How To Change A Bike Tire

How to change a bike tire

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Many brands in the cycling space promise that their bikes feature durable tires that don’t need quick replacement. But this statement is quite misleading, even if taken literally.

If you are a skeptical cyclist who questions everything about bikes just as I often do, then you know that bike tires can only last so long.

The tires crack, wear out, and they are often subject to frequent flats. So while they are designed to last for the longest time possible, a time comes when you have to replace either one or both of them. Luckily, it is quite easy to do this.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Take off the wheel

Place a piece of soft cloth or cardboard on the ground and then use the seat and the handlebars to stand the bike upside down. Go ahead and loosen the wheel with the bike in this position. Note that some bikes have levers that easily loosen the tire on the go. If yours has a bolt, use a socket set or pliers to loosen it.

You need to undo the brakes if you are changing the back tire. Proceed to releasing the tension on the brake to make the tier easy to remove. Skip this step is you want to replace the front tire.

After undoing the brakes, pull the small gear, located at the rear socket, to loosen the tension on the chain. Once the chain is loose enough, pull the wheel to remove it from the bike.

Step 2: Remove the tire and the tube 

Press the wheel downward while depressing the air valve to deflate the tire.  Make sure you remove all the air from the tube so you can take the tire off the rim with the least effort possible.

Now push a bead towards the center of the rim to loosen it up completely from the rim. Engage two levers under the bead: one to hold a part of the bead and the other to lift the bead off the rim.

Once the entire bead loosens, pull the inner tube from the tire staring from one side the air value all the way to the other side. Then slowly and carefully, remove the air valve from the hole and the entire tube from the wheel. Remove the tire from the rim and then move to the next step.

Step 3: Insert a new tube 

Remove the new tube from its packaging and unfold it carefully. If the air valve has a cover, remove it. Add some air to the tube to give it shape and prevent bending and twisting.

If you are going to use the same tires the bike had previously, make sure you inspect it thoroughly for a puncture and then remove any strange object that may be stuck on it, if there’s any. Skip this step if you are replacing the old tire with a brand new one.

Using your fingers, slowly place the tube inside the tire and make sure the tube is as smooth as possible. This means that you need to make sure that the tube doesn’t have any bend, kink, or twist. Make sure the entire tube fits well in the tire. If there is any bend, kink, or twist, remove the tire from the tube and start over again.

Step 4: Put the tire back on the bike 

The first thing you need to do before attaching the wheel to the frame is to put the chain of the bike around the rear sprocket. The bike will be difficult to ride if this is not done accordingly.

Now slide the new tire into the frame. Then, get the tire through the breaks; this might take a bit of force the same way it did in Step 1. However, once you get the tire through the breaks, aligning it in the frame shouldn’t take so much of your time.

Wrap the chain around the sprocket and the hook it to the derailer and the tensioner. To enhance smooth shifting between gears when riding, tighten the chain as best as you possibly can.

The last thing you need to do is to get on the bike and see if the wheel(s) that you just replaced is straight on the frame. If it is not, stand the bike upside down again, loosen the bolt, straighten the wheel, and then test the bike. Repeat the same process until the wheels are straight on the frame.

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