How To Remove A Front Bike Wheel Without Quick Release

bicycle

If you're a recreational cyclist or new to competing, you might have some skills to learn. We don't mean riding skills; we mean things like removing your front wheel and other basic maintenance skills. Learning how to remove a front bike wheel without quick release, or how to remove a front bike wheel at all, might seem unnecessary to a recreational rider.

Why do you need to know this when you can just take your bike to a shop for repairs and maintenance? And what if your bike doesn't have quick release wheels?

Don't worry; this isn't as difficult as it sounds. Anyone with an interest in riding can learn how to remove a front bike wheel without quick release. The process isn't even all that complicated. You just have to know how to do it.

What Is ​The Difference Between ​A Regular Wheel ​And ​A Quick Release Wheel?

Before you can learn how to remove a front bike wheel without quick release, you need to know what quick release is. Otherwise, how do you know what you have on your bike?


That's especially important if you’re relatively new to cycling and you aren’t too familiar with the ins and outs of bicycles. With this, you’ll at least know whether you have quick release wheels or not.

What "​Quick ​Release" ​Is

Quick release on a bike wheel is made up of a lever, a hub, springs, and a skewer that goes through a hollow axle. Sounds unnecessarily complicated, doesn’t it?


Not really. In a nutshell, you remove a quick release front wheel by flipping the lever and holding it still while rotating the hub counterclockwise until you can remove the wheel.


If you have quick release, then you should keep in mind that you don’t need to take the quick release assembly apart entirely to remove your front wheel. In fact, if you do that, you’ll make your job more complicated than it needs to be.

What ​Bike ​Wheels ​Have ​When ​They ​Don't ​Have ​Quick ​Release

bike wheel

Image via flickr

Quick release is increasingly popular among cyclists because it makes everything from quick repairs to tune-ups and overall maintenance, to transportation, easier than non-quick release.


In spite of that, many bikes do still have traditional front axle assemblies. So what are those?


Essentially, you have two nuts threaded onto each side of a solid axle. They hold the wheel in place. And, like any other nut and bolt assembly, you’ll need tools to remove the nuts before you can remove the wheel.


There are also through-axles. They’re similar to quick release, but they aren’t designed for the u-shaped dropouts on the fork that are so typical of most bikes. Through-axles may or may not have a quick release lever, but you can’t have them on a bike with u-shaped dropouts.


Why? They’re part of what makes the axle on certain bikes more stable and robust, so they require round holes in the forks instead of u-shaped dropouts.


Standard quick-release mechanisms can snap on extreme terrain.

Why You Need ​To Know How ​To Remove ​A Front Bike Wheel Without Quick Release

As we briefly touched on above, what if you don’t have a bike wheel with quick release? How do you remove a front bike tire then?


There are several reasons you need to know, now that you know what kind of front wheel you’ve got.

Repairs ​And replacement

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One of the biggest reasons you need to know how to remove a front bike wheel without quick release is repairs and replacement.


Say you need to replace the tire or the tube. You could take your bike to a shop for it, or you could buy a tire removal tool, learn how to do it yourself, and save some money.


If you’re going to replace a tire or tube, you need to take the front wheel off.


That's an especially important skill to have because you might get a flat while you’re out riding. If you’re riding on a trail, even a paved one in a suburban area, and you don’t know how to fix a flat, you’re stuck.


If you perform your own tune-ups or would like to learn how, you also need to know how to remove your front wheel.

Transportation

biking in the city

Image via flickr

If you’re a less-than hardcore recreational rider, you might not have a bike rack. You also might not want to spend money having one installed on your car or deal with the hassle of finding one you can easily tack onto your vehicle whenever you want to ride somewhere that’s not near home.


Many bikes will fit into the trunk of a car, or the back of a van or SUV with the front wheel removed. You can put the front wheel in the backseat or on top of the bike.


Transportation is harder than necessary if you don’t know how to remove a front bike wheel without quick release. Heck, if you do have quick release and you don't know how to use it, you'll run into the same problems.

How ​To Remove ​A Front Bike Wheel Without Quick Release

Now that you know why you need to know how to remove a front bike wheel without quick release, how do you actually do it?

Tools you need

Brakes first!

How to loosen the nuts

Biking Is Easier When You Know How ​To Remove ​A Front Bike Wheel Without Quick Release

You don't need to go all out with all the fancy bells and whistles on your bike. That's true for reactional riding and otherwise. Knowing how to perform some basic repairs will help you immensely, especially while you're out or looking to save some money.


And knowing how to remove a front bike wheel without quick release falls into that category, too.


Also, if you know how to remove a front bike wheel without quick release, you can help your friends with their bikes. Maybe you're not the one who gets a flat during a ride. Perhaps your friend gets the flat, and they don't know how to fix it. If you know how to remove a front bike wheel without quick release and fix the flat, the two of you won't get stuck.


Regardless of what you're doing, you should know how to remove a front bike tire, with or without quick release. You'll make things easier, cheaper, and more fun for yourself.


Have an idea or suggestion we forgot to mention? Let us know!

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