Sidekick Troubleshooting

Clunking sound while spinning backwards (counterclockwise)

If you have an older Sidekick (pre-2016) some wooden hubs were prone to detach from the nylon drive wheel. In some cases the glue failed and this caused the wheel to separate from the wooden hub center. When the wheel spins forward (or clockwise) the problem is undetectable, but when spinning backwards (counterclockwise) during plying, there’s a clunking sound.

Treadling is stiff

If your treadling is stiff or there are “flat” spots check to see that there is about a 1/16" gap between the flyer shaft shoulder and the orifice bearing. The flyer should have a little room to move back and forth between the maidens. If the flyer won’t move, check to be sure that the front maiden is sitting upright and not tilting forward slightly. You may also need to adjust the rear bearing; see “adjusting the rear bearing position” below.

You can also try slightly loosening the screw in the side of the front maiden that holds the bearing in place. This bearing needs to have some movement to allow the flyer to seat properly.

Adjusting the rear bearing position

With the flyer assembly installed, make sure the front and rear maidens are vertical and pushed against their stops. Secure the maidens with the quick release levers.

To check the placement of the rear bearing, slide the flyer assembly to the rear. Check to see that there is small gap between the shoulder on the flyer shaft and the orifice (front) bearing.

adjusting the rear bearing

If the flyer doesn't move and there is no gap, you will need to reposition the rear bearing. Loosen the screw in the side of the rear maiden. Slide the flyer to the rear about 1/16" to create a space between the flyer shaft shoulder and the orifice bearing. Tighten the screw to secure the rear bearing.

Drive band is making noise

Place a small drop of oil on the grooves on either side of the drive band pulley where the drive band is held.

oiling drive band pulley(s)

Check to make sure that the drive band is in the pulley as shown in the image. Take the drive band from the back of the drive wheel and pull it to the front of the drive band pulley and into the groove on the right. Take the drive band from the front of the wheel to the back of the drive band pulley and tug it into place in the groove on the left.

Treadles won’t slide together smoothly or are hard to move

treadle bolts

Loosen the nuts holding the bolts on the treadle support bar.

Treadles are squeaky or making noise

In some cases, a small change to your foot position on the treadles can reduce or eliminate noise. Experiment and see what works. If you continue to have problems, please email for assistance.

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