Person riding a bike

Key Skills: How to Change a Bike Tyre

Key Skills: How to Change a Bike Tyre

16 January 2023

Whether you’re a regular bike rider or just getting started, bike tyres (just like cars and other vehicles) are bound to get worn out and tired. For the best performance and to avoid punctures and tyre tears, changing your bike tyres when they start to wear out is a must!

Changing a bike tyre can feel a little daunting, but with our easy-to-follow instructions, it is actually a simple task! It will save you plenty of time and money too, getting you back on the road, dirt track, or trail.

Before we get to the instructions on changing a bike tyre, let’s make sure you’re aware of the terminology.

Tyre Terminology

Tyre bead: this is the inside edge of the tyre that sits on the wheel. It is the part of the tyre that is in constant contact with the rim.

Valve: the tyre valve is a small stem that controls the air pressure in the tyre – this is where you inflate the tyre.

Tyre tube: this is the inflatable ring that forms the interior of the tyre and is filled with air through the valve.

Tyre tape: the tyre tape sits within the rim of the wheel and protects the tyre tube from damage.

Person inflating a bike tyre

Now, let’s look at our simple steps on how to change a bicycle tyre.

How To Remove a Bike Tyre

  1. First things first, you’ll need to deflate your old, worn-out tyre. Do this by opening the tyre valve and allowing the air to drain from the tyre.
  2. Once your tyre is deflated, you’ll want to push the tyre bead into the centre of the rim on both sides of your tyre to introduce some slack– this will make it easier to work with.
  3. Next, use a tyre lever or your hands to hook the tyre bead over the rim of the wheel.
  4. Once the first section of your tyre is hooked over the rim, use your tyre lever or your hands to unhook the tyre bead from the wheel all the way around the rim.
  5. Once your tyre bead is unhooked from the rim, reach into the tyre carcass and pull the tyre tube out all the way around.
  6. Once you reach the valve on the tyre tube, pull out the valve from the valve hole in the wheel and remove the tube completely.
  7. Once the tyre tube has been removed, you can now pull the tyre off the rim entirely.
  8. Make sure to check the condition of your rim and the rim tape to ensure there are no damages.

How To Put a Tyre Back on a Bike

Now you have removed your worn-out tyre, you’ll want to fit a new one. Before doing so, check your new tyre for directional instructions. Many tyres have arrows on them, which when fitted, must point in the direction of travel.

  1. Once you’re sure of the direction of the tyre, lift just one side of the tyre over the rim.
  2. Now, inflate the new tube just enough so it holds its shape.
  3. Once you’ve slightly inflated the inner tube, push over the tyre bead at the valve hole, and push the valve on the tube through it.
  4. Next, tuck the tube into the tyre rim, then, starting at the valve, work the tyre bead over the rim with your hands – this should be easy until you reach the very last section of the bike tyre.
  5. Once you’ve reached the last section, stretch the tyre over the rim. You may need to be slightly firmer with this section to get it onto the rim.
  6. Once fully fitted, check that the tyre bead is positioned correctly around the tyre and that the valve is fitted properly at a right angle to the rim.
  7. Finally, inflate the tyre slightly, checking that it is still fitting correctly. Inflate the tyre some more and roll it against the floor to make sure it is settled onto the rim before fully inflating.

And there you have it! You’ve successfully changed a bike tyre.

Your first try might feel a little unnatural and might not go to plan. But once you’ve had your initial practice, changing bike tyres should be easy, and you’ll be able to get back to your biking adventures. Find out more ways to enjoy adventurous outings with the Army Cadets.

Hero Image of Person riding a bike by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi:
Image of Person Inflating Bike Tyre by Anastasia Shuraeva: