Our intern Brad gives us the lowdown on how to change an inner tube. Follow these easy steps and you’ll be back on the road in no time:
- Remove the wheel that needs the tube changed from the frame of the bike
- Unscrew the top to the air valve and let out all of the air if it has not already. If it is a presta valve (the longer, skinny valves), be sure to unscrew the valve itself to release the air.
- Take a tire lever and wedge it underneath the bead of the tire you wish to loosen like seen below then work the tire lever around the entire wheel to force the bead out:
*NOTE*: only unseat one side of the tire, leave the other side inside the rim still.
- Remove the tube first just by pulling it out and taking the valve out of its socketFeel around in the tire to make sure there are no sharp objects or things that may have stuck the tube in the first place to cause the flat
- Take out your new tube and fill it up only a little bit with air just so it starts to have its shape.
- Fit the new tube between the tire and rim of the wheel. Be sure to put the valve through the hole in the rim first to give yourself a good starting point. It’s also much harder to do this later on in the process. Make sure there aren’t any twists in the tube either as it is put in.
- Start to work your way around the rim putting the bead back into the rim. Work around in circles and try to keep some pressure on areas you’ve already seated to make sure they don’t come loose.
- Once the bead is back in the rim, start to slowly refill the tube with air to the PSI specified on the tire. Check as you go that the tire is filling evenly with air and there are no lumps in the tire.
*NOTE*: You may hear some popping as the tube gets filled up, this is normal as pressure is put back on the spokes and rim.
- When you put the wheel back on the frame of the bike, make sure it is put back facing the correct direction. You will often see an arrow on the tire pointing the direction it is supposed to rotate.
Photo via Bike Radar.
Prefer a video? We like this one from the Global Cycling Network.