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Swapping Wheelsets-Here’s what you need to know

Swapping means interchanging front and rear tires with each other but it is only possible if the width of the tire and rim would be the same, then you can easily swap the tires, you will need swapping for mountain biking usually after 6 months in a year when the season changes, like in winters when there is snowfall all around, you want to change a rear tire and install it within the front rim and vice versa. it is possible but you will face difficulties in swapping the tires, which include compatible disk and rim brakes, chain, and compatible cassette and gears, all these things are the basic necessities you will face in swapping and interchanging tires on a bike.

Many riders commute in the winter seasons on their bikes and many of them love racings in the summer season, for these reasons swapping wheelsets is an amazing feeling in different seasons and different trails. when swapping the front wheel with the rear one you have to adjust the cogs of the cassette when re-installing them within the wheel, the distance of the cogs with the rear hub of the wheel would matter a lot and you need to adjust them in the right way same as that of the previous cog distance, it needs your attention and requires skills of swapping of wheels if you are doing the same process on every season, no dought you are an experienced rider and it is much easier for you.

Distance of the rear cassette with the round clamp hole of the frame and frame tube would also matter also and it needs to be adjusted to reduce notching and rubbing the cassette and freehub with the frame when the wheel rotates. including these problems the other noticeable thing is that you have to adjust the distance of the rear cogs of the cassette with the crankset, greater or lesser than this distance would cause skipping of chain on the trails and it requires further maintenance if this distance is not set correctly.


You have to re-install the derailer with the swapping wheelsets because the exact location and place of the derailer would change in swapping of wheels and the distance again matters for the derailer and the chain for better working. The new derailer would not be compatible with the cassette and cogs of the gears and vice versa.

When You are going to install two different wheelsets on a mountain bike or road bike frame, then check the function of the derailer with these wheels, if it’s properly working then the derailer does not need any maintenance.

Cable Stretching:

Swapping of wheels changes the direction and shape of the cables including their distance from reaching the front and rear wheels. many times it is common after swapping cables are stretched and the rim and disc brake are constantly rubbing with the tire and rim of the wheel, it clearly identifies and is a sign that brake cables are stretched and they need to be relaxed and normal for smooth working for bike wheels.

It is usually hard to judge the stretching of cables on those bikes which have internal and hidden cable routing, you can pull the levers of brakes for checking their stretch level. and if you are installing a new brake cable then it would be difficult for judging them with the new swap wheel if you are a beginner, mechanic, or an experienced wheel builder person would do it in the right way.

Front and rear shifter nuts need to be slightly stretched or relaxed according to the previous setup of your bike for smooth riding. if the front and rear hubs are different for wheelsets the stretching of cables would not be compatible with the wheelsets and vice versa.

Brake Pads Adjustment:

Swapping of front and rear wheels would affect the distance of pads from the rim and tire when you are reinstalling them, or in cases, if these are not unmounted in swapping and just the wheel is swapped then it also matters for a new wheel, because the space of the new swapping from the brake pads increases or decreases, and you have to judge them accurately by standing bike on a stand and rotate the swapping wheel with your fingers, if its front tire stands in front of it to judge the distance of the rim brake and if its rear tire then stands to behand the tire and judge the distance of the pads and the rear wheel, it is an easy method to recover this problem after swapping.

Swapping Of Wheelsets Between Mountain And Road Biking?

If you are a road biker and also a mountain biker, and you will swap wheelsets every season or at any time when you want to change your riding trails, then you have to upgrade a few things for swapping of wheels, make the cassettes of both bikes same size with same cogs, and also the length and size of the thru-axle and freehubs would also be same, and the main changing is that if your road bike has rim brake wheels then you have to maintain mountain bike wheels of the same kind and if road bike contains disc brake wheels, mountain bike wheels would also need the same upgrading, all these things would matter a lot from swapping of wheelsets between mountain and road biking.

Size Of Cassette For Swapping Of Wheels:

If you are swapping wheels and also changing the cassette with a new one then, you have to purchase the same size cassette because a new cassette would not work with the current derailer which is installed in your bike, and the cassette and derailer would not work because these are not compatible with each other, it is much important for swapping of wheelsets.

Gear speed would also matter, if your previous cassette has 7 gears and the new one contains 11 top 12-speed cassettes then this setup is also a non-compatible setup, including these changing the size of the bike would also matter a lot for swapping, if the bike size is 27.5 then it is not possible to swap the wheelsets with 29er wheelsets.

Sometimes new swapping wheelsets are not compatible with the cogs of the cassette and these become smaller or larger than the wheels, for this situation slightly screw the side nuts of the cogs and tight them so that these cogs become compatible with new wheelsets. it prevents skipping of chain from the cogs of the cassette when you are riding on the trails.

Difference In Rim Size For Swapping:

If the new rim which is swapped with the older is 1mm larger or smaller than the old rim, it also affects a lot in riding and does not maintain brake pads, cogs of cassettes and skipping of chain, you will hear bad irritating noises coming from the swapped wheels if the previous rim is not compatible with a new one( size difference of 1mm to 2mm).

The difference in width of rims between previous and new wheels would also affect the working p[erofrmance of the hubs and they need to be adjusted further, without this you have to maintain the distance of the brake pads on a new swap wheel if the rim width is not compatible with the previous wheel.

Reidishing of the wheel is also needed in swapping wheelsets so that you can adjust the total number of spokes, its counting should be compatible with the width and size of the rim. you can shift the spokes of the previous rim into the new swapping wheel in re-dishing of the rim.

Length Of Chain:

Installing or swapping two different wheelsets on the same bike frame would affect the working of the chain, a shorter or longer chain would affect the handling badly on the trails, and the chain needs to be adjusted thoroughly before going on a ride.

The life of the chain won’t decrease with new cassettes and cogs, the main thing you need to do is bleed the drivetrain thoroughly and wash with the soapy water, the chain will work smoothly on new swapping wheelsets.

Limit Screws:

These limit screws control the function of the derailer, rear wheel, and tension within the brake cables, when you are swapping wheelsets, make sure when the setup is ready to check these screws and tight or lose them according to their requirements so that these become compatible with the new wheelsets.


Swapping of new wheelsets requires a high budget because surely you will need compatible cassettes, cogs, rim and spokes, wheels, etc. swapping means you are going to change all of your bike functions and you are going to make a new bike with different functions, so it is only easy when all the accessories and parts of bikes you own, so that these are compatible with each other on new wheelsets.

Also, it is time-consuming, you will have to give a proper shape to your bike, all these things would matter a lot in avoid this system you can buy another bike and make it secure for seasonal rides on the trails.