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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.
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.
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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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