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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 01-18-07, 11:11 AM   #1
Bklyn
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Putting a Wheel Back On: Why is this always an adventure?

I'm by no means a bicycle mechanic, but I am mechanically inclined. (I swear!) And still, when I change a flat, say, it's always a great pain to put the rear wheel back on. The fenders do obscure my view, but even with the singlespeed, there's no guarantee things will align perfectly. Invariably, the brakes rub. Or the fenders rub. Or there's a new noise that wasn't there before.
This should be easy after two year's as a daily commuter, but it isn't. Am I being too impatient? Or is there a trick to help me through this very basic repair?
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Old 01-18-07, 11:40 AM   #2
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If you have a bike repair stand, you could repair flats without having to take the wheel off.
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Old 01-18-07, 02:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crypticlineage
If you have a bike repair stand, you could repair flats without having to take the wheel off.
Please elaborate, the only time I have been able to change a flat w/o the wheel off was on my Cannondale w/ the Lefty.
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Old 01-18-07, 02:49 PM   #4
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Yes,that's a trick I'd love to see!
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Old 01-18-07, 02:49 PM   #5
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Subtle. He did use the word "repair" and not "change" which might indicate that he repaired the tube rather than removing and replacing it.
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Old 01-18-07, 03:01 PM   #6
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Yes, if you want to change the tube, obviously I have no intention of voiding the laws of material science, you must take the wheel off.

But for just fixing flats, you can pull out the tube with wheel still on bike, patch it, put it back, put the tire back on and pump it up.
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Old 01-18-07, 03:10 PM   #7
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My wheel replacing goes in streaks. I had been on a good run with respect to the brakes until a flat last week when I had to actually loosen the cable on the V brake to get the noodle to fit back into the thing that holds it, not sure what happened there. But it's worked ever since, including through a few more flats.

I've taken to putting the wheel into the dropouts while holding the frame in the air, then dropping it (less than a foot), that seems to get the wheel into a reasonable location a lot of the time..
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Old 01-18-07, 05:24 PM   #8
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You're right-it is a pita!!

You're right. Getting the rear wheel back in is always a pita!!
Most of the reason is the derailleur/chain; the brakes play a little part in the pita also.
Try this-
1)Make sure the chain/derailleur is on the smallest cog for taking it off and putting it on.
2).You have to "fit" the smallest cog/quick release between the chain runs while it is still a long way from the dropouts. The damm derailleur will look cockeyed now because it is untensioned. I have put the wheel in the wrong chain run!! Sometimes you actually have to pull the derailleur back to fit the wheel in(filthy hands-get the greasy black goo all over your pants etc)
2) Once you get the rear wheel close, make sure you put the chain back on that smallest cog; this assures-once again) that your hands will be filthy of course!!The derailleur should now be underneath the wheel/hub.
3) Once you have the chain in the smallest cog you kinda pull upward and backward while slipping it between the brakes.
4)Once it touches the dropouts you kinda grab both QR in either hand and pull backwards(for hori drops)- while steadying the bike with your face/neck shoulder(this is when a sidestand helps-bikes without sidestands suck-yes,I have a couple with no sidestands)
5)Don't pump the tire up much before trying to insert it-if the brakes are a close fit this makes it easier.
The main tricks are to have the derailleur in the smallest cog(front of chain in the small chainwheel ), fit the QR between the chain runs early, and don't pump the tire up much.
The derailleur makes you think you have to put the wheel in waaaay forward of where you actually put it in. Pull it back, otherwise you end up kinda pushing your wheel into the underside of your frame.
It still is a pita because no one wants to handle a filthy,greasy chain/derailleur.
I am trying something new; I installed a Wippermann stainless steel chain and attempted to get all the grease/goo off the chainrings and cogs and derailleur. NO OIL EVER FOR THIS CHAIN. I probably should have started with the teflon coated chain.
Charlie
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Old 01-18-07, 07:28 PM   #9
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Let gravity help you. Hang the bike by one hand from the seat tube, face backwards, roll the wheel in vertically with the other hand, and drop the top pulley on the small cog. Make sure you are in your smallest cog.

Here's my video of the process. 10-second rear wheel installation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxHXreuOLFM
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Old 01-18-07, 08:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crypticlineage
But for just fixing flats, you can pull out the tube with wheel still on bike, patch it, put it back, put the tire back on and pump it up.
yeeah, that didn't really help solve his problem. i'm sure he knew how to do it...he was just looking for a quicker/more efficient way of doing it. heh
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Old 01-18-07, 09:43 PM   #11
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The bicycle needs to be upright when replacing a wheel. Be sure the wheels are on the ground and the axles are all the way seated before closing the quick release or tightening the axle nut(s). This is one of the most common errors.

Al
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Old 01-19-07, 02:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crypticlineage
If you have a bike repair stand, you could repair flats without having to take the wheel off.
lol
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Old 01-19-07, 02:30 AM   #13
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Rear Wheel Video

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterrockets
Let gravity help you. Hang the bike by one hand from the seat tube, face backwards, roll the wheel in vertically with the other hand, and drop the top pulley on the small cog. Make sure you are in your smallest cog.

Here's my video of the process. 10-second rear wheel installation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxHXreuOLFM
Hey, thanks for the video demonstration. What a totally cool way to teach others a troublesome procedure.
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Old 01-19-07, 05:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bklyn
but even with the singlespeed, there's no guarantee things will align perfectly.
Singlespeed is, in some ways, actually a little harder. You have to be careful to make sure that the axle is perpendicular to the bike frame in the horizontal dropouts or the wheel will rub. A frame that has dropout adjustment screws can make that process a little bit easier. If you have a bolt-on axle, make sure that you are using axle nuts or it will want to "walk" forward on the drive side as you tighten the axle nut.
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Old 01-19-07, 07:05 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by AndyJ
Hey, thanks for the video demonstration. What a totally cool way to teach others a troublesome procedure.
Nah, there's no way I'm going to believe it's that easy. He's photoshopped it, or got the Myth Busters to do it. In fact, I reckon we should report this one to the myth busters

Richard
I still refuse to believe it's that easy
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Old 01-19-07, 07:18 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by europa
Nah, there's no way I'm going to believe it's that easy. He's photoshopped it, or got the Myth Busters to do it. In fact, I reckon we should report this one to the myth busters

Richard
I still refuse to believe it's that easy


You want me to do it with today's paper in the video? BF:Houston_Biker has witnessed such a wheel installation by me

The rear wheel knows you're scared. It senses your fear and jumps under the chain, behind your top pulley, grabs a brake pad, or slides one cog too far to the right. I make sure all rear wheels know I'm the alpha -- right when I make eye contact -- and I tell myself that I'm not scared.

I'd be fired if I was responsible for swapping Basso's wheel in a race and took that long
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Old 01-19-07, 07:18 AM   #17
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A few time honored bits of advice that really apply to changing a tube on a rear wheel:
Practice
Patience
Slow down
Practice
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Old 01-20-07, 01:10 AM   #18
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I'm relatively new to bicycle repair, and I have a Trek 7.3FX Hybrid. I just removed my rear wheel to clean the cassette, and everything went fine with that. Since I don't yet have a repair stand, I had the bike upside down during the whole process. I had no problem with re-positioning the chain or putting the wheel back on. When I tightened up the quick release after re-seating the wheel, I decided to spin the pedals to check and see if the brake pads were hitting the rim, and that was ok, too. But, I noticed that at a very fast rate of spinning, the frame wobbled almost in an up-and-down motion. I did not notice this before; however, I've never looked for it before, either.
Have I put the wheel back on incorrectly in some way, or is this normal for a very high-speed pedal spin while the bike is upside-down? Any feedback would be most appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 01-20-07, 09:42 PM   #19
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Wheels and tires aren't balanced. They'll all hop in a work stand. It's not enough to have any effect with a rider on the bike.

Kinda freaky though, huh?
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Old 01-20-07, 10:02 PM   #20
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Hey thanks. I did go for a ride today with no problems. I will take it to the LBS and have them show me how to fix it - but thanks for the info!
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Old 01-20-07, 10:12 PM   #21
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Oh, sorry for not being clear: this hop is normal. No fix needed. Happy riding
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Old 01-20-07, 10:58 PM   #22
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When you get the wheel back in the dropouts and before you latch it down, grab the brake lever and clamp down on it. That will center the rim to the brakes and prevent rubbing. While holding the lever, latch the hub.
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