How Do I Change a Bicycle Tire?

How Do I Change a Bicycle Tire?
Most avid bikers are familiar with how to change a clincher or traditional tire, but competitive racing cyclists use a different format: the tubular tire. This tire and its wheel have the important virtues of being very lightweight, but they also have a totally different procedure for changing the tire. A drawback of the tubular tire is that the rider should wait an entire day before using the new tire after it is set into place.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tire levers (probably) Scrub brush Detergent Contact cement Plastic bag Bicycle pump
  • Tire levers (probably)
  • Scrub brush
  • Detergent
  • Contact cement
  • Plastic bag
  • Bicycle pump
Step 1
Take the wheel with the flat off the bike and pull the old tire off the wheel, removing the part where the valve stem is last. Tire levers may be needed to help you pry the tire from the wheel rim.
Step 2
Inspect the wheel rim for debris left over from the previous tire. Scrub this off and let the rim dry before proceeding.
Step 3
Apply a first coat of glue to both the tire and the wheel rim. Wear a plastic bag over your hand to help spread the glue around. On the tire, the glue should be applied to the ribbon of tape that runs around the inside perimeter. This step is strictly to provide a better contact surface and is not meant to fasten the two parts together yet. Wait about 20 or 30 minutes before moving on to the next step. The glue should be in that gummy intermediate stage between being liquid and solid when you move on.
Step 4
Apply a second coat of glue, much as you did the first layer. This is the layer to fasten the two parts together.
Step 5
Place the wheel so that it is standing up by leaning it against your shins, knees or thighs, with the hole for the tire valve stem facing up. This position will be a great help for Step 3. Thread the valve of the new tire through that hole.
Step 6
Stretch the tire around the wheel. Pushing down with the weight of your upper body will make this much easier. The last part of the tire will probably require picking the wheel up, holding it against the thighs or belly, and using your thumbs to pop the tire into place.
Step 7
Examine the tire to see if it is properly seated. This needs to be done immediately, before the glue starts to solidify. The typical tubular tire will have a ribbon of canvas running around both its tire walls. That ribbon should be completely and evenly exposed, so any irregularities indicate an area that needs a little adjustment to its seating.
Step 8
Inflate the tire to the recommended pressure.
Step 9
Let the glue dry for at least 12 hours, and preferably 24 hours before using the wheel.

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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