How to Remove and Install Your Wheels
Demonstrates how to release brake cables and operate front and rear quick release axles.
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
- 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.
- Jim Langley: Bicycle Quick Releases Explained
- Sheldon Brown: Quick Release Skewers
- Bicycle Torque Specifications
- Park Tool PCS-9 Repair Stand
- Park Tool PCS-4 Repair Stand
- Park Tool SK-3 Starter Mechanic Tool Kit
- Park Tool PK-3 Professional Tool Kit
Discuss this topic in the Bicycle Repairs and Mechanics Forum
Here's my repair situation: I have a what seems like a relatively nice road bike which I found for free on the side of the road years ago. Around three years ago, while cycling, there was a stuck link in the chain that caused it to jam. As I was pedaling uphill, the force caused the metal near the mount screw on the rear derailleur to shear. I have recently wanted to repair this bike. Unfortunatel...Read more
Hey Everyone, New here and I'm currently taking on a small project on converting an old-school Fuji to a SS/Fixed flipflop. Firstly I want to thank you for your time and I'm looking forward to being in this forum as a regular 😁 So im currently having trouble figuring out how to remove the DT Shimano shifters seeing as I don't want to ruin the frame, but do want a nice clean frame look. is the...Read more
I'm fairly new to bike repair aside from regular maintenance. Lately I've noticed by rear wheel has not been spinning properly--it's a Shimano 105 hub and axle. When I spin it freely on the bike, or when I spin it when the wheel is off, if feels clunky, like the axle is spinning into 'grooves' or 'notches'. I have two videos to show: On bike: https://imgur.com/a/SQX0I3P Off bike: https://imgur.c...Read more
Ok, so I am not real fluent with bikes, however I am attempting to repair my girlfriends Next PowerClimber 24". The cog that holds the rest of the sprockets on the rear tire is threaded to lock them in place. The cog is cracked and the threads are not holding allowing the rest of the sprockets to fall off. I have attempted to find a place to buy this broken threaded cog with no luck. I am get...Read more
My chain keeps falling off especially when I transition from 1st to 2nd chain ring. I also feel like I have to use a lot more pressure to shift from 1st to 2nd compared to going from 2nd to 3rd, which just might be me but I thought it was relevant to include. I am not super mechanically inclined so I can't diagnose an issue on my bike like this. Can you please tell me whats the issue and maybe how...Read more
A short questions for those knowledgeable. I currently have on my bike a Shimano HG50-11-36t 10 speed cassette. Would the HG81-11-36t 10 speed be a direct replacement or will I encounter problems?...Read more
Hello everyone. Are there any podcasts about cycling and more specifically bike mechanics? I have been learning more about bike repairs recently and would love to hear tricks from guys with know-how; need something to listen to during the work....Read more
I was looking into wheels, just for the heck of it, and something is confusing me. I have a cruiser. The tires are 26" x 2.125" (57 x 559) The rim is 1.25". Cruiser wheels, online, are 1.75" The difference between a 1.75" cruiser rim, and the 1.25" rims I have, is approximately half-inch. I bought the bike, new, from a bike shop, and bought white wall cruiser tires for it. It had wide tires o...Read more
Hi folks! I was directed here by the folks over at r/bikewrench as I hear you are a helpful lot! I have a beautiful old Sekine which I think after a little research is a SHC 271 from the mid seventies. Unfortunately I was in a pretty nasty accident last year and it was out of commission for a while. I was using it indoors on my trainer and slowly going about repairs, getting it road ready again wh...Read more
Is that possible without switching out the hub, and is that possible at all? I have a base shimano groupset and I'm in the process of upgrading everything (I'm switching out the crappy tourney der for altus 9-speed, cables etc), and I would really rather switch out my freewheel for a 9-speeder also. Do you think it's achievable?...Read more
20200613_221949.jpg (Size: 64.32 KB / Downloads: 62) Hey everyone. I'm new to working on bikes and have been cleaning mine from using it at college. I replaced the chain since it was very stretched. The new chain was slipping a lot. After searching for why that was happening I concluded that I needed to replace my sprockets. The tool fitting rotates with the sprockets, so I think th...Read more
Hey everyone! I was led here from reddit and told to try my luck with the fine folks here on bikeride. Let me preface by saying I know I’ve seen a lot of criticism when it comes to converting a MTN bike to a road bike due to a variety of reasons. But that’s not what I’m here to discuss. I am in need of direction. My father passed away a little over 5 years ago and a little over a year ago...Read more
hello from Estonia, I try to help a friend in replacing bottom bracket. we don’t have the old one anymore, so we have to find out the right bottom bracket just from measurements on the frame. the frame is supposed to be an old Dutch one. Detailed pictures of left and right side of the bottom bracket are here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-D-RO479uMl7NKhsrdkNF2oPW2IdTd1U wide = 65.8...Read more
As I pedal on the highest gears (the 2 smallest rings on my casette) I can hear a pretty loud clunking/clicking noise that I can't locate the source of. The chain also drags against the front derailleur. You can hear both sounds in this video: [https://gofile.io/d/2MY8gS] Unfortunately I couldn’t upload the clip here for some reason. I just recently replaced the crank arms, gave the bottom br...Read more
I have these [VP Urban pedals](https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2191/9809/products/vpurban__83868.1471321314.1280.960_700x.jpg?v=1501609051). One of the pedals were making a ticking sound each revolution. So I greased the hex bolt and the pedal threading with lithium grease. Not sure what the pedal hex bolt is called. Now, when I ride I'm getting a clicking feeling in the pedal on the downstroke....Read more