How to Change Road Bike Tires

How to Change Road Bike Tires
More often than not, the phrase "changing a bicycle tire" actually refers to changing the inner tube. The inner tube is the part of the tire that holds the air, so when you get a flat, this is what you'll be changing.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Proper tube for your bike (look at tire sidewall for size) Pump Tire levers
  • Proper tube for your bike (look at tire sidewall for size)
  • Pump
  • Tire levers
Step 1
Undo the brakes to allow room to take the wheel off.
Step 2
Remove the wheel from the bike. Pull open the quick release lever. Turn it until the skewer is loose and pull the wheel off the frame.
Step 3
Take the cap off the valve and deflate the tire (if it's not already deflated). For a Presta valve, turn the nut on the top of the valve counterclockwise to open it, then press downward to release air.
Step 4
Pinch the tire all the way around at the base of the tire wall. This will help to loosen the beads of the tire.
Step 5
Pick a side of the tire to take off. Push the lever between the tire and the rim. Leverage the bead of the tire over the rim with the tire lever. Hook the lever onto a spoke or hold it in place.
Step 6
Use the second lever the same way you did the first. Start about two or three inches from your first lever, pry the bead over, then move another two or three inches and repeat. The tire bead will become increasingly loose and eventually you can simply slide the lever around to take the remainder off.
Step 7
Take the nut off the bottom of the valve once the bead has been fully removed from the rim, and pull the tube out. Dispose of the tube in a proper container or carry it out in your bike pack. At this point, you could remove the other bead of the tire and take it completely off the rim if you want to change the tire itself.
Step 8
Closely inspect the inside of the tire and top of the rim for the cause of your flat. Look around and remove any hazards from the wheel.
Step 9
Inflate the new tube slightly so that it opens into shape. Begin by sticking the valve through the rim. Place the tube into the tire.
Step 10
Make sure the tube has been installed evenly and correctly. Begin to pry the tire bead back into the rim, starting by hand. Do the entire bead by hand if you can, but if it gets too tight to work by hand, use the lever. Be cautious when using the lever so you don't pierce the new tube.
Step 11
Once the tire is back in the rim, inspect it all around to make sure that the bead is fully installed. Pay particular attention to the area around the valve. Screw the nut back onto the base of the Presta valve.
Step 12
Pump the tire to the appropriate pressure. Then reinstall the wheel and brakes.

Tips & Warnings

Always carry a spare tube, tire repair and pump on your bike.
Don't overinflate the tires. Pull over immediately when you get a flat; don't ride on the rim.
Don't overinflate the tires.
Pull over immediately when you get a flat; don't ride on 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.

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