Step-by-Step: How to Easily Change a Road Bike Tire!

Are you stuck with a worn-out road bike tire? Have you ever had a flat tire and then dragged your road bike home?

Though marvelous at making your bike ride an enjoyable experience, your bike tires can wear out or get punctured. These worn-out tires eventually translate into less reliability and more of a threat to your safety; hence they should be changed as soon as possible!

Here’s how you can change a road bike tire:

  1. Start by deflating and detaching the tire from the cycle
  2. Remove the tire from the rim along with the deflated tube
  3. Slightly inflate the new tube and fix that inside the new tire
  4. Fix the tire back on the rim
  5. Attach the wheel back to the cycle

So, ride with me as I tell you all you need to know about changing your road bike tire!

What Do You Need to Change Your Road Bikes Tires?

While you might be in a rush to get to the task, you should procure the materials needed to change the road bike tires beforehand. Thankfully, all the materials this process requires are basic and can be acquired from the nearby market.

Here is a list of all the things you will need for this:

  • A new tire and a tube: Since you plan to change your tire, you should arrange a new tire as well as a new tube 
  • Bike pump: You will need a bike pump to inflate the tire tubes
  • Tire levers: Tire levers can be helpful in removing the tire from the rim 

How to Easily Change a Road Bike Tire

Now that you’ve procured all the materials needed, it’s about time you get to work and get it done. Changing a road bike tire is not a difficult process, and if done with some patience and focus, you will be able to accomplish the task quite efficiently.

Let’s get right into it!

#1 Make Sure That You Have High-Quality New Tires

When going to the shop to buy a new tire, you should keep a few things in mind. You should check your bike wheel size (yes, you can measure it) and the tread patterns of your previous tire. 

This is especially important if you’re planning to change only one tire of your bike. You wouldn’t want different-sized tires with different patterns on your bike, resulting in an unpleasant riding experience for you. 

If you’re thinking about changing both tires, it is important that you first find out what you’re trying to look for. Do you want increased treads in your new tires?

Are you looking for a stronger grip on the tires or just strength and reliability in general? Figuring out all these important questions always helps you make the right decision, and this way, you can acquire high-quality new tires for your bike. 

#2 Deflate the Tires

Before you move on towards removing the tire and the inner tube, you should deflate the tire. Deflating the tire completely would make it easier for you to continue the next steps.

Deflating your bike tires before you remove the tire from the rim is helpful, and you will learn that in the following steps.

To deflate the bike tire, you need to press down on the tip to open the valve. Once you do that, the air is let out, and the bike tire gets deflated quite easily. 

» Read my blogpost about: How Much Is a Bike Tune-Up?

#3 Detach the Wheels

You cannot change the tire of a wheel without first detaching it from the bike. Doing this step would be much easier if the bike is turned upside down or stuck in a bike stand. 

For the front wheel, the first step would be to locate the brakes and loosen them from the wheel. After that, you’ll have to find the quick-release levers and use them to release the wheel. 

For the rear wheel, you should first adjust the gears to the smallest ring and then apply the quick-release mechanism to detach the wheel from the cycle.

#4 Loosen the Tire From the Rim

Since you deflated the tire in the above steps, removing the wheel from the rim would be much easier for you.

All you have to do is push the part of the tire closest to the rim near the air valve and then gradually start moving towards the other parts of the tire. By doing this step, you’ve loosened the tire’s grip from the rim.

Now all you have to do is remove the tire from the rim. You can use tire levers to help you with that.

First, attach the hooked end of the tire lever to the outer edge of the tire, and then start pulling the lever out of the edge of the tire.

Gradually continue this process until you find the tire to be completely removed from the rim.

#5 Take Out the Tube From Inside the Tire

Now that you’ve removed the tire, you should take out the tube from inside the tire. To remove the tube, you should touch the air valve, push it inside, and then remove it easily. 

Even though you’re not going to use the same tube again, you should assess the damage it endured. This would give you an idea of how much longer the tube could have survived, which may help with future decisions. 

To assess the damage, you should try inflating and then deflating the tube. Check for punctures and other cuts or holes in the tube. 

» You can also read my post: How to Change a Bike Inner Tube?

#6 Inflate the New Tube Of the New Tire

You’re halfway there and will soon be done with this entire process. Sounds relieving, doesn’t it?

You’re done removing the old tire; now you just have to fix the new tire in place. The first step is to inflate the new tube with an air pump.

Remember that you don’t want to fully inflate it because fixing it in the tire would be a hassle for you then. 

You just have to slightly inflate the tube so that it can be placed within the tire, and then the tire can be placed back on the wheel. 

Once you’re done inflating the tube, you need to slide the tube into the tire. While doing that, you should ensure that the tire tube valve and the rim valve’s hole are lined up. 

#7 Install the Tire Onto the Rim

Now, you have the tire and the tube fixed together, and all you have to do is install the tire back onto the rim. You need to be careful in this step because if it is not done correctly, the tube could get damaged, and you would have to install a new one then.

You should place the tube-filled tire around the rim first and then start pushing it onto the rim. You can use the bike levers to do that.

Remember that you cannot firmly fix the entire tire in one go; you will have to start with small portions and then make your way forward. 

While pushing the tire onto the rim, ensure that the tube is correctly placed and is not overpressed because excessive external pressure can permanently damage the tube.

#8 Fix the Wheel Back On the Bike

Voila! You’re almost done. Now that you’re done fixing the tire onto the wheel, you can now finally attach the wheel back to the bike. 

After that, you need to use the bike air pump again to inflate the tire.

Find the air valve and attach the pump to it. Start inflating the tire and continue until you find the tire to be firm and hard. 

#9 Do a Final Inspection

After you’re done with all these steps, you should do a final inspection. In the final inspection, you should turn the cycle upside down and check if the wheels are moving properly. 

Moreover, you should take your cycle out for a ride and check if you find the new tire to be perfect for your smooth riding experience. 

If you find some additional damage to be there or if you feel like you didn’t follow the steps correctly, you can try repeating it, or you can just take your bike to a professional and get it checked. 

» This could also be something for you: How to Remove Crank from a Bicycle?

When Should You Change Your Road Bike Tires?

Road bike tires truly help you enjoy the biking experience. However, even these tires get damaged and need to be replaced after some time. 

It can certainly be difficult to tell when the tires need replacing. Therefore, there are various signs you should look out for to find out if your bike tires need replacing.

Here are some signs you should look out for to assess if your bike tires have been damaged.

#1 Frequent Punctures

If your tire is getting frequent punctures and you have to correct them almost every other day, it may indicate that it might need to be replaced. 

Besides adding extra work to the day, frequent punctures may demotivate you from cycling and cause you to take a step back from it.

Hence, if you see your tire getting frequently punctured, you should replace it rather than give up on cycling.

#2 Worn-out Treads Of Your Tires

The treads in your tires are responsible for giving them the grip and sturdiness required to travel on various surfaces. 

If these treads become shallow or your tire becomes completely smooth, you would find the grip and traction to be significantly affected too. Therefore, if your tire tread is completely worn out, you should replace it as soon as possible. 

#3 Dry Rot 

When biking, your tire gets exposed to various surfaces, some of which may even contain corrosive chemicals such as gasoline or petrol. These chemicals can damage the surface of the tire and cause dry rot on the tire. 

This dry rot leads to tire failure, and you may become susceptible to accidents when you’re traveling downhill.

If you find your tires to have dry rot, you should immediately change them.

#4 Cracked Rubber 

If you see cracks appearing on the tire rubber, that is a significant sign to get your tires replaced. Cracked rubber usually appears when you haven’t ridden your bike for quite some time.

Therefore, it is unlikely that your tire will get cracked rubbers if you are a frequent rider. 

#5 Cuts and Holes

As a bicyclist, you must travel to different places, and your bike tires may constantly come in contact with all sorts of junk and debris.

This junk and debris can cause small cuts and holes in your tire and damage it. Moreover, the situation gets alarming when these holes puncture through the casing and damage the tube. 

If there is a cut near the bead of the tire, you should immediately replace it because it makes the tire highly susceptible to a blowout. This puts your safety at risk and may result in an accident. 

» I have also written this post, about: How to Turn a Bicycle into a Stationary Bike?

What Happens After You Change Your Road Bike Tires?

While it makes sense why you should change your tires and look out for signs of damage, it makes one wonder if there are even any advantages to replacing your bike tires.

Well, there are some important advantages of replacing your bike tires. Let’s discuss those. 

#1 Enhanced Safety

If your tire has worn down and is experiencing constant flats, it can soon just pop while you’re riding and cause you to lose control. 

Did you know that nearly 1000 bicyclists die and over 13,000 are injured in road traffic crashes every year in the United States?

A bad bike tire can result in unfortunate accidents, and you should take every caution to ensure that your tires are in perfect health. Hence, replacing a tire ensures your safety and helps you avoid any road accidents.

#2 Better Riding Experience

When you replace an old worn-out tire with a new tire in perfect health, you will notice a significant difference in your riding experience.

A new tire increases the firmness, grip, and strength of your cycle, and all of that adds up to a better riding experience for you.

Therefore, besides ensuring your safety, replacing a tire also provides you with a better riding experience.

How Long Does It Take to Change a Road Bike Tire?

It can take as little as 7 minutes to change a tire if the person is experienced and has done it multiple times. For people who are not as experienced or are doing this for the first time, it may take up to 20 minutes or more.

The time required to change a tire also depends on your tools.

For example, if you don’t have the tire levers, you would have to remove the tire from the rim with your hands, and that would take some time and may not be as efficient. 

How Much Does It Cost to Change a Road Bike Tire?

The cost of replacing a road bike tire is normally around $10 to $20. If you want both front and rear tires changed, the cost may increase up to $20 to $40. 

The cost of changing a bike tire may also differ based on the quality of the tires. The cost will obviously be higher if you’re replacing your old tire with a new heavily treaded tire with extra grip.

Also, note that the tires with a lower price may not last as long, and some people value that factor and may want to spend a few extra bucks for that. 

» Read my blog post: How Long Does It Take to Cycle a Mile?

The Bottom Line

Changing your bike tires is a very doable task; you can accomplish it if you give it some time and focus. It is a skill that every biker should know. If you are a frequent biker like me, you’ll encounter worn-out tires and other problems, and you should know your way around in these circumstances. 

Now that you’ve learned how to change a road bike tire easily, it is best to apply it in real life and see how that turns out for you.

Happy riding!

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