How to Change a Bicycle Tire & Tube

How to Change a Bicycle Tire & Tube
Changing a bicycle tube is one of the most common bike maintenance tasks you'll ever perform. Being able to deal with flat tires on the road or on the trail is an essential skill of cycling, and will allow you greater independence as you progress to longer rides and remote locations. Always carry a flat kit with a tire lever, spare tube and pump (CO2 or hand-powered).


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tire lever Replacement tube Replacement tire (optional) Pump
  • Tire lever
  • Replacement tube
  • Replacement tire (optional)
  • Pump
Step 1
Remove the problem wheel from your bike and deflate the tire, if necessary.
Step 2
Insert a tire lever between the flattened tire and wheel rim. Pull down on the lever to pry the tire away from the rim, and slide the lever around the wheel, removing the sidewall of the tire from the rim. If you have two levers, hook the first lever onto a wheel spoke and insert a second lever to slide along the rim.
Step 3
Slip the lever under the removed sidewall, the tube and through to the second sidewall. Pry up the tire and slide the lever down the wheel again, this time removing the whole tire and tube. If you're not replacing the tire, it's possible to just pull out the tube from the tire after you've removed a single sidewall, leaving the tire on the rim.
Step 4
Inflate the new tube just enough to hold its shape. Insert the valve through its hole in the wheel rim, and fit the tube over the wheel.
Step 5
Pull the new tire over the wheel and tube. You may need to use a lever to pry the final few inches of the tire over the rim. Push a small section of the tire's sidewall into the rim, and insert a lever between them. Pulling up this time, slide the lever down the wheel, pushing the sidewall into the rim.
Step 6
Flip the wheel around and repeat the lever process in Step 5, pushing the second sidewall into the wheel rim. Inspect the tire to make sure the tube isn't pinched against the rim.
Step 7
Inflate the tire to its recommended pressure.

Tips & Warnings

Two or more tire levers can make the removal process easier, but only one is necessary to replace the tire.
Avoid using a screwdriver in place of a tire lever. The blunt edges easily damage tubes, tires and rims.

Article Written By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson earned his Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from The Ohio University. He has been a professional writer since 2008, specializing in outdoors content and instruction. Johnson's poetry has appeared in such publications as "Sphere" and "17 1/2 Magazine."

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