8. How to Remove and Install Your Wheels

Demonstrates how to release brake cables and operate front and rear quick release axles.

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Remove and Install Your Wheels
DVD Vol. 1 DVD Volume 1
This video is available on DVD

After last week's flat repair tutorial, I received a lot of comments from people who thought I should've included wheel removal and installation instructions. This tutorial will cover the removal and installation of both front and rear quick release wheels.

Remove Front Wheel

When removing the front wheel, the first step is to disconnect your brake. Most brakes will have a simple mechanism that allows you to unhook the cable without any tools. If you cannot easily disconnect the cable you can always let some air out of the tire until it clears your brake pads. Now pull back on the quick release lever and with your other hand on the cap, spin the lever counter-clockwise a few times until your wheel comes free.

Quick Release Components

Quick Release Skewer

  • The lever tightens the skewer, and usually has the words 'Close' or 'Open' written on either side.
  • The skewer rod runs through the hollow axle and is threaded at one end.
  • The cap threads on the skewer and acts as a nut, holding your wheel in place.
  • The two springs should always be facing narrow end inward, on the outside of your frame or fork. The springs are only designed to provide clearance while removing and installing your wheel.

Install Front Wheel

You should always remember to apply a thin layer of grease along the entire length of your skewer rod.

When installing the front wheel, simply slide the axle evenly up into the fork dropouts, with the quick release lever on the left side of your bike. Holding the cap with one hand, spin the lever clockwise, making sure the side marked 'Open' is facing outwards. When tightening the lever, it should meet resistance at about the halfway point, with the lever pointing straight out. Now tighten the lever all the way down.

When the lever is tight, check to make sure it says ‘Close’ on the outside surface. I like to position the lever so that it is tucked in close alignment in front of the left fork blade. This gives you something to grip while tightening and loosening the lever.

Re-attach your front brake and check to make sure the pads are lined up correctly with the rim.

Remove Rear Wheel

Removal and installation of the rear wheel has a few extra steps because of the gear cluster. Just like the front wheel, you'll need to release the rear brake by unhooking the cable or deflating the tire. Next, adjust your rear shifter until the chain is on the smallest sprocket. Then loosen the quick release lever and carefully removed the wheel.

Install Rear Wheel

To re-install the rear wheel, first place the chain back onto the smallest sprocket, and then slide the axle evenly up into the rear dropouts. Tighten the quick release lever the same way as the front wheel, with the lever on the left side of the bike. Make sure the lever is safely tucked in between both of the left chain stays. Re-connect your rear brake and once again check to make sure the pads are lined up correctly with the rim.

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Discuss this topic in the Wheel Forums

08/02 Any idea what could have happened to my rim?

[Image: IMG_3671.jpg]
So today I got a flat tire (unrelated, it was a nail, extracted, repaired. All good) and when I pulled over to try to find what caused it, I noticed that my rim was rubbing the brakes the way it does when it's out of true because of a broken spoke.
The spoke is fine. It's the RIM that's been damaged, and that has damaged my calm some. I took it to my usual bike shop, guys are pros, figured they'd have an answer, no such luck. They gave me vague language about how it "looked like it h... Read more >>

07/24 Restoring extremely rusted rims on bike

Hi

We have a hand me down bike which has been in the family for 30+ years. It's original ower is now in her fourties!!! I'm attached to this bike because the memories I have with my dad riding it.

It has rusted underneath the chrome coating it had so it now all pitted.

I was wondering, can I respray the paint back onto the rim?... Read more >>

07/19 Rear wheel noise - help please

Hi everyone,

I have a very annoying creaky/rubby noise that I cant shift although I have narrowed it down to the rear wheel and not the bike.

I have a Giant Propel Advanced SL 0 Aero Race Road Bike 2016 3 months old and 1,000 miles with the SLR 0 Aero wheels 55mm.

The noise noise only happens (always takes 10 mins to warm up) when I'm seated and putting some power down uphill or on the flats. Now I know its not the BB as I have put my friends Mavic rear wheel on my bike and my SLR r/wheel on his Scott and he gets the same noise on his bike. He's 60kg and... Read more >>

06/27 Wheel size change

Hi all,

Someone just gave me a 32" cruiser bike. Yes, it's a boxstore bike, but they were kind enough to give it to me and I appreciate their generosity. The back tire has a gash in it, and I'm having a hard time finding a replacement. I'm contemplating downsizing the wheel set to a more common size. Seems like it will work as the bike is very simple: single speed, coaster brake. Spatial reasoning isn't my forte so sometimes I look at things like this thinking they will work, only to find out I'm mistaken. What do I need to think through on such a swap? Thanks in advance!!!... Read more >>

06/17 Mystery Spring

I have a 1997 Giant Ferrago.  Great bike, bulletproof.  I was changing the rear tube, and doing a bit of lube to both wheels.  When all was said and done, I had a left over spring that I think came off the bike.  But where?

Any ideas?

[Image: image_zpsoivycnpy.jpeg]... Read more >>

03/14 Rear wheel keeps shifting

I just tuned my '76 Schwinn cruiser up for spring, and after riding as far as my daughter's bus stop my rear wheel has shifted over far enough that the tire is hard against the frame. So I readjust, tighten it back down, and in the same time my wheel has shifted again. It's gone as tight as it can. I'm wondering if the mounting brackets of the fender are causing the nut to slip. Perhaps moving them to the inside of the frame would help? Any suggestions?

Edit: It only seems to be the drive side that slips. The chain is loose and the tire presses against the non-drive side under the... Read more >>

03/12 HB M960 hub overhaul

So I have this lovely ti tourer with shimano xtr hbm960 hubs, and I am hoping to service these hubs. I see a metal cap on both ends of the hubs both front and back and the metal cap has a space that looks like I can put a flat head screw driver into to pry it off, it has no flats like the other cones I've dealt with. Can't find how to on the internet. Has anyone dealt with these hubs?

http://imgur.com/0uLqgOw... Read more >>

02/20 Wheels

I have a 1987 Cannondale racing road bike that I have been using to ride on crushed stone and paved trails. The wheels have worn out and need replacing. I was wondering if I could get a slightly wider wheel that could support a wider tire. The crushed stone makes control a bit hard at times. I am looking for more stability from the bike.
I like the feel of the bike and am very comfortable with the road set up. I would rather not have to buy a new bike.
golfguy826... Read more >>

02/10 What tool is needed to remove this freewheel?

Hello,

I was wondering if someone could recommend to me which removal tool is needed to remove this freewheel? I recently broke a couple spokes and the freewheel needs to be removed to access the hole to put a new spoke in. I put the ruler there to measure the diameter of the space, it's about 35mm-ish. I was looking at park tools freewheel recommendation site, but don't see one that would necessarily match. Would the FR-6 or FR-8 work? Thanks!

The bi... Read more >>

01/23 Quick Release Lever Recall

I got this from Consumer Reports. It effects disc equipped bicycles from 1998 -2015. Including major brands like Cannondale, Dimondback and Specialized.

The quick release wheel lever can come open and get jammed against the disc brake.

To see if your bike is effected go to: quickrelease-recall.com... Read more >>

12/03 Replacing rear wheel after patching a flat

Hi, I'm having some trouble reattaching my daughter's rear wheel to the frame after fixing her flat. It's a 20" wheel, single speed, with linear pull brakes. I have it reinstalled and with what seems to be a good tension on the chain, but it's rubbing the brakes and it's a real chore to pedal.

I had to go through this just last week when my son did the same with his. It was a learning curve (lots of youtube help) but I got it right on the third try. But he has horizontal forks where the axle goes on, so it seemed to be just a matter of getting it the right distance and holding it ... Read more >>

10/10 Tyres keep popping off wheels...

Hello guys

Just bought a new pair of 700c hybrid wheelset with an inside rim width of 19mm. I have tried to fit schwalbe 700 x 40c tyres on them but the tyres just pop out from the rim when inflated. It seems to be a loose fit. Somebody please advise.

Thanks... Read more >>

09/21 Mavic Crossroc wheel

Hello,

I bought a wheel set of Mavic Crossroc. The rear hub came with a 12 X 135 set up, but I need to a 12 X 142 mm so I got some adaptors and I have disassembled the hub but I can't figure out how to remove the actual end cap on the axle. Do I have to remove them, if yes how ? If no do the 142 mm just slides over these caps ??

Thanks... Read more >>

09/05 Rear Axle - tough pedaling

I removed my rear wheels on my single drive ancient Miami Sun trike, right rear bolts to bearing, left wheel has a nut on end of shaft ... I had the wheels trued, and tubes and tires replaced ... tires are .25 wider than original. Now when I try to ride it is quite a bit harder to pedal. Is there a proper tightness for the rear wheel axle nut ? or is the wider tire the culprit ? I just assume I did something slightly wrong ... Thanks... Read more >>

09/01 Replace or repair wheel?

Hello All,

I need some advice on whether to repair or replace my rear wheel. I have a decent single speed road bike that a friend built together for me. I let another friend borrow it, and he decided it was a good idea to ride 6 miles on a flat (lessen learned not to let people borrow your stuff). So in doing so, he busted a spoke, and bent the rim. I removed the busted spoke and got a new tube. Its rideable but the wheel wobbles a bit, not terrible but enough to be annoying. Im not an experienced mechanic so I was wondering if this is something that is worth taking to a bike shop... Read more >>

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