How to Replace Bike Tube – Easy Tips & Solutions

Who hasn’t ridden a bike from their childhood? We all did. And if you are someone who loves to ride a bicycle, then surely the most frustrating thing you have faced is stranding down the road due to a puncture in the bike tube or wheel.

And this is a very common problem for every cycle rider. So everyone who rides a cycle should learn what to do in case of a puncture in the tube. Learning about how to replace the bike tube is a simple but very essential skill for everyone. We all need to learn how to replace the bike tube efficiently.

All of us should keep a spare tube alongside other necessary instruments with them whenever they are riding. In this article, we are going to be teaching about easy tips & solutions on how to replace bike tube in an effective way.

Instruments Needed

  1. Spare inner tube
  2. Two tire levers
  3. Pump
  4. Wrench

How to Replace the Bike Tube: The Standard Way

Step 1: Flipping the bicycle upside down

Before changing the inside tube, we need to flip the bicycle upside down. The bicycle will stand erect as the seat & handlebars will act as a provisional repair stand, supporting the weight of the bike. Learning how to replace the bike tube, we can do this process by ourselves without getting help from others.

Step 2: Disassembling the wheel

If we are removing the back wheel, it is best to change the gear level to the smallest sprocket. It will make the process of removing the tire easy. Before removing the wheel & changing the bike tire, we need to completely deflate the punctured tire first.

Before deflating the punctured tire, we need to know more about the valve type. There are mainly 3 types of valves present in a bicycle which are the Schrader valve, the Presta valve & the wood valve. But Schrader valve & Presta valve are more common.

Different valves have a different set of mechanisms. And each valve comes in different lengths, so all sized valve needs to work with a different set of specified pumps.

This is because even pumps come in different sizes & with different features like twin socket, reversible heads, smart heads. So before deflating the tire, we need to know about the valve type.

Here we may need the use of the wrench. For deflating the Schrader valve tube, it is important to insert a small wrench into the valve which will press on the stem & release air. In the case of a Presta valve, there is a small locknut at the top of the valve stem.

For deflating the tire, at first we unthread the locknut and then we press on the valve stem to let the air out. Sometimes we might be in need of an adapter that helps to connect a smaller Presta valve with a larger Schrader valve & vice-versa. After deflating the valve, we remove the wheel.

Step 3: Removing the tire & tube

We now start to remove the tire & tube from the wheel. We need to make sure that one whole side of the tire is not attached to the rim at any point. Going around the tire, we are going to be trying to remove one whole side of the tire.

After that, we start pushing down from the valve position of the tire and stop at the opposite position of the valve. We try to make a gap in the tire by force, then we use one tire lever at that point & then we hook it onto a spoke.

Then we grab the 2nd tire lever and put it in the gap created before & try to loosen the tire more.  And then we just continue down the wheel until the tire is loose enough to be removed from the rim. And after that, we have easy access to the torn inner tube. We then take the torn tube out.

Step 4: Checking the tire & casing for the reason of puncture

After taking the torn inner tube out, we now check the tire for the possible reason for puncture. Carefully, we run our fingers through the inside of the tire for finding any object responsible for puncturing our tube.

Step 5: Inserting the new bike tube

For making the whole process easier, we pump a little bit in the new tube first. After doing that, we find the valve position. Then we adjoin the valve of the tube with the valve of the rim & then we insert the tube to the rim starting at that position.

And we go around the wheel tucking the whole tube inside the tire. And then through a kneading action around the wheel & rim, we can make sure that the inner tube is correctly placed inside the tire.

We might need the help of the tire levers again for correcting putting & placing the tube inside the tire. When you are confident that the tube has been placed correctly, we then take out our pump. Fixing the pump to the valve of the rim & locking it, we pump the newly inserted tube to the recommended pressure for your tire.

This recommended pressure is always stated on the side of your bicycle tires. If you don’t know the pressure gauge for sure, then pump air inside until the tire is compact & firm. Then our work is done.

By this process, we can easily & effectively replace the bike tube. By learning how to replace bike tube, we can easily solve this kind of common problem.

As human beings, we are bound to forget. It might happen that, you have come across a punctured tire but you forgot to bring your tire levers. So you might think that it is not possible to replace the bike tube without any tire lever. But that’s not true. We are going to teach you the way you can easily replace a bike tube without any use of a tire lever.

How to Replace the Bike Tube Without Tire Levers

Step 1: Deflating the punctured tire

At first, we deflate the punctured tire completely for making the next steps easier for us to do. For deflating the punctured tire, we need to know about the valve more. There are mainly 3 types of valves present in a bicycle which are the Schrader valve, the Presta valve & the wood valve. But Schrader valve & Presta valve are more common.

Different valves have a different set of mechanisms. And each valve comes in different lengths, so all sized valve needs to work with a different set of specified pumps. So before deflating the tire, we need to know about the valve type.

Here we may need the use of the wrench. For deflating the Schrader valve tube, it is important to insert a small wrench into the valve which will press on the stem & release air. In the case of a Presta valve, there is a small locknut at the top of the valve stem.

For deflating the tire, at first we unthread the locknut and then we press on the valve stem to let the air out. Sometimes we might be in need of an adapter that helps to connect a smaller Presta valve with a larger Schrader valve & vice-versa.

Step 2: Removal of the tire & tube

We want to make the tire loose, So that, it will get off from the rim exposing a gap. We can do that by wiggling the tire or trying to move the tire bead towards the center all around the wheel.

Then we keep the valve fixed at 12 o’clock position. And we start pushing from the top towards all the way to the bottom at 6 o’clock position. This pushing gives us quite a bit of slack at the 6 o’clock position.

Then we flip the wheel to the loosened position and then we use our hands to push the whole tire out of the rim. After that. we take the tube out from inside the tire.

Step 3: Inserting the new tube inside the tire

Since we have taken out the whole tire, so we first push half the tire inside the rim starting from the valve at 12 o’clock position. We don’t insert the inner tube yet. After half the tire is inside the rim, we then need to place the new bike tube.

The new inner tube is easier to place inside the tire if it is a bit pumped up.  After pumping a little, we now start to place the tube inside the tire.

At first, we insert the valve through the valve hole. And then, we start to tuck in the tube all the way around inside the tire. We push hard from 12 o ‘clock to 6 o’clock position for almost putting the tire back on.

Step 4: Putting the whole tire on the rim

After inserting the whole tube, then we start the final step. For the final push, we take the whole wheel on our lap. And we start to push the whole tire to settle on the rim nicely.

Then we push again to roll the tire back on. We keep on pushing until the tire is finally settled inside the rim. Then, we bring out the pump.

Fixing the pump to the valve of the rim & locking it, we pump the newly inserted tube to the recommended pressure for your tire. This recommended pressure is always stated on the side of your bicycle tires.

If you don’t know the pressure gauge for sure, then pump air inside until the tire is compact & firm. Then our work is done. By this process, we can easily & effectively replace the bike tube.

Safety Issues to Keep in Mind

Always keep maintenance kit ready

It is always a good idea to have a necessary maintenance kit with you whenever you go out riding your bike. Because no one ever knows when the tire may puncture.

If it happens on the road, far away from home, then that will be hard to deal with. The maintenance kit should include spare tubes, a few tire levers, a pump, wrenches & other necessary things.

Be careful while changing the tube

It is always a bit of good advice to be careful when you are changing the tube. Firstly, when you are checking the tire for puncture holes & reason, if you are not careful, you might hurt your hand with that guilty object.

Secondly, when you are trying to insert the tube inside the tire, it is a good idea not to push too hard. Because the tube & tire might explode. Then you will have a hard time getting to your destination even if you are not hurt.