Make wheels further apart when folded (redux)

In another post I shared my experience with Xootr Crossrack (Xootr quick release rack on Strida). One potential problem mentioned in the post is that the wheels may become a bit ajar when the bike is folded. This is similar to the problem faced by owners who try to put wide tires, such as Schwalbe Big Apple and Maxxis Hookworm, on their Stridas. Luckily, Enrique Casanovas of Folding Life blog figured out how to increase wheel distance when folded and shared it with us: … Apple2008#

As being discussed here on Strida Forum before, the hack basically involves adding washers to make the magnetic ring on front wheel and the corresponding metal cup on rear wheel protrude further from the hubs. I found Enrique’s method to be very sound but would like to improve upon it a little. So here’s what I did.

[New hardware pieces to get]

Front wheel screw

Rear wheel screw

Middle washer (for shielding wheel bearing)

  • inside diameter between 8-9mm
  • outside diameter around 31mm
  • thickness around 1mm (get 4 for front, 3 for rear) / around 1.4mm (get 3 for front, 2 for rear)
  • something like this:

Inner washer (for spacing between wheel bearing and middle washer)

  • inside diameter between 8-9mm
  • outside diameter between 12-24mm (wider is better)
  • thickness around 1mm (get 2) / around 2mm (get 1)
  • something like this:

[Front wheel instructions]

  1. Remove (from outside to the hub) original screw → orig. outer washer → magnetic ring → orig. inner washer

  2. Install (from the hub and out) orig. inner washer → new middle washer (3 or 4 depending on thickness) → magnetic ring → orig. outer washer → new 25mm screw

Important: Make sure the middle washers are very close to the hub but not touching.

[Rear wheel instructions]

  1. Remove (from outside to the hub) orig. screw → orig. outer metal washer → orig. plastic washer → metal cup → orig. plastic washer (x2) → metal spacer

  2. Install (from the hub and out) new inner washer (1 or 2 depending on thickness) → new middle washer (2 or 3 depending on thickness) → metal spacer → orig. plastic washer (x2) → metal cup → orig. plastic washer → orig. outer metal washer → new 35mm screw

Important: Make sure the middle washers are very close to the hub but not touching.

Before (wheels did not close well)

Front wheel mod

Rear wheel mod

After (wheels close nicely)

Forgot to write that both new washers should be made of stainless steel.

Should the replacement screws be able to satisfy a particular minimum level of quality? (Tensile strength? Not sure what the critical factor(s) are seeing as I am not an engineer or materials expert.) In other words, are there any safety concerns involved in replacing the screw or any of the other parts?

I can’t say definitely but I think any stainless steel screws of the same specs should be fine. The wheels are supported by the mono-forks; the screws are only used to hold the magnetic pieces together and prevent the wheels from sliding off laterally (very unlikely).

If you’d like to secure it better, add some blue Loctite to the screws.

Many thanks for these most excellent and easy-to-follow instructions. After putting some 47-305 Schwalbe Marathons on my wife’s Strida LT, the wheel magnets held together only in the most precarious way. Buying the above screws and washers and following the directions above, I find that although the wheel magnets go together much easier the magnetic attraction between them is gone.

I imagine that I need to turn up the magnetism using the little screw hole in the metal cup on the rear wheel, turning clockwise (as it indicates to do in the Strida manual). However, the Strida manual isn’t at all helpful about identifying the tool fitting that little hole. in the illustration, it’s an Allen wrench, but none of my Allen wrenches are that small.

Any and all advice about how to restore magnetism to my Strida wheels is greatly appreciated.

With all good wishes,

Hi lexm,

There should be an L-shaped, black in colour, tiny Allen key included in the package which comes with your Strida. However, the Allen key is too small that many people ignore it or lose it easily. If you can’t find this tiny Allen key, I think you should contact Areaware and ask them sending you a new one. :wink:

Best wishes,

It’s a 1.5mm allen key that you need - available at good hardware stores or your friendly bike shop.
All it does is hold the magnet nearer or farther from its keeper, using the grub screw as the spacer.
It shouldn’t have changed just because of the tires - or are the tires especially fat and preventing the magnet from reaching the keeper?

On rereading your post, I think I see the problem.

Alas there is no way to “turn up the magnetism” despite the words on page 20 of the user manual, all the grub screw does is adjust the gap between the magnet on one wheel and the steel keeper on the other. Your fat tires (47 compared to OEM 40 width) are holding the wheels even further apart, so twiddling the grub screw clockwise with the allen key will be useless.

You either have to put the new tires on a diet :slight_smile: or follow FwdBwd’s advice further up this post about packing the magnet further out on the hub to restore the original gap.


Many thanks to Amuro Lee and Minkair - this is all really helpful for understanding how the wheel magnets (are supposed to) work. Between the comments and looking carefully at how the wheel centers go together, I think I’ve narrowed down the problem.

The problem both is the tires and it isn’t. It is the tires because, since installing them, the magnets have needed a “just so” fit for the wheel centers to come together. The attraction of fwd-bwd’s solution, above, was to make it easier for the wheel centers to come together - except now it’s harder. :blush:

The problem isn’t the tires because, since applying fwd-bwd’s solution, the wheel centers meet before the tires touch. This is exactly what is supposed to happen - except for the following: the screw heads on each wheel center are meeting at an angle, keeping the metal cup (rear wheel) and the magnet (front wheel) from forming a flush, face-to-face fit. A metaphor: They’re trying to kiss, but their noses keep getting in the way. :stuck_out_tongue:

Because the screw heads are meeting at an angle, I suspect that I’ve spaced the wheel centers out excessively. (I went to the maximum number of washers in fwd-bwd’s instructions, above.) My new conjecture is that by removing washers one at a time, through trial and error I’ll find the combination that will space the wheel centers enough for the tires not to get in the way, but not so much that the screw heads meet before the metal cup and magnet kiss full-on. (But I can’t start until later this morning. It’s Thanksgiving here in the USA and Mrs lexm would be most displeased to be waked by the sounds of my inept wrenchwork at 5.30a on a holiday. :laughing: )

Again, thank you to fwd-bwd, Amuro Lee, and Minkair. This has actually been a fun problem solving exercise. What started as simple frustration is now strangely stimulating - due in large part to the fact that I have a worldwide collection of Strida enthusiasts to call on when the going gets rough. :smiley:

With all good wishes,

Dont forget that for the magnet to work to its full strength, the ‘Keeper’ on the rear has to be sort of loose. So that it can self-align itself to fit perfectly flat on the magnet.

Word of warning … when fiddling with my magnet :laughing: I managed to nip a bit of skin under it … man does that hurt :open_mouth: I measured the strength and its over 30 lbs :astonished: so that little screw does work - and adjusts the magnetic force UP and DOWN (up when screwed in and down when screwed out - a tiny bit each way).

Many thanks to TomT for tendering that important reminder. Indeed, the first time I put everything back together the metal cup was absolutely rigid. I had to disassemble and reassemble to get the requisite play back.

However, to my extreme embarrassment, I must report that this problem over which I have asked you all to share your Strida knowledge and tender advice was wholly of my making. :blush: Early in the process I inadvertently reversed the front wheel magnet, so that its magnetic side faced in (toward the front wheel) rather than out. This both reduced greatly its magnetic force and (because the screw head is countersunk on the magnetic side) made the screw head stick out far enough to meet the opposite one before magnet and metal cup could meet flush. Once I put it back the right way, the wheel centers go together like magic. :smiley:

I hereby confess my mechanical ineptitude and will close like inept Saturday Night Live editorialist Emily Latella used to do: “Never mind.” :laughing:

Hi lexm: I just saw your posts now. Sorry if my original instructions weren’t clear enough. Glad hearing that you have solved the problem.

Your instructions are brilliantly clear, fwd-bwd. It’s just my head that’s a bit foggy. :blush: Thanks again for your initial post. The Strida wheels now snap together like they did with the narrower tires. :smiley:

Hi everyone,

first of all, thanks fwd-bwd for the excellent instructions about the procedure and materials needed when installing wider tyres.
I want to inform you herewith about the fact that I installed on my Strida MAS, which came with Kendo Kwest 32-305 tyres (not 40-305, which seem to be the standard for 16" Stridas today) a pair of Schwalbe Marathon 47-305.
The surprise for me was that it folds and holds with the new tyres without problems - so, no adaptation was needed. I admit that, when folded, the tyres are not parallel, but it was the same with the original tyres.
Here is a pic as per today, with Schwalbe Marathon 47-305:

And here, just for fun, the comparison between the old 32-305 and new 47-305 tyre


Hi VladP,

welcome at Stridaforum! :smiley:

Regarding your thanks to fwd-bwd you should know that he was also registered at another bikeforum - and there he was seen the last time 2014.
So I’m afraid he may not receive your message.
However, at other forums you would be now in danger being crucified for “exhuming a thread” :laughing:
…but at least I think that it is very nice to reply to old threads too, it shows that our forerunners won’t be forgotten!



Oh, sorry if I revitalised something considered closed - I just wanted to inform about my experience, because I know how long it took me to be prepared for this change, which showed at the end to have been not necessary.
Anyway, I hope that I did not disturb too much and that my information will be useful, someday, somewhere in this world.

Absolutely no reason for apologizes, at least I do appreciate.

Btw - we have here ancient software…would not know how to close a thread…


Have a safe ride,