How to Replace a Bicycle Tire

How to Replace a Bicycle Tire
Whether your tire is worn out or you're trying a different model to provide enhanced performance more compatible with your riding style, you'll need to pull off your old tire and put on the new one. This is a straightforward procedure that can be done at home with a few tools.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Tire Removal

Things You’ll Need:
  • Two tire levers
  • New tire
  • Pump
 
Step 1
Decide if your brakes will impede your ability to pull the wheel off the bike. If not, skip to step 2. If so, release the brakes so that they open, and you can pull the wheel through them.
Step 2
Take the wheel with the tire that you wish to change off of the bike. Usually this means popping open the quick release and unscrewing it just enough so that you can free the wheel from the fork or dropouts. On bikes without a quick release, you'll need to loosen the bolts with a wrench. Once the hardware is loose, remove the wheel.
Step 3
Take the cap off of the tire valve and deflate the tire by pressing the release. The release can be found inside the top of a Schrader valve and on the top of a Presta valve (requires unscrewing prior to release).
Step 4
Push one tire lever between the rim and tire's sidewall. When you hit the bottom of the rim, push down on the lever and use it to pry the tire bead up and over the rim. Keep that tire lever in place.
Step 5
Repeat step 3 with the second tire lever, moving about 2 inches over from the first lever. Pry this section of the bead over. Work around in this manner until the tire pops loose, and you can pull it free by hand.
Step 6
Pull the tube valve out of the rim and the tube off the wheel.
Step 7
Pull the second bead off the tire off the rim. If it's tough to get over, use the tire lever to pry it.

Tire Installation

Step 1
Grab your new tire and unroll it, if necessary. Pinch the sidewalls of the tire to get it into shape. Check to see if there are arrows indicating which direction the tire should go. If so, make sure to install it accordingly. Install one bead fully onto the rim.
Step 2
Check the size of the tire on the sidewall and make sure that your tube is the right size for the new tire. If not, get a properly-sized tube before proceeding.
Step 3
Inflate the tube so that it has just enough air to give it form. Push the valve through the rim, install the nut onto the base of a Presta valve and then put the tube inside the tire. Check the full tube to make sure that it's placed correctly in the tire and isn't twisted or pinched.
Step 4
Begin at the valve stem and push the second bead of the tire into the rim. Do not catch the tube between the rim and tire, and check to make sure that the tube is properly tucked in the tire prior to each insertion of the bead. Work around the rim, tucking the bead inside until the tire is fully attached to the rim. As always, if it gets too taut to put in, use the lever to pry it; however, do not pinch or pop the tube.
Step 5
Rotate the tire and make sure that both sides are secure in the rim. Inflate the tire about halfway and check to make sure the beads remain seated. Then inflate to the pressure specified on the tire sidewall.
Step 6
Put the wheel back onto the bike and firmly tighten the hardware. Remember to put your brakes back together.
 

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.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.