How to Change your bike’s tyres
Why pay someone else to change your tubed tyre when you can do it yourself?
1 Free the valve
Before you start check the size of the tube and the tyre are correct, and ensure both are recommended for your bike. After securing the bike on stands and removing the wheels, place the first wheel on a wood panel or an old tyre to prevent damage. Remove the dust cap and remove the valve using a valve key. While the air is escaping, check the tyre’s size/type again, and make a note of the wheel rotation.
2 Break the bead
Undo the valve stem locking nut, unscrew it almost to the end of the threads then push the stem into the rim. Using a mechanical bead breaker ( you may be able to break the bead by standing on it with the heel of your foot), break the bead away from the rim. Small capacity bikes are relatively easy to do but in the case of bigger bikes, the mechanical breaker is essential. Flip the tyre over and repeat.
3 Lever it off
Make sure the bead of the tyre is completely off the rim by pushing your knees into the tyre wall on one side, then gently introduce the tyre lever over the rim and under the tyre. The trick is to make sure the lever only presses against the inside of the tyre and not the tube, as doing so will damage the rubber. With one lever in you need to do the same with another roughly 10cm further around the rim.
4 Tease out the tube
Undo the valve stem nut and then reach into the tyre and tease out the inner tube. With one half of the tyre off, place a tyre lever through the gap from the other side and, using a thick cloth or rag to protect the wheel, lever the other side of the tyre off. Finally, strike the edge of the tyre or bead close to the rim with a rubber mallet to knock the tyre off.
5 Inspect the rim
Check the condition of the rim tape; it needs to be in good condition with no corrosion or wear. It’s also really important to make sure that no wheel spokes with sharp edges are poking through the tape. The tape has a hole in it for the valve to go through, so make sure this lines up with the corresponding position in the wheel.
6 Line it up and lube
Check the tyre is in the correct rotation. Lube the tyre with tyre soap – washing-up liquid will do, but be careful not to get any on the tread. Place the tyre on the rim and push on and away from you, applying the most force to the section of the tyre nearest you. Once it pops over the rim, slowly transfer the force to the furthest edge and pop it on.
7 Lever on and partially inflate
Align the coloured dot printed on the sidewall with the valve stem hole. Fit the inner tube, locate and fit the valve stem through the wheel. Fit the retaining nut and do it up enough to get a pump on. Partially inflate the tube then undo the retaining nut so it’s at the end of the thread. Lever the tyre on, making sure the lever is clear of the tube.
8 Listen for the pops
As you work round the rim it will become increasingly difficult to get the levers in safely so, where possible, try and use a rubber mallet to encourage the remaining tyre over the rim. Do a visual check to make sure the tube is seated properly and not likely to become pinched between the tyre and wheel rim when inflated. Slowly inflate the tyre, making sure the bead pops out evenly all the way round and on both sides.
9 Weed out the wobble
Place the wheel on the balancer making sure that the dust cap is fitted. Remove any stickers and old wheel weights. Spin the wheel and while it is settling check that the tyre is running true with no runout (wobble), as this could indicate a poorly seated bead. If this is the case, remove the wheel from the balancer, let the air out and try re-inflating. Set the pressure, leave it half an hour, then recheck before fitting.