How to Remove the Front Tire from a Bicycle

How to Remove the Front Tire from a Bicycle
Before attempting to remove your bicycle tire, take a minute to determine what the problem is. The term "tire" is a slight misnomer because the part of the tire that inflates is actually the inner tube. If you have a flat, the tube is the issue and you'll need to replace it, but not necessarily the tire. Conversely, if the tire is worn or damaged, you'll need to remove it and replace it. Luckily the front tire is slightly easier to work with than the rear.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Wrench (for some bikes)
  • Two tire levers
 
Step 1
Look at the hardware on the front of your bike. If you have V-brakes or cantilevers, you'll need to open them to provide enough room to take the tire off. Do this before attempting to remove the tire. Also check to see if you need a wrench to remove the wheel from the fork. You will see either nuts or a quick-release lever where the fork meets the axle.
Step 2
Rest the bike upside down on the seat and handlebars. Loosen the wheel hardware by opening the quick release and unscrewing the nut on the opposite side few turns or by loosening the nuts. Don't pull the hardware completely off--just loosen it enough so that you can pull the wheel out of the fork.
Step 3
With the wheel free, deflate the tire. Perform this simple action by pressing in the release at the top of the valve. For a Presta valve, unscrew the nut first, then press down to release all the air.
Step 4
Point the tire lever downward and jimmy it between the rim and tire. Pull the lever back and grab the bead of the tire. Pull the bead upward and pry it over the rim. Hold the first lever in position or attach it to the wheel to keep it steady.
Step 5
Grab your second lever and move an inch or two over on the tire. Again, pry the bead up so that you expand the area of bead that is over the rim. Continue to expand the area a few inches at a time. Eventually, the bead will become noticeably loose. At this point you can simply pop the rest off with your hands or run the lever around the remaining bead to push it out of the rim. Remove the entire bead on that side.
Step 6
Unscrew the nut on your valve (if there is a nut) and pull the valve out of the rim. Remove the tube. If your problem was a punctured tube and wasn't related to the tire, there's no need to remove the entire tire. Fix or replace your tube and reinstall the tube, tire and wheel.
Step 7
To take the tire off the rim, simply remove the second bead. Use your hands to pull it over the rim. If you experience any problems using just your hands, use the tire lever. With the tire fully removed, you can proceed with tire replacement.
 

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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