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How to Change Your Bike’s Tire

He always gets the job done in time

He always gets the job done in timeFlat tires on your bike are always a frustrating thing to have to deal with. However, all of this can be avoided if you're adequately prepared. So grab your tools and follow these simple directions to get back on that road in no time.

Before we begin, make sure you have all the necessary tools: a spare tube, a pump, tire levers, spare tube, wedges, and rim tape.

Remove The Wheel

  1. We’ll begin by loosening the nuts that hold the axle to the frame. Use lubricant if you run into problems while trying to loosen them.
  2. Remove the wheel from the frame. If it's the rear tire, you will need to lift the chain clear of the gear cluster. For better instructions on how to do this, watch the video above for a step by step run down.
  3. Deflate the tube completely by pressing down on the small plunger located in the center of your tire/inner part of the valve.
  4. To remove the tire, use tire levers, or a 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.
  5. 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, Repair, or Replace

  1. Make sure inspect the punctured tube thoroughly - check the outer surface of the tire for any signs or foreign objects (cuts, tears, etc.) that may have punctured your tire (make sure to also check the inner surface of the tire for similar damage).
  2. Wash up and dry up the damaged area (rubbing down the damaged surface with sandpaper will help the glue adhesive stick).
  3. Adjust patch and place over adhesive after removing all sharp/foreign objects from inside the tire casing. Replace the inner tube or tube and tire if damage is severe
  4. Before replacing, make sure to purchase the right tube and tire size. Measurements can be found on the old tire.

Replace Your Wheel

  1. We’ll begin by checking the tire wall for an arrow or similar symbol to indicate the direction of rotation - some tires have a "direction specific" tread pattern.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Inflate the tube slowly and carefully, while checking to make sure the tire is on evenly and nothing is "pinching."
  6. You’ve done it! Enjoy your ride!


[VIDEO] BruinBikeSmart SCAG Award



FullSizeRenderUCLA Transportation was recently presented with a Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) award for our BruinBikeSmart citation diversion program, the first of its kind in LA county.

To celebrate this accomplishment, SCAG put together this video to highlight our BikeSmart program. Check it out!

Sustainability Awards 2017: UCLA from SCAG on Vimeo.

Have You Seen the New Bike Counter On Campus?


Bike-Counter-WestwoodThere’s some fresh number crunching going on at UCLA. The counting isn’t happening within the halls of the department of mathematics, but rather outdoors, near a tree-lined campus entry point. Just in time for National Bike Month, the University has added a second automated bike counter.

The new device is situated on Westwood Plaza, a main portal to campus. Surveys, bike parking counts and Los Angeles Bike Coalition records estimate there are currently 3,000 riders putting pedal to the metal around campus.

Across the nation, in cities with a similar urban geography to Los Angeles such as Seattle, Portland and Boston, bike counters are proving essential to building support and improving conditions for the cycling community. Planners use the bike circulation numbers to justify bike infrastructure. Bike citizens get to experience a rush seeing their pedaling presence instantaneously noted on streets crowded with personal vehicles, buses and pedestrians.

At UCLA, bikes count. Our original cyclist monitoring system—the first such device ever installed in Southern California—was fitted in 2013 on the southern side of

Bike counter on Strathmore Plaza

Bike counter on Strathmore Plaza

Strathmore Plaza. Manufactured by Eco Counter, the device works through sensors in the pavement calibrated to only be triggered by bikes, which produce an electromagnetic signature. That pulse is then reflected on a digital screen, providing real-time information, tallying and displaying the daily and annual number of riders who cycle by.

The University also has a Bike Master Plan, which outlines efforts to improve cycling conditions and promote bicycling as a transportation mode on, to and from campus. Policies and programs to support and accommodate bicycling include construction of more bikeways, a signage plan, improved bicycle parking, financial incentives for bicycle use, and safety and education classes.

Bike counts pave the way for a more bike-friendly campus. The tallies help determine travel patterns, track trends over time, evaluate the effectiveness of current efforts to promote this mode of transportation, assess demand and prioritize improvement projects.

The counters may be a small part of a larger active transportation initiative, but the figures they calculate provide valuable information about patterns of cycling that can inform decision-making.

“The latest bike counter is a powerful statement," said UCLA Active Transportation Planner Jimmy Tran. "For riders, it’s a dynamic visual recognition that bicycling is valued at UCLA. The more we invest in bike infrastructure around campus, the more people want to bike. It’s a balancing effect.”



The ABC’s of Bike Safety

Cycling and Sport Concepts: Handsome Caucasian Rider Having a Bi

Cycling and Sport Concepts: Handsome Caucasian Rider Having a Bi

UCLA's Bike Week festivities may have come to an end, but National Bike Month is still in full swing. As an academic institution, we’re all about instilling the ABCs, and this is the perfect occasion for a refresher course on the nuts and bolts of bike safety. Whether you’re fresh off the training wheels or a long-distance cyclist, it never hurts to study up.

A is for air. Check the tire pressure. Use a pressure gauge to insure proper pressure. In a pinch a quick squeeze with your fingers can work. Tires should be inflated to the rated pressure noted on the sidewall (pounds/square inch). Spin the wheels and check for any cuts or damage too.

B is for brakes. Take a look at the hand brakes by lifting the bike up, img_Bikesafe_homepagespinning one wheel and squeezing the brake level to make sure the tire stops. Check the coaster, or back pedal brakes, by spinning the back wheel and applying the brake. Brake pads need to be clean, straight and make proper contact with the rims.

C is for cranks, chain and cassette. Grab the crank arms, the part of the bike on which the pedals are attached, and wiggle side to side. There should be no movement. Make sure the chain isn’t dry, rusty or excessively greasy or dirty. The chain should be straight and the crank and pedals tight and secure.

Quick Release: Quick-release hubs need to be tight, but not too tight; quick-release brakes, which are opened when removing or installing wheels, need to be in the closed position and quick-release seat clamps need to be in the right position. And, make sure your seat is the correct height.

Check: Take a slow brief ride to check that your bike is working properly.

Inspecting your bike for mechanical safety is something that should be done before every ride.

Here are some additional guidelines for safely sharing the road: obey all traffic regulations, ride in a straight line and avoid weaving, never ride against traffic and remember pedestrians have the right of way on walkways. Beware the “right hook” by waiting in the designated right turn lane and watching for vehicles also turning and heading into the intersection and avoid the “door zone” by staying 3 to 4 feet away from parked cars. Always pay attention to your surroundings and remember to use hand signals and make eye contact with others.

Happy riding!


Bike Essentials 101

Bike Essentials-2blog header


Paige Colton commutes to UCLA by bike from Santa Monica near 26th Street and Wilshire Boulevard. Paige, who is working toward her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, knows all about the benefits of bicycling.

"I love the sense of freedom biking gives me," she says. "I can move way faster than a car stuck in traffic, feel the wind in my hair, and squeeze some exercise into a busy day!"

In honor of Bike Week, she has provided us with a snapshot of her biking essentials. Take a look below:

Bike Essentials-2

Items pictured: water bottle, reflective windbreaker, helmet, coffee mug, front and back lights, keys, sunglasses, U-lock, a notebook, pens, cell phone, backpack, bike shorts and bus fare.