If you are an avid bike rider like myself, at some point in your riding career you will likely need to replace your bike tires and/or tubes. They have either popped while on a ride or just need to be replaced due to wear. With a few simple tools found around the house and about an hour of your time, you will be able to have your tires changed and ready to ride into the sunset.
Step 1: Supplies
Before you can start to change your tire you will need a few simple tools. Most of these tools can usually be found around the house.
The necessary tools for the job are:
* New tires
* New tubes
* Tire pump
* Flat head screwdriver
* Putty knife
* Plastic putty knife
Note: When purchasing your new tires make sure to double check what tire size you have. This bike has 27" tires, which is an older style. Newer bikes have a 700c tire. The size and height is printed directly on the old tire. The tubes should be made for the correct size of tire. It is better to double check at this stage then after the old one has been removed.
Step 2: Remove the Wheel
1. Put the bike in a bike stand or upside on its seat and handlebars. In this position it is easier to reach all the parts of the bike.
Note: If you are worried about scratching your seat or handlebars on the concrete you can put a piece of cardboard on the ground and then set the bike on top.
2. Loosen the wheel. This bike has a lever that can easily loosen the tire. Some bikes have a bolt. If this is your case you will need a socket set or pliers to loosen the bolt.
3. Undo the brakes. There should be a tensioner on the brakes that allows you to release the tension. This will make the tire easier to remove.
Note: If you are changing the front tire you can skip this step and proceed to step four.
4. Loosen the tension on the chain. Pull the small gear that is now at the top of the rear sprocket set towards the front of the bike. This will loosen the chain. Now that the chain is only on the rear sprocket you can start to pull up on the wheel to remove it. Even though the brakes have been loosened it will still take a bit of force to get the wheel off. This is normal when removing the wheel.
Step 3: Remove the Old Tire
1. Let all of the air out from the tire. This will help when removing it.
2. Remove the nut at the bottom of the valve stem (only if applicable).
3. Start from opposite the valve stem, pull back the tire from the rim as shown in the fourth image.
4. Slide a screwdriver into the slit that was made by pulling back the tire.
Note: You may have to apply a decent amount of force to the tire in order to get a big enough space to slide the screwdriver into. This is especially true if you have older tires.
5. Hold with wheel with your non dominate hand. With your dominant hand hold the screwdriver. Start to pull the screwdriver towards you while making sure the tire edge is being pulled up and over the lip of the rim.
CAUTION: When pulling the screwdriver towards you, make sure you take extra care and move slowly to avoid slipping and causing injury.
6. Continue to pull the tire over the lip until the tire edge is completely over the lip of the rim.
Note: If you have a putty knife or bike lever you can use either of these instead of a screwdriver. .
7. Slide the screwdriver completely under the tire and tube. Make sure that you slide it under from the side of the tire that is still in the rim. Once the screwdriver is under the tire use it as a lever to push the tire up and over the rim.
8. Pull the tire down and around the rim to free it from the wheel. The tire should be easy to remove.
9. Once the tire and tube are free from the wheel you can remove the tube from the tire. If you plan on reusing the tube make sure that there are no punctures or tares in the rubber.
Step 4: Installing New Tube and Tire
1. Lay the tube, either new or reused, out on a table.
2. Inflate the tube just enough for it to take shape. This does not mean to fill it up all the way. You just want enough air so it is easier to work with when putting the tire on.
3. Slide the tube into the tire.
4. Push the valve stem into the hole in the rim. This is where you will start putting the tire on.
5. Push the side of the tire into the rim. Make sure that you are also putting the tube between the two sides of the rim.
6. Work your way around the wheel pushing the same side of the tire into the rim. This step should go quickly.
7. Make sure that both the tube and the one side of the tire are completely in the rim.
Note: Making sure the tube stays between the rim may take a bit of finesse. Be patient when trying to make it fit, it may not seem that way, but it will.
8. Starting opposite the valve stem, pull the remaining tire side up and over the lip of the rim. This will take a bit of force and to make it work. Once you get a few inches done the rest of the tire will go much smoother.
9. Put the new nut on the valve stem. This insures that the tube stays as close to the rim as possible.
10. Inflate the tire to the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch). This will be listed on the side of the tire.
Caution: Do not over inflate the tires. Doing so will cause an increase of stress on the tube when biking. This may lead to a blow out during a ride.
Step 5: Reinstall Bike Tire
1. Put the chain around the rear sprocket. This needs to be done before you put the wheel into the frame. If this does not happen your chain will be on the outside of the sprocket which makes the bike impossible to ride .
2. Slide the tire back into frame. As before when removing the tire, getting the tire through the brakes may take a bit of force. Once the tire is through the brakes you can align it in the frame.
3. Hook the chain back to the derailer. Just as when taking off the tire, the chain wraps around the sprocket first then the two smaller gears of the derailer and tensioner. Pull the tensioner back so you are able to loop the chain onto it.
4. Make sure that the chain is taut. This will ensure smooth shifting when riding.
5. Get on the bike and make sure that the wheels are straight on the frame. If they are not turn the bike back upside down or put it back into the stand. Loosen the axle bolts and make sure that both sides are even in the frame then tighten the bolt back down. Repeat until the wheels are straight.
6. Enjoy a nice long bike ride with your new tubes and tires!