How to Take a Bike Tire Off a Rim

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Tires receive the highest amount of wear and tear compared to any other part of the bike. Even though tires are highly durable, they won’t last forever. At some point, you will need to replace them. For most people who want to learn how to take a bike tire off a rim, the first thing that comes to mind is going to the shop.

This is actually understandable. Removing the tire from the rim isn’t that easy and may require special expertise.

But it’s also not impossible. After all, the guy at the shop seems to do it pretty easily.

How to Take a Tire Off a Rim at Home

As noted above, the process of how to take a bike tire off a rim takes just a few steps. This will, however, be challenging for people doing it for the first time.

But it’s still doable. Without further ado, here are the steps you should take:

1. Loosen the Bolts

The first thing you need to do is to loosen the bolts that hold the wheel to the frame.

In some cases, the bolts can be very tight so you may need to apply some vegetable oil to at least lubricate them.

However, some of the more modern bikes don’t have bolts. Instead, they come with a quick-release mechanism that should be able to free the wheel from the frame.

2. Release the Brakes

Brakes as you can see are often attached to the wheels. They can be problematic if you try to remove the tire while they are still attached.

In that case, it’s recommended to separate them from the rims before you start working.

We suggest that you simply slip the cable that connects the brake to the handle out of its socket. Make sure you loosen the brake cable as well before you do this.

3. Remove the Wheel

Although it’s possible to work on the wheel while it’s still attached to the bike’s frame, the job will be very hectic. It’s better to just work on it separately from the bike.

Now that you have loosened the bolts attaching the wheel to the frame, it’s time to remove it and put it aside. Simply remove all bolts connecting the wheel to the frame and gently remove it using minimal force.

4. Flatten the Tire

Don’t try to remove the tire while it’s filled with air because you’re going to puncture it.

This sounds like a very common-sense decision but you’ll be surprised how many people actually forget to do this even as they read many how to take a bike tire off a rim guides online.

You’ll notice that there’s a pin at the top of the pressure valve that connects to the tube inside. Press that pin and let the air out.

5. Untie the Tire Beads

To do this, start by squeezing the tire around the rim. Keep applying pressure until you see the tube inside.

Once you do that, it means the tire is now resealed from the rim and can be removed. This is also one of the most important steps.

6. Use Tire Levers

There are special levers that are used to dislodge the tire from the rim. Make sure you use them. I know some people tend to substitute the levers with other tools. While this may work at times, it will most certainly damage the tube or the rim.

Levers are typically placed under the rim. They are then pressed down to pry out the tire’s edge. This process is done repeatedly across the entire circumference of the rim until the entire tire is dislodged.

Please also note that you’ll need more than one lever for the job. The trick is to place at least three levers strategically around the rim. This will help loosen the tire, making it easier for you to remove it.

7. Inflate the Tube

In case you suspect that the tube may have a puncture, or perhaps there’s something wrong with it, then you can fill it up with air and see how it acts.

To check for punctures, you can run the air-filled tube inside a bowl of water and see if it forms bubbles.

8. Check the Tires

Once the tire is out of the rim, you may also want to carefully inspect it for any problems.

One thing you must check is whether there are any sharp objects lodged into the tire. They may be reasonable for puncturing the tube.

9. Fix the Inner Tube

If you establish that the tube is punctured, then you need to patch it up. This depends on the nature of the puncture.

Small leaks can easily be fixed but in some cases, you may have too many punctures on one tube. In such a situation, the entire tube might need to be replaced.

10. Insert the Tube Inside the Tire

Now that you’re sure the tube has no further leaks, it’s time to put it back right into the tire. Make sure the tube is straight and not twisted as you do this.

Additionally, you may also need to pump some air into it. This ensures that you don’t accidentally pinch it during the whole process.

11. Put the Tire Back into the Rim

Putting back the tire into the rim is just as difficult and as tricky as removing it. Don’t use the levers here or a screwdriver. You’ll easily damage the tube.

Some tires may have an arrow that shows you the direction to put the tire. Make sure you follow that.

Conclusion

The process of how to take a tire off a bike is not always a straightforward job. It requires a lot of elbow grease, a keen eye, and a few special tools.

But with the right resolve and the simple steps above, everybody can do it.

James Mattis

James is a passionate bicyclist who has done about every kind of biking there is. He loves the wind in his hair, the sun over his shoulder and maybe even the bugs in his teeth. No, just kidding about that last item. He isn’t crazy about road burns, either, but acknowledges that to have the good there is the occasional tumble. James feels that his bike is the place where he can unwind, leave troubles alongside the road, meet new people, go new places, and live the life of adventure that he loves. He is ready to share the ride with you.

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