How to Change a Flat Bike Tire in 8 Steps
We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you when you buy through links on our website. Learn more
As a cyclist, you should definitely learn how to change a flat bike tire quickly.
There are a lot of things that threaten to puncture your tires on biking trails/paths. In case one of these tire-piercing objects gets you, changing the flat tire shouldn’t be a problem even though bicycle tires usually last a long time.
How to Replace a Bicycle Tire
1. Release the Bike Brakes
The first step is to release the brakes.
This is because you won’t be able to work on fixing the punctured tire if the brakes are still holding the wheel in place. Releasing the brakes is usually a simple and straightforward process.
The braking system isn’t the same on all bikes. Different brands have different custom brake designs. Get familiar with how yours works and how to disengage it.
Note that the bike’s rotor gets really heated up when you’ve been riding for a while, hence it could cause injury if you hold it after you stop riding.
2. Remove the Wheel
The next step on how to change a flat bike tire is taking out the bike’s wheel. The two wheels on your bike, both the one in front and the other one behind, have to be approached in different ways when you need to remove them.
You won’t have any difficulty taking off the wheel in front of the bike. However, that isn’t the case with the one at the back end.
As you’re taking off this wheel, you need to let the chain stay connected to the back wheel’s littlest slot.
The next step is to flip your bike over so that it rests on its saddle. Engage the quick-release lever and take out the back wheel. Try tugging at the rear derailleur with minimal force so as to create extra space for the wheel to come out.
3. Deflate the Tube
If you want to change a road bike’s flat tire, take off the valve cap and deflate the tube.
Centered on the valve is a little plunger that needs to be pressed so that the flat tire can be completely deflated.
Not all bikes have the same valve design. You’ll have to go about the deflation of the tube based on your bicycle’s design.
4. Remove the Tire
This step might not be one that you’ll easily get on the first try. But after doing it a couple of times, you’ll get it.
When removing the tire, you could make use of either tire levers or your bare hands. If you’ll be taking it off with your hands, force one bead end in the direction of the rim’s middle and force the other end upwards. This way, the bead’s edge should be displaced.
The other possibility is with the levers mentioned earlier. When making use of tire levers, you must be careful not to spoil your bike’s valve. Deploy the levers on the valve-less side of the tire.
The goal is to carefully force out the bead without doing damage to the valve. This step just requires you to be careful and precise.
5. Replace the Tube
Just like in a typical car, it’s advisable to have an extra bicycle tire in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
Instead of having to mend the punctured/deflated tire right away, you’ll basically switch the flat tire with the new one.
However, since this article addresses fixing a flat tire, you’ll need this next step. After removing the tire and tube, the next thing you need to do is to replace the former tube with a new one.
There are tube-size specifications for different bike wheels, and the replacement you have should match that specification.
Pump up the replacement so that it swells adequately, and return the valve to its normal position in the tire’s rim. After that, put the replacement tube back in place.
6. Install the Tire
Now, after fixing the replacement tube, you have to put the tire back around the rim.
Regardless of whether you partly took off the tire from the rim, or if you completely took it off the rim, putting the tire back on is a straightforward process.
The idea is to get one of the bead’s edges around the rim and slowly push other areas on the tire’s circumference onto the rim. Begin this process on the valve-less end of the rim and continue round till you’re at the valve end.
As you gradually push the tire back into place, you’ll need to apply more force along the line. If your palms start hurting and your hands are tired, you can use a tire lever to finish off the job.
7. Inflate the Tube
With all that has been done so far, you’ll now need to pump some air into the tube. Depending on how your tube is accessorized, inflate it accordingly.
However, you need to keep an eye on the tire so that it doesn’t slip out of position. As you inflate the tube, make sure it doesn’t get punctured.
8. Install the Wheel
The last step on how to change a flat bike tire is putting the wheel back on the bike. Putting the wheel back on isn’t a difficult step.
Depending on which of the tires (either the one in front or the other one behind) you fixed, you’ll need to secure the chain around the rear’s chain wheel.
With all that has been said, you should now know how to change a flat tire on a road bike. If you’ve never done it before, you might have a bit of trouble at first, but after some practice, you’ll get better at it.
Always have the right tools with you when you’re taking your bike out for a ride, and make sure that you know the necessary specifications of the tube and valves.
Also, you can just take an extra tire with you. This will make things easier since you’ll only need to replace the punctured tire instead of fixing it from scratch.
If you can follow these steps on how to change a flat bicycle tire, you’ll have a smooth time fixing your tire.