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Friday, June 6, 2014

How to Put New Tires on Your Bike | Bike Tips

tire levers.jpgIf you bike fairly regularly, you are going to find yourself needing new tires at some point. Your tires could be worn down, old and crumbly, or maybe you just want a different size. I recently switched my tires from a 40 millimeter set to a 32 millimeter set because thinner tires help me to bike more efficiently. The whole process was fairly easy and only took about 20 minutes.

What You Need:
  • Two new tires
  • Tire levers
  • A bike pump
  • Two new tubes (if you are changing tire sizes)

How To Change Your Bike Tire:
  1. Secure your bike on a freestanding bike rack or flip it upside down the ground.
  2. Take the bike wheels off so you can change the tires more easily. Loosen the wheel’s bolts that are attached to the fork (the part of the bike frame that holds the wheels in place). You might need a wrench, depending on your bike.
  3. Now that the wheels are off of the bike, you can start taking the tires off. Drain the air out of the tube so there isn’t as much resistance. Next, you can wedge a tire lever under the tire so it pops out of place. The valve on the tube normally goes through a hole in the wheel, so take that out as well. From here, you should be able to take both the tire and the tube and gently pull them off of the wheel. Be careful not to pinch the tube.
  4. Now that the wheel is bare, you can put the new tire on. First look at the tire to see if there are arrows on it, indicating which way it’s supposed to go. My tires didn’t have any arrows, so I could put them on either way. Wedge the tire on over the wheel, so that one side is inside of the wheel and one side is hanging on the outside.
  5. Now it’s time to put the tubes in. Take your new set (or your old set, if you’re reusing them) and pump some air into them. You just want to make it easy to get them under the tire, but they shouldn’t be all the way full. Start by putting the valve into its spot in the wheel. From there you can use your fingers to gently push the tube under the tire, working your way around the wheel. The main thing here is to be careful not to pinch the tube.
  6. Now that the tube is under the tire, you can wedge the other side of the tire place. Use your thumbs to do this. Work your way around the edge of the wheel, pressing the tire’s edges into the inside of the wheel. The last six inches of tire will be the most difficult to get in place.
  7. (optional) Before you pump up your tubes the rest of the way, make sure they are not pinched under the tire anywhere. They should be inside of the tire. Use your thumbs to press on the tire so you can see the space between the tire and the rim. You’re just looking to see if the tube is stuck under the tire’s edge anywhere.
  8. Put your wheels back onto the bike. Make sure they are even and not hitting the brakes when you spin them. Tighten up the bolts all the way.
  9. Get out your bike pump and fill the tubes with air.
You are ready to go now!