The Balancing Act

Round and Round?

“It’s easy and shouldn’t take you more than a half hour to remove the tire and put the new one on. Balancing will take you 3 minutes.”

So said the calm and experienced voice on the you tube channel.

Three and a half hours later and over the course of 3 days, the mounted tire and rim sit on my balancing stand unbalanced. The days leading up to this point were anything but easy or a short take. No, they were hard, they were painful and they were very trying.

Ever have one of those moments when you knew you did everything correctly but one person says something and then you start questioning everything you’ve done up to that point? Ugh. I hate that.

These are the things I heard and read in no particular order:
“Bearings could be bad”
“The wheel might be defective”
“The spokes could be loose”
“The rim could be bent”
“You didn’t leave anything inside the wheel did you?”
“Maybe it’s the wrong size or type of tire”
“Maybe the balancing stand is defective”
“Is the yellow dot on the lightest part of the wheel?”
“Did you align the yellow dot with the valve stem?”
“Is the yellow dot aligned with the heaviest part of the tire?”

So, as you can see, not a lot of help from the peanut gallery. Thanks internet, you are virtually worthless on this one. It was almost like watching a weather forecast. “There’s a 60% chance of rain and sun… but some areas might see snow”. Nope, no help at all.

After several phone calls and inquiries I made a command decision.

At lunchtime today I put the wheel in the Jeep and drove to my local Harley Dealer.

“I need this balanced and checked over.” I said
“That’s it?” Said Bobby the service guy behind the counter.
I then went into a brief description of what I went through that lead me to this point of standing before him with my front wheel between my knees.
“That’s it. Just couldn’t get it to happen on my static balance stand.” I added.
“They never work. Let me take a look.” he said as he came around the counter.
He wheeled it behind the counter, checking the bearings as he did.
“Bearings are good at least.” he smiled and continued wheeling the wheel out into the service garage. Five minutes later, after instructing another service employee to get him some weights, her rolled the wheel back out.
“It was 2-1/4 ounces out. All good now.” he said with a smile.
“Really? That’s it? Wow, how much do I owe you?” I asked with a grin.
“Seven dollars for the weights.” he said as he tapped the keys on the computer.
“Well, this makes me rethink doing this ever again myself. Thanks Bob.” I concluded

This whole thing with this one wheel has me questioning my ideas of ever doing a wheel myself ever again. I might take them off the bike and bring them to the dealer from now on if I need new shoes. That was far too much effort.

Then again, it was my first time.

Have you done this?

One thought on “The Balancing Act

  1. Yes, “I left something inside the wheel!” when I was swapping street with dirt tires on a KLR. Somehow I let a tire spoon fall into the rim and I could not figure out why the bike was a bit wobbly or where my 3rd spoon went. In the end, I agree that some things are worth letting the pros handle especially when it comes to safety.

    Liked by 1 person

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