How to put the front wheel on a bike

OK I know - this has absolutely NOTHING to do with tech. I AM trying to be more environmentally responsible though and will be writing more about Green/Sustainable IT so it's almost relevant!

My mountain bike has disc brakes front and rear. The front wheel has a quick release mechanism making it easy to fit my bike in the back/boot of my car. I've hardly used the bike since I bought it - something I plan to change. Something that's frustrated me with it though is that I rarely manage to fit the front wheel without the disc rubbing on the brake pads. I can't be alone hence now that I have found the answer I'm going to share it!

I visit my local bike shop and located an expert. He told me that the easiest way to align the wheel is simply to lower the bike onto the wheel while it's on the ground. I'd been the opposite - placing the bike inverted on the ground and lowering the wheel into place. Upon returning home I tried following the advice and struggled to insert the wheel as inserting the wheel required the brake disc to fit between the pads AND getting the quick release mechanism lined up too.

I've found that a hybrid of both techniques works best for me. I inverted the bike and fitted the wheel as I used to before BUT didn't tighten the quick release mechanism, then returned the bike to sit on it's wheels and tighted the mechanism - bingo - all sorted 🙂

BTW The only tech on my bike is the trip computer - oh and my Zune if you count what's in my pocket!



Comments (4)

  1. Steve Lamb says:

    Paul> Very cool – thanks for sharing

  2. John A Thomson says:

    I suppose the “no tech” idea is only correct if you don’t consider all the engineering and technology that went in to make this a modern bike that meets modern needs. Think back 20 or 30 years and answer how many bikes at disk brakes? How many had quick release wheels? Etc, etc?

    Just because the bike doesn’t ask you if you’d like to pedal the wheels doesn’t mean its not tech :-). Maybe we need an intelligent bike that responds like this:

    “I see you are trying to pedal up a hill. Would you like me to change to an admin level gear?”

    We’ve come a long way since the penny farthing :-). Modern bikes are full of tech and beautiful engineering.



  3. Paul Beyer says:

    Get in mate, discs are a bit of a pain in the ass but the guy at the bike shop told you right, it’s generally quite easy to drop the bike onto the wheel from the top – make sure you unwind the quick release bolt from the axle a little more than you need to – that’ll give you the freedom to shove the disc through the pads when you’re popping it on.

    Here’s a bit of a pimp for a great MTB video which’ll get you spurred up for summer too!

    Good Luck!

Skip to main content