Bicycle Mechanics - How Get Rear Wheel Pulled Further Back
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05-25-08, 03:10 AM
When installing a rear wheel, how do you get it pulled back as far as possible? I think mine should go further back than I can get it by myself. I'm pulling on it with one hand while trying to keep it straight, hold the bike upright, and tighten the nuts at the same time. Is this just a two person job?
As always, Sheldon has the answer
Rear Wheel Installation
When your install the rear wheel, there are basically three things you need to adjust simultaneously:
* The wheel needs to be straight.
This basically means that the tire needs to be centered between the frame's chainstays. If you get it centered between the chainstays, it is properly aligned.
* The chain tension needs to be correct. (See previous section )
* The axle nuts or quick release skewer need to be tight.
Note: if you have a nutted axle, it is vitally important that the threads be properly lubricated with grease or oil. You should also have grease or oil on the contact surface where the axle nut presses agains the washer that contacts the frame.
Some folks who are used to derailer bikes find it frustrating, especially with a nutted hub. This is usually because they don't know the technique of "walking" the wheel back and forth in the fork ends.
Start by installing the wheel at approximately the correct position and tightening the axle nuts. They don't need to be super tight at this stage, but should more than finger tight. Check the chain tension and wheel alignment.
Most likely, the chain will be a bit loose, but perhaps the wheel is correctly aligned. Loosen one of the axle nuts and push the tire to the side so that the loose side of the axle moves to the rear, then tighten the axle nut you loosened.
Now the chain tension should be better, but the wheel is no longer centered between the chainstays. Loosen the other axle nut and re-center the wheel in the frame. This will actually tighten the chain a little bit more.
The key is to keep one or the other of the axle nuts tight at all times, and "walk" the wheel forward and back.
This takes a bit of practice and getting used to how much axle movement is needed to adjust a given amount of chain droop, but it isn't really hard as long as you keep one side secured at all times.
Note, this technique doesn't work with a quick release hub, but those are generally easier anyway.
05-25-08, 06:12 AM
I find it works best when tightening a nutted hub if I tighten the left side first. Tightening the right side first tends to make the hub "walk forward".
05-25-08, 07:29 AM
(Specifically, the Pyramid Banjo type and the two or three others that are similar.)
I never saw or heard of these chain tensioners, but now have two bikes that came with them. They're a partial solution, not an entire solution. Specifically, as you tighten the chain-side nut, the axle on that side can still tighten the chain a little more. But they do make it easier to align the wheel when putting things together. They are also two or four more nuts that you have to remove to fix a rear flat, and means one more little wrench in your bag of goodies. I don't know what bikes you can and can't use these on, or which of the models shown is best suited for what bike.
Sometimes I use a tennis ball. Jam it between the wheel and the seat tube.
05-25-08, 11:40 AM
First, bike must be upright. I sometimes see people remove and install wheels with the bike up side down. I don't understand this concept.
Assuming this is a bike with trackends or horizontal dropouts, whether it's fixed, single speed, or geared makes no difference.
Bike must be upright. Place one hand between the wheel and seat stay to push back and center the wheel while tightening the axle nuts with the other free hand. That's it. This shouldn't take longer than a few seconds at most.
05-25-08, 06:06 PM
OK. I'll try pushing off the seat stay and walking the tire back and forth. I was trying to pull the wheel back from the rear. That was my problem. Thanks!
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