How Do I Change From Mountain to Smooth Bicycle Tires?

How Do I Change From Mountain to Smooth Bicycle Tires?
At home on pavement and trails alike, the mountain bike is an adaptable bicycle. The average stock mountain bike will come with a set of thick, knobby tires, which are designed to handle the rigors of off-road use. All bicycle tires are removable, and mountain bike tires are no exception. Before swapping to a pair of smooth, road-specific tires, match the new tire size with your old one. The tire size is stamped on the side of the tire just above the inflation valve. The tire must be changed with the wheel off the bike.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Mountain Tire Removal

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tire levers (set of three)
 
Step 1
Deflate your current tire by depressing the inflation valve and holding it until the tire is flat.
Step 2
Insert the flat end of the lever beneath the tire bead opposite the inflation valve. Attach the hooked end of a tire lever to the nearest spoke.
Step 3
Follow the same procedure for the second tire lever, placing this one a couple spokes to the right or left of the first lever.
Step 4
Insert the flat end of a third tire lever to the right or left of the first two. Rather than attaching the hooked end, rotate the lever around the circumference of the tire bead, separating the bead from the rim. If the other two levers haven't fall off, remove them now and set them aside.
Step 5
Grab the portion of inner tube inside the tire opposite the inflation valve. Gently pull it from the tire. The inflation valve will be the last portion of the inner tube removed. Pull it from the hole in the rim.
Step 6
Remove the tire the remainder of the way from the rim, by grabbing it with both hands and pulling.

Smooth Tire Installation

Step 1
Fit the old inner tube inside the new, smooth tire. Place the inflation valve beneath the inflation specs on the side of the tire. This will make the specs easy to find whenever inflating the tire. The specs tell you how much air to put into the tire.
Step 2
Lift the tire and inner tube together and align the inner tube inflation valve with the hole in the rim. Place the tire label on the right, drive-side of the wheel to ensure that the tire tread turns in the rolling-direction.
Step 3
Fit the inner tube inflation valve through the hole in the rim and install the first tire bead on the rim, working it in place with your fingers. It's helpful to have the wheel laying on a smooth surface, where you can easily rotate the wheel as needed.
Step 4
Install the second bead, holding the tire in place with your hands and using your thumbs to push the bead in place. The last section of bead will be the most difficult. For leverage, lift the wheel and place it against your hip, and roll your thumbs and hands over the bead to force it in place.
Step 5
Inflate the tire at or slightly below the recommended tire pressure printed on the side of the tire. A slightly lower tire pressure will offer a cushier ride.
 

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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