How to Remove Tires From a Road Bike

How to Remove Tires From a Road Bike
Removing that skinny tire from your road bike can look very difficult the first time you try to do it. However, with some simple techniques, you'll have it off within minutes. Removing the tire allows you to fix a flat, install a new tube or put on new tires. It's a skill that will come in handy on many different occasions. Learn to do it efficiently and save yourself some headaches.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Two tire levers
  • Two tire levers
Step 1
Release the brakes so that they open and allow you to slide the rim through.
Step 2
For the rear wheel, shift gears so that you're on the smallest gear.
Step 3
Remove the wheel. Before you can remove the tire, you need to remove the wheel. Pull the quick-release lever and spin the wheel counterclockwise to loosen it. There's no reason to take off the nut, but loosen it just enough to pull the wheel from the frame. Pull the wheel off.
Step 4
Deflate the tire. Chances are the tire is already deflated, which is why you're changing it. However, if it's not fully deflated, deflate by pressing down the release on the valve. First take the cap off the valve. Turn the nut on top of a Presta valve counterclockwise until it stops. Then press down on the very top of the valve to let the air out.
Step 5
Unscrew the nut at the base of the Presta valve and take it off. Store it in a pocket or some place where it won't get lost.
Step 6
Pinch the tire all the way around where it meets the rim to loosen up the bead.
Step 7
Place the first tire lever between the tire and rim. Push it down between the rim and the tire then press it down so that it lifts the tire bead up and over the rim. Once you have the bead over the rim, secure that tire lever by attaching it to a spoke or holding it so it stays in place .
Step 8
Move about two inches from the first tire lever and use the second tire lever to pry that section of the bead off the rim. Continue to move around the rim, prying in this manner. You should be getting more and more of the bead over the rim and eventually it will be so loose you can simply slide the tire lever around to finish taking off the entire bead.
Step 9
Remove the tube. Pull the valve through the rim and take the tube out.
Step 10
Remove the entire tire from the rim. At this point, you'll be able to change the tube. However, if you want to remove the tire completely from the rim, pry up the second bead much the way you did with the first. The second bead should be easier to get off. Once it's off, you'll have the tire fully off the rim.

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.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.