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Pasadena Style Wheel Removal

 
Two years ago Will and I and another guy were coming back from an overnight, pushing, dragging, or carrying our bikes with mud-caked wheels up a final trail hill. Out of the blue at the top of the hill, Will discovered he had a rear flat. On a loaded bike in the muck. How did that happen? But there he was.

He flipped his bike upside down so it rested on the bars and saddle, and dived in.
I hadn’t seen anybody do that since 1966. Only kids do that. He might as well have pulled his pants all the way down to go pee like a 3-year old, so I said, “Will—what are you DOING?”

“This is Pasadena Style!” he smiled with a smiley Will-chuckle. Pasadena is where he learned it, so that’s what he calls it, and me too, now. Labels identify things quickly, and P-Style (even better?) avoids extra words.
Kids don’t do this anymore, do they? They call for mom or dad and the mini-van. No judgment here, though.

I used to ride thin cheap tires about 700 miles a month, and a flat a week was the norm. I’ve easily fixed 500 flats in my life, always with the bike upright and leaning on me, Racer Style. It was just the only way to do it. Pasadena Style is pure unracer.

For a while I wanted every new bike sale to be accompanied by a hands-on lesson in removing and installing a rear wheel Racer Style. But takes an hour of instruction and repetition to drill it in. I’ve given about seven lessons and this I know.
My older daughter has ridden nearly daily for 9 years with only two flats. She used to know how, but no need unlearned her. Last December she called me up, asking me to coach her through wheel removal. Racer Style wasn’t working over the phone, but then I remembered Will’s Pasadena style, and she was through in a jiffy.

The advantages of Pasadena Style:
1. No balancing.
2. The wheel is free to come out. There’s no ground in its way.
3. You’re free to move around the bike for a better angle, if you want it. Or rest, or go to the bathroom.
4. Less awkward because you’re not holding the bike at an angle.
5.The fender’s not in the way of bonking the wheel out.
6.You can go hands-free at any time, and nothing bad happens.
7.When the wheel re-enters the dropout, gravity automatically centers it.


Racer Style evolved for speed and cable protection in the days before aero road brake levers. Those days are long-gone, and when you aren’t in a race, an extra minute doesn’t matter.
If you’re fluent in the Racer Way, that’s great, but if you aren’t, go P-Style and relax.