How to Put on a New Bicycle Tire

How to Put on a New Bicycle Tire
Many cyclists with a do-it-yourself attitude are familiar with how to change the standard clincher tire, but those interested in getting involved in any kind of racing will eventually need to familiarize themselves with tubular tires. These tires and their associated wheels are much lighter, and therefore better for racing. However, the installation procedure is very different from that for clincher tires.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Inflater head CO2 cartridge Tire levers (optional) Old wheel (optional)
  • Inflater head
  • CO2 cartridge
  • Tire levers (optional)
  • Old wheel (optional)
 
Step 1
Place the wheel standing up and propped against your shins, knees or lower thighs with the stem valve hole facing up, so you can get at it. This placement will make some of the subsequent steps a lot easier.
Step 2
Thread the stem valve of the tubular tire through the hole in the wheel.
Step 3
Stretch the tire into place around the wheel rim. This is best done by using the weight of your upper body to supplement your arm strength, pushing the tire down to stretch it into place. For the last part around the bottom of the wheel, wedge the wheel against your thighs or belly and try to pop the tire over the last section of rim with your thumbs.
Step 4
Check that the tire is properly seated. Most tubular tires come with canvas strips along their sides to help with this, and on a new tire those strips will be completely intact. The strip should be fully and evenly exposed on both sides of the tire. If it is a little high or low, adjust the tire.
Step 5
Push the inflater head onto the stem valve of the tire.
Step 6
Screw the CO2 cartridge onto the inflater head. Once it is screwed in, slowly unscrew it for a turn or two and stop when the cartridge is activated. Activation will begin releasing the CO2 into the tire.
Step 7
Take the inflater head off and put the wheel back on the bicycle.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Tire levers are good tools for getting the old tubular tire off. Wedge one or more between the tire and the wheel to pry them apart, and then pull the tire over the rim. A good way to make getting the tire onto the wheel a lot easier is to keep one installed on an old wheel. That does mean going through the trouble of getting the tire onto that wheel, but at least it will be stretched out and ready to go when you really need it. The CO2 cartridge used to inflate the tire depends on the size of the tubular tire in question. Check your tire size before buying cartridges.
 
Tire levers are good tools for getting the old tubular tire off. Wedge one or more between the tire and the wheel to pry them apart, and then pull the tire over the rim.
 
A good way to make getting the tire onto the wheel a lot easier is to keep one installed on an old wheel. That does mean going through the trouble of getting the tire onto that wheel, but at least it will be stretched out and ready to go when you really need it.
 
The CO2 cartridge used to inflate the tire depends on the size of the tubular tire in question. Check your tire size before buying cartridges.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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