Easy Ways to Remove Bicycle Tires From Rims

Easy Ways to Remove Bicycle Tires From Rims
Removing a bicycle tire from a rim is a skill that is necessary for much basic bike maintenance and repair. Separating the tire from its rim will give you access to the inner tube for patching and replacement. It will also allow you to swap tires. Learning how to remove a tire should take only a few minutes, and it's a handy skill that will serve you well, especially when you need to make a quick fix on the road or trail.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Two tire levers
  • Wrench or quick-release skewers
Step 1
Loosen the axle of your bicycle with its quick-release hardware or with a wrench until you can slide the wheel from the frame. Depending on the style of brakes your bike is equipped with, you may also need to spread the pads by removing the brake cable from the brake pad mechanism. Do this for brake types that prevent you from pulling the wheel off, like cantilevers.
Step 2
Remove all air from the tube by pulling the cap off the air valve (and opening it if it's a Presta valve) and pressing down on the air release until the air is drained from inside of the tube.
Step 3
Place the end of the tire lever into the top middle of the rim. Push it down until you are able to pull back and grab the tire by the bead (edge of the tire).
Step 4
Pull back on the lever until the bead is over the rim. Hold that lever vertically so that it keeps the bead of the tire out of the rim. If the lever is equipped with a clip, clip it onto a spoke to keep it steady.
Step 5
Insert your second tire lever into the rim in the same way you did the first. Insert this lever about 3 inches from the first.
Step 6
Repeat step 3, pulling the tire bead out of the rim. Rotate the tire, move over another couple of inches, and repeat again. Repeat this simple action until the bead has popped off enough to remove the remainder of the tire from the rim by hand.
Step 7
Pull the valve out of the rim, and take the tube out.
Step 8
Pry the remaining bead off the rim with either your hands or the tire lever.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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