Rear Wheel Spooky Sensations

I’ve been having this issue with my rear wheel where it or the tire on it feels squirmy under load. This happens in hard efforts like powering over the top of a climb when it’s flattening out.

Truing the wheel and changing the tire and tube setup has not solved the issue, dropouts are fine and this happens with a duraace skewer or a titanium through axle one.

I’m a little bit annoyed by this because of course it’s not fun to feel like the bike is shaking you out of doing your best power.

At this point I’m considering replacing

Need some more details, please. What wheels, tires, and bike is this occurring on? What pressure are the tires inflated to? Tubeless or tubes? If tubes, which type? How much power?

If it gives you spooky sensations only ride it during October!


That could be a tire pressure issue.

  • What pressures and tires (including tire sizes) are you running?
  • What is your inner rim width?
  • Are you running tubeless?

When tires are underinflated, they often feel squirmish.

In addition to all of the other questions above…

Have you tried a different wheel on the frame? What makes you think it is the wheel and not something else in the rear triangle?

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Once you’ve checked tyre pressure… how many spokes does the wheel have? Alu or carbon rim? And are you a stronger or heavier rider?

Check your frame very carefully. On the 2 occasions I’ve had this happen the frame was cracked and the crack was opening up under load. It wasn’t long until total failure.


25 rear gp 5000 on a dura ace c60 alloy rim

100 psi rear with tubes.

Next time be cognisant of how far you’re leaning forward as you crest and the gradient lessens. You may be putting insufficient weight on the rear wheel as you continue to power forward. Perhaps not enough for it to skip and hop, but I have to consciously move my weight back to mitigate this due to a 130 slammed stem, low stack height, and a frame that’s maybe slightly small for me.

I prefer the forward standing position in this hill sprint scenario, but if my rear wheel starts to lift then I’m losing power transfer/propulsion to the ground and I just need to lessen my lean a little.

Hopefully it’s this, but do check your frame, too.

I’ve also felt it on older frames and low spoke-count wheels also—flex.

Worn or not enough preload on the adjustable wheel bearings. A crack in the frame, but generally these show up as a spooky sensation when cornering hard as well. You say you’ve trued the wheel is there enough tension in the spokes? The titanium axled QR won’t be helping, are you doing up the Dura-Ace one tight enough i.e leaving a mark in your hand when its tightened?

Maybe you’ve just got strong enough to flex the frame and or wheel?

That is a good point about the adjustable wheel bearings, I replaced the rear wheel and it went away so I’m thinking that these shimano R9100 hubs actually did start to wear out around the preload system.