Flat tires are a common complaint among the road-biking crowd. High air pressure within the tubes combined with an unforgiving riding surface can spell trouble for bike tubes. Depending on the season and the amount of riding being done, tires may need frequent replacement. It takes some time to get used to, but with the proper tools and enough practice, replacing a road bike tire tube can be done in no time flat.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need:
- Tire levers Bike pump
- Tire levers
- Bike pump
Remove the tire from the bike by loosening the nuts that hold the tire to the frame. Most bikes have quick-release nuts that can be removed by hand, but if the nuts are not quick-release, use a crescent wrench. Release the brakes and remove the chain (if it’s the back tire) to keep them from interfering while you pull the tire from the frame.
Remove the tire on one side of the rim. If there is any air left in the tube, release it by pressing on the valve. Work a tire level underneath the tire and hook the other end of the level to a spoke. Then move a few inches down on the rim, hook another lever underneath the tire, and run it along the circumference of the tire.
When you have freed one entire bead of the tire, pull out the deflated tube. Fit the stem of the new tube through the hole on the rim, then work the rest of the tube in between the rim and the tire. Make sure that the tube is not twisted or pinched.
Maneuver the tire bead back into the rim with your hands. The last few inches are usually pretty stubborn, and you may have to work it into the rim with your thumbs or the heels of your hands.
Pump some air into the tube, then check around the circumference of the tire and look at the valve to make sure it is still sticking straight out of its hole. If there is a bulge or the valve is crooked, the tube is not sitting properly in the rim. Let the air out of the tube, remove the tire bead from the rim, and adjust the tube until it fits into the rim correctly.
Tips & Warnings
If there are no signs of a twisted or ill-fitting tube, fill the tube completely with air and check the circumference and valve once again. If the tube is sitting properly, reattach the tire to the frame.