As a responsible bike owner, there are some things that you need to know how to do. For instance, as we will discuss in the rest of this post, you need to learn how to change a bike tube. This is a skill that you need if in case your tire gets flat, such as when it has been punctured.
Fixing a flat tire is one of the basic skills you must master. Luckily, as you will learn later on, this does not demand a lot on your end. You can complete the task without exerting a lot of effort. It does not require technical expertise to do it properly.
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How to Change a Bike Tube
Whether your tire tube has deflated and became flat or it just needs a replacement after several years, among other situations, keep in mind the steps that are briefly mentioned below to change the tube.
Take Off the Wheel from the Bike
The first thing you need to do is to remove the bike from the wheel so that you can change the inner tube. Turn the bike upside down and place it near the wall on one side so that it will remain in its position. Things will be easier if you have a bike stand in place.
In some bikes, the brakes can be a distraction when you are removing the wheels, so it is best to disengage them first. The manner of removal will depend on the type of brake that the bike has. In the case of disc brakes, you do not need to disengage them.
Loosen the nuts that connect the axle to the body of the bike. There is no need to fully remove the nuts. You just need to loosen it to the point when the wheel can be freely removed. After loosening the nut, you don’t have to take off the wheel yet. Instead, get rid of the chain before you completely remove the wheel.
You will have to remove several parts of the bike to take off the wheel and change the bike tube. For beginners, putting back everything later on can be confusing. Take a photo of the components in their original position. This makes it easier to determine where each piece belongs as you return them.
Remove the Tube
Now that the wheel is out of the bike’s body, take off the tube. Do this in an open, well-lit, and ventilated area for you to be comfortable.
Without removing the tube, if in case it is still inflated, fully-deflate it before removing from the wheel. The procedure will depend on the type of valve the tire has. For Schrader valve, an Allen wrench or any similar tool will do the job. If you have a Presta valve, on the other hand, you need to remove the top part of the valve to release air and deflate the tire. Meanwhile, for a Dunlop valve, turn the cap to loosen and pull the tip of the valve.
Use levers to separate the tube from the tire. Metal levers should be avoided. Plastic is a better material of choice. Insert one lever between the rim of the tire and the deflated tube. Position the second lever in the same way and lift the outer part to remove the tube of the tire. The lever is recommended as it will prevent the tires from being damaged. Using a screwdriver or any metal tool will do the job, but the problem is that if you aren’t careful, you can scratch the frame.
Remove the tube from the rest of the tire. Rotate the wheel using your hand to get the tube out. Once you reach the valve stem, push it and take down the tube.
Install a New Bike Tube
The work does not end after the removal of the old tube. This is just the first half of the job. To use the wheel again, you need to insert a new tube.
To replace the tube, start by inflating the new one. Be sure to add only the right amount of air based on the recommended pressure. Over-inflated tubes will be hard to insert. Under-inflation, on the other hand, will make it easy to be pinched and can compromise the performance of the bike. This can also be a safety risk.
After inflating the new tube, insert it on the tire. To start, feed the valve stem in its position. Push the tube until it is fully installed.
Add air to the tubes. Earlier, the air that you have added should be enough only to keep the circular shape of the tube. When it is already inside the tire, this is when you have to inflate it fully. See to it that the air is consistent. Pay attention to any problem, such as if one part of the tire seems too firm while other parts are too soft. Look for bubbles. This means that there are some parts that are pinched or twisted. You simply have to fix the problem areas, which you can do without removing the tube that you have earlier inserted.
Return the Wheel
At this point, you are now ready to return the bike to the wheel. Do this while the bike is in an upright position, similar to how it was when the wheel was earlier removed. Just do the same thing but in reverse. Make sure that it is in a secure position. Tighten the nuts and test the bike, making sure that it is safe for your next ride.
If you are new to biking, one of the first things that you need to learn is how to change a bike tube. It involves basic steps and can be completed within 15 to 30 minutes. Take note of the steps mentioned above so that you can do it on your own. You don’t have to pay a local mechanic to complete such an easy task for you.