Change Bicycle Tires Yourself
Q. How do I change bicycle tires?
A. First of all, you need some tire levers. These are little plastic gizmos that help pry the tire off the rim. You may use a screwdriver, but you run the real risk of damaging your tire, tube, and rim. You should get able to get these tire levers at a bike shop.
1. Poke the flat end of the tire lever between the tire and rim, making sure to get under the inner edge (bead) of the tire.
2. Bend the tire lever back towards the spokes.
3. Hook the tire lever under a spoke.
4. Move about a foot or two (0.25-0.5 m) around the rim from the first tire lever.
5. Repeat steps 2 and 3.
6. Use a third tire lever (or your fingers) to force the inner edge (bead) of the tire off of the rim between the two tire levers.
7. Remove the tire levers.
8. Use your fingers or a tire lever to force the rest of the inner edge of the tire off of the rim by sliding it between the tire and the rim all the way around the rim.
9. Now you should have a tire that is half on the rim and half off. From here it is easy to remove the tire. Just get the edge of the tire that remains on the rim off of the rim by using your fingers or a tire lever to pry that side of the tire over the edge of the rim. Your goal is to remove both edges of the tire over the same side of the rim.
10. If your goal is to keep the tire, but put in a new inner tube (or remove the inner tube for patching), you can skip step 9, leaving the tire half on and half off. Remove the tube, patch it or throw it away. Before inserting your new tube, run your fingers along the inside of the tire and along the rim. Feel for any rough or sharp spots. If you are fixing a flat tire, note where the puncture was on the tire by noting the position of the hole in the tube. If there is glass or other sharp object stuck in the time, it will flatten your new or patched tube if you do not get rid of it. Insert new or patched tube into the half on half off tire. First, put the valve stem through the hole in the rim from the non-spoke side of the rim. Skip to step 12.
11. If you are replacing the tire, remove the tire as described in step 9. Put the new tire on the rim so that one of the inner tire edges (beads) is on the rim. Put in the inner tube, valve stem through the hole in the rim first, so that it is up inside the tire.
12. Use your fingers to squeeze the tire so that you are pulling the second edge of the tire onto the rim. When you have some of the second edge on the rim, work your way round, squeezing to get more of the tire on the rim. As you work your way around the rim, make sure that the inner tube stays inside the tire. Sometimes, the inner tube wants to poke out under the tire. When you are almost all the way around, it may get hard to get the second edge of the tire onto the rim. It may even like there is now way to force the last little bit of tire onto the rim. Depending on the tire, this last part can be very hard or can be easy. I have had both types of tires. If it is very hard, you use the tire levers to pry the tire onto the rim. Be careful, it is easy to break the tire lever if the tire is particularly hard to get on the rim.
13. Pump up your tire. Look for any places where the tire has an unusual bulge or any places where the tube is poking out from between the tire and rim. If the tube is poking out, let the air out and try to push the tube back in.
It is not really has hard to change a tire. If you do not have the tire levers and have to go to a bike shop to buy some, take your wheel with you and ask the bike shop to change the tire for you. They will probably be happy to explain how to do it so that you can do it for yourself next time.