One of the things I've seemed to have taken for granted is that its the friction the floor exerts on a rolling wheel that prevents slip from occurring.
However, I ran into something that challenges that assumption: the contact point of the wheel on the floor has zero velocity relative to the floor, and no other lateral forces appear to exist. This implies that there is no friction. Otherwise the wheel would accelerate/decelerate, which there seems to be no mechanism for (ignoring drag, assuming no slip).
So, is it true to say no friction occurs on a wheel rolling at a constant speed? It is difficult to test as drag is difficult to isolate from the issue. No friction would imply that if the wheel rolled from a rough surface to a perfectly smooth surface, the wheel would not slip.
Is this effect analogous to a spring, such that if the wheel is overspinning, friction acts to slow the spinning down (spring extension, tensile force), if it underspins, friction acts to speed the spinning up (spring compression, compressive force), and a wheel spinning without slip experiences no friction (spring natural length, no force)?