Bicycle inner tubes can be tricky at first to remove but you will need to learn all about them to fix your bike in case of a puncture during an emergency. So, how do you remove a bicycle inner tube or a bike tire tube for replacement? This guide will show you how.
8 Steps to Change a Bike Tire Tube
Time needed: 15 minutes.
To change your bicycle tire tube at home, you’ll only need to do the following of this 8 easy steps:
- Take out the bike wheel
To do this, you first need to ensure that the quick release is undone and so are the brakes. If the bike inner tube that you need to replace is the tube on the front wheel, only slightly twist the quick release for a smoother removal amidst the forks.
Taking out the back wheel is a little bit difficult because you put your chain into the smallest sprocket. After you do this, pull back the derailleur so that when your wheel drops down for release, it will not damage the sprocket whatsoever.
- Loosen the outer tire bead
There are two ways to loosen your outer tire bead: manually and using levers. If you are using levers here’s what you should do:
First, find where the valve is located on your wheel. Once you’ve done that, look at the opposite end location – this is where you first insert your tire lever. Simply slide in your first tire lever to loosen your outer tire bead.
Next, insert another tire lever about 4 to 5 inches away from your first tire lever. This will be your stopper so that you can smoothly slide down the other tire lever to remove the tire bead of your bike wheel. Simply pull down one lever and then pull the other, which will cause the bead to pop off.
With this method, pulling away the outer tire bead should be easier and can be done using your bare hands with minimal effort.
If you are using bare hands to loosen your outer tire bead, here’s what you need to do:
Set up your wheel on the floor and it should be facing towards you. The pressure from the ground gives you enough slack to pull back the bead. Use your thumbs and begin sliding down the bead from the center of the valve outwards to the sides.
After doing this technique and applying just the right amount of pressure, you should find it easy to pull up the outer tire bead from the rim using your fingers.
- Take out the punctured or damaged inner tube
To take out your old inner tube from the inside, start by locating the valve. Pull the inner tube from that point. However, for inner tubes that have a lock ring, remove this lock first before you can pull out the inner tube from the bike rim. Taking the inner tube out should be easy after this.
- Inspect the outer tire
It is more likely that you are changing your bike tire tube due to a puncture so always inspect your outer tire if you are replacing your inner tube. To do this, simply feel around the outer tire but don’t do it in a hurry because you don’t know if any sharp objects are stuck in there.
- Place the new inner tube
If there’s no foreign object from the inside of the outer tire, it should be ready to be filled with a new inner tube. To do this, prepare your new inner tube by removing both the lock ring and the dust cap that comes with it.
It won’t be easy to place an inner tube if it is completely deflated and out of shape. Therefore, you should inflate it a little bit. You can do this using your bike pump or you can blow it up manually – whichever you choose, just as long as it takes some basic shape (not necessarily fully-inflated).
Locate the valve of the new tube and place it onto the slot of the bike rim as firmly as possible. After this, simply sandwich the inner tube throughout the entire wheel between the rim and the outer tire. Check to see if the tube is properly secured inside the wheel/rim and outer tire.
- Fitting the bike tire again
For putting back the tire to its previous fitting before taking out the inner tube, we advise putting your bike wheel resting on the ground so it is easy to push the bead with both hands for added pressure and using your thumbs to tuck it in properly.
The final area of the tire bead is where you will need to use your tire lever(s) to properly secure it into place. You can use two to three depending on how difficult it is to pop the tire bead back into its original place on the rim of the bike wheel.
A word of caution: always ensure to do the tucking of the bead as gently as possible as you don’t want to accidentally damage your inner tube (that you worked so hard to replace). To avoid this problem, ensure you inspect the tire lever’s location before pulling it.
- Start inflating
Before you inflate, however, inspect the entire wheel so that no part of the inner tube is peeking, otherwise this will cause bursting problems when you inflate your bike tires. Go over the entire wheel and inspect to ensure that everything looks good and the inner tube is properly tucked inside.
After doing this inspection, simply inflate your tire normally using hand pump or electric pump and close the valve properly when you are done. Apply the proper pressure that’s indicated on your sidewall or depending on your needs.
- Return the wheel onto the bike
Attaching the wheel back into the bike depends on which wheel was detached. Simply undo what you did earlier and make sure to bring back everything that you’ve pulled back. For instance, leaning back the derailleur is important to attach the back wheel of your bike for easy fitting without damaging parts.
Detaching bike wheels more often involve undoing the bike brakes so make sure that these are back on before you go. Inspect everything once you are done so that nothing is loosened. Last but not least, put away the old inner tube and the tools that you used.