We bring you not just one, but four surefire methods
Wheel alignment is a critical yet disastrously overlooked element of good bike preparation
MISALIGNED WHEELS can give rise to a number of woes. Least acceptable of these is compromised handling. We’ve encountered bikes where the wheels have been so far out of kilter that turns in one direction are a breeze while steering in the other feels like the bike has a bent frame.
Other issues include strange chain and sprocket noises and accelerated wear while tyres take a pounding too, wearing quickly, and in an unexpected pattern.
The cumulative effect of inadequately close manufacturing tolerances in the swingarm pivot, the swingarm itself and the chain adjusters can conspire to place the rear wheel way out of whack with the front. You might find after properly checking wheel alignment that the wheel alignment marks are spot on. We’ve seen enough that aren’t that we check alignment, get it right then base any future chain adjustments on that correct alignment. You might make your own system of marks on the adjuster and swingarm, or simply adjust equally on both sides to keep things right.
As far out as the stock marks might be, there are some fixed points you can work to in order to get things right. First fixed
point of reference is a front wheel that’s correctly installed in the forks. Second is the gearbox output sprocket. Once the rear wheel is aligned correctly with those, the job’s sorted.
Here are four methods of achieving a rear wheel that accurately tracks the front, from the time-honoured to the high-tech.
Handles as if on rails, or it will when he’s done