How To Change A Bike Inner Tube

How To Change A Bike Inner Tube

Every cyclist should learn to change their bicycle's inner tube, so here's a quick rundown of how to do so.

May 21, 2018 by Alex Rees
How To Change A Bike Inner Tube

Changing a bicycle inner tube is an important skill for any cyclists who find themselves riding frequently. The bike tube is what holds the air inside of your tires, and if the tube is damaged then you'll have a perpetually flat tire. 

While there are some bikes that have tubeless tires, the vast majority have tubes, so knowing how to change one is a good thing to have in your tool belt. 

Here is a quick rundown on how to replace an inner tube in three easy steps:

What you'll need: (1) screwdriver; (1) wrench; new bike tube(s); (1) bike pump

Step 1: Remove The Wheel

The first thing you'll need to do is disassemble the wheel from the bike frame. To do this, start by laying the bike down on its side. If you're wanting to remove the front wheel, simply use a wrench to loosen the bolts on either side of the tire and take it right off. 

If you're removing the back wheel, you'll first need to take off the chain before messing with the wheel. Loosen the bolts on either side of the tire as you did with the front, and then start moving the pedals slowly forward. As they move, you can pull the chain off. Once you've completed this task the wheel is ready to come off. 

Step 2: Removing The Old Tube

The next step in the process of replacing your inner tube is to take out the old one. To do this, you'll first need to take off the cap from the valve -- or nozzle -- where you inflate the tire. 

Next, take a screwdriver or some kind of lever and wedge it between the tire and the wheel. On one side of the wheel, go around in a circle with the lever and pry it off from the rim. You won't need to take the whole tire off; you'll only enough to be able to expose the bike tube. 

Once the tube is revealed completely, pull it out. Check the tube to find out its exact dimensions so that you know which tube to get to replace it. 

Step 3: Inserting The New Tube

The first thing to do when putting the new tube in is to place the valve inside the rim. Next, start inserting the rest of the tube. Once you've got about 60 percent of the tube in, you can pump it up a little bit to make it easier for the rest of the way. 

When the tube is all the way in, safe and secure, start tucking the tire back into the rim how it was before. The very last part of the tire will be tough to get back on, so use the lever or screwdriver to push it back in. Be careful here, as it is easy to puncture the new tube if you aren't paying attention. 

Lastly, get the bike pump and inflate the tire up to your desired level and then screw the cap back on over the valve.