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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 01-29-09, 03:54 AM   #1
deepakvrao
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OK to invert a road bike?

Tried the search but didn't get any results.

When you are alone on the road and have a flat how many of you invert a road bike onto its saddle and hoods to remove the wheel? Is it safe to do? Seems a struggle to get the rear wheel off and on alone without doing this. Any suggestions?
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Old 01-29-09, 03:58 AM   #2
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No, you should never flip a bike upside down; especially when you're out alone like that.
Just think of what could happen if it were to fall over on you? You'd be trapped and there would be no one to help.
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Old 01-29-09, 08:06 AM   #3
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You can do it. However, you want to watch out for your computer face if you have one and your brifter hoods if you are on pavement. Other than some scratches on those items you should be fine.

Personally, I usually prefer to take the wheel out while the bike is upright and either a) have someone else hold it or b) put it down on its left side.
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Old 01-29-09, 08:09 AM   #4
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OK, now that the comedian has had his say, I agree with his conclusion. Inverting the bike can damage both the saddle and get dirt into the brifters.

Assuming a flat rear tire (and most flats are in the rear; Murphy's Law.) I hold the bike with the wheel off the ground, open the qr flag and hold the rear derailleur back so the wheel just falls out. Then I lay the bike down on it's left (non-drive side) while I replace the tube. I stand the bike back up, hold the rd out of the way and insert the repaired wheel and close the qr.

A front flat is even easier since the bike can stand on it's fork dropouts after the wheel is removed. I do like to lean it against something as the bike isn't that steady just on it's fork tips.
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Old 01-29-09, 08:26 AM   #5
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It's not really necessary, except for the rear wheel of a fixed gear. However, as my fixed is a POS winter bike, I don't care if it gets scratched and dirty. It's hideous anyway, can't get any worse.

With my race bike, for rear wheel flats, I like to lay it carefully on it's side, to avoid getting grit in the chain.
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Old 01-29-09, 09:50 AM   #6
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I often hang the bike by the saddle on a branch since there's not much room on the side of the bike path where people tend to get flats (grumble grumble). If there's room, laying it on the left is much easier.

I don't usually put it upside down, at least not since I was a kid. It beats up the saddle and whatever parts of the bars contact the ground.
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Old 01-29-09, 10:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Tried the search but didn't get any results.

When you are alone on the road and have a flat how many of you invert a road bike onto its saddle and hoods to remove the wheel? Is it safe to do? Seems a struggle to get the rear wheel off and on alone without doing this. Any suggestions?
Try this installation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxHXreuOLFM
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Old 01-29-09, 10:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Tried the search but didn't get any results.

When you are alone on the road and have a flat how many of you invert a road bike onto its saddle and hoods to remove the wheel? Is it safe to do? Seems a struggle to get the rear wheel off and on alone without doing this. Any suggestions?
You can do it, but be careful. In the old days we had to worry about damaging the brake cables where they exited from the tops of the hoods. Nowadays you worry about debris getting into your brifter$.
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Old 01-29-09, 12:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
No, you should never flip a bike upside down; especially when you're out alone like that.
Just think of what could happen if it were to fall over on you? You'd be trapped and there would be no one to help.
Funniest post all week! Fantastic mental image of a guy with massive quads but twig arms trapped under his 15 pound CF bike screaming for help.

In all seriousness, I use HillRider's method for the rear wheel too. Just extend the RD all the way, put the wheel inside the chain, and let the RD fix itself. In fact, I'd argue it's easier with the bike upright.
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Old 01-29-09, 01:08 PM   #10
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I invert mine, fwiw.
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Old 01-29-09, 02:37 PM   #11
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xenologer you owe me a shirt, snorted my coffee all over it; missed the keyboard fortunately.

I don't invert my bikes to change flats, or any other reason, just doesn't help and can cause cosmetic damage to bars/controls/seat.
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Old 01-29-09, 02:56 PM   #12
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Someone has to say it, so I'll do it:

Inverting the bike to remove a wheel is for amateurs. There!

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Old 01-29-09, 03:42 PM   #13
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in fact, i'd argue it's easier with the bike upright.
+1
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Old 01-29-09, 04:14 PM   #14
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I have a bungie cord in the bag. This is handy for hanging the rear end of the bike from a fence or branch. Otherwise I lay it on its left side.
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Old 01-29-09, 04:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Assuming a flat rear tire (and most flats are in the rear; Murphy's Law.) I hold the bike with the wheel off the ground, open the qr flag and hold the rear derailleur back so the wheel just falls out. Then I lay the bike down on it's left (non-drive side) while I replace the tube. I stand the bike back up, hold the rd out of the way and insert the repaired wheel and close the qr.

A front flat is even easier since the bike can stand on it's fork dropouts after the wheel is removed. I do like to lean it against something as the bike isn't that steady just on it's fork tips.
That's what I do too but I try not to have to do it often enough to get good at it.
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Old 01-30-09, 12:09 AM   #16
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OK Guys, thanks for the help. Will practice and try and do it without flipping and avoid being so obviously a newbie/amateur
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Old 01-30-09, 07:13 AM   #17
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Actually I think it's safe to invert a bike as long as you are not in the saddle at the time!

Really, aside from scratching, the only problem I've had is with drop-bar bikes that do not have aero brake cable routing. Putting weight on the brake cables invariably results in kinking the outer cable rigtht where it exits the brake lever, and reduces brake response.

Last edited by Road Fan; 01-30-09 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 01-30-09, 07:19 AM   #18
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Actually I think it's save to invert a bike as long as you are not in the saddle at the time!
Someone else mentioned it too but inverting the bike will stand it right on the cyclometer or on the cyclometer mount. The cyclometer and its mount project above the bars and will be the first things to hit.
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Old 01-30-09, 09:40 AM   #19
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Someone else mentioned it too but inverting the bike will stand it right on the cyclometer or on the cyclometer mount. The cyclometer and its mount project above the bars and will be the first things to hit.
Actually if I invert my bike it lies on the hoods. I have my bar rotated slightly upwards.
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Old 01-30-09, 09:44 AM   #20
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I think it's fine for the bike to rest on the hoods. There is, as has been said several times, a potential for scratching the hoods as well as the cyclometer and the saddle, due to contact with the road way. If you have modern brakes with aero cable routing there is zero added risk to the brake cables.
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Old 01-30-09, 12:23 PM   #21
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Just to give a simple answer to the question in this threads title:

NO!
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Old 01-30-09, 02:31 PM   #22
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No means NO.
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Old 01-31-09, 11:37 AM   #23
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Since this is the mechanics forum, I thought this question was going to be doing this to a bike
Attached Images
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Old 02-01-09, 01:35 AM   #24
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My answer is yes. It's not okay, however, in my opinion, to fully-reinstall the wheel while the bike is inverted. It's okay to stick in the dropouts/fork ends, but latch the quick-release while the bike is upright with the wheel on the ground--the weight of the bike helps ensure the wheel is seated completely and squarely.
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Old 02-01-09, 02:16 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
You can do it. However, you want to watch out for your computer face if you have one and your brifter hoods if you are on pavement. Other than some scratches on those items you should be fine.

Personally, I usually prefer to take the wheel out while the bike is upright and either a) have someone else hold it or b) put it down on its left side.
I also scratched the top of the headlight when I forgot to rotate the headlight before inverting the bike-so that's less of an issue if you invert on grass but with increased concern on dirt contamination. I usually invert for rear repair because it's so much easier to get everything back in place and properly aligned, but a front is so trivial to get back I rarely invert.
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