Which is easier in reality (swapping tires or wheelsets)?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Which is easier in reality (swapping tires or wheelsets)?

    I decided to turn my hardtail into a commuter/hybrid but want the ability to swap it back for backup/emergency mtb duty. I'll also swap forks/bars at the same time but that doesn't really affect the tire/wheel discussion.

    I have a complete spare wheelset with rotors and cassette. I figured, I'd trow some slicks on and be able to swap back and forth fairly easily. In theory it seemed sound, in practice I'm not sure if it's anymore practical that just swapping tires on one set of rims.

    When I swapped wheelsets, the brakes had to be realigned a bit and the shifting is a little off. I know it's not ideal to switch back and forth between different cassette's due to wear, etc....

    Does anyone do this regularly and which way ends up being less trouble?

    Option 1: Swap wheelsets. Quick and easy but have to deal with minor brake alignment & shifting issues potentially. Brake alignment is quick to fix but I suck at fixing shifting issues.
    Option 2: Swap wheelsets & move the cassette. Would swapping the cassette be a better idea? Con - not as quick of a swap but may save time in fiddling with shifting issues.
    Option 3: Just swap the damn tires. I was trying to avoid unmounting tubless tires, draining & cleaning up sealant, removing the valve stem, putting tubes in and mounting the slicks, but it may just be easier in the long run.

  2. #2
    Did I catch a niner+?
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    wheelsets should be pretty easy in the long run, however the easiest is going to be if they are the same everything minus tires. I would also least get the same cassette and rotor this should minimize those issues. Plus if you have the wheelset you should use it.

    I would also be wondering how often you are swapping? Is it all week slicks and weekends dirt?
    Mr. Krabs: Is it true, Squidward? Is it hilarious?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57 View Post
    I would also be wondering how often you are swapping? Is it all week slicks and weekends dirt?
    No, swapping would be rare. I have a nice MTB I ride 95% of the time and I just wasn't riding the hardtail much anymore. Really had to force myself to ride it occasionally and then when I did, I just missed my cushy FS. Swap would only happen if primary bike was in the shop for say more than 4 days or if my brother visits and I need another mtn bike.

    Wanted something I could hit the road with if weather is bad and I'd like to start commuting part time again. Also something I can take when I go riding with the kid.

    I have a old 1972 Scwinn Le Tour II 10 speed I had been using for these things but it doesn't fit that great, I am always nervous on the skinny tires that I'll flat, dislike the old rim brakes, and I just never use the drop position. I'll probably sell it if this conversion works well. And since I had all of the parts laying around (rigid carbon fork, spare lighter wheelset, narrower bars, ergon GP3 grips with the bar ends) it just seemed like a good idea. Just needed a pair of slicks and some M324 pedals for dual duty.

  4. #4
    z1r
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    I find that with Cantilever and "V" Brakes it is best to have two identical sets of wheels to minimize brake alignment issues. And, as long as the cassettes were within about a 10 tooth range of each other, shifting was fine.

    I usually just end up changing tires as it is much less hassle.

  5. #5
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    Swap wheels
    Most of my bikes have several wheelsets assigned to them. It takes 30 seconds to swap wheels. Never had any shifting issues and brake adjustment is just a matter of a barrel adjuster turn.
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  6. #6
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    With disk brakes you might need to shim the rotor bolts a bit to avoid adjustments during wheel swaps. This is challenging with centrelock rotors.

    Otherwise, my wheelset swaps are mighty quick. Shifting issues have no manifested themselves on any of my wheel swaps.
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  7. #7
    weirdo
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    Wheels. I had to shim the cassette on one wheel that was a bit funky for some reason, otherwise all have been interchangeable between many bikes and many wheels. Never had disc brakes on a bicycle though, so maybe that does copmplcate it.
    Recalculating....

  8. #8
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    Wheels. My rigid and hardtail both have two identical hubsets, one higher-geared with lighter rims and smooth-ish (or just really worn) MTB tires and one lower-geared with wider rims and fat off-road tires. Riding home from work on smooth trails followed by 15 miles of pavement, or taking a route that bounces through 10 miles of rocks, either bike is ready to take either route pretty quickly. My FS only has one wheelset, however.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    With disk brakes you might need to shim the rotor bolts a bit to avoid adjustments during wheel swaps. This is challenging with centrelock rotors.

    Otherwise, my wheelset swaps are mighty quick. Shifting issues have no manifested themselves on any of my wheel swaps.
    I found centerlock rotors are better centered and require no adjustments...

    I swap three sets of wheels slicks, knobbies. and studs

    Shifting is at most a quarter turn of the knob....and most often none needed...

    It is all about clean set-up of the wheels and centering the axles in the dropouts properly...

    put the bike upside down and use your gut to force the axle into the bottom of the dropouts.

  10. #10
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    Got it all built up. Get an occasional ghost shift in only one gear combo, might need to play with it a bit. Took it for two rides this weekend since the weather ruled out mtb'ing. 21 miles & 15 miles in almost freezing temps, worked fine. Gonna try to start mixing in some commutes again starting this week.

    Normally this is setup as a 100mm hardtail (backup bike).
    Which is easier in reality (swapping tires or wheelsets)?-scandal2.jpg

    I swapped the following:
    Running older Stans Arch rims w/ Specialized Hemisphere Armadillo tires (700x38)
    Carbon On-One fork
    Narrower bars with Ergon grips (I never fell in love with the Ergons when I tried them on the trail, maybe for road duty they'll be good to give an extra position).
    Swapped to Shimano M324 pedals so I can use regular shoes if desired.

    Which is easier in reality (swapping tires or wheelsets)?-scandal.jpg

    I figure even as slow as I am I can have it back to emergency hardtail duty in an hour or so.

  11. #11
    Bedwards Of The West
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    I have a second wheelset built up with rotors and cassette ready to throw on with my studded tires in the winter. Even with a quick brake adjust (BB7's) it's super easy and fast when I'm trying to get out the door in the morning. I have had minor shifting issues where the normal cassette will shift perfect and the one on the studded wheels will be slightly off... it's a quick barrel adjustment if I think about it before I leave the house, but if I don't, I have the ultimate built-in on the fly solution - bar end shifters that can switch from indexed to friction. That makes things super simple.
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  12. #12
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    Done both. Wheels, no question.

  13. #13
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    Good reason for N+1.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Good reason for N+1.
    This!

    I swap tires, but only do this twice a year when the snow comes and when its gone.

  15. #15
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    We've had two pretty cold winters in a row here, actually cold enough that there was no melting during the day in the sun and thus no real ice forming for weeks at a time. This meant that the roads were all dry pavement, the trails were all Hard packed dry snow, and my studded tires were pointless. With a few wheel sets floating around my basement it was nice to be able to swap the studs off for some easier rolling (and cheaper) rubber. And they are all set up tubeless with sealant, so tire swaps weren't gonna happen.

    Sent from my BB10 with Taptalk.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

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