If you’ve got a bit of play in your wheel it can be tempting to head straight to your local bike shop to get them to diagnose the problem. But there’s no need really, as this is a problem that can usually be solved by just adjusting the bearings, which if your an owner of Fulcrum wheels, takes just one tool and two minutes.

>>> Buyer’s guide to road bike wheels (video)

With the wheel in the bike, try and move the rim from side to side. If there’s any movement at all, then you’re bearings need adjusting. If you don’t do this, then you’ll soon find yourself having to replace your bearings rather than just adjust them.

Using a 2.5mm Allen key, unscrew the pre-load collar on the non-driveside of the bike. Once the bolt is unscrewed, rotate the collar clockwise, continually moving the wheel from side to side to check for play, until any side to side movement in the wheel is completely eliminated. However don’t be tempted to tighten the collar too far as this will apply too much pre-load, causing the bearings to wear out quicker and creating resistance that will slow you down.

>>> How to adjust your headset (video)

Once you’re happy that the pre-load is set properly, just retighten the bolt with your 2.5mm Allen key, and finally make sure that the quick releases are secure and the brakes adjusted to give even clearance on both side.

  • Stevo

    It is also worth noting that the entire axle assembly gets compressed as the QR mechanism is closed with the wheel on the bike. So the tighter you close the QR, the less play there well be. What this means is that the bearings should have a small amount of play when the wheel is off the bike, and the real fine tuning can be done with the QRs.

    Obviously the above with not apply to track hubs and the like.

    Campag/Fulcrum bearings are fantastic.

  • Frobble

    Ta very much – couldn’t be clearer, or simpler!