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WHEELS: Introduction and Quick-Release systems

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Quick-release mechanisms help to remove and replace a wheel more quickly than ever before. The tires are the component that make contact with the ground. Match the tires on your bike to the prevailing riding conditions and always be ready to replace worn-out tires.

Quick-release wheels


Wrenches for wheels with axle nuts

Removing and replacing a wheel is a very straightforward task, but if any of the following steps are overlooked, the wheel may come loose and compromise the rider’s safety. The steps are for wheels that use quick-release levers to secure them in the dropout (the frame recess into which the axle fits). For bikes with axle nuts, loosening and tightening with a wrench corresponds to unlocking and locking the quick-release lever.

Levers are labeled “locked” or “closed” on the side facing the cyclist when the wheel is secure, and “unlocked” or “open” when it is not. Check levers are locked before each ride, and during a ride if disc brakes are fitted.

The rim brake needs to be released on the wheel being removed. For V-brakes, unhook the cable from its cradle; for cantilevers, unhook the straddle wire from the left brake arm; for calipers, use the quick-release lever.

Parts of the quick-release system

  • Fork
  • Quick-release lever
  • Quick-release body
  • Wheel dropout
    Parts of the quick-release system: Fork, Quick-release lever, Quick-release body, Wheel dropout

Removing the rear wheel

1. Release the brake , shift the chain onto the smallest cog, and pull the quick-release lever away from the bike into the unlocked position. Some quick-release levers are shaped so that they bend toward the frame when in the locked position. This provides a visual check if nothing is printed on the lever.

2. Hook the chain out of the way and onto the peg situated on the inner side of the right seat stay (if there is one).

  • Pull the rear derailleur back and then lift up the rear of the bike.
  • Give the tire a sharp blow from above with the heel of your hand if the wheel does not drop forward and out of the frame.

3. Replace the wheel by introducing the hub axle to the dropouts.

  • Hook the chain onto the smallest cog, then push or pull the wheel backward.
  • Line up the tire exactly in the middle of the chainstays as you hold the wheel straight.
  • Push the quick-release lever into the locked.
  • position to secure the wheel. Reconnect the brake.

Removing the front wheel

1. Release the brake. Pull the quick-release lever to the unlocked position. If the dropout has safety lips, the wheel will not come out of the fork at this stage. These safety lips keep the wheel from falling out in the unlikely event of the lever becoming unlocked while you ride.

  • Use your fingers to unscrew the nut on the opposite side of the lever until the quick-release clears the safety lip.

2. Lift up the bike to allow the wheel to drop out of the fork.

Replace the front wheel by reversing Step 1.

• Push the quick-release lever behind the left fork blade to prevent anything from catching it and opening it accidentally.

• Reconnect the brake once the wheel is locked.

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