Scary situation in today's group ride - Rear Wheel Speed Wobble

Today on a flat and fast section of our group ride, I experienced a first: A speed wobble coming from my rear wheel while going 32 mph. My heart went up my throat. I thought I was going to lose it and take half the group out. We were single line at the time and I was in the middle. We rode through a slight undulation on the road and coming out of it my back end started to lose it.

I changed my back tire about a week ago (today was second ride on new tire, but first hitting high speed). Also, I use tire liners between the tire and the tube on my clinchers. I’m wondering if the liners may be out of line and that could help cause it, or if it might be related to the new the new tire… or maybe it was just bad luck.

Regardless, I never want to go through that again… what do you guys think, should I replace that rear tire again just to be safe?


I would check and make sure the tire is properly seated in the rim….especially if you are running tubeless.


Check the tyre is properly seated. Sometimes, it doesn’t fully move onto the rim, and you get slight bulges. With tubes, you don’t easily notice. There should be a line on the tyre near the rim that should be an even distance from the rim.
I have no experience with tyre liners, so can’t help with that bit.


Thanks. I’ll check.

Another thought, make sure the wheel isnin the dropouts properly. If you recently changed tyres, you took it out and it might be slightly skewed?

Also check it isn’t buckled anywhere and doesn’t need trueing.


Could you be a bit more specific about the wobble? Was it side to side, up and down, all over the place? I’ve never see a wobble from a rear wheel before, would be strange if there’s no obvious issue like a poorly seated tyre, buckled wheel, loose thru axle…

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Strictly side to side. Yes, from my rear tyre, not the front. We passed through that slight undulation in the road. I was fine after the front passed but as soon as the rear came out of it, the rear started to wobble side to side.

That sounds like the wheel buckled or shook lose at that point.

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It didn’t seem to buckle… just straight into the wobble right after that fast undulation… I thought I was going to see it partially out of the rim or something after I came to a stop, but I checked it and all seemed fine. I kept on on my own after that and took it to about 28 mph towards the end of the ride and all seemed fine… very strange. I’m going to take it out and re-seat it, just in case.

Agree with all the above, but also check the preload on your hubs. If your wheel has any play side to side when in your bike there’s a chance the issue is hub bearing preload. There are different ways to adjust this depending on your hub manufacturer and model so check the Google and YouTube.

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Check your frame for cracks also. Look at the chain-stays and dropouts in particular. If the dropout has de-bonded from the seat-stay (if it’s the lugged type) then you might not notice until you un-weight the bike, like when going through an undulation.

I agree with the above, if the rear wheel developed a speed wobble something has to be loose. Was the whole frame going nuts or just the back wheel? If the wheel was moving independently of the frame then there’s an issue somewhere.

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What kind of wheels? Were they deep section? Any crosswind?

Check the hubs (bearings) , spokes, the quick release or thru axle is properly tightened, tires seated and frame for small cracks. I’m sure you’ll find something checking all those if not I’m lost for ideas.

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