How to Replace an Inner Tube in a Road Touring Bike

How to Replace an Inner Tube in a Road Touring Bike
Your touring bike inner tube is essential to both your bike's performance and your personal safety. Having a sudden flat and not knowing how to change it could be a major problem if you find yourself riding in an isolated area. Bike tourists can be especially prone to this scenario, as they cross miles of countryside where help isn't always available.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Inner Tube Replacement

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tire levers
Step 1
Remove the wheel with the flat tire. If this is the rear wheel, which is more likely, shift your chain to the smallest cog on your cassette. This will make removing the wheel much easier.
Step 2
Remove the valve stem cap. Push down the valve tip with your finger to remove any air still remaining in the inner tube.
Step 3
Insert a tire lever between the tire bead and the inner tube, working opposite the valve stem. Connect the opposite, hooked end of the lever to a parallel spoke.
Step 4
Insert a second tire lever about six inches to the right or left of the first lever. Tire levers normally come in packs of three. Again, attach the hooked end of the lever to a spoke.
Step 5
Insert your third tire lever beneath the tire bead beside one of the other levers. Begin rotating the tire lever around the circumference of the tire. This will free the bead from the rim.
Step 6
Pull the old inner tube free of the tire. Again, work opposite the valve stem.
Step 7
Blow a small amount of air into the new inner tube. This will give it a little shape, making it easier to work with.
Step 8
Insert the valve stem of the new inner tube into the hole provided on the rim. Work the inner tube into the tire, moving steadily around the circumference of the wheel.
Step 9
Use your fingers to re-insert the tire bead back into the rim. Some people are inclined to use tire levers for this process, but it's not advised. Tire levers can end up puncturing the new inner tube.
Step 10
Inflate the new inner tube to its proper PSI. Insert the wheel back into the bike.

Tips & Warnings

Always travel with a spare tube, tire levers and an inflation device. Not doing this is foolish and potentially dangerous.

Article Written By Matthew Ferguson

Matthew Ferguson is a writer living in Savannah, Ga. He has been writing for over 10 years and his work has appeared on various online publications. A collection of his short stories was published in spring 2010. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.

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