How to Remove the Back Wheel on a Bicycle

How to Remove the Back Wheel on a Bicycle
The rear wheel of any bicycle looks difficult to take off, with all the cogs jutting out; however, it's really not any more difficult than removing the front wheel. Learning to quickly remove the rear wheel will enable you to repair your rear tire with ease. Most modern mountain bikes and road bikes don't even require any tools for this simple procedure.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Wrenches (optional)
Step 1
Remove the brake cable from the rear brake pads. Some brakes such as V-brakes and cantilevers have pads that will catch on the rim. For these, you'll need to remove the brake cable to open the pads and fit the rim through. On cantilevers, remove the cable from one of the brake arms. Squeeze the sides of the brakes to produce a little slack in the cable and pull the cable out. On V-brakes, remove the curved end of the cable from the top. Squeeze the sides together and pull it up and out. After you have pulled the cable out, the sides of the brakes will spread open, giving you room to remove the rim. For disc brakes, you can skip this step.
Step 2
Turn the bike upside down and rest it on the seat and handlebars. The wheel will be easier to remove this way and you'll protect your derailleur.
Step 3
Upshift to the highest (smallest) rear gear, putting the chain on the very outside of the cogset and keeping it loose. Pedal forward with your hand to get the chain to move down to the smallest gear.
Step 4
Loosen the wheel from the dropouts. On most bikes, you'll have access to quick release. In this case, simply pull the lever away from the wheel to the open position and loosen the nut on the other side until the wheel separates from the frame. Some bikes use nuts in place of quick-release, so you'll need to use a wrench on each side to loosen the nuts.
Step 5
Gently pull the axle of the wheel out from the dropouts. Carefully lift up the chain, maneuver the cogset around it and pull the wheel directly off of the frame.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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