View Full Version : time for a REALLY dumb question

12-27-2003, 08:12 AM
ok, i'm a spaz. let's get that out of the way first. mechanically, i have ten thumbs. ok?

but there is one thing i simply can not do without getting covered in grease, filled with frustration and uttering every bad word ever created.

when i take the rear wheel off, change the tire, and then try -- emphasis on try -- to put the wheel back on, ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

so please, help a spaz. there must be a simple way to put a rear wheel on that i'm missing. i mean, geez, at races, those mavic support guys do it in like 3 seconds. help. thanks. now i gotta go wash my hands. and wash my mouth out with soap.:crap:

12-27-2003, 08:23 AM
First, shift to your smallest cog on your cassette (before you take the rear wheel off). When it comes time to put it back on, grab the rear derailleur body and pull it all the way to the rear. Then just slip the smallest cog onto the chain. This is easiest done if the bike is upside down.

12-27-2003, 08:28 AM

I find the key to staying clean is to use the rear derailleur to manipulate to chain. With practice you'll never touch the chain.

good luck

12-27-2003, 08:43 AM
I put a latex glove on my "chain" hand if I really don't want any grease on it. They're cheap and take up no room. I carry it in the same plastic bag as my spare tube--which is doused in talc.

12-27-2003, 08:48 AM

The timing of your posting could not have been better. I just came up from the basement, where I changed the wheels on my Ottrott. It is supposed to be a nice day in the northeast and I plan on riding outside so I was putting on the Topolinos.

My method is similiar to Johns. I place the bike in a stand. I put the front derailleur in the 39 and the rear derailleur in the 12. This gives you the most amount of chain to play with. I then pull the derailleur body back and down with a paper towel and remove the wheel. Not only is this method fast, but you also get no grease on your hands.

Good luck.


12-27-2003, 11:26 AM
thanks everyone. and is it really easiest putting the wheel back on if the frame is upside down? i find it challenging holding bike, aligning cassette with chain and moving wheel into dropouts all at once. having bike upside down on ground at least removes holding bike. as i said, i'm mechanically challenged.

12-27-2003, 11:51 AM
I personally find it easiest with the bike right side up. Beside the fact that with my computer and HRM on the bars I don't like to rest the bike on the bars. Also agree that putting the chain on the small cog works best. Unfortunately, this is something I usually forget until I go to put the wheel back on. I also like to put weight on the rear wheel to make sure the skewer is in the dropout all the way, and then tighten the skewer.

12-27-2003, 12:30 PM
I follow JohnS in my rear tire changing method. And ditto on the latex glove. Works like a charm. Reuse is limited because grease does eat holes in latex but they're cheap, weigh nothing and if you don't like your hands greasy, carry two and then you have absolutly nothing to worry about (other than that broad swipe of chain grease on your face when you wiped the sweat away ...oops!)

In the shop I put the bike in a stand, when on the road I put the bike upside down to keep the derrailure and dropouts out of the trash on the side of the road. No sense in encouraging sand in the pullies or dropouts (encouraging wear...yada yada).

On aligning the chain: Do your best to get the chain where it belongs but don't fret, the derrailure has a purpose, use it! When I've seated the wheel and tightened the skewer, I turn the cranks once or twice before flipping the bike back over. The chain will return to the correct position on the cassette.
No, its probably not the best practice, but it works.

If you're the type that flips the bike back over and hops on without turning the cranks to reposition the chain on the cassette, then yes, pay attention to where that chain is on the cassette when you're installing the wheel, the sound of a chain finding its correct place under load is UGLY and bad things could happen. If you catch the chain on the right cog when you put the axle through the chain, it usually hangs on as you're settling the wheel into the dropouts.

Now here's something that sounds really stupid
Are you practicing changing tires in your basement this winter?
Just like any other skill on the bike practice makes perfect. And, if you finally figure it out in the house and do it often enough you'll get speedie with it.
That's what I did one winter...I was frustrated with my incompetence changing tires so I changed tires in my basement where it was warm, dry, and totally unneccesary until I was decent at it. I even figured out the barehanded method. Good for impressing the boys...and much much easier with mountain bike tires. :)

How about that for a skill game this winter? Time yourself changing rear tires? (and yes, new tires take longer than old tires, but for the game maybe we should all use old tires?) Timed from the bike being upright to the bike being upright with the chain on the correct cog and the tire pumped to the proper pressure?
Just a thought

12-27-2003, 08:57 PM
First, you really never have to touch the chain. I just wedge the cassette under the RD and into the chain. Then you pull back and up which pulls the RD onto your cassette. Sometimes if you're having a bad time of it you can grab the RD mechanism and move it back or up etc. You absolutely have to be in the smallest cog and if you have forgotten, no problem, just down shift until you can't anymore. It's not like there anything to impede RD movement at this point.

I have zero problems with grease. Now, how about for the grime from changing the tire itself? I haven't yet resorted to baby wipes but it's not a bad idea:cool:

12-27-2003, 09:00 PM
Oh yeah, don't turn your bike upside down. It's not needed and you're going to damage something you don't want damaged, like hoods or saddle or computer.

I'm not sure I could change a rear wheel with the bike upside down. Everything would be cock-eyed.

12-27-2003, 09:51 PM
I would have Rae Dawn Chong follow me in a support vehicle and have her do the wheel changes.

12-28-2003, 07:48 AM
Have you ever seen the pro mechanics and support people change a rear tire during a race?

Man, those guys are fast. If I ever become a zillionaire, I'll hire one of them to follow me everywhere I ride (at a respectful distance)

Victory Factory, thousandaire, so far