Very Easy

How to change a tyre on your road bike

Whether you’re replacing a worn one or upgrading your rubber, our in-depth guide on how to change a bike tyre will help.

Clock11:00, Tuesday 13th June 2023

These instructions are for clincher tyres, which use an inner tube inside the tyre to hold air.

Tools Needed

Step 1

Remove the wheel

Remove the wheel with the tyre that needs replacing. If you’ve got a quick-release skewer, undo the lever and remove the wheel from the bike. You may also need to release your brake calliper (by operating the small lever at the top) to get your tyre through the brake.

If you have a disc brake bike with thru-axles, simply undo the axle (you may need an Allen key) and remove the wheel.

Step 2

Remove the air from the tyre

Once removed, remove the air from the tyre. With the most common valve type - Presta - that’s by unscrewing the top of the valve and pushing it down. If you have a Schrader (car) type valve, depress the centre section.

Step 3

Insert a tyre lever

Insert one of the tyre levers in between the bead of the tyre and the wheel rim and hook it underneath the bead. Once in place, pull it back towards the spokes and try to hook it behind one of them. It’s a good idea to do this on the opposite side of the wheel to the valve as it’ll be easier.

Step 4

Insert second tyre lever

Insert a second tyre lever underneath the bead of the tyre, positioning it fairly close to the first lever. You should now be able to use it to pull some tyre bead over the rim, though sometimes you might need to pull down both levers together to get this process started.

Step 5

Remove the tyre from the rim on one side

Continue to work your way around the wheel, pulling the bead over the rim with the lever until enough of the tyre is loose to be able to do it by hand. Alternatively, you can carefully slide the lever around the rim, taking care not to damage the inner tube.

Step 6

Remove the inner tube

Now that you’ve got half of the tyre off the rim, you need to remove the inner tube. Starting on the opposite side of the wheel from the valve, carefully pull the tube out until you get to the valve. Unscrew the retaining nut and pull the valve from the wheel.

Step 7

Remove the tyre

Now the tube is out of the way, remove the tyre. Push it off the rim bed and remove it from the wheel.

Step 8

Check the rim

Before fitting your new tyre, check the surface of the rim bed. All of the spoke holes should be covered by rim tape and there shouldn’t be any material defects which could cause a puncture in the future.

Step 9

Check the direction of rotation on the new tyre

Grab your new tyre and get ready to start fitting it, but before you do, check the sidewall to see if there are any marks indicating the direction of rotation. Ensure you correctly orientate the tyre so the arrow will be pointing in the direction of travel when the wheel is attached to the bike.

Step 10

Fit one side of the tyre bead

Insert one side of the tyre bead into the rim bed and start working your way around until the whole side has been fitted.

Step 11

Insert the inner tube

Next, pick up the inner tube and inflate it slightly to give it a little shape. Then insert the inner tube’s valve through the hole in the rim and start fitting the inner tube into the open side of the tyre.

Step 12

Fit the other side of the tyre

Starting at the valve, work around the tyre tucking in the remaining side of the tyre bead over the rim. If the final section is tough, go around the tyre squeezing both walls together so that they sit in the middle of the rim bed. This should create enough slack to easily push that final section over the rim.

Top Tip

Sometimes a tight tyre simply won’t budge and you just can’t get it over the rim. Don’t worry as you can resort to using a tyre lever to pop the final section in place. Place the lever between the bead and the rim and gently lever it up over the rim. Take great care not to snag the inner tube as it could get pinched or torn.

Step 13

Check the tyre

Before inflating the tyre, check that the inner tube hasn’t become trapped between the bead of the tyre and bed of the rim. Go around pulling the bead of the tyre away from the sidewall of the rim to check. If the inner tube is trapped in any place, then gently wiggle the tyre off it.

Step 14

Inflate the tyre

Start to add some air though the valve. Stop at around 15psi to check for any pinches and wiggle the tyre if necessary to remove them. Pump it up to the maximum pressure indicated on the tyre’s sidewall to ensure that it’s properly seated on the rim, then adjust to your usual riding pressure. Once you’re happy, fit the wheel back onto your bike.

Related Content

Link to Manon Lloyd's 30-minute extended accelerations HIIT indoor cycling session
YouTube video kyifymSXvNk

Manon Lloyd's 30-minute extended accelerations HIIT indoor cycling session

This session features five 90-second VO2 max and threshold accelerations, just like if you're riding over small crests on an undulating road

Link to Short sweet spot efforts: 30-minute indoor cycling workout with Conor Dunne
YouTube video XsLU_l8irBA

Short sweet spot efforts: 30-minute indoor cycling workout with Conor Dunne

This 30-minute sweet spot HIIT session will work your zone 3 and zone 4 – perfect for improving your FTP power and aerobic fitness.

Link to Team time trial: 20-minute HIIT indoor cycling workout
YouTube video CVvL_gfGP6g

Team time trial: 20-minute HIIT indoor cycling workout

This HIIT spin bike workout replicates the varied intensities of a team time trial effort

Link to The full pyramid: 30-minute HIIT indoor cycling workout from GCN
YouTube video eNyVyngn0l8

The full pyramid: 30-minute HIIT indoor cycling workout from GCN

A 30-minute HIIT workout for developing anaerobic fitness, led by Manon Lloyd

Subscribe to the GCN Newsletter

Get the latest, most entertaining and best informed news, reviews, challenges, insights, analysis, competitions and offers - straight to your inbox