A wobbling BMX tire is frightening, especially when racing or doing stunts. If you aren’t careful, you could crash badly, and that’s something you wouldn’t want. So, are you asking, ‘why does my BMX tire wobble?’
Your BMX tire wobbles because there might be a loose or overtightened spoke that’s destabilizing the wheel or that the wheel is bent or misaligned, thus unstable. It could also be due to a loose bearing or an overheating hub that compromises the wheel’s strength.
So, after noticing a tire wobble, you should strive to correct it as soon as possible. If left unfixed for long, the tire might wear out and worsen the wobbling, which only makes you susceptible to an accident.
This guide will explain the possible reasons why your BMX tires wobble and the fixes to each problem. So, if you are a victim of a BMX tire wobble, tag along to find out how to fix it.
5 Possible Reasons Your BMX Tire Wobble
Below are the most common reasons why your rear bike tire wobbles:
1. Loose Spoke
If you notice a tire wobble, the first possible cause is loose or misaligned spokes. The spokes, the thin rods that run from the bike wheel center to the edges, are essential in strengthening the wheel.
So, if one is loose, broken, or even missing, it weakens the wheel. As a result, the wheel and the tire are likely to wobble. In most cases, the spokes loosen when you hit a rock, go through a pothole, or tackle anything that requires the extra push.
The interesting bit about a loose spoke is that you can tell from the wheel’s behavior. If the wheel is producing a rattling sound, the chances are that a spoke is loose or missing.
The only way to fix misaligned spokes is by truing your bike wheel. Truing is the loosening or tightening of the spokes and aligning the warped spoke sections on the rim.
The good news is that you don’t need to call an expert to true your bike wheel. All you need is a truing stand and a spoke wrench, and then follow these steps:
Step 1: Place your bike wheel on the truing stand
Now that you are sure you have an untrue wheel, you should remove it from the bike and place it on a truing stand.
If you want to buy a truing stand, get the Park Tool TS-8 Home Mechanic Wheel Truing Stand (View on Amazon).
This stand comes in heavy-duty steel construction and can hold bike wheels from 16 inches to 29 inches, thus perfect for all BMX bikes.
Step 2: Spin the Wheel
Next, you should slowly spin the bike wheel to assess the wobble. While turning, you should note the side the spokes are pulling to. Also, spinning helps you notice shaky spokes.
Step 3: Tighten The Loose Spokes
Once you get the spokes that sway, it’s now time to tighten them. You can use a spoke wrench to do it. Just ensure you don’t overtighten it as you could also be inviting another issue.
2. Overtightened Spokes
While a spoke shouldn’t be loose to avoid wobbling, it should also not be too tight. An overtightened spoke makes the wheel rigid and thus unstable and likely to wobble.
You can tell an overtightened spoke by feeling its tension. If the wobble is on the left side, the spokes on the right side could be loose, while those on the opposite side could be too tight.
It takes the same approach as loosening the spoke (shared above) to adjust an overtightened spoke.
So, using a spoke wrench, loosen the overly tight ones. I highly recommend the Goabroa Spoke Wrench (View on Amazon).
This wrench comes in steel construction to last you longer and keep your spokes and rim true and straight.
You can also change the spokes that are too bent or severely damaged in this stage. Once done, spin the wheel until it’s true.
3. Bent Wheel
If you notice a wobble on the wheel and the spoke tension is okay, you should check the condition of the rim. It could be bent, therefore, unstable.
Remember, your BMX wheel may go out of alignment after repetitive stunts and high jumps. When this happens, the rear tire will start to wobble.
Furthermore, if you ride on rough terrains or experience a tumble, the rim, which is the most susceptible part of the wheel, may bend, causing the tire to wobble when riding.
That, however, is not the only biggest issue. A constantly wobbling wheel becomes expensive to fix in the long run.
Fixing bent rims is easy, and you can do it by yourself, but if the rim is outrageously bent, consult an expert mechanic.
So, how do you straighten a bent bike rim?
Well, flip your bike, or you can use a truing stand to hold the bike. Spin the wheels, and check the bent areas in the rim, just like the spokes case. Straighten the bent rim areas slowly until it’s straight.
You can do it while still spinning the wheel and getting a good sight to confirm if it’s true or not. While at it, check for cracks around the warped rim areas as it may require you to get a new rim.
That is because, though bent wheels don’t pose great danger, cracked ones do. They are a source of wheel imbalance, thus likely to cause you to fall.
4. Loose Bearings
If your rear BMX tire moves side by side, you should check if your bearings are loose. Usually, bearings function by allowing your bike wheel to spin. However, bicycle bearings have an estimated lasting period of 5,000 to 18,000 miles.
So, if you have an old BMX bike that has surpassed its mileage, the bearings could be loose.
The other reason the bearings could be loose is a loose cone that holds the ball in position. They usually make the hub move, and as a result, it can make your bike rear tire wobble if loose.
On top, if your cup bearings are damaged, the bearings will likely get loose, stretching inwards.
Tightening a loose bicycle bearing is an easy task. But first, you need to ascertain that the cause of the wobble is loose bearings. You can do this by turning your bike upside down and moving the rear wheel laterally.
If the wheel moves with a squeaking sound, the hub, and the bearings could be loose. In such a case, all you need for the fix is a wrench like the DURATEC Super-Thin Wrench Set (View on Amazon).
This wrench pouch comes in 8 different sizes, and you can rest assured to get the size you want for tightening your loose bearings.
When tightening the bearing, also make sure to tighten the hub too. However, make sure not to over-tighten it. The cones and the bearing should touch snugly.
Once done, spin the wheel to see if it grinds or wobbles. If not, hurry! That was a great job!
5. Overheating Hub
You may not know this, but heat increase in the hub and spoke area when riding your BMX bike aggressively. The rotor blades bend once the bike hub overheats, putting pressure on the wheel and tires. As a result, the wheel becomes unstable, causing the tire to wobble.
Though this could be uncommon, it is possible, especially if you ride in places with extreme temperatures. So, once you notice a tire wobble and all the above boxes tick right, the wobble could be due to an overheating hub.
If you are dealing with an overheating hub, you can correct it by first letting it cool down. Then, try to realign the rotor blades. But if the bike hub is severely damaged, you can replace the hub. Also, by all means possible, avoid riding in extreme weather conditions.
Is BMX Tire Wobble Dangerous?
A bike tire wobble is not a good sign. Riding a bicycle with wobbling tires can be dangerous not only to the bike but to you too.
A slight wobble may lead to more severe wobble, and before you know it, expensive bike components like the spokes could be beyond fix. And in your end, it could cause you to crash, resulting in fatal injuries.
So, anytime you experience a tire wobble, you should act immediately.
How to Protect Your BMX Tire from Wobbling?
Nothing is more effective than prevention, and it takes the following to avoid a tire wobble:
- Always correct spoke tension and tightness
- Often inspect bike components from wear
- Check the tire pressure and inflate them accordingly
- Ensure you lubricate the derailleur and chain with a quality lubricant like the WD-40 Specialist Bike Chain Lube (View on Amazon).
People Also Ask
1. What Causes a Bike Tire to Wobble?
A tire could wobble because of an overheating hub, misaligned spokes, loose bearings, or a bent wheel. Don’t forget an overtightened spoke too. Consider all these five causes as it’s highly probable one of them is the reason your BMX tire is shaky.
2. How Do You Fix a Wobbly BMX Wheel?
In most cases, all it takes to fix a wobbly BMX wheel is to true the wheel. Wheel truing corrects a bent rim and a loose spoke, two of the most typical causes of a wobbling wheel. It’s essential, however, that you confirm the cause first to address it appropriately.
3. Is It Okay for A BMX Bike Tire to Wobble?
No! It’s not okay for a bike tire to wobble. Even a tiny wobble shouts an underlying problem that needs fixing. So, don’t take a wobble lightly. You should diagnose its cause first and fix it to avoid a major issue.
In Conclusion: Why Does My BMX Tire Wobble?
The next time your BMX tire wobbles when riding, the chances are that it’s out of true, and the possible reasons are loose or overtightened spokes or a bent rim. If not, check for loose bearings or overheated hub.
Once you identify the actual cause behind the tire wobble, you can fix it accordingly and avoid a major catastrophe. Hopefully, the above guide will come to your rescue.