How difficult is it to remove the rear wheel and reinstall?

Bigal1463

Well-Known Member
Yesterday I had my first flat tire on the rear wheel. I was able to find where a small sliver of glass that punctured the tire. I marked it and removed the glass. I pumped some air in and could feel the air escaping. I pulled out some of the tube and was going to patch it, but after pumping air into the tube, the tube was losing air, but I couldn’t locate where I was losing it. I was a distance from home so fortunately I go the bike back to my car and left it at the bike shop for repair. I was contemplating removing the wheel, but I thought I would let the repair shop do it. Your thoughts please.
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
Yesterday I had my first flat tire on the rear wheel. I was able to find where a small sliver of glass that punctured the tire. I marked it and removed the glass. I pumped some air in and could feel the air escaping. I pulled out some of the tube and was going to patch it, but after pumping air into the tube, the tube was losing air, but I couldn’t locate where I was losing it. I was a distance from home so fortunately I go the bike back to my car and left it at the bike shop for repair. I was contemplating removing the wheel, but I thought I would let the repair shop do it. Your thoughts please.
Not really difficult, depending... If you have a rear hub motor or belt drive (I have no experience with those) it might be more difficult. But other than the weight of the bike, it's no more difficult than a non-assisted bike. If you have a bike stand that gets the wheels up off the ground it's easier. Have you ever taken the wheels off on a regular bike?

Anyway, for me (at my age) I find the weight of the bike to be the biggest challenge. I have a hard time lifting my bike (fenders, rack, lights, battery, etc.) and I'd sure hate to have to do it on the road somewhere. Probably in the rain, at night. :)

Luckily for me, my first flat on my e-bike was a slow leak that I only found out about at home. I didn't have to deal with it on the road. But because of the weight of my bike, I really don't want to have to fix a flat on the road. So what I did after that first flat, was switch to tubeless (both my rims and tires were "tubeless ready". All I had to do was add a better rim tape and remove the tube. Then I used a tire sealant within the tire which is supposed to quickly seal up any small punctures. So far it's worked really well and my tire is full of spots where the sealant has come through the tire, sealing it up. I haven't had any flat or problem since doing that.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I'm 70. I lift 5 lb weights tri-weekly to make sure I can bring home the groceries or turn the bike over to fix a flat. Watch Margaret Richards on Body Electric on PBS if you don't know how. Or another pilates source. I do curls, over head, extensions to quarter & side, 30 reps when up to it. No jerky movements for the aged. I do it in the easy chair as I watch TV, no time lost. I also do toe touches with the weights to keep up back muscles.
I don't have a display. If you do you'll have to turn it down or remove it to keep from damaging it with the bike upside down. I flip the bike from side onto handgrips & seat. Keeps the fenders & hangers from getting bent.
If a hub motor, you have to unplug it or remove enough tie-wraps to get a couple of feet of wire slack to get the wheel away from the frame to change the tube.
I never patch tubes, I change them.
Look at the chain as you're pulling axle up & out, you'll have to stick the axle back in there the same position before putting the axle back in the slot. It goes in the loop, then the hook the chain over the same sprocket it was in when you pulled it out, then push down axle into slot. I use open end axle wrench to handle the chain to keep my fingers clean.
I'm not strong enough to preload the derailleur takeup, I have to use channel-lock pliers, that I carry with the other tire tools.
Takes me under an hour on the hub motor end, about 40 min on the regular wheel end. that includes unloading and untieing the panniers to reach the axle, then reloading & tieing back on. I use binder twine, big tie wraps would pop loose under the weight of my groceries. I use the slip knot on one end then the half hitch against it to secure the loop.
 
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Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Most of my flats are in the rear wheel. My typical technique for a rear wheel flat repair in the field is to find a nearby tree, fence, bench, etc, to lean the bike against after I pull the rear wheel. When the bike is in position next to its support I put the chain in the smallest rear cog, drop the kickstand and remove the through axle. One hand then extends the derailleur while the 2nd 'rolls' the wheel out of the frame. If you hold your mouth just right this goes pretty fast but it sometimes takes a bit of wiggling. Remove and replace the flatted tube for shop patching later and reassemble.

My last road repair was a rear tire blow out probably due to a poorly seated tire. The entire process took 17 minutes in the shade of a nearby tree.

Everytime this happens I am glad I have a flat repair kit with a spare tube and a CO2 inflator, so much faster! I also like the degreaser hand wipes for post flat cleanups.

Others have reported good results using handlebar 'jacks' that allow you put the bike up side down supported by the jacks temporarily added to the handlebars. Protects all the stuff on the handlebars and avoids finding a 'leaning' tree.

Some different steps are required for belt drives I would imagine but I can't comment on those.

BTW - my current ebike is a mid-drive so I don't need to contend with electrical connections to a rear wheel hub motor. YRMV.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Not going to go into the "how", but what I will share is you can cut the number of those incidents by at least half if you run something like Slime in your tube.

And a tip, assuming you have a hub drive, the electrical does not need to be disconnected to change a tire or a tube. You work off the OTHER side.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Not going to go into the "how", but what I will share is you can cut the number of those incidents by at least half if you run something like Slime in your tube.

And a tip, assuming you have a hub drive, the electrical does not need to be disconnected to change a tire or a tube. You work off the OTHER side.
That is unless you have trouble finding if anything is still poking through the tire. Took me forever to find a tiny tip of a thorn just barely sticking through. Took a strong flashlight, repeated looks around the tire, then a pick and needle nose pliers to pull it. No way would leaving half of it on the rim work!
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Based on what people are saying here about waiting several days for a flat tire fix, I am glad I learned how to take off a wheel when I was 10. Still I always used a new tube because I didn't learn to apply a patch properly til I was 67. Life got good. No more new tubes.

Then my eyes got so bad that half the patches I put on this year missed the hole. Missed one this week, and the patch was so strong, it ripped the tire when I tried to peel it off. So I went to two Walmarts before I found a 20" tube.

Had two flats in July this year. Both user error. First one was I jumped on a bike with low tires, intending just to go around the block, but before I knew it, I was 4 miles out. By then the low tire had shifted on the rim and it cut the valve stem. Had to walk that one home. Second one was a few days later. I made sure to pump up the tires on wife's bike, but I put them too high. The was a sharp edge on the rim covered by tape, but the higher pressure was enough to press the edge through the tape and into the tube. Ssssssss. That time I had a phone.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
I've resorted to a silver Sharpie marker to ID holes, otherwise I can't find them again to put on the patch! 😂
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
fix a flat makes it miserable the next time. The goo leaks everywhere and patches don't stick to it.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I find the tubes that come with slime have leaky valve stems. Not worth filling the tire weekly. I have < 1 flat a year with kenda knobbies and cheap schwinn tubes. I do file out my valve hole when the bike is new to eliminate sharpness. I also shift the tire by letting the air out if the valve stem gets angled too much.
Seeing what poked through the tire is a PIT* at age 70. I don't carry reading glasses on the bike. Mostly I just feel everywhere, very time consuming. **** car tire carcasses that shed steel wire everywhere.