The Dumbest Problem
I changed the tires on the bike today. What is normally a routine without any problems, tonight was different. Rear wheel, no problem, mounted and balanced in about 15 minutes. Tire machines work wonders. Front wheel, 5 hours and I finally gave up. My brakes are dragging bad. If I throw the wheel as hard as I can, I get maybe half a rotation. I spent hours trying every single possible combination of things that maybe I messed up. I made sure I installed the wheel EXACTLY as the manual states. I also tried every other way that it didn't state. The front brakes did NOT drag at all before I changed the wheel(you could just barely hear the pads kiss the rotor, but it would generate no heat--wheel would spin with virtually no resistance), and BOTH calipers drag after. The throttle side rotor sits centered perfectly inside the caliper, while the clutch side has the rotor nearly touching the medial side of the caliper. The wheel looks to be perfectly centered inside the fender, at least to my eye. And beyond that, when I hold the brakes and rock the bike, I get lots of clicks and pops from the front end which I feel like weren't there before the tire change. WTF?
A job that is the easiest thing for me to think of, somehow went wrong in every way. I've had issues with centering wheels in the past, but it was always something simple like getting the forks to situate themselves on the axle, or the cups being the wrong way around. I've tried my best to research, but found no answers. I managed to make the 10 mile ride home tonight, and I could feel them dragging the whole way. After trying to fix this problem outside in the night, as it started to rain at 2am, after banging my head on things and breaking wheels off of stools, I have given up. I am embarrassed that I cannot properly install a front wheel, but I can't take it anymore. If anyone has any ideas that may help or things I should check again, please help.