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How to Change a Bike Tire

When you ride a bike regularly, you're bound to encounter a punctured tire, slow leak or blowout. Changing a bike tire is a simple process and it's something everyone should know how to do. There's no need to load your bike in the car and haul it to your local cycle shop to get it fixed. With a few tools and a little time, you'll be able to change your tire and get ready to roll.


What you'll need:

  • Tire lever
  • Spare tube or patch kit
  • Pump
  • Tire gauge

Step 1: Remove the wheel.

Loosen the nut or the quick-release mechanism to remove the wheel. If you're changing a rear tire, first shift the chain to the lowest gear, open the quick release on the brake and then open the quick release on the wheel to remove the wheel.

bike repair 1

Step 2: Remove the tire from the rim.

Starting with the area opposite the valve stem, hook a tire lever under the bead of the rim and slide it around to untuck the tire from the rim. Some people find it easier to hook the first tire lever, insert a second tire lever two or three spokes from the first and then slide the second lever around the rim to get the tire out.


Step 3: Check for damage.

Remove the tube and inspect it for damage. It may help to pump a little air into it see if you can find a leak. If you can't find where air is escaping, line up the valve stem with the stem hole and hold the tube against the tire. This can help you narrow down where the flat happened and see if there are any spokes poking through the rim strip. If you can't find any damage, check the valve. Another place to check for damage is the tire. Simply examine your tire for any problems and remove any debris.


Step 4: Install a new tube.

While patching a flat is an option for minor damage, it's recommended that patching only be used in emergency situations. The best option is to replace the tube. Starting with the valve, put the new tube into the tire, and tuck the tire back into the rim. Give the tire a couple pumps of air and then check for bulges. If you see any, deflate the tire and tuck in that section again. Once everything is in place, inflate the tire to its recommended pressure. You can find the proper pressure amount in your owner's manual or on the tire wall.


Step 5: Reinstall the wheel.

Once you've made your repair, put the wheel back on the frame. Close the quick release of the tire or tighten the nut and then close the quick release on the brake. If you're replacing the rear tire, you'll need to hold the derailleur out of the way to get it in place.