Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Wimberley, TX
Thanked 28 Times in 24 Posts
I change mine all the time. First time is a bit of work as you get used to the tricks, but then its easy.
Taking the front tire off is a snap. (i) put the bike on some sort of block/lift so tire is off the ground (padock stands are perfect for this - a cheap set is $70 on fleabay), (ii) unscrew axle nut, (iii) remove axle while supporting tire, and (iv) slip tire down so brake rotor slides out of calipers. Don't lose or mix up your spacers.
Rear tire is the same, only replace (iv) above with - (iv) push rear tire forward on bike until you can remove the chain from the sprockets (may have to rotate tire an inch or two), and set chain on swingarm, and (v) pull tire back out of swingarm until you can remove rear brake calipers (set them on the swingarm).
Now actually changing the tire takes some work. Are you doing it with just tire irons, or buying a system?
Putting rims/tires back on the bike is a reversal of the above, with the following hints for the rear: Get a friend to help - don't try it alone for your first time. Spread the rear brake pads slightly before you start. Also, make sure the rear cush drive is firmly seated on the rim (otherwise the tire is too wide and you have problems getting the rear brake caliper harness to sit still). Have your friend hold the rear brake assembly in place on the swingarm. Carefully roll the rear tire in, so that the rear brake rotor just slides between the brake pads. Roll it all the way forward on the ground to put the chain back on the sprockets. Re-check the rear brake assembly to make sure you haven't pushed it out of whack (this is where a friend is very helpful - yell at them and tell them to hold it in place; yell again). Now, sit behind the tire and use your feet under the tire (with your hands guiding the tire) to carefully lift it with the spacers fitting between the swingarms until the axle hole lines up with the chain adjuster holes on the swingarm. This is the hardest part. Once there, have your friend let go of the brake assembly and slide the axle in.
Now just tighten everything to spec. Easy once you've done it a few times. Good luck. (I believe everyone should know how to do this. Just so everyone can share my initial learning pains.)
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