X3 Rear Wheel Reinstall - Very Hard

George S.

Well-Known Member
I took the rear wheel off my Prodeco X3, to change the tire and tube. Removing it was enough of a chore, since the wheel had to be pried out. Swapping tires and tubes was painless.

To reinstall the rear wheel? The manual says that you have to pull the chain over the sprockets and then:

"Slide the motor into the frame dropouts by aligning the axle into the dropouts"

Well, gee. That isn't remotely what you have to do. First off, the chain is going to fight you all the way. Second, the derailleur is going to be in the way. Third, the axle has flat sides so you have to align the wheel at a very precise point, but then you have to come in, over the derailleur. Four, the disc brake is going to hang unless it is precisely aligned to slide in. That means aligning two things precisely, at the same time, with a tensioned derailleur and balky chain. I tried ten times, maybe more, over 90 minutes. I thought I had found a system just to keep the chain and derailleur out of the way. Nothing I tried came close to getting the wheel in the dropouts, and this is a heavy piece of equipment to deal with.

I took it to the ebike shop (where I bought it) the next day. I asked how hard this was supposed to be? They smiled and said "You need to have the bike on a repair stand." When I went back to pick it up they said it had taken two guys and several tries.

I'm miffed because I scratched stuff up and I was afraid I'd bent the disc brake. The shop was fantastic, saying they would treat it as a warranty issue, even though it isn't. I bought some tire liners.

I didn't realize they would have a massive problem with the reinstallation. At that point, I really felt I should swap the rear tire for the absolute most bullet proof tire I could find, maybe the Schwalbe Marathon, which they stocked. It is very thick. I put some tire liners in the new tire and new thick tube. I hope that works. I don't see how I could fix this beside the road, and having a loose rear wheel would make life really complicated 10 miles from nowhere. I'm so glad I tried to do this at home.

I signed up for road service a few months back. It's a bike policy from Better World. I will not try to remove the rear wheel again, especially out in the field. I carry a can of inflator stuff with goo to seal holes. I would not use slime, all the time. In general, the thorns have caused slow leaks in my bike tires, and very slow leaks if I don't remove the thorns.

I've changed the rear wheel on two other bikes, non-electrics, and it is not much of a deal. The chain makes it messy, but the wheel doesn't have to be aligned precisely. One wheel has a disk brake.

I posted this on another bike brand forum, so I guess it is a common problem.

Prodeco might want to rethink that manual.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Hey George,

Sorry you had so much trouble. I've had the wheel off my x3 about a half dozen times and it's never fun. You never know what you're getting into before the first time and I was shocked how heavy these ebike hub motor wheels can be. The chain, derailleur, freewheel gears are the real problem and from my little experience I can tell you removing the chain from the bike makes the job much easier to line up the axle and brake. There is a master link on your x3 that takes seconds to remove and install. With the chain out of the way you align the brake disk first and than the axle second. I've done this both on and off my Park Tool PCS-10 stand and it's never easy, but doable without the chain occupying one hand. Just a forewarning all that added rubber will add a few extra pounds to the already heavy wheel.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Thanks. I was looking at the chain, which clearly has a breakable link. It didn't seem to move with 'normal' pressure, and when I looked online there is some kind of tool. I was going to buy the tool at the ebike shop, but they didn't think removing the chain would help that much.

I really wouldn't want to remove the rear wheel in the field, and not be able to get it back on. But I think you are right about the chain. I even considered removing the rear derailleur, just to get complete access.

The bike needed a one year check-up. They didn't find any issues at all, after the rear wheel was replaced. It's essentially been trouble free. Until I went looking for trouble. :D
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Thanks. I was looking at the chain, which clearly has a breakable link. It didn't seem to move with 'normal' pressure, and when I looked online there is some kind of tool. I was going to buy the tool at the ebike shop, but they didn't think removing the chain would help that much.

I really wouldn't want to remove the rear wheel in the field, and not be able to get it back on. But I think you are right about the chain. I even considered removing the rear derailleur, just to get complete access.

The bike needed a one year check-up. They didn't find any issues at all, after the rear wheel was replaced. It's essentially been trouble free. Until I went looking for trouble. :D
Used master links can be a little stubborn, try a chain scrubber with degreaser first, a clean chain makes it easier. I have a Park Tool master link breaker but you don't need one. I've done it using a variety of methods over the years like this in the video. Video states 10 speed but your 8 speed chain will work just the same.

 

KenM.

Active Member
Hi all, i do not have an e-bike yet, looking around. I was looking for info on the x3, and found you guys.
The hard time it is to put the rear wheel back on is not good news.
Is it not possible to take the caliper off of the frame, and tie it up with something to keep the strain off of the brake line.
Then with the chain off put the wheel on, then put the caliper and chain back on.
Thanks for the info and tips you guys and gals share here!
Keep looking up! Ken.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
@J.R. suggested breaking the chain, but I also figured it would possible to remove other parts. I figure if you just got the flat fixed and the wheel installed, you could get home on just the battery.

This is the only issue I have found with the bike. My gripe centered around the fact I did it at home, but I'd always carried the wrench to get the rear wheel off in the field. I think I would have ended up with a rear wheel I couldn't get back on, but maybe I would have gotten the chain off, or other parts. The caliper restricts where the wheel can go, but the chain was truly in the way.

It's not an X3 thing, actually, it's more of a rear hub thing. Some bikes are even worse, but in different ways. I'll have to try again, when I get the new fork for the bike I am building, installed.

My X3 is the older one with 13 pounds of battery on the back. There are endless complaints (including Court) about this rear heavy design. Prodeco has a new X series with the battery in the frame:

http://electricbikereport.com/prodecotech-frame-battery/

I have ridden my X3 with a battery in front, no battery in back. It balances better, so it's easier to ride, and the front fork carries more weight, so it works better.

It's something Prodeco needed to do, but the models don't seem to be showing up right now, and who knows what they will do with the older versions.
2015-ProdecoTech-Phantom-X-R.jpg
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
@KenM. I sent you a PM about the X3, should be in your inbox (upper right corner of page). Prodeco makes a good ebike at a good price and is worth a look. I'm casually looking for my second ebike, but will likely keep the X3 for winter commutes. There's no rush though, the X3 is impressive especially for the price.

The x3 rear wheel is no easier or harder to remove/install than any heavy ebike wheel with disk brakes. Removing a caliper on the road isn't advisable, the bike is usually on the handlebars and with the caliper off, if the lever gets depressed the pads will press together and you will not get the brakes reinstalled. Even bending the brake line can cause this.

Good luck Ken and welcome to the board.
 

stevenast

Well-Known Member
I have to say reading how hard it is to remove and put back some of these rear hubs, it has me wondering if it's really for me. Of course, you only puncture a tire quite infrequently, but there's still a stress associated with it...

Nice bike though. I like the design and specs. And the price looks right too.

Consider mid-drive. Then everything outside the motor and battery is just like a regular bike. Easier for you to service and easier to find professional service.

and since cost is an issue, there are solutions to that...