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Changing a bicycle tire

Changing a bicycle tire

| Bike Fit, Advice, Community


Unfortunately, with cycling comes maintenance. Flat and low tires are inevitable so all cyclists, novice and professional, must be prepared to remedy this issue and quickly change the tire to get back on the road. Whether on a road or trail, this guide will steer you in the direction to successfully change a bike tire and get back on the road.

  1. Turn bicycle upside down (balance on seat and bars).
  2. If front tire, release brake (center pull, V-Brake, cantilever, not necessary if disc brake), loosen front quick release on wheel hub, remove wheel.
  3. If rear tire, make sure the chain is all the way out toward the rear derailleur or smallest cassette cog to make it easier to get wheel off and back on.
  4. With wheel removed, place one tire lever between tire and rim to begin prying the tire off the wheel. Likely place a second tire lever is same manner to begin removal of flat tire.
  5. Remove valve stem (may have a nut to secure valve stem to wheel with Presta/skinny type valve stems (not necessary with Schrader/thicker type valve stems).
  6. Once tire is off, inspect tire. Run your hand/fingers on the outside/inside of tire to see if the cause of the puncture remains in the tire (be careful as this is likely a very sharp item).
  7. Place one side of the tire back on the wheel.
  8. Insert new tube beginning with valve (which may have a nut to secure the valve to the wheel).
  9. Once the tube is mostly in the tire, begin placing the other side of the tire back into the wheel (has a bead groove). Near the end of this process the tire may become tight and you will need a bit of elbow grease to finish the job (more likely with road bike tires vs mountain/comfort bike tires).
  10. Before inflating the tube, check the tire bead for any possible point where the tire may be pinching the tube (if the tube gets caught between the tire and rim, it will pinch a hole in the new tube when increase pressure with inflation).
  11. Inflate the tube to a mild amount the re-inspect the tire to insure it is seated into the rim without any tube being pinched. (Know how to use a CO2 cartridge or a mini pump)
  12. Inflate to normal pressure.
  13. Place wheel back on bike and secure the quick release skewer on the wheel/hub and then secure the brake. It is best to seat the wheel with the bike right side up, otherwise you might secure it without it being centered.
  14. Pack up your tools.
  15. Check your tire pressure at home before you ride to avoid pinch flats (very common). Scan the road not just near, but far to avoid upcoming potholes and road debris.

Ride On: May The Road Be Smooth And The Wind Always At Your Back. 

If you have any questions related to your bike or our bike fit program, please call Methodist Sports Medicine to get your bike fit questions answered. One of our specialists will be sure to have you ready to ride injury free!