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  1. #1
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    Fixing a flat on the rear tire

    So I know how to swap a tube, but when I'm riding my geared bikes and I get a flat in the rear I always feel like I'm fighting with the rear deraileur when it comes time to put the wheel back in the drop outs. I'm always trying to hold the deraileur out of the way with one hand and position the wheel with the other. This is not fun, especially with my fat bike. I feel like I must be missing something. Is there a "trick" to getting the wheel back on quickly or do I just need more practice?

    -Brian

    p.s. Single speeds rule.

  2. #2
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    If you're looking for a trick then the only one that's really going to help is to make sure your bike is in the highest numerical gear in the back (the smallest diameter cog). Other than that, it's pretty much all practice.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    If you're looking for a trick then the only one that's really going to help is to make sure your bike is in the highest numerical gear in the back (the smallest diameter cog). Other than that, it's pretty much all practice.
    This.

    Get in the habit of shifting the rear derailleur to the smallest cog as the first step towards removing your rear wheel. This gives you the most room to work with, and you know line the chain up on the small cog when re-installing. Helps a ton.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks guys, I do put my chain to the smallest cog before removing the wheel. I was sort of hoping I was missing something that would make it so I could just toss the wheel back in. Oh well, I guess I shouldn't complain about having too little practice needing to change flats.

  5. #5
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    There is a little bit of luck in this ,sometimes the wheel does just fall in ,sometimes it is a bit of a fight.

  6. #6
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    An XX1 derailleur makes it pretty easy.
    Live like there's no tomorrow. But pay your bills just in case there is.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saladin View Post
    An XX1 derailleur makes it pretty easy.
    Why?
    2014 Redline D880
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by blkangel View Post
    Why?
    It can lock the cage backward to get the chain farther out of your way. Not really worth the $250 plus the upgrade to 11 speeds on the rest of the parts if you ask me.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    It can lock the cage backward to get the chain farther out of your way. Not really worth the $250 plus the upgrade to 11 speeds on the rest of the parts if you ask me.
    Gotcha. That feature is available on a SRAM Type 2 derailleurs so all the down to the X7 line.
    2014 Redline D880
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    1995 GT Tequesta (single speed)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    It can lock the cage backward to get the chain farther out of your way. Not really worth the $250 plus the upgrade to 11 speeds on the rest of the parts if you ask me.
    X9 derailleur allows you to do that as well. I agree it makes installing the rear wheel a lot easier. Also shifting into the smallest ring helps reduce chain tension. Or on my 1x10 with a x9 rear derailleur I take the chain off the ring.

    On an old bike with a 3x9 drivetrain I have on occasion become so frustrated fitting the rear wheel that I simply broke the chain using the reusable magic link.

  11. #11
    local trails rider
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    With most derailers, you do need to hold it back. Some manage it best by having the bike upside down and dropping the wheel into the dropouts, others can hold the wheel on the ground and drop the frame onto it. In either case you need to pay attention. Do it slowly, so that you can see where your axle/skewer is heading.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  12. #12
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    Well, and if you are just going to patch the tube (and not replace the tube), you can get away with leaving the wheel attached to the bike - just undo one bead, find the leak, patch, assemble and inflate.
    Not that I do that often, but had to help someone recently and wheel on their rented bike was bolted (not quick release) and we didn't have a proper wrench.

  13. #13
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    Spend a little time at home getting it dialed.

    It does help to grab the derailleur and rotate it towards the back of the bike. I typically stand on the non-drive side of the bike and kind of of grab the seat with my armpit (and knee and thigh kind of) to lean it over and lift it up a little, use my the first couple fingers of my right hand to hold the drive side of the skewer/axle and guide it into place while some of the remaining fingers swing the derailleur open and the left hand guides the non-drive side. Line things up, lean the bike into the ground with the armpit to seat it, tighten whatever needs tightening.

    The more you do it, the better you'll get at it.
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  14. #14
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    I at least feel better knowing I'm not the only one who wrestles with my bike to deal with this. I'm getting too used to changing flats with 6 in the past month, but most of my miles are on a single speed so the whole derailleur issue is moot.

    I have decided I'm better at it with the bike upside down and dropping the wheel in, rather than the other way.

  15. #15
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    I actually prefer using the 5th (of 10) cogs and always do it with the bike upside down. Having the chainline "aligned" seems to avoid the problem of the wheel twisting out of line as it slides into place. Also, after you pull the deraileur back and drop the chain over the cluster, relax the derailleur forward as the wheel starts to drop into place. That way there is no chain tension fighting the wheel as it slots in.

  16. #16
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    Definitely bike upside down, I straighten out the derailleur completely. Face the back of the back on the drivetrain side. Hold the segment closest to the derailleur with your hand and push on the joint with your thumb. That will open up the derailleur so you can just drop the wheel in.

  17. #17
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    I couldn't install a rear wheel with the bike upside-down to save my life!

    Smallest cog/ pull derailleur parallelogram back/ drop frame onto axle has always worked for me, that and several thousand practice rounds.

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