You recently bought a new jogging stroller with a swiveling front wheel. And your morning routine with your tot in tow couldn’t be more fulfilling. But there’s a little problem that’s starting to get on your nerves. Every time you unlock the front wheel, it gets extremely wobbly.
Related: How to Clean and Store a Baby Stroller
You’re now questioning the point of having the unlock function on your jogging stroller. Here, you’ll learn what causes the issue, and most importantly, how you might fix the vibrating front wheel of your jogger.
How Common is the Wobbling Issue in Jogging Strollers?
Jogging strollers are a great choice because they let you stay in shape without leaving your lovely baby behind. But a shaking front wheel can cause problems to what should be a truly fulfilling adventure. A mom I’m friends with nearly burned their baby with steaming hot Starbucks. Were it not for the sun visor, the story could have ended painfully.
While this concerning phenomenon happens in jogging strollers with a swiveling front wheel, it’s not normal. And this post strives to diagnose the problem and give you suggestions that’ll fix the wobbling issue completely.
How Do You Fix a Wobbly Upperbaby Vista Wheel?
The way you fix a wobbly Upperbaby Vista wheel is the way you fix most other unstable stroller wheels. The quickest and easiest fix is to detach the wheel and apply some highly viscous grease such as WD40 on the axle/fork and base plate. Then, put the wheel back in and give it a few spins to spread the grease. If that fails, slide in a wave washer or an O-ring. And if that doesn’t work, try deflating the wheel if it holds too much air. And if all these suggestions fail, request the manufacturer to send you a replacement wheel.
What Causes Front Stroller Wheel to Wobble?
You can’t solve a problem you don’t understand. So, what causes the front wheel of a baby stroller to shake when you’re pushing it? If it’s none of the possible causes below, have a stroller repair technician diagnose the issue and fix it. Alternatively, replace the wheel and make sure you bolt it on correctly to avoid future issues.
4 Reasons You Have a Wobbly Stroller Front Wheel
1. Your jogger or all-terrain stroller is longer than the standard 3-wheel stroller.
One reason the front wheel of your stroller is wobbling could be that it’s a bit longer than the standard three-wheeler.
Parents who own the Phil and Teds Vibe lightweight stroller seem to be experiencing the problem more often.
2. The wheel’s inner tubing packs too much air pressure.
Another possible cause of shaking in a stroller’s front wheel is the inner tube of the wheel being overinflated.
When you air up the front wheel excessively, a portion of the inner tube may bubble. That inner tube bubbling in turns causes while wobbling.
3. You forgot to lock your front wheel, and you’re jogging at a fast pace.
4. The screws securing the front wheel have come loose.
There’s one more possible cause of the wobble stroller wheel problem — loose screws on the wheel’s axle.
6 Tips to Fix a Wobbling Stroller Front Wheel
- Take the front wheel off, apply some lube on the connection pieces, and attach the wheel back on.
- Deflate the front wheel a little.
- Use a wave washer to fix the wobbly wheel.
- Slide an O-ring down the wheel axle or fork to create a pressure seal.
- Inspect the wheel and if it’s loose when you spin, tighten the wheel a little.
- Make sure to lock your stroller’s swiveling front wheel before hitting the trail.
4 Ways to Fix a Shaking Stroller Front Wheel
The easiest and perhaps the best method to fix a wobbly or unstable stroller wheel is to detach it and lube it. If doing that doesn’t help, let some air out of the tire and if that fails, it’s time to replace the tire.
Method #1: Lube the Wobbly Wheel
This trick involves detaching the problematic wheel and applying some lube to the attachments. Here’s how to do that in two steps:
Step 1: Remove the tire and lube it up with WD40 or multipurpose grease from a car supplies store.
Taking the wheel off is extremely easy in pretty much all stroller types. Simply lift the housing up a little and pull the wheel out. It’s that straightforward.
WD40 is one of the most useful household products ever invented. There’s a good chance you have some WD40 around the house. Apply a generous amount of this thick grease on the wheel axle and on the plate at the base.
Next, give the greased wheel a couple of clockwise and counterclockwise twists to make sure the grease gets distributed to every part of the wheel attachment.
Step 2: After greasing the wheel up adequately, push it back in and problem solved.
Again, watch a model-specific video on how to re-attach the wheel correctly. Watch this video to learn how to do exactly that. It’s easy.
Method #2: Deflate the front wheel a little.
Try this method if methods #1 and 2 fail to solve the wobble. This strategy works best if the over-inflated tire situation hasn’t continued for too long. How you release excess air from a stroller tire depends on the type of valve the tire features.
Stroller tire valves are similar to bike tire valves. That means they’re either Schrader valves or Presta valves. A Presta valve is slender and long while a Schrader valve is similar to car tire valves. It’s wider and shorter than a Presta valve.
How to Deflate a Stroller Tire Having a Pressure Valve
If your stroller wheels have Presta valves, unscrew the threaded nut at the top and press it down. Keep it pressed until you have let out enough air.
How to Deflate a Stroller Tire having a Schrader Valve
As for deflating a Schrader valve on a stroller tire, first off, remove the cap on top of the valve cap. This cap’s job is to ensure no dust gets into the valve system. Then, use a pin cap or screwdriver or basically anything slender and pointy such as a toothpick to deflate the valve. Simply use the tool to push the threaded valve stem down. Once enough air gets out of the stroller’s tire, put the valve cap back on.
If letting the air out fails to solve the problem, consider replacing the inner tube. Where do you get replacement inner tubes for stroller wheels? Your Local Bike Shop most likely carries the replacement tubes you need.
Method #3: Use an O-Ring to Stabilize a Wobbly Stroller Wheel
If methods 1 and 2 above fail, try this trick. Because it works.
O-rings are little rubber rings that handy folks use to make seals tighter in various home improvement applications. These rings are cheap, and you can buy them in different thicknesses from your local hardware store.
Here’s How to Use O-rings to Fix Unstable Stroller Wheels.
Step 1: Detach the wheel.
Step 2: Take one O-ring and slip it all the way down to the bottom of the wheel axle or fork.
The purpose of the ring is to press down on the small plastic lip at the bottom of the axle or fork. If the wheel feels too tight, remove the ring and put in a thinner one. Alternatively, sand both sides of the ring a little. Then, apply some thick grease on it, slide it down the axle or fork.
Step 3: Finally, reattach the wheel and spin it in all directions to see if it’s tight enough.
If this method won’t stop the wobbling completely, I don’t know what will. Here’s a video on how to use O-rings to stabilize a stroller front wheel that shakes or wobbles too much. Especially when you’re moving at a normal strolling pace or navigating tight turns when outdoors jogging with your baby.
Method #4: Use Wave Washers to Stabilize a Stroller Wheel
You can also use Wave Washers to solve unstable stroller wheels. This works well, even better than using O-rings. But wave washers can be hard to find. It’s even harder to find the size you need. It’s best to just take your stroller down the repair shop for this kind of fix.
How to Fix Squeaky Foam Wheels on a Stroller
This is a common issue with foam stroller wheels. You’re strolling around and there’s that annoying squeak emanating somewhere between the rim and the foam. For the most part, the problem occurs in the rear wheels. But, how do you fix this annoyance?
Good news! Fixing noisy stroller wheels is easy.
What You Need
- A flat screwdriver
- Noisy wheel
Step 1: Remove the squeaky wheel and set it down on the floor.
Step2: Using a screwdriver, pry the foam up a little, taking care not to damage the rim.
Step 3: Next, put the WD40’s thin straw in between the pried-up foam and rim. Press the top of the can to release the viscous fluid inside. A couple of squirts should do the job. You want to have a coat of WD40 between the foam and rim all around the circumference of the wheel. So, once you’re done spraying at one spot, turn the wheel around and repeat the process at another point. 3-4 places should be enough.
The pressure from the container holding the WD40 helps spread the lube inside the wheel. Still, you want to spray the WD40 in at a few points around the circumference of the foam tire.
Step 4: Get the lubed wheel back on, ready to roll.
Well, the squeak might not disappear instantly. But everything should be quiet after a few hours spent strolling down twisty trails with your kiddo. Here’s a video on how to fix a noisy foam stroller wheel.
Did My Suggestions Work?
I bet you found the suggestions above useful. From using wave washers and O-rings to deflating the tire lubing the wheel axle, there are multiple ways to stabilize a shaky front wheel of a stroller.
If for some reason none of the suggestions above worked for you, maybe it’s time to contact a stroller repair shop. Or invest in a better quality stroller if you suspect that what you have is junk.
Is there a tip you feel I forgot to write down? Let me know in the comments below.