Updated on August 18, 2022
Changing Rear Wheels Is a Breeze!
Rear-wheel removal for a flat tyre or to fit a bike in a trunk of a car can be nerve-wracking. Is the chains or shifting going to become all messed up if you do this? Doubt you’ll be able to replace the rear wheel?
We’re happy to report that changing a rear wheel isn’t going to impair moving or the chain in any way. You won’t even have to touch the grimy drivetrain if you work carefully.
Any derailleur-equipped bicycle, from a road bike to a mountain bike or any other two-wheeled vehicle, can be used in this manner. Take a look at the demonstrations and the detailed images and information that accompany them.
Let us know if you’d prefer a personal demonstration, and we’ll be pleased to oblige.
You’ll be an expert in no time at all thanks to our comprehensive guide!
One, two, three: WHEEL REMOVAL
1. Change to the tiny chainring and cog.
Slack in the chain makes it easier to remove the rear wheel by shifting the chain to the lightest cog on the rear wheel and the lightest chainring on the crankset. It also simplifies the process of mounting a wheel because it provides a precise method of aligning the tire (on the smallest cog) with the bicycle frame.
You may be able to shift to the smallest cog and ring when you come to a halt if your rear tyre begins to soften from a puncture.
Shift the right shift lever, hoist the bike by its seat and peddle by hand so that the chain moves down the cogs in the back while you’re not riding. You may need to shift the shift lever a few times depending on the sort of shifter you have.
To get the chain onto the lightest chainring in front, use the identical manoeuvre with the left gear shifter and pedal by hand.
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Open the brake to allow passage of the tyre.
Open the brakes
It’s not necessary to worry about this step while replacing a flat tyre because the tyre will fit through the brake easily once the air has been sucked out of it. The removal of wheels does not need touching the disc brakes on a bike with disc brakes.
When you try to remove a wheel from a bicycle with rim brakes, the tyre bumps against the brake pads. As a result, the brake has to be adjusted such that it is as close to the rim as possible, even though the fully inflated tyre is much wider than the rim.
You can open sidepull brake by fully twisting the tiny lever on the brake upwards to prevent the tyre from bumping into the brake discs (photo a). The brake quick release is a little lever that allows you to free (open) the brake caliper in a matter of seconds. Lift/pull the “noodle” end out of its holder for linear-pulls (also known as “direct-pulls” and “V-brakes”) (photo b).
It is possible to open some sidepulls by pressing a button on a lever that is located on the handle. If you can’t find a brake lever, this is what you’re looking for.
For cantilever brakes, remove one cable end from its holder and raise it out of the holder to open it.
Some people have found workarounds, such as pumping air out of their tyres until they are able to squeeze them through their brake pads. The removal of one brake pad can also be a useful method, but it necessitates the use of special equipment and time. Both pads can be removed if that is the case. The only thing you need to do is remount them carefully so that they don’t touch any portion of the tyre when they’re installed.
When removing or installing a wheel, just pull the rear derailleur back by hand.
Remove the wheel by pulling the derailleur back.
The wheel can now be removed. Most bicycle wheels are held in place by fast release mechanisms (the red parts in the photo). Open the fast release lever on the opposite side of the chain and pull it completely to free the wheel. Don’t try to move the lever by twisting it. Pull it out of the frame by itself.
The wheel is ready to come out when the quick release lever is pushed all the way open. In order to remove it, simply lift the bike up by its seat. At this point, the wheel may come off the bike (don’t let it escape down the road!). In case it doesn’t come out on its own, give it a little whack with your hand.
But resist the need to impose yourself. The gear and chain are preventing the wheel from coming out of the cassette. Lift your bike by the seat and maintain the rear end off the ground to clear the obstruction. As you reach down with your free hand, pull back the derailleur by hand to remove it from the chain.
Shaking the bike should now cause the wheel to fall off or drop off. Even if the chain still gets in the way, you can shake the wheel to remove it from the bike completely . Nicely done!
For the sake of clarity, we locked the derailleur in place. When removing the wheels, you must draw it back by hand because it will not stay in place on its own.
How do I reinstall the rear wheel?
To put it another way, the process of replacing the back wheel is the same as removing it.
Simply reinstall the wheel in the frame, making sure the chain is on the correct cog, close the quick release, and then re-engage the brakes to get them operating.
It is shown in this order that the front and rear wheels should be installed. There are a number of things that go wrong throughout this process, and we’ll go over some of them in detail below.
Irritating when the wheel is difficult to insert. However, there is always a mechanical explanation for everything. Take your time and follow our instructions several times to ensure that the rear wheels are put back where they belong. This way, you’ll have a much easier time locating the issue.
Check these things if your wheel won’t fit into the lug nuts:
Is the chain on the cog correctly attached? Keep in mind that you adjusted the chain to the lowest rear cog before removing the wheel Such, before reinstalling the wheel, you must first align the smallest cog so that the chain rides on it. Keep an eye out for any slop in the chain’s connection to the cog as well. A closed loop is what you get when you use a chain. Inside the loop, the cog should be (see the photo in Step 3).
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The chain must be attached to the pulley, not disconnected.
If the wheel has been removed from the bicycle for an extended period of time, the shift levers may have been tampered with. The derailleur can be moved in this manner so that the wheel does not go inside the frame when it is lined up with the smallest cog. To avoid this, the frame is hit. By changing into the shortest gear, you can easily fix this problem and get your wheel in the right place. These adjustments can help you align your bike’s rear derailleur with its frame and make it easier and more efficient to ride.
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Is the derailleur pulley chained up?
It’s also possible that if the chain comes off the derailleur’s top pulley, the wheel won’t fit into the frame properly (photo). To make matters worse, if the derailleur is shifted into the improper position, it can make the wheel run into the frame and become stuck. Put the chain back on the pulley and ensure it stays there when you install the wheel to cure the problem. This should do the trick. Use a stick to apply it or wrap your finger in a cloth to avoid getting grease on your hands.
It’s time to check if your fast release is open. This can happen if you disconnect the wheel from the bike and bump the fast-release lever. It won’t fit in the frame anymore since the quick release is closed and blocking the wheel’s passage. Once it’s opened, the wheel will easily slide right in.
Removing and reinstalling your rear wheel is easy once you’ve learned how to do it. Practice makes perfect, so do it a few times to perfect your technique. Moreover, you’ll be able to wow your pals by helping them remove and install wheels! If you’d like a demonstration, please let us know.
Hey, all I am Joe Marino I love to ride bikes and teach others how to ride them. Most of my articles are about which bike is best for others. I am passionate about cycling and it shows, whether I am writing about a $25 bicycle from any random website or a $5000 Santa Cruz.
I have always been the guy who gets calls from friends while at work asking which bike they should buy. I have written about the best city bike for commuting, the best folding bike for use on public transit, and even what to keep in mind when shopping for kids’ bikes.
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