How to Replace a Bicycle Wheel

How to Replace a Bicycle Wheel
As the only portion of your bicycle in contact with the ground, the wheel receives more than its share of abuse. Punctured inner tubes, broken spokes, worn hub bearings and damaged rims--these are just a few of the wheel repairs a cyclist may encounter. Any one of these repairs, and many others, will first require knowing how to properly remove and replace a wheel on a bicycle.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Removing

Step 1
Release the cable tension upon the brake. This will widen the space between the brakes pads and the wheel, giving the wheel more clearance. Many brakes feature a quick release, which is a small lever located on the brake that opens and closes.
Step 2
Shift the chain to the smallest rear sprocket and the largest front chain ring. This step is necessary for rear wheels only. Shifting the chain to this position will make freeing the wheel from the chain easier.
Step 3
Loosen the wheel skewer. The skewer passes through the axle of the wheel and will likely include a quick release. Open the quick release and loosen the nut on the other end of the axle.
Step 4
Extract the wheel free from the bike. With rear wheels, first push down on the wheel, freeing the sprocket from the chain.

Replacing

Step 1
Ensure that your new or repaired wheel is turned in the right direction before installing it. For rear wheels, the sprockets must be on the same side as the chain. For front wheels, look for the label on the tire. The wheel should be installed so the label faces the right side of the bicycle.
Step 2
Insert the wheel into the frame, making sure that the axle is flush against the vertical drop-outs. The drop-outs are the notches in the frame into which the axle of the wheel fits.
Step 3
Tighten the axle skewer. Hold the quick release with one hand while tightening the nut on the other end of the skewer with your second hand. Close the quick release.
Step 4
Close the quick release on the brake.
 

Article Written By Matthew Ferguson

Matthew Ferguson is a writer living in Savannah, Ga. He has been writing for over 10 years and his work has appeared on various online publications. A collection of his short stories was published in spring 2010. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.

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