How To Change A Bike Tire On A Road Bike

Last Updated on October 6, 2021

How To Change A Bike Tire On A Road Bike:

For someone new to riding, there’s nothing worse than having to change a road bike tire when getting a flat, especially if you’re not sure what you’re doing but just learning how to properly change a bike tire can make a world of difference.

Having to change your tire is a tedious job, but it’s not the end of the world.

If you ride on rough roads daily then it’s bound to happen eventually, so may as well prepare yourself with the necessary tools and technique so when it happens, you’re prepared.

Whether you have tubeless tires or regular road tires with a tire bead in the middle, I’ve run through everything you need to know, along with some tips to make changing your tires straightforward and simple.

There are a few things you’ll need first, though.

You should always carry some essentials in your saddlebag, so you’re prepared for anything. You should always care about a spare bike tube, repair kit, tire levers, bike pump or CO2, and a multi-tool so you can get back on the road quickly and easily.

So once you’ve got everything ready to go, here’s how you change your bike tire and fix flats on the go; you’ll be thanking yourself for building your knowledge on this.

But enough of me rambling on, let’s delve in!

how to change a tire

How To Change A Road Bike Tire:

Right, when it comes to road bikes, if you don’t have puncture-resistant tires, you’re bound to get a flat; with pothole-filled streets and the winter months, flat tires are never in your favor.

You may be wondering how to install a bike tire to get you out of trouble when you need it most, and here’s how.

Step One Remove The Tire:

You’re going to want to start by removing the wheel, keeping your bike upright and rear-wheel flat, and shift your drivetrain to the hardest gear. If you have rim brakes, you might want to loosen the brake too.

Position yourself on the non-drive side of your bike, opposite the chain. You can then either open the quick realize or unthread the thru-axel to remove the wheel.

Now once you’ve removed the wheel, it’ll be easy to remove the tire; unhook the rounded end of one tire lever under the bike bead of the tire to unseat it.

Then you’ll want to fix the other end to the spoke to hold the lever in place and keep the unseated tire from popping back into the rim.

Hook the second lever under the bead and push the rim clockwise until one side of the tire has fully come off. Then grip and pull with your fingers and thumbs working towards a single point ending opposite the valve.

Step Two: Use This Slack To Push The Tire Off The Rim:

Hold the slack point as you support the wheel between your feet on the floor, and starting with your thumbs, push the tire bead sideways off the rim.

Using the palm of your hand in an outward rolling motion or use a lever to remove the tire. Slide a screwdriver into the slot that was made for pulling back the tire.

Hold the wheel with your non dominate hand and with your dominant hand, hold the screwdriver and pull it towards you while making sure the tire edge is being pulled up and over the lip of the rim.

Just be careful when pulling the screwdriver towards you; you don’t want to slip and cause an injury.

Continue to pull the tire over the lip until the edge is completely over the lip of the rim. Slide the screwdriver completely under the tire and tube and use it as a tire lever to push the tire up and over the rim.

Pull the tire down and around the rim to free it from the wheel; this should make the tire easy to remove. Once the tire is removed, you can remove the inner tube from the tire; if you plan on reusing the tube, then make sure there are no punctures in the rubber.

Step Three: Install New Tube & Tire:

Once you’ve removed the bike tire using either tire levers or the screwdriver method, lay the new tire tube or the reused inner tube on the tire on the table. Don’t reuse a damaged tube.

Inflate the new tire enough for it to take shape but don’t fill it up all the way; you just want it inflated enough, so it’s easier to work with when putting the tire on.

Slide the tube into the tire, pushing the valve stem into the hole in the rim. This is where you’ll start to put the new bicycle tire on. Push the side of the tire onto the rim, making sure that you are putting the tube between two sides of the rim.

Make sure that both the tube and the side are completely in the rim; this make take a little bit of practice and patience as it may not fit at first, but it will.

Start with the opposite valve stem and pull the remaining tire side up and over the lip of the rim; this may take a bit of force to make it work, but once you get a few inches done, then the rest of the tire will go on smoothly.

Pop the new nut on the valve stem through the valve hole. This will ensure that the tube inside stays as close to the tire sidewall as possible.

Inflate the tire to the right PSI (this will be found on the side of the tire), and don’t overinflate your tires as this can cause a puncture when riding.

Step Four: Reinstall The Bike Wheel:

Once you’ve reattached the tire and the entire tube completely/ placed it with a new tube, then it’s time to reattach the wheel to the bike.

Start with putting the chain around the rear sprocket; you’ll want this to be done before you put the wheel into the frame, as otherwise, your chain will be on the outside of the sprocket, making the bike making it impossible to ride.

Once you’ve popped the chain around the rear sprocket, slide the tire back into the frame; getting it through the brakes may take a bit of force, but once it’s through, you can align it in the frame.

Hook the chain back to the derailer, wrapping around the sprocket first and then the two smaller gears of the derailer and tensioner; pull the tensioner back so you can loop the chain to it.

Make sure the chain is taunted; this will ensure smooth gear shifting when riding. Then get on the bike and make sure the wheels are straight.

If they do not turn, then turn the bike upside down and put it back into the bike stand, loosen the axle bolts and ensure both sides are even in the frame, and then tighten them back up, repeat until the new tires are straight.

Then you’ll be left with a fresh set of tires! If this seems quite confusing, you can alternatively go to the bike shop and get your bicycle tires there.

changing road bike tires

How To Change A Tubeless Road Bike Tire:

Getting a tubeless tire is brilliant for your road bike as you can ride as lower tire pressures and it reduces the chance of flats. But knowing how to change a tubeless tire can be quite tricky, and it might take a bit of practice.

Here’s how you do it.

Step One: Remove The Wheel & Deflate The Tire:

Before you remove the tire, you’ll want to remove the wheel and deflate the tire just as you would when replacing a regular bike tire.

Use the same technique as above with a screwdriver or something similar to lift the tire from the wheel before until the tubeless tire has come off the wheel completely.

Step Two: Remove The Tubeless Valve:

Then remove the tubeless valve before cleaning the rim and the valve. Wipe down the rim with a cloth to remove any tubeless sealant, and then using pliers remove part of the valve.

Holding the end down, twist the other end of the valve– this can be quite tight and awkward to remove at times, especially if you’ve had sealant in there for a while, but be patient. It will ease.

Clean the two parts of the valve using a wet cloth to remove any excess sealant; this will make a huge difference when putting it back together. It should make movement on the valve much easier.

Once you’ve given it a clean, pop the tubeless valve back together and push it back into the tire. Push it right down, then screw on the washer on the end to tighten. Use a set of pliers to make sure it is tight.

Step Three: Grab Your Tire:

Grab your new tire out of the box and try to shape it; this will make it easier to mount on the rim. Find the piece that mounts to your valve and reattach it to the rim.

You can either attach using your thumbs or with a tire lever to make mounting a lot easier as it may be tighter than your traditional clincher tire.

Step Four: Fill The Tire With Your Sealant:

For this step, I would recommend that you invest in a syringe as otherwise, pouring 60ml of sealant into the well at the bottom can be quite messy.

Using a syringe, however you can pop the sealant into the tire through the rim’s valve hole. You can invest in a 60ml bottle that has a syringe at the end; they’re super handy as they’re reusable too.

Just pop the end in the valve and squeeze until the bottle is empty– super easy, right??

Step Five: Roll The Tire To Create Seal:

In order to create a good seal, you’ll want to have sealant going all the way around the tire bead, so the best way to spread the sealant is to roll the tire along the floor, putting a little bit of pressure the tire bead.

Also, you should give the wheel a spin, so the sealant is evenly distributed. You’ll then want to pump up your tubeless tires to the right psi recommended on the side of the tire, and you’ll be good to go.

You’ll want to listen out for that pop, and then you’ll want to hear if any air comes out the valve and look around the bicycle tire to see if there are any air bubbles.

Step Six: Pop The Wheel Back On The Bike:

You’ll then want to pop the wheel back on the bike and dispose of the old tire. Make sure to check the pressure overnight to make sure the tire isn’t losing any air.

Pop your sealant in the same bottle you used to apply, and then it will be all ready for next time!

changing road bike tire

How To Change A Bike Tire Tube On A Road Bike:

You can easily change the tire tube on a road bike by lifting up the back of your bike, spin the cranks and click the rear mechanism into the smallest cog on the cassette.

  • When you open the quick release, the wheel will drop out far easier as there’s less resistance on the chain. Make sure the tube is fully deflated before you replace it.
  • Then you’ll want to push the beading to the center of the rim. Grab your tire levers and hook the first one under the bead of your tire, pushing it downwards, leaving the tire over the edge of the rim.
  • Do the same with the second tire lever and hook it over the spokes to keep it in place but push it further down the wheel. Slide the rest of the tire off the wheel and if you can’t remove it, then use a third tire lever.
  • Remove the damaged tube inside the tire and then check the tire for any cuts or punctures. Be careful around the area where the puncture was, as it may have been caused by impact and not by penetration.
  • Pump up your new tube enough so it holds its shape; this will prevent the bike tube from getting cause between the rim and the bead.
  • Pop the inner tube valve into the rim’s valve hole and screw on the lock ring and then place the rest of the inner bike tube inside the tire. Start by using your fingers and push the bead onto the rim.

If you are struggling, then push the tire in from the bead to the rim all the way around, as this stops the tire from sticking to the rim and helps loosen the tire off, making it easier to put back on.

If you are still finding it difficult, then use your tire levers to carefully push the tire back on. But be careful as there is a risk that the tube could pinch and puncture again, so take your time.

Pump your tire back up using a track pump or if you’re on the road when this happens, then use a mini pump. Make sure you don’t twist the valve when popping on the minipump, as this can damage the valve.

You won’t be able to achieve the same psi as with a floor pump but just try to inflate it as much as you can so it is enough to get you home or to your local bike shop. So enough air as you think you can get in the tube.

Pop your wheel back in, and then you’re ready to roll home.

How To Fix A Flat Tire:

So you don’t have a spare tire on you or a spare tire tube, and you’re stuck out on the road with just a puncture repair kit? This is when it gets slightly more tricky but not impossible.

You’ll want to deflate your tire slightly and remove it using the steps above using either your first and second lever to release the tire, or if you don’t have this, then your thumbs to remove the tire from the wheel.

Carefully inspect the tire for punctures, cuts, or tears. Once you’ve taken the tube out, look at both the tire and tube to see what caused your flat.

If it’s the tire, then start on the outside of the tire and work your way in; look for any embedded objects that may have caused the puncture. Check the tire using your thumb and index finger and feel inside of it.

If you find something, then check the tube in the same location to see if there is tube damage too.

The tube might be slightly more difficult to spot, especially if you don’t see any obvious punctures or blowouts, so inflate the tube to check for escaping air or leak. Listen for hissing.

If it’s the valve with the issue, then it might be slightly more difficult to fix on the road, and you might need to call for help. If you cannot repair it with your patch kit for the time being– the whole tube will need replacing if this happens.

How To Repair A Flat On The Road:

So how do you repair it with no spare tube– tip number one: always remember to bring a spare tube.

Most bike repair patch kits come with everything you’ll need to create an effective repair when out on the road, enough to get you home and replace the tube or tire.

Firstly you’ll want to find the damaged area and clean and dry the area. Rough up the surface with sandpaper; this will help the glue stick.

Spread the glue and allow it to sit until it feels tacky. You’ll then want to apply the tube patch and hold pressure on the area for a minute or two. This will temporarily fix a tear.

Or, if you’ve run out of patches, you can alternatively use a folded-up dollar bill or an energy gel wrapper and place it in between the tire and the tube, so it covers the gash and prevents the tube from bulging through.

These small fixes will be enough to get you home with ease.

road bike tire

Summary:

So there you have it all the ways you can repair, replace and remove a bike tire on your road bike. Knowing how to repair and replace a tire will get you out of trouble when you hit a flat on the road.

So give some of these techniques a try and remember to be careful when replacing the tire; we don’t want another puncture on our hands!

Happy biking, my friends.

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