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Aligning Handlebar With Wheels

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Aligning Handlebar With Wheels

Old 07-05-18, 03:54 PM
  #26  
Kontact
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Originally Posted by jj1091 View Post
Just wondering why not? Unless the taping is done irregularly, the surface of the tape would still be parallel to the bars. But, I've never had a need to align them any way other than by sight, so it's a moot point for me.
Because the stem is in the way of getting the edge of the square directly over the tire. Viewed from the side, the tire is no longer a straight line but a curve. You can't align a line with a curve.
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Old 07-05-18, 04:22 PM
  #27  
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It's pointless if the hoods aren't aligned to the bars...
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Old 07-05-18, 05:35 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by f4rrest View Post
It's pointless if the hoods aren't aligned to the bars...
Hmmm.. I would think the first thing that has to be established, is how do you first determine that the front wheel is pointing straight ahead?
EDIT: and oh yeah.. and do you want your handlebars aligned perfectly if you have an arm-length discrepancy?
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Old 07-06-18, 04:28 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Because the stem is in the way of getting the edge of the square directly over the tire. Viewed from the side, the tire is no longer a straight line but a curve. You can't align a line with a curve.
Looking down from the top, beside the stem, there's barely an inch and a half of space between the edge of the tire and the square's edge, not much parallax, not much curve. Move the square to the other side, then compare the difference. Not much to it.
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Old 07-06-18, 04:48 AM
  #30  
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Use a drywall square, line up long edge along top tube to saddle.
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Old 07-06-18, 05:47 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Hmmm.. I would think the first thing that has to be established, is how do you first determine that the front wheel is pointing straight ahead?
EDIT: and oh yeah.. and do you want your handlebars aligned perfectly if you have an arm-length discrepancy?
I think if you use the method I suggested it doesn't matter if the wheel is pointed straight ahead relative to the frame. If the lengths of string from stem to each hood are equal, the wheel will be "vertical" relative to the bars. By "vertical" I'm really saying 90 degrees.
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Old 07-06-18, 05:51 AM
  #32  
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FWIW you can hang the bike from the front wheel and let gravity work for you.
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Old 07-06-18, 06:47 AM
  #33  
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last time I set up my road bike I used a 6 ft level, placed it on top of the seat and on the center of the stem
used blocks to align both wheels with the straight edge, then once everything was straight, used another square to the side of the level to get the handle bars straight, and made the seat straight.

once everything was in line, I measured from the front point of the seat to both hoods, and made the two measurements the same.
it was a lot of work, but now everything on the bike is straight, and lined up with the wheels
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Old 07-06-18, 07:24 AM
  #34  
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Wifey crashed the other day & twisted her wheel/bar alignment. grabbed the wheel with my knees then firmly gave the bars a quick twist to align them. no back & forth. I'll take another look whenever she gets back on that horse
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Old 07-06-18, 09:05 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by jj1091 View Post
Looking down from the top, beside the stem, there's barely an inch and a half of space between the edge of the tire and the square's edge, not much parallax, not much curve. Move the square to the other side, then compare the difference. Not much to it.
But too much to make a line and a curve parallel. And impractical if your bar has as 31.8 bulge, front or rear cables or any other non-straight shape.
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Old 07-06-18, 09:07 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
FWIW you can hang the bike from the front wheel and let gravity work for you.
I've thought about hanging it from the rear wheel and attaching weights to the bar and the wheel so gravity aligns everything, but again my laziness won out so I just eyeballed it.

Also, with quill stems I think you'd run into difficulties in keeping the stem at the right height with that method.
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Old 07-06-18, 11:01 AM
  #37  
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+









= Done
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Old 07-06-18, 02:00 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I just keep dicking with it until it stops bothering me. Not the most efficient, but it gets me there eventually.
Me too. I straddle the tire and move it until it looks perfect with one eye closed. I partially tighten it. I get on the bike as best I can in a stationary position and eyeball it with one eye closed, and move it until it looks perfect. I tighten everything down and get on and it's nearly always clearly slightly off. Too slight, I live with it. Not slight enough, I loosen everything and start over.
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Old 07-06-18, 02:16 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by rachel120 View Post
Me too. I straddle the tire and move it until it looks perfect with one eye closed. I partially tighten it. I get on the bike as best I can in a stationary position and eyeball it with one eye closed, and move it until it looks perfect. I tighten everything down and get on and it's nearly always clearly slightly off. Too slight, I live with it. Not slight enough, I loosen everything and start over.
Make sure you're eyeballing it with the wheel turned so you aren't looking at the top tube, just tire.
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Old 07-06-18, 02:23 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Make sure you're eyeballing it with the wheel turned so you aren't looking at the top tube, just tire.
I'll try that next time, thanks.
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Old 07-06-18, 03:07 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by rachel120 View Post
Me too. I straddle the tire and move it until it looks perfect with one eye closed. I partially tighten it. I get on the bike as best I can in a stationary position and eyeball it with one eye closed, and move it until it looks perfect. I tighten everything down and get on and it's nearly always clearly slightly off. Too slight, I live with it. Not slight enough, I loosen everything and start over.
I do this but the "slightly off" kind of drives me nuts ... you go out for a ride and realise it's not 100% square and whilst I try to ignore it .. it just pees me off .... but it's not major.

I know I mentioned OCD but that's probably a bit of an exaggeration but it just annoys me so thought I'd see if anyone has a simple way of getting it spot on.

Loads of other tips though I've picked up like using one eye instead of 2 so thank you to everyone for their input
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Old 07-06-18, 03:20 PM
  #42  
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OMG. I can't believe I'm posting to this one. Seriously, this is so easy. The fork doesn't even have to be in alignment with the frame -- it simply doesn't matter.

Stand over the top tube, look beyond the handlebar down to the front axle, drop out, fender eyelet, whatever. Align the bar evenly (parallel) with the farthest point you can visualize on the fork. Done. It helps if you use one eye and make sure the bar is parallel looking down from each side of the stem.


-Kedosto
(slightly off parallel to the left because my left arm is slightly shorter than my right)
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Old 07-06-18, 04:45 PM
  #43  
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[QUOTE=Kedosto;20432665] it simply doesn't matter.

/QUOTE]

F**&-g does when you're OCD about it
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Old 07-06-18, 07:11 PM
  #44  
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FWIW I always just eyeball it.
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Old 07-06-18, 10:13 PM
  #45  
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I use one of those park tool handlebar holder thingies. You know, so the bars don't swing when you're working on your bike. That aligns the handlebars to the frame, then I align the wheel to the frame by touch. Meaning actually feeling with my fingers that it's centered on the down tube. No parallax error, no monkeying around. Takes 2 seconds.
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Old 07-06-18, 10:18 PM
  #46  
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It's so simple, I can get it right with both eyes closed.

However, I do have a 6ft straightedge I place against both wheels simultaneously to check their alignment after tightening the QR. Sometimes they're not aligned on their own.
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Old 07-07-18, 06:08 AM
  #47  
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Incredible thread! So many solutions to such a simple adjustment! I am surprised one doesn't include a transit, though the laser was close!
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Old 07-07-18, 03:35 PM
  #48  
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I always eyeball. If this doesn't work, take off your front wheel, brace a straight edge against the front of your fork blades, sight down your handlebars to the straight edge, align the tops of the bars with the straight edge with one eye closed, job done.
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Old 07-07-18, 10:24 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by rachel120 View Post
Me too. I straddle the tire and move it until it looks perfect with one eye closed. I partially tighten it. I get on the bike as best I can in a stationary position and eyeball it with one eye closed, and move it until it looks perfect. I tighten everything down and get on and it's nearly always clearly slightly off. Too slight, I live with it. Not slight enough, I loosen everything and start over.
This. I start over the front tire, get the basic line up done. Then stand over the top tube, sight down from the middle of the stem and fine-tune & then tighten bolt(s) enough that it will hold in place to allow some test turning of the bars with both hands, back and forth. You'll know quickly if it's not centered.

That I find is the key for me- your hands AND your eyes working together will tell you when you start to move it whether it's equal or not. Then loosen, fine tune, try again, crank it down. Maybe not 100%, but functionally usable and if not wanting to use a string method kind of measurement as mentioned above, this will essentially do it.
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Old 07-07-18, 10:44 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by jj1091 View Post
I'd imagine you could try using a carpenter's speed square. Place it along the back side of the straight section of the bars, then look downward onto the top of the tire behind the fork, and align with the other edge.
I had fun a couple weeks ago trying to explain to my toddler why this is called a square when itís so self-evidently a triangle.

As for the handlebars, I used to think I did a pretty good job by eye but it turns out Iíve got astigmatism. So hereís a countervailing theory. Is it important that it be perfect?
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