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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnnyCyclist's Avatar
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    Dumb question: installing rear tire

    I've asked some dumb questions before (like a front derailleur shifting problem, which turned out to be nothing more than a loose cable - no need to mess with the limit screws, the derailleur height, the derailleur angle, etc., which was where I started). But I think this one will win the dumbest prize.

    This weekend, I checked out a low-mileage road bike (a Fuji Roubaix Pro), found it to be well-maintained, test rode it, and bought it. I got it home and took the rear wheel off (among other components) to polish the bike. The bike now looks nearly new, but I can't re-install the rear wheel. Specifically, I cannot get the gaps in the skewer to align with the notches in the frame. I have loosened the nut on the skewer until the gaps are much larger, but still no luck.

    I had no problem removing the wheel, nor do I see anything out of whack, so I'm assuming nothing is bent. I looked for and didn't see anything bent before I bought the bike, and don't see anything bent now.

    Either there's something about this bike's mechanism that I don't know about, I'm doing something really dumb, or there is a mechanical problem I haven't identified. I do not have vast bike experience. I do own one other bike. I have removed/installed its rear wheel countless times. I know enough to release the brake and place the chain on the smallest sprocket. No need to touch the derailleur on my "old" bike, but I've tried pushing/pulling the derailleur as well on my new Fuji, without luck.

    Any ideas? Make a fool of me all you want ... just help me get the wheel on.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Shift the rear shifter to the highest gear/smallest cog and try again.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  3. #3
    Bicycle Repairman kingsting's Avatar
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    How does the rear derailleur mount to the frame? Does it bolt directly to it or is there a little sandwich bolt on the rear dropout and it's held in place with the rear skewer? If the sandwiched style shifts a little, it can make rear wheel replacement a real bugger...
    There's always room for one more bike!

  4. #4
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    1. Measure the distance between the inner-surfaces of the dropouts.

    2. Then measure the distance between the ends of the axle locknuts (not to the ends of the axle). This is the surface that rests against the inside of the dropouts.

    Compare the two measurements.

  5. #5
    Senior Member JohnnyCyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    1. Measure the distance between the inner-surfaces of the dropouts.

    2. Then measure the distance between the ends of the axle locknuts (not to the ends of the axle). This is the surface that rests against the inside of the dropouts.

    Compare the two measurements.
    The simple, logical things that we (I) don't think of.

    Thanks also to kingsting. I don't have the bike here, but don't think there's a sandwich bolt. I'll certainly look, however.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnnyCyclist's Avatar
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    When I got the bike home, I de-greased the rear cassette. At the same time, I obviously tightened the skewer adjustment bolt. A LOT. I did loosen it afterward, but my thinking was "this can't be right, I shouldn't have to loosen it this much".

    Well, this morning I did the measurements, loosened the bolt further, and presto! The wheel goes back on.

    Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    But, all's well that end's well, too.

    Lesson learned. Thanks to all for your help.

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