Disk Wheel Change
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  1. #1
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    Disk Wheel Change

    So it looks like I'm going to be changing flats on my disk bike eventually.
    With rim brakes I just popped the lever, dropped the wheel, & layed the bike on the non-RD side. Re-inserting the rear wheel while holding the bike up by the seat was a piece of cake.

    While riding lately, I have seen others that just turn their bikes over upside down on the handlebars, which previously I considered gauche.

    Is it easier doing the upside down route with disks as inserting the disk & chain into the RD while holding the bike up by the seat seems a bit too much for me now?
    Last edited by duriel; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:59 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I always flip the bike and shift to the large chainring and 2nd smallest cassette before removal. Install when upside down ensures proper wheel alignment and pre-shifting just makes for quicker/easier reinstall.

  3. #3
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    Upside down is just wrong. I can't understand why anyone would say it 'ensures proper wheel alignment' especially w/ disc brakes, that's just not true. You either get the wheel in the dropout or you don't. You risk messing up your hoods, or maybe your computer. Just pick the bike up and drop it over the wheel. If it's difficult you're doing it wrong.
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  4. #4
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    I don't have any problems putting the bike on the wheel front or back with my disc brake bike. Takes a bit more to align the rotor to the caliper but it's certainly not difficult. If you are having problems with it, practice it a few times and you'll get the hang of it.
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  5. #5
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    Unless someone volunteers to hold the bike upright I lay it on the non-rd side, and when re-installing I always ensure the weight of the frame/fork is on the axle, front or rear, rim brake or disc, to make sure the rim and disc are centered. A little more time-consuming with thru-axles of course.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Upside down is just wrong. I can't understand why anyone would say it 'ensures proper wheel alignment' especially w/ disc brakes, that's just not true. You either get the wheel in the dropout or you don't. You risk messing up your hoods, or maybe your computer. Just pick the bike up and drop it over the wheel. If it's difficult you're doing it wrong.
    I've seen plenty of crookly installed QR wheels, allbeit mostly rear ones. Yes, one should not need to turn the bike over, but as someone that marshals many rides and assist with repairs, it never ceases to amaze me on what I find. QR, particularly rear ones, are not nearly as binary as you think for many riders.

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova_rider View Post
    I've seen plenty of crookly installed QR wheels, allbeit mostly rear ones. Yes, one should not need to turn the bike over, but as someone that marshals many rides and assist with repairs, it never ceases to amaze me on what I find. QR, particularly rear ones, are not nearly as binary as you think for many riders.
    I'm pretty sure I've got orders of magnitude more experience than you do. Right side up is the correct way. If you have a q/r bike you are much more likely to get the wheels in straight w/ some weight on the bike which can't do w/ it upside down. Put the axle in the dropout, put weight on the bike seat, tighten q/r. As I said previously, thru axle wheels will always be correctly aligned if the axle is installed.
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  8. #8
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    With disks, I have a hard time coordinating the chain above RD AND alignment of disk at the same time..... but that is just me!
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  9. #9
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    With disks, I have a hard time coordinating the chain above RD AND alignment of disk at the same time..... but that is just me!
    Don't worry about the chain, just get it close to the correct cog. It doesn't have to land on the exact cog when you put the wheel in. Always shift to the small cog when taking the wheel off the bike, if you get it on the 11, 12, or even 13 when you reinstall it you're good. Pedal the bike by hand to get it where it wants to be.
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  10. #10
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    Upside-down is just wrong - for lots of reasons. As CX said - damaging hoods, saddle, maybe other stuff.

    But, think about working on the bike at home - in a stand. Would you ever work on it upside-down? The more you work on your bike - the proper way - the easier it is to do it in the field.

    Once you have the wheel in the drops - chain and disc obviously correctly located - the weight of the bike on the wheels will work with you to ensure the wheel is seated and straight.

    If you don't believe my 45 years of playing with bikes or CX's extensive experience and expertise, watch the TdF or any pro race. If you see even one wheel swap done with the bike upside-down, I'll never argue the point again.

    This really isn't one of those "we're both right, it's just preference" things. It'd be like a new horse owner telling a 5th generation cowboy "I mount my horse from the bottom, and pull myself to the top between his hind legs by his tail."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    you are much more likely to get the wheels in straight w/ some weight on the bike which can't do w/ it upside down. Put the axle in the dropout, put weight on the bike seat, tighten q/r.
    This. If I had a $$ for every time a wheel was slightly off because the bike wasn't allowed to "settle" on the axle with the QR open, . . . .

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