This blog has covered a lot of fancy things like taking apart a bottom bracket, adjusting various components and building trailers. But I just recently realised that one of the basic things was never covered, like how to remove a bicycle wheel. For people like me who fix bikes it's pretty darn obvious, but I realise that for some of you it's not.
So let's get cracking! Removing a wheel is easy once you know a few things. The front wheel is the easiest to remove. Simply unbolt the nuts, pull the washers and you are done. The only thing to remember is to remove a brake pad to clear wide tires. Just one should suffice, it will avoid you the trouble of disconnecting the caliper and having to reajust it afterwards. Ajusting just one pad is much simpler. When you put the wheel back on, it is much better to have the bike and wheel sitting on the ground. This way you will be certain that the axle is sitting even in the fork and the wheel won't be crooked. Another way to find out if your wheel is on straight is to look and see if the center thread of the tire is aligned with the caliper hole in the fork.
The rear wheel is another story. Depending on what type of bike you have, there are some things you have to know before removing the wheel. Let's check it out one type at a time.
- One speed coaster brake First thing to do is to remove the bolt that holds the brake arm to the bracket on the frame. Then untighten the wheel nuts, wiggle the wheel to slacken the chain and remove the wheel. When putting the wheel back on, make sure the brake arm is aligned with the bracket and put the chain back on the gear before.
- 3 speed or more internal gears Disconnect the cable to the hub mechanism before you do anything. Do the same thing as the coaster hub wheel to remove and reinstall it.
- Multi speed derailleur Make sure that the chain sits on the last gear closest to the frame. Unbolt the wheel and push it forward while pulling on the derailleur cage. The wheel should slide right off. When reinstalling it, put the chain on the last gear again, pull the derailleur cage and slide the wheel back in place.
That's it, you're done.
Til next time, ride safe and Godspeed.