I recently bought a 2002 Sprint ST with about 35000 miles. The front tire needed changing, so I removed the front wheel and had my shop mount and balance another one.
Upon reassembly, something seems a little strange. Everything goes back together OK, and I torqued the front axle to the listed amount (I forget, but something like 50 ft lbs.) Before tightening the pinch bolts, I noticed that the wheel seems to have maybe 1 mm of play back and forth along the axle. This didn't seem quite right to me. In fact, before I tightened the pinch bolts up, I found that I could push inward on the outsides of the two fork tubes and get rid of that slack. So now with the pinch bolts tightened, there is no play left, but this still doesn't seem quite right to me.
I guess my general question is on the design of the axle. Is it designed to get torqued into the right side of the fork tube, and have the wheel, bearings, spacer, etc. relatively "loose"? I guess I had assumed that the bearings need some sort of preload (torque?) directly on them (like you would in typical tapered head bearings. This front axle setup doesn't seem to be like that. Is it designed that way, or is something not quite right here?
P.S. - I was pretty careful to take pix on disassembly, to make sure to get everything back where I found it. Nothing appears to be worn, and at least on one parts diagram I found, I don't appear to be missing any spacers, etc. in there. Any advice would be helpful...
I think you can go here to see the photos of the wheel and parts before it went back together, and what the ends of the axle look like after it was torqued and the pinch bolts tightened, etc.: