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

07/23 Rear hub spins to a near stop, then reverses to a stop

I have 2 fairly new, mid-range folders which ride quite well d seem like good bikes for the cost. 8 sp. Shimano components.

I have a 7 second video of this.

When I was recently cleaning-lubing the drivetrain, one of them was wheels-up and I did the customary pedal-spin the rear wheel and when it the wheel slows down to a near stop, it reverses direction for a small fraction of a rotation, then stops.

My first suspicion is the hub bearings are too tight (way too) , but Im presently more experienced in the vintage beach cruiser genre, so any advice for a mu... Read more >>

07/06 Fixed Gear Bike

I have an unusual question I'm hoping to get answered on this forum. I've got a fixed gear bike that I want to convert to a horse training device. How do I get the rear wheel to become free wheeling, so I can turn it backwards as well as forwards? It has a bendix brake on it. Do I need to remove that, and if so, is there a special way to tighten the chain and hub? I'm kind of grasping here, so hoping someone with bicycle knowledge can help me.... Read more >>

06/20 Installing an IGH in a Trek District SSB

I own a Trek District SSB, which uses Trek's proprietary belt drive system. I'd wanted a bike with an internal gear hub, but they only offered a 3-speed version as an upgrade, so I decided to buy the SSB and upgrade it myself to something a little beefier.

The SSB has the same frame as the IGH 3, so it already has the cable guides for the hub. I'm going to take my bike to a local comm... Read more >>

04/27 Strange metal part on real axle '86 schwinn

I bought an old bicycle and see an unusual metal part attached on rear axle. Derailleur side. Starting from end I see a closed (no hole) bolt, two washers, then this "handle", a washer, then a deep nut, then a washer, then the derailleur, and then the bike frame. "Handle" is about one inch across and three inches deep, quite thick metal...flat but one edge has a perpendicular flange about 3/8 inch. No marks on handle. I think bike is a 1986 Schwinn Sprint made by Giant, with 24" wheels made in Taiwan by Femco (tire size a problem). I have a digital photo but it would not paste here. Wha... Read more >>

04/08 Schwinn Meridian Rear Wheel Bearings

I think the rearing bearings are 13mm ID and 30mm OD. Are these measurements correct? Please help.

Thanks.... Read more >>

04/06 New wheels

I have a 10 year old Trek 7200 Hybrid. I am thinking of replacing the wheels in a while and was wondering what you guys could recommend. It came with Matrix 750's but they are no longer available. I tip the scales around 230lbs. and am looking to spend around $300. any suggestions.... Read more >>

03/04 How to remove wheel with internal gearhub

I won a Specialized Daily in a contest. It is a pretty sweet bike. But it has an internal gearhub on the rear wheel. I have never had this type of gear setup before. I am afraid to mess with it to get the wheel off. How the heck do I remove this wheel to change my flat tube? Thank you in advance for any assistance.
[Image: IMG_4902_zps1yiav5sf.jpg]... Read more >>

02/24 Knocking sound coming from freewheel? (Especially form when riding uphill).

Hi.
I have a fairly cheepish bike, Appolo Evade Mountain Bike. (The reason for it having a freewheel was probably due to price not age).

Anyways. So, there is a tiny bit of freewheel wobble which I have come across on a lot of freewheel bikes so I never considered this a problem. Freewheels just tend to get a little bent right? Despite this, shifting is just fine and smooth and the whole drive system is just good overall. However  

When I ride up a hill, and I mean steep hills, doesn't matter what front/freewheel gears I... Read more >>

12/11 Axle too long

replaced the rear wheel with new one  the axle is slightly longer approx 4mm  had to use washers as a temporary measure. i was wondering can you get knurled washers that will do the job better
thanks chris... Read more >>

12/09 Changing rims

Hi!

I wanted to replace the rim on my roadbike and heard from a friend that I should do it spoke by spoke, that way I don't have to be careful where to put which spoke. I tried that and now the new rim has kinda an egg shape and I can't fit any more spokes (I got stuck after switching 18 of the 32).

(both rims are 622x15c)

Should I:
1. Buy an already built new wheel and be done with it?
2. Start over again?
3. Remove all of the spokes from the old rim, learn how to align them correctly and try it again?
4. or something else?
... Read more >>

12/08 No action on wheels in cold conditions

I recently bought a second hand Giant Upland SE and to be frank, it is my first bike with multiple gears. The bike functioned normally for the first day or two. I could shift between all the gears. When the bike is stored indoors, the pedal and wheel work fine but once I take it out in the cold (anywhere from -10 to -30 degrees celsius), the pedals rotate freely and have no action on the wheel. Also I am not able use some gears on the rear wheel. Can anyone please help with an explanation and solution?... Read more >>

10/23 Replacement Axle

Hi,

I need to find a replacement axle for the one which broke on my 1970's road bike. I've written the specs below, can anyone help me source a replacment? I don't know what to search for:

Length 165.5mm
Thread size 9.2mm
Shaft 8.8mm

Starting from the drive Side
24mm to first nut
First nut 6mm with an incorporated spacer 9mm
Second nut 3mm
Spacer 1.7mm
Cone specification unknown
Gap to second Cone 71mm
Cone Specification unknown
Spacer 1.45mm
Nut 2.8mm
20mm to end of thread
Read more >>

09/15 Schwinn meridian rear drive axle

Recently bought a slightly used 26" meridian trike. While replacing wider tires on the rear, I noticed an issue with the rear drive side wheel hub. The wheel is held on with a nut and single washer. The hub is not held firmly in a location on the axle and is able to slide back and forth on the axle a good half inch even though the nut is tightened all the way down to its bottom threads on the axle. The non drive side hub and wheel has very little play on its axle , perhaps a 1/8 inch and seems to run fine.

While the drive side hub slides back and forth and seems to be creating un... Read more >>

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 >>

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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 >>

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