How To Change A Bike Tire

These directions are not all-inclusive. They do not include caliper brakes and unusual bikes.

  1. Remove wheel . Make note of where the washers are. Remove the two axle nuts (you may need two wrenches for this) and slide off the wheel .
    • For the back wheel you will also have to remove the small nut and bolt that holds the coaster brake arm and disengage the chain before sliding off the wheel .
  2. Unscrew and remove the valve stem insert. It takes a two pronged valve tool or a valve cover with a built in remover.
  3. When the air is out (if it was a slow leak), pry off one side of the tire (two screwdrivers work). Reach in and work out the bad tube.
  4. If the tube is bad, old, or full of patches , discard it and get a new one. But if it's ok, get a patch kit and follow the directions on the box.
    1. DO NOT TOUCH the glue side of the patch with your fingers as your finger oil will prevent it from sticking properly.
    2. Check the inside of the tire for the cause of the flat . If it's still there it must be removed or it will make a hole in the new tube.
    3. Check the condition of the tire. It may be a good time to replace it while the wheel is off.
    4. Check the rim band. Make sure the spoke tops aren't chafing the tube.
  5. Work in the new tube starting with the valve stem in the hole and working around the rim.
  6. Work the tire back onto the rim. Try to do this by hand as a screwdriver can pinch the tube against the rim and make a hole in it. If you must use a screwdriver , BE CAREFUL.
  7. Pump it up a little firm, then let all the air out.
  8. Screw the valve stem back into the valve if it's still out. Then pump it up just until it is round and squeeze it all around by hand. This will set the tube walls against the tire and prevent twists and bumps from an unevenly installed tube.
  9. Inflate to the pressure listed on the side or the tire.
  10. Reinstall the wheel in the reverse order that you took it off, being careful not to turn the inner bearing nuts. They should be just finger tight, otherwise you will destroy the ball bearings.
  11. Install the outer nuts and tighten securely. As before, you may need two wrenches for this. If it's the back wheel you must hold the wheel back so the chain will be snug while you tighten the nuts. Keep the wheel straight. Don't forget the coaster brake arm.
  12. Check that everything is secure and in working order. Go riding.
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