the dropouts are cocked outward at an angle so the rear hub can fit. This I believe is another thing contributing to my chain tensioner problem if not my brakes as well.

    PLEASE HELP I HAVE NO CLUE WHERE TO START OR HOW TO FIX THESE PROBLEMS! Has anyone else seen the use of allen bolts with large heads screwed into the hub instead of an axle or skewer? Is there a way to center the wheel into the frame? If not, how can I adjust the brakes so the left pad isnt constantly rubbing on the rim and stopping it from spinning freely? Thanks in advance!!!

    UPDATE: Ok so I made a couple changes and without test riding, it would appear Ive remedied the problems for now. Heres what I did:

    Problem 1) rear linear brake kept locking up the wheel. SOLUTION: Instead of setting the brake arm springs inside 1 of the 3 holes on the frame, I set them on top of the tabs of the frame to get extra needed tension from the springs so they would pull apart from each other with more force.

    Problem 2) Weird short allen bolts and bmx tensioners were loose and giving me problems. SOLUTION: Even though I have horizontal "dropouts, I decided to delete these stupid bolts and tensioners all together and use a QR skewer I had lying around. I have a chromoly steel frame so I hope this will hold, but its powdercoated and its a very cheap skewer

    Problem 3) rear wheel off center SOLUTION: See solution to problem 2.
    So heres some pics just to show yall what Ive been dealing with and what Ive done:

    Of course it would be rude to not show you the whole bike as well as one of its coolest features:

    I still need to test ride it but I dont and cant ride aggresively anymore and will only be putting around on the street. If this doesnt work Ill buy a proper Shimano or Campagnolo QR internal cam skewer. I would love to get your thoughts. Thank you.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    i would:
    take out the skewer.
    put the allen bolts back in. forget the tesnioner.
    tighten them so you get proper tension and wheel alignment; you might have to tighten them down pretty good so they don't slip.
    enjoy your cool singlespeed soft-tail!

    if your really stuck on using a skewer the older steel shimano one's are REALLY strong and you can get enough tension on them to keep the wheel from slipping in my experience.

  3. #3
    Always in the wrong gear
    Reputation: Impetus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    It's highly unlikely the hub is too wide. It's a long explanation but trust me. They're both 135mm spacing. 142mm is getting common for gears, but not on SS hubs. Also, if the hub was wrong, theQR wouldn't work. There is no 142 QR.
    I would disassemble and clean the brakes. New cable? Sounds to me like the return spring is gunked up.

    As for the bolts, I'd use those, and the tensioners too. They're unfamiliar to you, but Paul, Chris King, Hadley for sure and probably others use them on SS hubs. King calls them 'Fun Bolts'. They take a technique to use, but IMO work better than a QR. I could never get a QR to not slip in track ends, so I had to use a drive-side tensioner. There's internet guides on how to tighten them down.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    The tensioners you have are also known as tug nuts. And as mentioned, the allen bolts you think are weird are a common method for attaching a wheel and work very well with the tensioner system employed on this frame. I would go back to using both of these instead of the QR. In your first pic, the allen bolt is not tightened properly, which may be why the tug nut felt loose and could have contributed to your wheel alignment issue. The proper way to use this system is to loosen the allen bolts, set proper chain tension and wheel alignment with the tug nuts, then tighten the allen bolts. Some users like to put a little extra tension on the tug nut after they've tightened the allen bolts too, but it isn't really necessary.

    As for the brakes, pull up the installation instructions for those brakes to ensure you have them installed correctly. And as someone else mentioned, it's worthwhile to make sure your cable is in good condition and not sticking/dragging.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dbhammercycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    MKS chain tugs (lil spendy) should fit without the rub on the freewheel (I think it's a freewheel), if you want to use tugs. Those origin8 tugs are for an aluminum dropout, which is wider than steel. The bolts are better than a cheap skewer, however XT skewers work pretty well for holding the wheel in place if you want to use a skewer.

    I think the best thing is to use the bolts with MKS tugs, just my opinion.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  6. #6
    Peg Leg Pedaler
    Reputation: FueledByPBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    This is all excellent i formation guys thank you for that! So the original bolt and tensioner setup is very familiar to me as its basically the same way a sportbike swingarm works. I couldnt get them to keep the wheel aligned or keep the tensioner blocks snug no katter what I tried. The brake springs are not gunked up but I think theyre just worn out as the only way to get proper tension was to move the pin to sit on top of the bracket rather than inside of one of the holes.

    I rode it today and it seems to be holding fine as its all I can do to just ride gently on the street with a prosthetic leg and such a short residual limb. My prosthetist is amazed I can walk at all let alone ride. Now that I know what these bolts and tensioners are called I can finally search for them. Ive been searching google, ebay etc for days but nothings come up. What is the technical or proper term for these axle bolts? Using a skewer makes setting axle alignment and chain tension SUPER easy so Id probably want a Shimano skewer before continuing to use the previous setup, but well see. With how weak my left leg is, how cumbersome and painful it is to ride etc I doubt Ill be doing any riding any time soon that will put more strain on the bike than Im already dealing with. Thank you all again.

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