How to Remove Wheels From a Bike

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Follow these steps to remove the wheels of your bike so you can lock them up safely with the frame, preventing them from being stolen, or so you can easily transport your bike on longer trips.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • All-purpose Bike Tools
  • Bike U-locks
  • Bike Helmets
  • Bike Locks And Cables
  • Bikes
  • Two 6-inch Crescent Wrenches (if Needed)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Release the brakes. On a road bike, the release is at the top of the brake lever. On a mountain bike, it's on the brakes; and the cable is removed by hand.

  2. 2

    Find the "quick release." The quick release is a finger-sized metal lever located where the front wheel attaches to the bicycle frame.

  3. 3

    Steady the bicycle with one hand on the handlebars. With the other, pull the quick release on the front wheel.

  4. 4

    Turn the quick release lever counterclockwise three to five times or until it loosens.

  5. 5

    Lift the bicycle's front end by the handlebars. If the front wheel doesn't drop out, sharply bang the top of the wheel with the heel of your hand.

  6. 6

    Put the front wheel aside, then flip the bike over and move to the rear wheel.

  7. 7

    Shift the rear derailleur onto the smallest cog, open the rear wheel's quick release, and turn to loosen.

  8. 8

    Pull the body of the derailleur toward the back of the bike with a rag or your fingers. The body of the derailleur is where the manufacturer's name is printed.

  9. 9

    Strike the back of the wheel lightly with the heel of your hand. The wheel should slide forward.

  10. 10

    Lift the wheel up and out of the bicycle frame, then lift the bicycle chain off the gears and pull the rear wheel free using a rag or your bare fingers.

Tips and warnings

  • If the wheel won't clear the brakes, make sure the brake cables are not being bent. If that fails, let some air out of the tires.
  • Bicycles without quick release levers require two 6-inch crescent wrenches. Undo the bolts half a turn at a time, then follow all the other steps normally.

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