Removing an inner tube for repair or replacement can sometimes be a real fight but with a bit of patience and a few pro tips, you can make things a lot easier for yourself.
Our tech team are switching tyres and tubes on a weekly basis so here are their top tips to get the job done.
If you're looking for more helpful maintenance advice, Cyclingnews is bringing you a series of guides so that you can learn how to perform basic bike maintenance tasks yourself. Check out the other guides that are available:
If you can get the tyre on and off without levers then that minimises the accidental pinch risk, but that’s a big ask with some tyre and rim combinations. Invest in quality levers, as cheap ones can bend or snap, and beware old-school metal levers particularly if you’re using carbon rims.
You also need a decent pump. A hand pump will be fine for lower pressures on a gravel bike, but if you’re heading upwards of 60psi then a proper workshop track pump makes things much easier. Obviously, you’ll need a fresh inner tube that’s the right size for your tyre and has the right valve type and valve length.
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Firstly you need to remove the wheel from the bike. Now if the tyre isn’t already fully deflated, let the air out of the inner tube by loosening the small barrel at the top of the Presta valve slightly and then pressing it down. Now unscrew and remove the knurled collar at the base of the valve.
If you’re working on a kid's bike or mountain bike with the car-style Schrader valve, then depress the pin in the centre of the valve to let the air out.Unseat the tyre from the edge of the rim to create slack (Image credit: Mick Kirkmann)
With the innertube deflated, squeeze the tyre inwards to push the bead into the centre of the rim. Do this all the way around the tyre on both sides so it feels baggy on the wheel.Gather all the slack to one point and push the tyre over the edge of your rim with your thumbs (Image credit: Mick Kirkmann)
If the tyre is a loose fit, you can lift the whole wheel by the tyre and give it a shake to get all the slack to one place. Otherwise, you’ll have to collect that slack manually by pushing the tyre around the wheel in both directions simultaneously, aiming to make it as baggy as possible when your hands meet again at the bottom of the wheel.
If there’s plenty of slack or you’re just feeling strong, push the edge of the tyre off the rim with your thumbs. This isn’t just about flexing your skills and tendon toughness, it also removes any chance of trapping the inner tube between the rim and the tyre lever, and puncturing it. It’s worth persevering if you can.
Image 1 of 2Hook the tyre lever under the tyre and lever it out of the rim (Image credit: Mick Kirkmann)Slide the tyre lever along to rim to unseat the tyre (Image credit: Mick Kirkmann)
Don’t be ashamed if you need to use tyre levers though, just be careful. Sneak both levers under the bead about 2cm/1inch apart with the spoon side hooking under the bead of the tyre. Make sure you haven’t trapped the inner tube against the rim with the other side or you’ll create another puncture you need to fix.
Press one of the levers down to hoist the tyre edge over the rim, then press the second one down to pull a longer section of the tyre clear. Hook one of the tyre levers around the nearest spoke to keep the tyre from creeping back onto the rim.
If the tyre is really tight then you might need to use both levers simultaneously to pry the tyre over the rim. If you're using two levers to work away at a very tight tyre, be careful, as there's often a risk of things going flying. Watch yourself and keep the danger zone away from valuables.Once removed the tyre can be easily inspected for cuts or wear (Image credit: Mick Kirkmann)
Now work around the whole tyre with the levers until it’s completely off the wheel all the way around. Leave the far side of the tyre in place and push the valve back through its hole before gently pulling the inner tube out.
With the inner tube removed it’s a good time to check the tyre for any damage or splits in the tread. Check for thorns, nails etc. that might have penetrated through to the inside and remove them, otherwise they’ll puncture the fresh inner tube as soon as you put it in. Be careful if you’re running your finger around inside the tyre without looking first, as you don’t want to puncture yourself! Check the rim of the wheel for cracks, dents or sharp edges too.
If it isn’t already lined up, pull the tyre around so the name or logo matches up with the valve hole. It makes it much easier to find the valve in a hurry, gives you an easy reference point for finding punctures, and it looks better in pictures too.Add a little air to the inner tube to help stop the tube getting pinched (Image credit: Mick Kirkmann)
To reduce the risk of pinching, inflate the inner tube enough for it to take some shape. Remove the threaded collar, keeping it handy for later, and then push the inner tube valve through the rim. Massage the inner tube into the belly of the tyre, so it doesn’t push out over the rim edge. Be mindful as you do this, and avoid twisting or pinching the inner tube.Some tyres can be slid on using only your hands (Image credit: Mick Kirkmann)
Starting opposite the valve use your thumbs to start persuading the tyre back onto the rim. If you're working with tight tyres, remember how you moved the slack of the tyre into one place before removal, and try to emulate that movement as you push the tyre back onto the rim. You want to be left with as much slack as possible for the last part of the process. Be super careful not to trap and puncture the inner tube between the bead and the rim.Tight tyres may need some help with a tyre lever (Image credit: Mick Kirkmann)
Try to get the tyre on with your thumbs as far as white knuckle, tendon straining determination will take you. When you really can’t get it on any further by hand insert the levers carefully under the tyre edge. Position them about an inch/2.5cm from each unfitted end. Brace one lever against the tyre to stop it slipping back and then use the other lever to lift the tyre onto the rim. Alternate this action working inwards towards the valve.Carefully inflate the tyre whilst checking for pinches or bulges (Image credit: Mick Kirkmann)
Once the tyre is on, double-check that there are no bits of inner tube poking out. Push the valve back into the tyre to check that it's not trapped and then thread the lock ring back onto the valve to secure it into the rim. Keep checking all the way round as you gradually inflate the inner tube, watching for any inner tube hernias or weird bulges and bumps in the tyre. Increase pressure until the tyre pops into place all around the wheel, using the line on the bottom edge as a guide to check it’s properly positioned all the way around.
With the tyre up to the right pressure, remove the pump and spin the wheel to double check alignment both side to side and vertically. If there’s anything weird going on, deflate and massage the affected area to re-centre the tube and tyre before re-inflating.
Once you’re happy that everything is settled, you’re ready to ride. Make sure you check the tyre frequently on the first couple of rides, in case something sneaks out of place. Finally, always check both tyres for pressure, damage or debris after every ride.
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Individuals carrying out the instructions in this guide do so at their own risk and must exercise their independent judgement. There is a risk to safety if the operation described in the instructions is not carried out with the appropriate equipment, skill and diligence and therefore you may wish to consult a bike mechanic. Future Publishing Limited provides the information for this project in good faith and makes no representations as to its completeness or accuracy. To the fullest extent permitted by law, neither Future Publishing Limited, its supplier or any of their employees, agents or subcontractors shall have any liability in connection with the use of this information, provided that nothing shall exclude or limit the liability of any party for personal injury or death caused by negligence or for anything else which cannot be excluded or limited by law.
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Do you feel hopeless when your bicycle tires are punctured in the middle of riding your bike? Bike owners like us have been there.
This nerve-wracking situation is worrisome, especially when we have a busy schedule ahead or when we’re on the side of the road. But learning how to change a bike inner tube doesn’t have to be complicated and stressful.
Replacing your bike inner tube is easy if you have the right tools and follow the correct process. This tutorial will help you navigate when you have a flat tire.
Table of Contents
These are some of the essential tools needed when you want to replace the inner tube of your bike.
Follow through these simple steps, and you can replace your bike’s inner tube in no time.
To begin, place the bike upside down and take the bike wheel away from it. If the tyre isn’t already completely deflated, free the air pressure of the internal tube by slightly loosening and then pressing the little barrel above the Presta valves if you have them. Loosen and take out the knurled nuts at the valve’s base.
If you’re dealing with a child’s bicycle or an MTB having car-style Schrader valves, press down the pin in the middle of the valve to free the air.
When the inner tube is already flattened, push the tire inwards to force the tyre bead to the rim’s midpoint. Apply this step on the two sides of the tire until the wheels feel baggy.
If the tire is loose, shake it to get the slack to one place, or else, you’ll have to move the tire around the wheel in opposite directions at the same time, aiming for as much slack as possible when your hands get close to each other at the bike wheel’s bottom part.
If there is a lot of slack or you feel kind of strong, depress the tire’s edge off the bike rim using your thumb.
This eliminates the possibility of trapping the internal pipe between the bike edge and the tire lever and perforating it.
Be cautious when you use a tire lever. Remove the dust cap from the valve stem, then remove the fastener. Place both levers about 2 centimeters or 1 inch apart under the bead, with the ladle part underneath the tire’s bead.
To avoid punctures, ensure that you haven’t trapped the inner tube valve against the rim with the other side.
Apply pressure to one of the levers to elevate the tire over the rim, then do this again on the other lever to clear a larger area of the tire. To avoid the tire slipping back onto the rim, hook a single part of the tyre lever around the nearest spoke.
If the tire is extremely tight, you may have to use two levers at the same time to pry the bike tire over the bicycle rim.
Be careful if you use two levers to deal with an extremely tight tire, as there is usually a hazard of flying components.
Go around the wheel, removing the tire’s edge from the rim. Take note that you are not removing the tire entirely. Only one side of the tire must be removed (keep the far side where it is).
Work the tyre lever around the entire tire until the inner tube is entirely off the bike tire. Gradually draw the inner tube out after pushing the valve back through its hole.
With the internal tube detached, inspect the tire for any disfigurations or tread ruptures. Partially fill the inner tube. You should be able to hear or feel little air escape from the hole. Once you’ve located the hole in the tube, match it with the tire.
Inspect for spikes, nails, and other objects that may have infiltrated the tyre and take them away. Or else they will puncture the new internal tubing. Check the wheel rim for sharp edges and splits as well.
A pinch puncture is most likely if the hole is on the inner border of the tube. When the tire caught the tube, the rim tape was either not in the proper place or not present at all. If this is the case, use extreme caution when re-inserting the tube.
Be cautious when you examine the inner tube. You don’t want to puncture yourself as you run your fingers around the tire’s internal area. Make this step easier by wearing gloves.
Remove the objects by hand from the tube if you see something obvious such as glass or a nail. If it’s particularly stubborn, use the screwdriver to pull it out. Then, use the towel to rub around the inside of the tire to see if it sticks on anything else.
Once you’re satisfied with the tire’s condition, place the tire label over the valve hole. It’s time to insert a new tube into your bike.
Purchase a bicycle inner tube replacement, making certain that it’s the correct size.
Fill the internal tubing enough to give it shape. Take out the threaded collar and slide the internal tube valve into the rim.
Knead the internal tubing into the wheel’s belly, so it doesn’t protrude over the rim’s edge. Take care not to twist or pinch the inner tubing when you do this.
Starting from the opposite part of the valve, start coaxing the tire over the rim with your thumbs. When dealing with close-fitting tires, recall how you shifted the tire’s slack into one place. Try to repeat that step when you press the tire to the back of the bike rim.
It’s good to have as much slack as you can for the final stage of the procedure. Take extreme caution not to make a hole in the inner tubing.
When it’s hard to get tyres on any farther by hand in replacing bicycle inner tube, carefully place the tyre levers beneath the tire edge (roughly an inch or 2. 5 centimeters apart from every end that requires fitting). Place one lever against the tire to prevent it from slipping back, then pull the tire on the edge with the other.
Once the tire is installed, double-check for any portions of the internal tubing poking out. Move the valve back into the tire to ensure it is not stuck, and then put back the lock ring on the bike’s valve.
Pump the tire gently once the tire is locked behind the rims. Carefully spin the wheel to look for any bumps.
If everything appears to be in order, proceed to pump to the desired pressure. Get the wheel in the dropouts, then tighten the quick release skewer and brakes.
Put away the hand pump and spin the tire to recheck the alignment vertically and on both sides. If you notice anything unusual, deflate and knead the afflicted part before you re-inflate.
On the initial few rides using your new tube, carefully inspect the tires regularly in case something is amiss.
Now that you have a concrete idea on how to replace bike inner tube, you can quickly replace the inner tube of your bike in no time. In case you have questions regarding the whole process, you can also check out this video tutorial.
Mark the hole with a pen or chalk once you’ve located it.
Dry the surface and gently massage it with sandpaper. Then, press and smooth the glue around the hole, allowing it to sit.
Remove the patch from the foil and press it firmly against the glue to remove any bubbles. It’s always better to do this on a flat surface.
After the adhesive has dried, sprinkle the chalk over any exposed glue to prevent it from sticking to the interior of the tire.
Did you enjoy following the simple steps above?
As long as you know how to change a bike inner tube, nothing can stop you even if your tire gets punctured on your next bike ride.
Keep in mind that replacing bike inner tubes isn’t rocket science, and everyone can do it entirely on their own.
We’d also love to hear from you! So, let us know how changing your bike’s inner tube went. If you have any suggestions for other bike owners, share them in the comments section. Sharing this article can also help us a lot, so we’d greatly appreciate it.
“I ride my bike to work for years, but is that enough? Our carelessness towards our surroundings has taken a toll on the environment. And now, everyone is responsible for changes; even the most minor contribution is counted. With this hope and spirit, I started with my partner to establish Biketoworkday to help more individuals commute to their work sites on their bikes.”
If you are a cyclist, you need to be able to deal with a number of common problems that can happen on the road. A punctured wheel is one of the main ones. Unfortunately, you can run into a nail, a piece of metal or a broken bottle almost anywhere, and sooner or later it happens to everyone. Already happened? Read our review, which we prepared together with Onliner, on how to change or seal the tube, tire on a bicycle.
To remove the damaged tube from the wheel, you need to remove it from the bike - this is much more convenient to work with. Then follow the step by step instructions:
1. Unscrew the protective cap from the nipple. If necessary, completely deflate the wheel. This will make the job easier, as there will be no unnecessary resistance.
2. Using a pry bar, hook the edge of the tire and pull it out of the rim. Special tools allow you to carry out this procedure quickly and as painlessly as possible. If there is no pry bar, you can try using any thin and durable object, such as a spoon. Her handle has repeatedly rescued cyclists who did not have repair tools at hand. Just make sure she doesn't bend over.
Important: The tool should not have sharp ends, so a screwdriver is not the best solution, although it fits the given shape. With it, you can only damage the wheel more. If you want to keep the tire, don't.
3. It is optimal to use two mounts. First, pick up the edge of one, then, when you fix the position, in 2-3 centimeters, pick up the tire with the second mount. This will be followed by a release of pressure, and the work will go easier. While continuing to support the first mount with your hand, continue prying the tire in a circle with the second until it is completely released from the rim.
4. Now that one end of the tire is completely out, release the nipple and remove the damaged tube.
We will consider the installation process with the installation of both a new camera and a tire. If you are keeping the old camera, skip the first step.
1. We put a new tire on one “rib” of the wheel, so that we have a free pocket for inserting the camera.
2. We take a new chamber (deflated) and, starting from the nipple, lay it along the rim.
3. While the camera is not yet closed, pump it up a little to make sure that it is laid flat and not twisted anywhere. If the tube is installed with a kink or twisted during installation, it will most likely burst as soon as you get on the bike. Agree, you don’t need such unnecessary frustrations, because these are not only spoiled plans, but also additional financial costs.
4. Now you need to "fill" the tire into the rim. In the first steps, this is done manually, but at the end, installation will again be required. You can do it with one, but it's better to use two. Use it to pull the tire towards you a little so that it easily enters the rim. You can push the tire a little inward with a mount so that it is better fixed. The main thing is that the attachment depth is the same throughout the circle.
5. After the wheel is closed, pump up the chamber to the desired state. Usually the right pressure is indicated on the tire, check it to properly set your pump.
6. Now screw the cap on the nipple to fix the condition of the wheel.
7. It remains to install the wheel in place and that's it. Now your bike is back on track! Make a small circle on it at low speed to make sure everything is secured properly and you feel comfortable. If necessary, pump up the chamber of the second wheel so that they are equally elastic. After replacing one tube, many cyclists experience minor discomfort while riding. If everything is fine, you can go to the road. What if something happens, you already know how to change a tire and you can do it even in field conditions.
Try not to rush during the procedure and be careful at every step. Any carelessness can then turn into problems on the road. If you are saving an old tire, be sure to check the inside of it for any piercing or cutting elements. It often happens that part of the object that pierced the camera breaks off and remains in the tire. Doing so may damage the camera again. So, if you managed to find the "culprit" of the tragedy, make sure you extract it completely.
When working with the pry bar, be sure to hold it with your hand, even if it seems to you that it is holding itself. The resistance of the tire can easily push it out. In the best case, it will simply fall and you will have to start work again. At worst, it will fly out with force and can hit you in the face. The sensations are unpleasant, not to mention the fact that it can be traumatic.
Bicycle tires, inner tubes
A flat tire on a bicycle is a fairly common occurrence, especially when riding on rough terrain or using poor quality or worn tires. Such an unpleasant incident happens to a cyclist at least once a season, and some are "lucky" to change the camera two or three times in a short trip.
And if it takes five minutes for an experienced cyclist to change the tube on a bicycle, then for some reason beginners are very afraid to remove the tire on their own and most often drag their bike to a service or to friends. In fact, changing the camera is very simple:
In order to pull the tire out of the rim, you need to pick up its edge with the first "wire" and pull it out of the rim. At the same time, the mount must be held so that the tire does not end up inside the rim again, and the mount itself does not fly into your forehead.
After that, with the second mount, similarly pull out the edge of the tire next to the first mount. Don't forget to hold the first montage while doing this!
If the tire tension is still high after using two mounts, use the third one in the same way.
You should end up with one end of the tire completely out of the rim.
Done. Now you can start sealing the damaged camera or just install a new one.