How to change an inner tube

8 Step Guide to Change An Inner Tube

Knowing how to change an inner tube is a fundamental of cycling. However, changing an inner tube correctly is something lesser known. Changing an inner tube properly leads to few issues and needing to start all over again with a newly punctured tube.

This quick guide will give you the key pointers needed to get it done right.

1. First up, you'll need your wheel off the bike. If it's a quick release hub, then you're in luck and it's off in no time. However if it's bolts, don't fret, it just takes a little longer (and a spanner). Once undone you may need to release the brake (unless they are disc brakes) If it's the rear wheel, then you'll need to get the chain off too. 

2. Once off, let the air out! Whip off the valve cap and depress the valve core (if on a Schrader type valve). On a presta type valve, you can simply unscrew the valve head and press it down for the air to rush out. Nice and simple. As a side not some valves have locking nuts on them, if so go ahead and spin that bad boy off too.

3. Next up, bring in the tyre levers, of which I do mean tyre levers and not old spoons. Seriously, don't do it unless you're a pro at changing a tube and even then you're rolling the dice of creating a second puncture. Start with one lever under the tyre bead at the valve core side of the wheel, then a few inches along pop the other in. On three; pull both levers down to the spokes and voila you have the first few inches of tyre off the rim. Slide one of the tyre levers around the rim drawing the tyre over and fully off one side of the rim.

4. Out with the old, in with the new. At this stage it's time to get your old tube out of the seat of the tyre. With the new inner tube, you first need to check it is the correct size for your tyre and as a top tip, put some air in it. When I say 'some air' a few blasts of a hand or foot pump should be enough to get 'some shape' but very loosely. 

5. Valve first. Put the valve through the rim first and if it has a lock nut spin it on to hold things in place, else you can use the valve cap if you wish. Go around putting the tube under the tyre and once in it's time to get the side of the tyre back onto the rim.

6. Starting at the valve, use your hands to simply push some of the tyre on where it belongs. You can usually work around about 1/2 to 3/4 of the tyre back on this way with just finger power. At this point you'll need to use the levers to quite literally lever only a couple of inches at a time over until it's all back seated properly. It's best to hold one lever in place, levered away from the spokes to hold the tyre  from working its way back undone. 

7. Air time. Slowly put some shots of air into the tube, enough to create some good shape in the tube and there for for it to press up against the inside of the tyre. At this point you want to spin the wheel and look to see that the tyre sits nice and straight, if you see it bulging or 'blebbing' then quickly deflate the tube. You'll need to re-seat the tube back inside the tyre as what has happened is it has got caught in-between the tyre bead and the rim, this is bad bad bad. 

8. If it's all looking good and you're happy then it's a case of inflating to the manufacturers recommended pressure (wrote on the side of the tyre), on with the dust cap and get the wheel securely back on the bike (don't forget to re-attach the brake if required).

Done. Hopefully this helped with how to change an inner tube. Again a few of the important things to remember are to use proper tyre levers, put a little air in the tube before putting it in the tyre and always check the tyre spins straight before inflating the tube fully or riding the bike! 


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