Front wheel troubleshooting

The bike had a somewhat strange problem when being moved around by hand.  Pushing it straight was easy, pushing with the wheel turned was hard.

The seller told me about this when I first went to look at the bike.  He thought it was a wheel bearing problem, yet there didn’t seem to be any looseness in the wheel.

Today I pulled the front wheel to inspect the bearings.  The cause of the problem was immediately obvious as soon as I started to take the wheel off.  The axle clamp nuts (on the end of the forks) were only hand tight. This allowed the wheel to twist enough that the brake caliper would drag.

NOTE TO SELF: Check for loose parts before hopping on an unknown bike that hasn’t been ridden in a long time.

While I had the wheel off, I did grease the bearing on the speedometer side, as well as the speedometer gear.  The bearings feel great.  When I get the right tool for the job, I’ll clean and grease the bearings on both sides.

Just to be safe, I also re-torqued the rear wheel axle, axle clamp and brake nuts.