How To Remove A Bike’s Rear Wheel Without All The Hassle

How to remove bike's rear wheel

It’s safe to say that most people know how to take off a front bike wheel, regardless of whether or not it has a quick-release lever. The back wheel is a different story, however.

The front wheel is easy enough, mainly due to its simplicity. All one needs to do is either remove the quick release lever, or unscrew the wheel. The rear wheel is connected to the chain, so things are a little trickier.

If you struggle with getting your rear wheel off in an orderly way, you’re not alone. This post will show you how to get the wheel off in easy fashion, without damaging the chain or causing any other problems. 

First, the Brakes

The very first thing you’ll need to do before taking the wheel off is detach your brakes, regardless of the brake type. The majority of brake assemblies near the wheel’s rims, and use some sort of quick-release system. The location depends on your brake type.

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    Some brakes may have a knob at the end of its cable that wedges into a notch inside of the the caliper arm. For these, just squeeze the brake so you have enough slack to release the cable.
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    Others brake types use have a quick-release lever that is very similar to the one one your bike’s axle.
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    Disc brakes are a little different. There is almost always some sort of quick release mechanism, but be sure you don’t touch the rotor if you’ve been riding the bike -- it will be very hot and could burn you.

Removing the Wheel

Now that that your brakes are disengaged from the wheel, you can now remove the wheel. Start by either undoing the quick-release lever, or unscrewing the nuts from the bold holding the wheel on to the frame.

Before you take the rear wheel fully off, you need to first shift your chain to the smallest rear cog. If you don’t want to ride or move the bike, just lift up on the back and turn the pedals while shifting to make sure the chain moves to the cog.

After doing so, place the bike upside down, and then finish taking out the quick-release lever, or nut and bolt. You’ll need to give the chain a little more slack, so pull back the derailleur. After that, lift the wheel up and away while holding the derailleur with your other hand. 

The wheel should now be totally free from the frame and. You’re all done!


Again, taking a rear wheel off is definitely more complicated than taking the front wheel off, but it doesn’t require any special tools, and once you’ve done it once, you won’t have any problems doing it again. 

Placing the wheel back on is just as easy, just do all of the above steps in reverse. Always be careful to prevent the chain from getting tangled or touching dirt. 

This post was last updated on June 5th, 2018 at 02:05 pm

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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