I received my new wheel, a Louet Victoria (S95) last Friday, but with moving and such didn’t get to use it right away. On Saturday when I did try the singles I spun were great, the wheel was amazing, and everything seemed fine. The next day I tried Navajo plying the singles and it just wasn’t happening. Then the wheel started fighting with me, making this really loud screeching sound that worried me so I stopped to check things out. It turned out the wheel was forcing the screw holding the footman bearing into place out.
The screw could not come out all the way and thus make the bearing fall off because the footman was holding it in place. It could only come out as far as the empty space inside the cup of the footman would allow.
After asking around to see if this was something I could fix myself or not, I contacted the dealer I bought the wheel from to see what could be done. He contacted Louet and got them to send me a bolt assembly that could be used instead of the screw that would fix the problem. Apparently it’s not something that happens often, but it does happen. Rest assured, the letter they sent with the part mentioned that second-generation Victoria’s would be assembled with the bolt instead to prevent it from happening at all in the future.
The repair itself was pretty simple. You drill a hole through the wheel where the hole for the screw is, then put the metal bushing provided into this hole. After removing the white plastic bushing from the bearing, you put the bearing on the bolt provided, with a split washer and regular washer between it and the wheel, and then just tighten the bolt into the metal bushing.
I didn’t attempt pictures of this step because the lighting was bad and because a camera can’t really show you the inside of a hole that small very well either. But when you are done (and it’s easier than it sounds, the repair took a matter of minutes) you will have a nice secure bearing that won’t be forced out of the wheel. It’s much the same as the way the wheel itself is attached to the base.
It also doesn’t make the wheel look much different than it did before. In fact, I suspect other than the fact that the bolt used is black most people wouldn’t notice a difference at all.