Flats aren’t fun to get and changing out a tube can be tricky, so we’re going to review the steps to get you started if you’re in need of changing a bike tire. First, some tools you’ll need before you get started are a tire lever, which typically comes in a pack of three, a new tube, and a bike pump. Let’s review the steps. Here’s how to change a bike tire:
Step 1: Remove the Tube With a Tire Lever
Insert the tire lever in between the tire and under the beads of the rim, against a spoke for balance. You may need to place all three tire levers against the rim and the tire to open it enough before you can slide the third lever down the length of the wheel, which will release your tube. Once the bead is released, you can pull the tube out.
Step 2: Use the Pump To Find the Cause
After you have the tube out, you can pump it back up to find out what caused the flat. Usually, you’ll hear a hissing sound and then you can look and see if there is glass or a nail in the tube. This is an important step because it will let you find out if there is anything left in your tire, which will need to be removed before you insert a new tube. Match the valve on the tube up with the valve on the wheel and you’ll see where the placement of the hole in the tube lines up with the tire. From there, you can run your hands along the inside of the tire to find what caused the flat.
Step 3: Insert the New Tube
Match up the valve on your new tube to the wheel and begin tucking the new tube into the tire. Once you’ve got the tube inside, you can begin to tuck the tire into the rim.
Step 4: Pump the Tube To Check Progress
Pump up your new tube for a few seconds and then stop. Run your hands along the tire to see if there are any bulges in the tire. If there are, adjust the tube before beginning to pump again. Once you’ve finished, put your wheel back on.
The Best Bike Tools To Keep Handy
Now that you understand how to change a bike tire, you’re going to need some of the tools mentioned above. And although we didn’t mention all of the tools listed below in our initial step-by-step guide, we’d recommend keeping some of these on hand as well. Flats happen to the best of us, but if you’re prepared, they’re but a momentary annoyance.
Here are a few tools you’ll need to buy so you can properly change a bike tire.
1. Bicycle Tire Levers 3 Pack
This is a pack of three tire levers that snap together for easy transport and storage. Keep these in your flat kit or in your cycling jersey for a quick change of a flat.
2. AR PRO 28 700X20 Tube Pack with Tire Levers
These tubes come in a pack of six for every road cyclist’s tires ranging between 20-26mm wide on 28″ inch tires with a Presta valve. These tubes will absorb extra shock, giving you a pleasant ride over other, less shock-absorbent tubes. There are two tire levers included.
3. CalPalmy Schrader Valve Tubes
Great for cyclists with a Schrader valve, this two-pack of tubes will serve you well out on the road. An excellent tube for tires 26″ inches and 1.75-2.1 inches wide. Shock absorbent and well made, these tubes made by CalPalmy will keep you spinning all day long.
4. Vibrelli Mini Pump and Patch Kit
Having a mini pump on hand while out on the road can be a blessing and while this Vibrelli pump is gorgeous, it’s also extremely functional. It has a Presta and Schrader valve, so you don’t have to worry about who gets the flat. The patch kit comes with a glue-less puncture kit that will help you fix a tube and keep on riding.
5. Roswheel Race Series Saddle Bag
A saddle bag fits directly beneath your bike saddle and can hold all the tools you need to repair a flat on your own. The Roswheel saddle bag is lightweight and stylish, barely detectable underneath your saddle. They come in two sizes, ranging from 0.4 to 0.6 liters of storage space. It is small and streamlined, designed to stay underneath your saddle for maximum placement security so you can ride without worrying about it falling off. This is an excellent saddle bag for any cyclist.
6. Park Tool Patch Kit
This patch kit includes a set of six patches and a tube of adhesive that is a self-vulcanizing fluid, so it will create a strong bond with the tube to prevent further tearing. If you don’t have a spare tube on you, using this adhesive will do the trick until you can get to a bike shop. There is also a small square of sandpaper for cleaning.
7. Bicycle Tire Repair Glue
This pack of five tubes of glue is a great item to have in your flat kit while out on a long ride. If you need to patch a tube quickly, simply keep one of these tubes of glue on hand and then get to work. Don’t forget to sand it down when you’re done.
8. BV Bicycle Pump Schrader and Presta Valve
This two-for-one pump is a great tool to keep in your garage. With both the Schrader and Presta valves, you can pump up any bicycle tire after fixing the flat. Be sure to check the PSI on the outer part of the tire to see how high you need to pump.