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  1. #1
    Senior Member MitchL's Avatar
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    Removing rear wheel tips?

    I have a vintage road bike with vertical drop outs. Removing and reinstalling the rear wheel is really a pain. Between the brakes (not QR) and the RD and the chain I have the hardest time getting the rear wheel out.

    Is there an easy way to do this? Maybe a simple technique I'm just missing?
    "I have no idea what I'm doing... but I know I'm doing it really really well."

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    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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    Shift to the smallest cog, release brakes, release QR, lift bike by seat tube and give a quick downwards rap on the top tire.
    Wheel should drop right out.
    When installing, hold bike upright by seat tube, guide axle into chain loop and align chain to smallest cog ( you did shift there when removing wheel, didn't you?) and sit the bike down so the dropouts are over the axle. Push down to seat the axle in the drop-outs, tighten QR, tighten brakes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MitchL's Avatar
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    I don't have quick release brakes.

    The dropouts look like this... so I can't just tap the wheel straight down and out.

    VSPrestigeFF_62_DropRear_Comment1..jpg
    "I have no idea what I'm doing... but I know I'm doing it really really well."

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    Those are horizontal dropouts not vertical.
    Do you have a QR cable release at your brake levers?
    If not you will struggle to remove the inflated wheel. Can you use the cable barrel adjuster to get some slack? Otherwise, deflate the tyre.
    Put the chain in smallest cog. Losen axle bolt/QR
    Push wheel forward using some gentle foot action then use your hand to push down. It can be a fiddly operation which is why vertical dropouts are used now.

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    Try releasing all pressure from the wheel before you try to pop it. That can help make up for not having easy to remove brakes if you have a small enough tire. Other then that maybe try flipping the bike over? That is how I do it.

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    Senior Member MitchL's Avatar
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    No quick release at all on the brakes... its an old bike. I do deflate the tires, but I didn't think to loosen the cable adjuster.

    I guess the biggest problem I have is working around the rear deraillure and getting the cassett into the chain smoothly.

    I thought horizontal dropouts were the ones that were perfectly horizontal and opened to the rear (like on fixed gear bikes)... and everything else was vertical dropouts??
    "I have no idea what I'm doing... but I know I'm doing it really really well."

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    No quick release at all on the brakes... its an old bike.
    What kind of brakes and levers? Brake QR's have been around a long time. Many are obscure.
    I guess the biggest problem I have is working around the rear deraillure and getting the cassett into the chain smoothly.
    What kind of RD? Usually pulling back on the RD will move the cage away from the cogs, giving you a clear shot to move the wheel forward. Suntour RD was an exception. But their design permitted the chain to be removed from the RD cage.

    N.B. there could be a problem with horizontal dropouts on frames with paper clearance between the tire and the seat tube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SBinNYC View Post
    What kind of brakes and levers? Brake QR's have been around a long time. Many are obscure.
    .
    I see this a lot on old bikes with Dia-compe or the like brakes, which expect the levers to have a quick release, and modern aero levers, which mostly expect the brake to have it.

  9. #9
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    is it the original wheel? If it's a 130mm hub forced into 126mm dropouts, it's gonna be snug getting it in and out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBinNYC View Post
    What kind of brakes and levers? Brake QR's have been around a long time. Many are obscure.
    What kind of RD? Usually pulling back on the RD will move the cage away from the cogs, giving you a clear shot to move the wheel forward. Suntour RD was an exception. But their design permitted the chain to be removed from the RD cage.

    N.B. there could be a problem with horizontal dropouts on frames with paper clearance between the tire and the seat tube.
    +1 on pulling back on the RD--as in, grab it by the parallelogram, and swivel the cage and pulleys back. This might seem like it will make it harder, but it should make it easier. This page might help.

  11. #11
    Senior Member MitchL's Avatar
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    Weinman brakes

    photo (1)..jpg

    Suntour RD

    DSCN0767..JPG


    Its a new wheel (maybe 130mm) I had built up by a local shop. I asked them about sizing and they said it would be fine... but they didn't actually see the bike or old wheel. It is the original cassette though.
    "I have no idea what I'm doing... but I know I'm doing it really really well."

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    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Since the shop put the original freewheel or cassette back on there, the spacing's probably not an issue.

    But you have a centerpull brake w/ new pads on there, so it's likely the pads are holding the tire and preventing it from dropping out. I can't tell in the photo, but if you have a quick release lever under the saddle and above the brake (ovoid, metal, hanging from the back of the seatpost and frame, directly above the yoke--above the frame of your photo), then flip that up before trying to remove the wheel. This should release the tension in the cable and make the brake pads widen away from the wheel rim. Otherwise, if there's no quick release (just a hanger w/ a cable), then deflate the tire and try removing the wheel. Even if the flat tire catches against the brake pads, a sharp whack with your hand should enable it to pop through. Don't do this unless you can re-pump the tire, of course.

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    Weinman brakes
    It looks like you've got Vainqueur 999's. Their levers had a QR built in.It wasn't a very good QR. Its action is obscured by the hoods. When the cable is attached the tab at the top will not tuck into hood. This defines the normal position. To actuate the QR, pull the lever down slightly, then move the tab up and into the hood area while gently releasing the lever. It does not give you much additional spread.
    Suntour RD
    Pulling back on the parallelogram will not help. However, the cage is not in the way because the cage pivot is the center of the top jockey wheel. The chain can be removed from the derailleur cage to make taking the wheel off easier. Just get a little slack by rotating the cage forward a little. The chain can then be removed from the cage and then from the cog.

  14. #14
    Senior Member MitchL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBinNYC View Post
    It looks like you've got Vainqueur 999's. Their levers had a QR built in.It wasn't a very good QR. Its action is obscured by the hoods. When the cable is attached the tab at the top will not tuck into hood. This defines the normal position. To actuate the QR, pull the lever down slightly, then move the tab up and into the hood area while gently releasing the lever. It does not give you much additional spread. Pulling back on the parallelogram will not help. However, the cage is not in the way because the cage pivot is the center of the top jockey wheel. The chain can be removed from the derailleur cage to make taking the wheel off easier. Just get a little slack by rotating the cage forward a little. The chain can then be removed from the cage and then from the cog.
    I didn't realize the chain could be removed from the RD so easily... that should help alot.

    And I guess my brakes do have a sort of QR... but like you said it doesn't do too much. Next chance I get though I'll try it and it may be enough to not have to deflate the tire.

    DSCN0765..JPG

    DSCN0773..JPG
    "I have no idea what I'm doing... but I know I'm doing it really really well."

  15. #15
    Recreational Commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBinNYC View Post
    It looks like you've got Vainqueur 999's. Their levers had a QR built in.It wasn't a very good QR. Its action is obscured by the hoods. When the cable is attached the tab at the top will not tuck into hood. This defines the normal position. To actuate the QR, pull the lever down slightly, then move the tab up and into the hood area while gently releasing the lever. It does not give you much additional spread.
    This procedure should give you enough slack to unhook the cross-over cable from the cable saddle.

    If you don't have enough room between the brake pads then, unhook the crossover cable from one brake arm.

    If you still don't have enough room, how the &^% did you get the wheel in there in the first place?
    Riding the Ohio MS Central Ohio Challenge tour, July 12th.

  16. #16
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    I guess my brakes do have a sort of QR... but like you said it doesn't do too much.
    Actually, you have levers that are slightly different than the one's I showed.

    The good news is that they have a more effective QR. There's a tab on the lever just below the "safety" (aka suicide) lever. Just turn it sideways. That will open a gap that will allow the lever to retract further into the hood. It should open the brakes wide enough to permit a fully inflated tire to pass through. As with all brake QR's, you must remember to put it back before you ride the bike. The version I showed, automatically pops back into place.

    The bad news is that you have those "safety aka suicide" levers. Don't use them. Their mechanical advantage is such that they will bottom out before the brakes are applied. They come off fairly easily. Just unscrew them. You will have to adjust the brake cables a little, after they come off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchL View Post
    I didn't realize the chain could be removed from the RD so easily... that should help alot.

    And I guess my brakes do have a sort of QR... but like you said it doesn't do too much. Next chance I get though I'll try it and it may be enough to not have to deflate the tire.

    DSCN0765..JPG

    DSCN0773..JPG
    WTF is going on with those cables? Do they obscure your view when your riding?! lol

  18. #18
    Senior Member MitchL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cappuccino911 View Post
    WTF is going on with those cables? Do they obscure your view when your riding?! lol
    Everyone says that, but if I shorten them the handlebars won't be able to rotate all the way and that will put undue stress on the cables. I'm 6'4" and the bike isn't set up with a real aggressive riding position, so I don't even notice them.

    I've seen other VTG bikes online with cables that were pretty high too... I just assumed that was the style on VTG bikes.
    "I have no idea what I'm doing... but I know I'm doing it really really well."

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