How To Change A Mountain Bike Tire: A Step-by-Step Guide
It may sound like a difficult task to replace the tire on your mountain bike by yourself, but it is not at all. Even if you are not technically inclined or tech-savvy, you can replace the tire all by yourself. There are only a few steps to follow when it is time to replace a tire on a mountain bike.
There are also different reasons for changing the tire of your mountain bike that may include a busted or slashed tire. You may even want to change over from off-road to road tires so you can ride comfortably on the road. But let us have a look at what the steps are for how to change a mountain bike tire.
Taking the Tire Off the Mountain Bike
Try to Use Your Bare Hands Without the Help of a Tire Lever
- Remove the valve.
- Let the air out.
- Take the lock nut off the valve.
- Loosen the bead of the tire by using your thumbs to break the bead.
- Break the bead of the rims loose from the rim where it is stuck.
- Push the tire toward the middle of the rim. Do that all the way around the rim and proceed with the next step.
- When the one side of the tire is in the middle of the rim the whole way around, proceed to the next step.
- Pull the tire off to one side, always to the non-disc side of the wheel.
- Now pull the tire up and push the tire with the thumb of the other hand towards the side of the rim.
- Then try to push the outside beat of the tire over the side of the rim.
- As soon as you get a small part of the tire pushed over the outside edge, the rest of the tire will come off easily all around.
With a Tire Lever
If you struggle to get the tire off from the rim with the bare hands, you may use some plastic tire levers. Do not use metal tire levers, especially not when removing a tire from a carbon rim or any soft metal rim. The metal tire levers will easily damage the rim permanently, so always use plastic tire levers to remove the tire.
- Push the tire lever lightly in the gap between the tire and the rim.
- If you push the lever in too far, you may pinch the inner tube if it is not a tubeless tire.
- And be careful not to pinch the bead!
- As soon as you have the lever between the rim and the tire, bend the tire lever down towards the floor.
- Then hook the tire lever onto a spoke with the little hook on the tire lever as soon as you can.
- Now put in another plastic tire lever in the same way as the first, about four to five inches away.
- Make sure you push the tire lever under the bead and lift the tire by bending the tire lever towards the floor again.
- Once you have a length of the tire lifted over the outside edge of the rim, the whole tire should come off.
- You can work all the way around the rim to remove the one side of the tire off from the rim now.
Remove the Tube
With the one side of the tire removed, you should be able to remove the tube from the tire and the rim. Always start at the valve side when removing the tube from the rim. Once the tube is removed, you can now start with the other side of the tire.
Remove the Rest of the Tire from the Rim
- Again it would help if you went in the same direction you did with the first half of the tire to the opposite side of the disc.
- You need to push the backside of the tire that is still over the rim towards the outside edge of the rim.
- This should be a much easier task, and the whole tire should come off after a minor resistance.
What is the Bead of the Tire?
The bead of the tire is the outermost side of the tire that goes to the inside of the rim. That is the small edge of the tire that sits on the rim. The rim has a small slot or groove on the inside to the side of it. So when the tire is inflated, the bead of the tire sits in that groove.
Replace the Tire With a New One
- Make sure your rotational direction is correct.
- When you hold the rim, the disc should be on the left-hand side of the rim.
- Line the tire up with the valve hole.
- Just put the rim into the tire first.
- Now you can work one bead of the tire onto the rim first.
- You start at one side of the wheel and work your way around until you got most of the tire onto the rim. That is the first half of the tire only or the one bead of the tire.
- When you have most of the tire on, it will get a bit tight. Here you can use the tire lever to lift the last part over the rim.
- Or you can push the rest of the first bead down to the middle of the rim. This should allow some slag, and the rest of the tire should push over the edge.
- Now you can replace the tube if you are using a tube. Here you start with the valve side of the tube and work it under the tire onto the rim.
- Then you get the second bead onto the rim by working your way around, away from the valve, all the way around.
- Just be careful not to pinch the tube with the bead.
- If you use tubeless, put the sealant in as soon as you are nearly done.
- Put the last bit of the bead the same way on as the first bead.
And that is all there is to it. Happy tire changing.