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How to replace a bike tyre

How to replace a bike tyre

When the time comes to replace your bike’s tyres you’ll be faced with a bewildering choice in the popular 26in and 700c market. Bikes that see only occasional use in the summer months don’t need state-of-the-art, Kevlar-beaded, race-proven exotic tires. Tyres on these bikes will require replacement mostly because they’ve perished. A tire from the budget end of the market will be suitable here.

For riders with bikes that have moderate to extreme use, it’s always worth purchasing a quality tyre. These will often have some puncture resistance in the form of a Kevlar (or similar) cloth woven into their fabric. They may even have different rubber compounds for different road or trail conditions.

For road riding, most tires will be smooth with little or no visible tread pattern. Tyres for commuter bikes often feature a central smooth section and a distinct tread pattern at the edges. This gives a lower rolling resistance when travelling in a straight line and additional grip when cornering.

The choice for mountain bikes is vast, from smooth, ‘slick’ road-style tires right through to mud tires with large, wide-spaced rubber spikes, and all points in between.

When fitting a new tire it’s always a good idea to fit a new inner tube. Inner tubes are often sized to fit the tyre, so check that you buy one that’s compatible with the tyre.

Where possible, try to fit the new tyre without the use of tire levers. On some rim and tyre combinations this is very easy, on others you may struggle. Some combinations will always require a tire lever to flip the last section of bead over the rim.

Occasionally you’ll encounter a rim and tyre combination that just won’t fit. This is often due to variations in the manufacturing process of both the rim and the tyre. Remember, if it’s a major struggle to fit the tyre at home in a warm garage, how are you going to cope in the wind and rain of a winter’s day?

Our best-selling Bike Book tells you everything you need to know about maintaining and repairing your bicycle.

How to remove a bike tyre

How to remove a bike tire: step 1

Step 1

This worn-out tyre is due for replacement. Deflate it by first removing the dust cap. On Presta tubes unscrew the centre nut and depress the valve; on Schrader tubes depress the valve centre with a nail or the edge of a tyre lever.

 

 

 

How to remove a bike tire: step 2

Step 2

With the tyre deflated, push the tyre bead into the centre of the rim. Do this on both sides of the tyre. Next use a tyre lever to hook the bead over the rim. If you have a loose-fitting tyre it may now be possible to slide the lever all the way around the rim, lifting the tyre bead over as you proceed. If not, hook the lever over a spoke and insert another tyre lever about 100mm from the first. This should be enough to get the bead over the rim, but if not insert yet another lever a little further along.

 

 

How to remove a bike tire: step 3

Step 3

Once the tyre bead is over the edge of the rim use the tyre lever or your hand to unhook the bead all the way around the rim.

 

 

 

 

How to remove a bike tire: step 4

Step 4

Reach into the tyre carcase and pull down the tube all the way around.

 

 

 

 

How to remove a bike tire: step 5

Step 5

When you get to the valve, push the tyre back over the rim, pull out the valve and remove the tube.

 

 

 

 

How to remove a bike tire: step 6

Step 6

Now pull the tyre off the rim. You may need to use a tyre lever to help it over the rim.

 

 

 

 

How to remove a bike tire: step 7

Step 7

Now is a good time to inspect the rim tape and the condition of the rim itself. On single-wall rims check that none of the spokes are standing proud. File them down if necessary.

 

 

 

How to fit a new bike tyre

How to fit a new bike tire: step 1

Step 1

Many tires are directional, so check for an arrow mark on the sidewall. The arrow must point in the direction of travel. Lift one side of the tyre over the rim.

 

 

 

How to fit a new bike tire: step 2

Step 2

Slightly inflate the new tube – it should just about hold its shape.

 

 

 

 

How to fit a new bike tire: step 3

Step 3

Push over the bead at the valve hole and then push the valve through. If the tyre has a distinct logo, rotate the tyre and line it up with the valve. This makes finding the valve a little quicker.

 

 

 

How to fit a new bike tire: step 4

Step 4

Tuck the tube into the tyre and then, starting at the valve, work the tyre bead over the rim with your thumbs. The bead should slip over easily until the last third.

 

 

 

How to fit a new bike tire: step 5

Step 5

Now start to stretch the tyre over the final third. Push the already fitted section down into the wheel well as you progress.

 

 

 

How to fit a new bike tire: step 6

Step 6

If the tyre has stretched and dropped into the wheel well you’ll be able to roll the last section of bead over the rim. Keep trying before resorting to the use of a tyre lever.

 

 

 

How to fit a new bike tire: step 7

Step 7

Check that the tyre bead is seated correctly al the way around. Make sure the valve is at right angles to the rim.

 

 

 

 

How to fit a new bike tire: step 8

Step 8

Inflate the tyre slightly. Check that it’s centralised on the rim and then inflate it some more. Roll the tyre along a hard surface to settle it completely on the rim and then fully inflate it. See the appendix for suggested tyre pressures.

 

 

 

 

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