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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter’s bike has straight dropouts with a bolt on rear axle and I remember thinking while reinstalling it the first time around that I needed three hands to do it properly, in order to hold each of the axle nuts and pull the wheel itself rearward to properly tension the chain. Is there a trick to doing this correctly with only a normal human number of hands?

Thanks!
 

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Keep on Rockin...
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Jam the stick between the wheel/tire and the seat tube/BB area.

Otherwise I place my one hand in that area to "lever" the wheel back. To keep the left nut from turning, while I tighten the right, I mount a heavy wrench to hang off the left. Once the right is tight, and still "levering" , and maintaining center, the wheel with my hand, I tighten the left.

Do it all the time on my kids bikes and on my SS bikes with horizontal drops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jam the stick between the wheel/tire and the seat tube/BB area.

Otherwise I place my one hand in that area to "lever" the wheel back. To keep the left nut from turning, while I tighten the right, I mount a heavy wrench to hang off the left. Once the right is tight, and still "levering" , and maintaining center, the wheel with my hand, I tighten the left.

Do it all the time on my kids bikes and on my SS bikes with horizontal drops.
Ah, that makes sense - thanks!
 

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Up In Smoke
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I always find a sweet spot, tighten the left side fairly tight and then make the final adjustment before tightening the right side and double checking the left side. Worked for me for many years of bmx/ss/fixie riding.
 

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What I do is put the bike in a stout shop workstand, pull back on the wheel with the left hand and partially tighten the DS nut. I then grab the tire by the seat tube, move it until it's centered in the chain stays, then tighten the NDS nut. I then check chain tension and redo if necessary and if not, fully tighten both nuts. Don't forget the brake stay if a coaster brake.

Without a stout stand, you can tie the front of the bike to something to allow you to pull rearward on the wheel. Personally, I find it easier to get the chain tension just how I want it using this method rather than by using a lever between the tire and BB or seat tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the tips, guys. I have a stand but have only done it twice in my life - once on my daughter's bike when reinstalling the cranks (took them off to ease the transition from her balance bike) and once in college on a bmx bike where I didn't tighten them enough and ate crap when jumping off a curb and the rear wheel slipped. I'm obviously paranoid about having that happen again on my daughter's bike. :thumbsup:
 
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