Really? You have a to have a process to do this? Why can’t I just put the front wheel in and tighten everything up to spec?
I get this all the time from street riders who just don’t realize that there is a set way to put a front wheel back in to avoid the forks binding and creating brake chatter. This is a substantially overlooked maintenance item so let’s get things clarified with the video link below.
That being said, there are a couple of variations that need to be taken into account:-
1. Bikes that have calipers with no locating dowels on the fork leg or axle casting must follow the following additional step:- put the bike in the air and set the caliper bolts finger tight and spin the front wheel and lock the brakes onto the rotor. Hold the brake pressure while someone else torques the brake bolts in place. Once done, release brake pressure.
2. If you have calipers with locating dowels while the bike is in the air, spin the front wheel and stop the wheel rotation using the front brakes. Torque the bolts to the brake calipers before you lower the front wheel to the ground.
Some axles also have machined grooves on them so you can see if the fork leg is binding as it should line up with that groove.