Changing a flat tire is an essential skill for everyone who rides a bike, so grab your tools, and follow the instructions below for a quick tire fix.
- Always use these tools to change a tire: a pump, tire levers, spare tube, wedges, and rim tape.
- Loosen the nuts that hold the axle to the frame. Use a lubricant if you are not able to loosen them.
- Remove the wheel from the frame. If it's the rear tire, you will need to lift the chain clear of the gear cluster. To ease the removal of a rear tire, shift the chain to the smallest gear before starting.
- Deflate the tube completely by pressing down on the inner part of the valve.
- To remove the tire, use tire levers, or similar object. With the first lever, pry the tire over the rim. Repeat process four inches away with a second lever, move lever around the rim to release the tire.
- Remove the wheel and tube completely - you may need to unscrew a small nut at the base of the valve stem to take out the inner tube.
- Inspect the punctured tube to find the hole, determine whether the problem is on the rim or tire side of the tube.
- Adjust rim tape to cover protruding spoke or remove any embedded sharp object (glass) from inside the tire casing. Patch or replace the inner tube; or replace your tube and tire.
- Check the tire wall for an arrow or similar symbol to indicate the direction of rotation - some tires have a "direction specific" tread pattern.
- Put one side in first, then ease the partially inflated tube into the tire and locate the valve. Make sure no part of the tube is sticking out.
- Starting at the tire edge closest to the valve, use your thumbs to work the other side of tire over the rim and into the well. You may need to use the levers to do the last bit and pop it back into the rim.
- Use your thumbs to ease the tire from the rim around the entire wheel, make sure the tire is not pinching any part of the tube. When you inflate the tube, if it's pinching, it will pop and you will have to start over.
- Inflate the tube slowly and carefully, while checking to make sure the tire is on evenly and nothing is "pinching".
- Enjoy your ride!
To see these instructions with pictures, visit WikiHow.