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How to invert bike without brake cables kinking?

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How to invert bike without brake cables kinking?

Old 09-03-20, 11:50 PM
  #1  
kkraoj
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How to invert bike without brake cables kinking?

I have a Raleigh 1983 Olympian. Whenever I get a flat on the rear wheel, I wish to place by bike inverted on the ground (wheels facing up, bike rested on saddle and handlebar), pull out the rear wheel, and fix the flat. But if I invert the bike, it will rest on the saddle and the 2 points where the brake cables emerge from the brakes (the points where the brake cables meet the brakes are much higher than the stem). This will obviously damage the cable housing and probably the cable as well if done repeatedly (tried and tested). Questions:
1. Is there some technique to dismount and mount the rear wheel without inverting the bike (thus preventing the brake cables from kinking)? I am able to dismount the rear wheel quite easily without inverting the bike, but for mounting the wheel, I struggle a lot to get the alignment right. Inverting the bike would make this much much easier.
2. Is there some accessory which I can install to allow me to safely invert the bike without damaging the brake cables?
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Old 09-04-20, 12:23 AM
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I have never felt the need to invert the bike when removing or installing the rear wheel. Loosen the quick release. Ensure chain is on the smallest cog. Lift the rear of the bike off of the ground. Pull the deraileur back and drop the wheel out. Installing the wheel is just the opposite. In truth, there is nothing to it unless you have drop spacing issues.
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Old 09-04-20, 12:39 AM
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Aero levers.....done!
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Old 09-04-20, 01:29 AM
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Yeah, don't stand the frame upside-down with cabled-up non aeros.

I sold a bike to a high-strung, young guy a long time ago that wanted to show me a noise a month or so later. He rode, racing up the pavement, flipped over the bike onto my nicely routed non-aeros to show me the old freewheel clattering a little while coasting. I was like, "ok, ok! my eyes!"

If I've already cabled up the non-aeros on a recently built-up bike and would like the frame upside down to retrue wheels, I'll finagle some books under the bars to protect the cables. Works all right with a rug and a wall as a safety. If it needs a lot of time, I'll remove the cables. Without a truing or work stand, you really have to get your **** right the first time. Which I usually do.
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Old 09-04-20, 05:38 AM
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I tackled this back in the 60's when I didn't have any place to work. Took a 2x4 and drilled a 1' hole in the middle of the 4" face. Cut the 2x4 in half through the hole. Assembled the two hafts onto another 2x4 section, used as a base, creating a stand that has a cradle for the handlebars protecting the cables. Too long ago and no pictures.
Randy's is the way to do it.
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Old 09-04-20, 07:29 AM
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If it’s a quick removal in the garage I hang the nose of the saddle over a roof beam, otherwise it’s in the stand. May seem obvious but out on the road be sure to lay the bike down drive side up.
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Old 09-04-20, 08:32 AM
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Lay the bike down on its (non-drive) side. Then lift the back end up so itís vertical, leaving the front wheel flat on the ground.
Putting the wheel back in will be easier if the bike is hung by the saddle, as mentioned by the previous poster.
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Old 09-04-20, 08:47 AM
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Don't invert the bike, ever.

It's the front wheel that gives you trouble? Loosen any brake quick release, put the wheel in, let gravity hold it in and make sure the hub has fully settled into the fork ends, tighten the hub QR and brake QR, done.

If the wheel does not center itself when fully settled into the fork dropouts, then the bike is not set up properly. Either the brake is not centered, the wheel is out of dish, or the fork is not aligned.
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Old 09-04-20, 08:52 AM
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Perhaps OP doesn't have quick releases and has a bolt on axle?
If so, as Randy said above prepare bike by shifting to smallest cod. Then, simply loosen both axle bolts while bike is still upright. After wheel is loose, lift rear and wheel will want to fall out. Let tire drop and if freewheel still in chain slip it out. Lay bike down right side up. Repair tire. Don't replace tire in bike laying down. Hold bike upright again. Put tire in from underneath. If no helper, may be a struggle to get freewheel inside chain but it'll come. Once freewheel has chain on smallest cog, slip it into dropouts and align and tighten.

Working without a stand makes maintenance harder. If you have room for one and the budget get one. If not a rope to a rafter, a rope to a tree branch etc. Alternatively join a co-op or ask a friend to help.

Edit: If OP knows how to string cables and adjust brakes, the aero levers idea is a good one. For a one bike owner who can't have a stand it makes sense.

Last edited by WGB; 09-04-20 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 09-04-20, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by WGB View Post
The aero levers idea is a good one.
Depends on the bike. 1975 Paramount with full Nuovo Record? Bad idea!
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Old 09-04-20, 09:13 AM
  #11  
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Just google "hang bike by saddle" and you'll see bunches of pix!

You can use a 2X4 off a work bench or you can use a rope loop from rafters or a tree branch.

It doesn't scuff your saddle, stem or other part parts.

Good luck!!!
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Old 09-04-20, 09:34 AM
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A stand is not required to put a wheel in, especially a front wheel. IMO it is easier to get a front wheel in correctly without a stand.

The OP's bike is a Raleigh Olympian. It should have a QR front wheel.
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Old 09-04-20, 09:55 AM
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Even with "aero" levers and cable routing, inverting the bike to remove a wheel invites damage to the saddle, handlebar tape, and lever hoods. I advise against it. A work stand is helpful if you're at home, but sometimes you need to fix a flat out on the road.

For a front wheel, lift the front of the bike, loosen the hub quick release and caliper release, and drop the wheel out of the fork. Lay the bike on its left side while working on the wheel.

For a rear wheel, shift to the smallest sprocket, lift the back of the bike, hook the chain onto the chain holder (if any), loosen the hub quick release and caliper release, move the derailleur out of the way, and drop the wheel out of the frame. Again, lay the bike on its left side while working on the wheel.
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Old 09-04-20, 12:27 PM
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"RULE #49 : Keep the rubber side down.It is completely unacceptable to intentionally turn one’s steed upside down for any reason under any circumstances. Besides the risk of scratching the saddle, levers and stem, it is unprofessional and a disgrace to your loyal steed. The risk of the bike falling over is increased, wheel removal/replacement is made more difficult and your bidons will leak. The only reason a bicycle should ever be in an upside down position is during mid-rotation while crashing. This Rule also applies to upside down saddle-mount roof bars". https://www.velominati.com/
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Old 09-04-20, 12:39 PM
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I'm in complete agreement with these last several posts.

I once loaned a friend my GT LTS MTB so we could ride while he waited for a warrantee replacement frame to arrive. Well, he flatted one of the tires, and while I was dutifully pulling a tube from my bag he'd already flipped that bike over with both XTR Rapidfire levers resting in the dry, rocky soil! Luckily no fragile shift indicators on those but the grey-ano finish at the clamps was sure as heck scratched.

Lesson learned, temper your expectations as to the type of care that a good loaner might receive.

EDIT: I'll add that another thing neglected when wheels are installed on the upside-down bike is that there needs to be some real weight on the axles when the QR lever is secured, or the ends of the axles may not be seated fully in their weight-bearing position in the slots. So I typically use my hand or shoulder to put a little weight on the saddle or handlebar stem as I flip those levers! The chain's sprung tension may even prevent a lightweight bike's rear axle from settling against the rear-most upper run of the dropout if some gravitational oomph isn't helping it to move and stay there as the lever is flipped.

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Old 09-04-20, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
I have never felt the need to invert the bike when removing or installing the rear wheel. Loosen the quick release. Ensure chain is on the smallest cog. Lift the rear of the bike off of the ground. Pull the deraileur back and drop the wheel out. Installing the wheel is just the opposite. In truth, there is nothing to it unless you have drop spacing issues.
How do you set the bike down without the rear wheel?
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Old 09-04-20, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
How do you set the bike down without the rear wheel?
I often lean a bike with either wheel removed against a railing, wall or post. I gently swing the bike's saddle toward such support before gently letting the bike rest on the front dropouts or rear derailer. As long as any bolt-on claw-mounted rear derailer is tightly fastened I have no problems doing it this way.

Having fenders usually means laying the bike down is the only option.

One last way to leave a bike standing without a rear wheel is to hook the left dropout opening over the spindle of another parked bike's pedal. This is something I've done many times while quickly making a pre-ride flat repair in the living room before heading out the door on a scheduled ride, as often enough a thorn causes a tire to turn up without air in the morning! While this sounds tricky and precarious, it works well with some practice and keeps the carpet clean.

Last edited by dddd; 09-04-20 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 09-04-20, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
I have never felt the need to invert the bike when removing or installing the rear wheel. Loosen the quick release. Ensure chain is on the smallest cog. Lift the rear of the bike off of the ground. Pull the deraileur back and drop the wheel out. Installing the wheel is just the opposite. In truth, there is nothing to it unless you have drop spacing issues.
same here....just don't lay the bike down on the derailler side
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Old 09-04-20, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
How do you set the bike down without the rear wheel?
Remove the rear wheel and lean it against your right thigh. Then still holding the rear triangle with the rear derailer off the ground, lay the front wheel down, allowing the steering to turn right as you lift the rear end toward vertical. Tip the near-vertical rear end toward the now-horizontal front wheel until you find a balance point where further tipping is stopped by the front brake stopping against the down tube. Now you can let go of the bike and attend to the rear wheel. Caution: bottles may still leak.

If this is too fancy, just lay the bike down flat on its left side. Not all bikes can be made to balance as above, tandems particularly. But the stoker can be drafted as a workstand.

As an extension of Rule 49, field repair that requires removing the rear wheel is the only circumstance where laying a bike down is permissible, other than in a slide-crash. Laying it down just because you arenít riding it at the moment is an invitation for someone to trip over it, or back a motor vehicle over it, maybe even you. And a field full of tipped-over bicycles just looks messy. Gideon would be appalled.
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Old 09-04-20, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
A stand is not required to put a wheel in, especially a front wheel. IMO it is easier to get a front wheel in correctly without a stand.
. . .
Agree. If I have a wheel out while doing work on a stand, Iíll tighten the QR lever just enough to keep the wheel from falling out when I put it back in. (The levers will be sticking nearly straight out so I canít forget they are loose.). Then I set the bike down on the floor, open the QR, and make sure the wheel is installed properly before tightening for effect. Or Iíll just not put the wheel back in at all until the job is done and the bike ready to go. Depends.
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Old 09-04-20, 01:53 PM
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In addition to what has already been said above, I also find the chain does funny things when the bike is inverted without a rear wheel.

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Old 09-04-20, 02:29 PM
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I have forever had my levers low and forward so the bike never stable upside down but instead rocked back aad forth on the stem, scratching it up. So for the past 50 years, I've never done that with one of my bikes. I just lat them down. All my bikes have scraped outsides of the left pedal. Stems without scratches and levers with nice new rubber "horns".
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Old 09-04-20, 03:09 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
I tackled this back in the 60's when I didn't have any place to work. Took a 2x4 and drilled a 1' hole in the middle of the 4" face. Cut the 2x4 in half through the hole. Assembled the two hafts onto another 2x4 section, used as a base, creating a stand that has a cradle for the handlebars protecting the cables. Too long ago and no pictures.
Randy's is the way to do it.
In the days of telephone directories that were three inches thick (Chicago in the 1960s) I would bring down the Yellow book and the Gray book and prop the 'bars up on them.

Later on I'd use my Physics book and two Electronics Books, when I was in EE school.

I didn't discover aero cabling until about 1984.

I guess one could have just loosened the stem to bar clamp, rotated the bars up at least 90 degrees, snugged up the bolt so the bar didn't rotate when I don't want it to, and rested the front ot the bike on the front of the lever body without creasing the cables. I guess it is possible to get a little smarter after about 50 years!

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Old 09-04-20, 03:18 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
same here....just don't lay the bike down on the derailler side
Actually I think that doesn't matter as long as you don't drop the bike on the derailleur. I'm sure I tested it a few times in the 1970's.

It does matter for motorcycles because 1. the gasoline drains out of the carburetor fuel bowls ('specially if you didn't reassemble the carbs correctly) and 2. the mothers are hard to pick up again - have to use some advanced yoga lifting techniques.
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Old 09-04-20, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
As an extension of Rule 49, field repair that requires removing the rear wheel is the only circumstance where laying a bike down is permissible, other than in a slide-crash. Laying it down just because you arenít riding it at the moment is an invitation for someone to trip over it, or back a motor vehicle over it, maybe even you. And a field full of tipped-over bicycles just looks messy. Gideon would be appalled.
A bike laid down on its (non-drive) side canít fall over.

Iíve seen plenty of unattended bikes clatter to the pavement after being ďsafelyĒ leaned against an object or set up with one pedal on a curb. YMMV of course
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