How To Change A Bike Tube

How To Change A Bike Tube

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Changing a bike tube and tire is perhaps the most essential bike fixes that every bike enthusiast should learn.

This is because bike punctures are commonplace, and they can happen anywhere.

In the article below, we shall provide you with a comprehensive breakdown of how to change a bike tube.

Tools Required

  • Bike tire lever/Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Replacement tube
  • Air pump

Here is super easy guide to follow to replace bicycle inner tube

Positioning the bike

The first step is to set your bike for optimal operation.

Flip the bike upside down, and let it rest on the seat and handlebars.

This position will allow easy removal of the wheel.

Removing the Bicycle Wheel

The next step is to remove the bike wheel.

Wheels on a bike can be removed either using the quick release mechanism or by loosening the nuts holding the wheels.

If you’re to use the latter method, you’ll need a wrench to unscrew the bolts on either side of the wheel.

If the nuts are hard to move, pour a lubricant over them.

Removing the Tires

For easy removal of the tire, lay the wheel on the ground.

Press down on the inner valve to deflate the tube.

Separating the Tube

Use a tire lever to separate the tire from the tube.

We recommend that you avoid metal levers, and instead used a plastic lever to avoid causing further damage to the tube.

An alternative to the tire lever is an edge of a spoon or spanner. However, you’ll need to be extra careful as these can slice through the inner tube.

Here is a breakdown on how to use the tire lever:

  • Slide the lever in between the tire and the frame, or rather the rim
  • While keeping the first lever under the tire, insert a second lever about 5 inches from the first one
  • Pull off the rim
  • Repeat the rinse the first three processes

Once you go round the tire, the bike tire should come off easily from the lever

However, before removing the wheel completely from the rim, you must first remove the valve stem. The valve stem is the metal that jabs through the rim and is used for inflating and deflating the tire.

To remove the valve, unscrew the nut at the top, and then gently push the valve using an inward motion so that it’s free of the wheel frame.

You must use the above procedure to detach your tire. Otherwise, you're going to cause further damage.

Inspecting the Tire for Damage

If you suspect your tire or tube is damaged, carefully inspect the wheelset, either by running a piece of cloth.

In case there are any objects such as glass, stick, metal object, or a lodged stone, it will snag the fabric.

Additionally, you can visually inspect the tire tread for any large cuts or any damage that might not be captured by the cloth method.

Checking for Leaks on the Tube

It’s challenging to find leaks on a tube through visual inspect.

Instead, you would want to pump the old tube until it takes shape. From here, dip the inflated tube in water and I bubbles start to form; you'll know the location of the tube.

If your tube has a defect, you have two options; either patch the hole or get a new tube.

If you’re a DIY as I’m, I know you would be interested to learn the general guidelines of patching a leak on a tube.

Patching a Leaking Tube

  • Inflate your tube and dip it in water. Locate the source of the bubble and mark the area with a dab of saliva or any coloration.
  • Deflate the tube
  • Rough up the area with a leakage. Here, you can use a piece of sandpaper, or any piece of course material
  • If your patches are glue-on, apply a generous film of rubber cement around the hold. Hold the area for a couple of minutes to allow the glue to take effect
  • Leave the glue for sometimes, until it eels tacky as opposed to wet. You can then peel off the foil back of the patch and place it over the hole. To ensure it sticks, press and hold the location for several minutes.
  • The plastic sheet that covers the patch is technically supposed to be removed. However, don’t bother as peeling off usually risks lifting the edge of the patch and compromising all your efforts.

Installing the Tube

Installing the tube back to the tire is a slightly more challenging process.

To install the tube, you must first partially inflate it, as this makes it a lot easier to fix it back to the tire.

The proper way to install the tube back is to start by sticking the valve through the hole in the wheel.

From here, pop the tire using your thumbs into the tire as you work your way around the wheel.

Inflating the Tube

Once you’ve worked on the entire circumference of the wheel, inflate the tube to the fullest.

If you've done the correct installation, the tire should expand evenly, and it should not pinch over the wheel.

Return the Wheel

To return the wheel, your bike must be set in an upright position, similar to how the wheel was earlier removed.

You simply need to follow the steps we outline in the first step, but now in reverse.

While at it, ensure the bike is in a secure position. Tighten and secure the nuts for safety purposes.

Finally, test the bike to ensure it safe for use in your next ride.

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