How to Change a Bike Tire

Changing a Tire

For newbie cyclists, changing your tire can seem like one of the most daunting tasks. Follow these quick steps in order to successfully change your tire and get back out on the road.

First thing’s first: Know what you’re replacing.
If your tire is flat, this doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with the tire itself. It’s actually the tube inside the tire that’s flat. So you’ll need to remove the tube inside the tire, replace the tube, and then put the tire back on. But be sure to inspect your tire to make sure that this is in fact the case; if your tire has any gashes, you’ll need to also replace the tire.

You’ll also need some supplies.
Tools called tire levers assist you in getting the tire off the wheel. You’ll need two tire levers in order to remove the tire. You’ll also need your replacement tube; Holowesko|Citadel only uses Michelin tubes and tires. Last, don’t forget your tire pump.

Okay, now you’re ready to get started.
First (perhaps obviously), you’ll need to remove your wheel. Take your tire lever, and place the flat end under the bead, or the stiff part of your tire that’s usually made of steel. Hook the other end of your lever under a nearby spoke. Take your second tire lever, and slide it underneath the tire all the way around the rim until one side is completely off. After one side is off, you should be able to remove the other side pretty easily and remove the flat tube.

Give your tire a good once-over.
Take a good look at your tire to check for any damages—specifically a nail, piece of debris. All clear? Then you’ve still got a good tire.

Replace the tube.
Grab your new tube, and inflate it only slightly to avoid a pinch flat. Place one side of the tire bead back onto the rim of your wheel, and then insert the tube inside, starting at the valve stem and working your way around the wheel.

Bead the tire.
Starting at the valve stem, roll the tire back around the rim, being careful that you don’t pinch the tube as you roll the tire back on.

Get ready to ride.
Attach the head of the tire pump to the valve stem, and inflate the tube to about half of the tire pressure you need. Then recheck your tire to make sure it’s still on the rim correctly. Readjust if needed, and then inflate the tire to the correct pressure.

And that’s it! Simple, right? :/ Don’t worry. If you feel like you’re wrestling your tire the first time you try, don’t give up. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at it. And if you’re just not feeling it, head to your local bike shop, and they’ll be happy to assist. You should also consider joining the Hincapie Cycling Society, our club that offers you an immediate community of cyclists who are happy to answer questions and meet you for rides.