Introduction: Remove Rear Wheel From Roux A8 Bicycle - Gates Carbon Drive

Picture of Remove Rear Wheel From Roux A8 Bicycle - Gates Carbon Drive

I'm writing this because I bought a Roux A8 cycle last year and have found very little information on how to remove the rear wheel. It's fitted with a Gates Carbon Drive belt system instead of a chain, which makes removal of the wheel rather daunting if you haven't done it before.

I was shown how to do this by the very helpful mechanic at the local cycle shop. He recommended practising it at home on a sunny afternoon, rather than doing it for the first time on a dark, rainy night by the side of the road. Very sound advice I think.

You will need:

  • Basic cycle tools, namely spanners and allen keys
  • Five minutes

I deliberately made sure I only used those tools available on my cheap cycle multi-tool, as this is all I'm likely to have with me in an emergency.

This procedure has worked for me and I've used my best efforts to record it here. Naturally you follow it at your own risk, particularly as you probably trust your life to a well maintained bicycle.

Step 1: Select 4th Gear on the Shifter

Picture of Select 4th Gear on the Shifter

Before you start, ensure that you put the Alfine hub into fourth gear. You'll find it hard to remove the cable from the hub otherwise. There is a small viewing window on the sprocket-side of the hub and you should be able to see two yellow marks aligned when in the correct gear.

Step 2: Loosen and Swing Out the Brake Caliper

Picture of Loosen and Swing Out the Brake Caliper

Turn the bike upside down. Loosen both bolts holding the rear brake caliper to the frame. Remove the upper bolt completely. Swing the caliper down clear of the rear disc, then retighten the lower bolt to hold it in place. Put the upper bolt a few turns into its thread in the caliper, just so you don't lose it.

Step 3: Unhook the Cable From the Alfine Hub

Picture of Unhook the Cable From the Alfine Hub

The sheath for the gear shift cable is supported in a metal arm which points forward from the centre of the Alfine hub. Pull this sheath (and its small black end-cap) towards the front of the bike until you can free the cable from the metal arm through the slot on the right hand side.

Once the cable is free, pull it gently towards the rear of the bike. This will allow the retaining nut on the Alfine hub to be removed from its locating slot. This is a bit of a fiddle if you haven't done it before.

Step 4: Loosen the Belt Tensioning Bolts and Empty the Tyre

Picture of Loosen the Belt Tensioning Bolts and Empty the Tyre

Unwind the two button-headed tensioning bolts which pass through the rear dropouts on the frame and bear onto the rear axle. These have nyloc nuts fitted half way down them. Do not touch the nyloc nuts - they are set up for the correct tension when the bike is first assembled. Undo these three or four turns but don't remove them from the frame.

Let all the air out of the tyre at this stage.

Step 5: Loosen the Axle Bolts, Disengage the Belt and Remove the Wheel

Picture of Loosen the Axle Bolts, Disengage the Belt and Remove the Wheel

Loosen the rear axle bolts a few turns on each side. It should now be possible to push the wheel towards the front of the bike and ease the belt off the rear sprocket by pushing it sideways.

Once the belt is off, it should be an easy matter to pull the wheel to the rear of the bike and remove it from the frame (unless you've got snug mudguards, in which case it's a bit of a fiddle). Now go and fix that puncture.

Step 6: Refitting

Picture of Refitting

Refitting is the reverse of removal, but there are a couple of important points to note (I found out both the hard way!).

Prior to replacing the wheel into the rear dropouts, make sure you engage the belt around the crank then drop it onto the adjacent crank spindle, before fitting it round the rear sprocket. Otherwise there's a good chance you'll end up with the belt in the wrong place and have to remove the wheel again.

There are two keyed washers (yellow and brown) with tabs. Avoid removing these if you can. If you do, note that the tabs face towards the rear of the bike and the yellow washer goes on the shifter side, thus ensuring correct alignment of the cable retainer. All these photos are shown with the orientation incorrect (as I took all the photos before checking the orientation - whoops), though I rode it like this for a month without any apparent ill effects. I've also attached a post-delivery photo of the bike so you can see the correct tab alignment on a brand-new bike.

There is a packing washer which sits on the right hand side of the rear axle. This should go between the hub and the rear dropout on the brake-disc side. The distance between the rear dropouts is about 2 mm more than the rear axle length and this packing washer ensures that the two sprockets for the belt are correctly aligned and there is no excessive strain on the frame when tightening the rear wheel in position.

I hope someone finds this helpful.

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