Gone Outdoors

How to Change a Bike Inner Tube

by Art Corvelay

A bicycle wheel consists of the rim, the inner tube and the tire itself. The rim is where the tube and tire sit. If you ever experience a flat tire, you'll need to know how to place a new (or repaired) inner tube inside the tire and onto the rim. Your local bike shop will be willing to replace the tube for you but it's always good to know the steps yourself. If you get a flat on a trail or far from a bike shop, knowing how to change the tube will be vital.

Remove the entire bicycle wheel from the bike. You may need to loosen the bolts that connect the wheel to your bike, depending on what kind of bike you own.

Release all of the air inside the tube by activating the valve.

Remove the tire from the rim. Place the tire lever between the rim and the tire and pry the edge of the tube from the rim. Insert the second tire lever about two spokes over and pry more edge of the tire from the rim. Continue this until you can easily pull the inner tube out from the tire.

Release the valve on the inner tube, which is held to the rim with a circular nut. Pull the old inner tube out of the tire.

Pump two or three times into the new inner tube until it is doughnut-shaped. This helps you place the tube back onto the rim.

Line up the valve from the tube with the hole in the rim. Place the new tube in the rim and push the valve about half way into the hole of the rim. Lightly secure the valve with the circular nut.

Lay the wheel flat on a table and begin to push the tire into position onto the rim. The tube should fit inside of the tire. Work your way all the way around the wheel until the tire is in place.

Pull the valve all the way the valve hole in the rim through the tire. Tighten the nut.

Pump 10 pounds per square inch of air into the tire and inspect to make sure the tube is evenly placed onto the rim and not pinching between the tire and the rim. If you spot a bulge or flat spot in the tube, let the air out and attempt to fix the area by pushing it into position.

Inflate the tire to its recommended pressure and install back onto your bike.

Items you will need
  • Bicycle pump
  • Tire levers (2)

About the Author

Photo Credits