Mission accomplished: I changed my first bike tire!! There’s probably a better way to do this (or at least explain it), but here’s how I did it.

– You’ll need the following: tire, tube, tire levers, air pump (If you’re just changing the tube you don’t need a new tire)

tire changing supplies

1. Remove wheel from bike. (I put my bike upside down to make it easier)

– You’ll either need to loosen bolts or use quick release lever, depending on your bike

– Carefully remove chain from gears when removing back wheel. Watch your fingers!

bike upside down remove wheel

bike wheel

2. Release air from tube. I just used the valve cap to push down the center of the valve, but I’m sure there’s probably a more technically correct way to do this.

remove air

3. Use tire levers to help remove tire from rim. Wedge first lever under tire to pop out edge- then attach to wheel spoke. Place a second tire lever under the part that’s pulled out from the rim, and run it along the edge of the entire tire. You should then be able to remove the tire from the rim.

tire levertire lever

use tire levers

4. Gently pull tube out of tire. Patch or replace with new tube if needed.

remove tube

5. Put tire back on wheel by putting one edge of tire back on rim, then use fingers or tire levers to push second edge back in place. (Honestly, this was the hardest part for me)

put tire on

6. Re-inflate tube slowly, watching that the tube isn’t being pinched under the edge of the tire. Use a pump that will actually work, not one like this.

inflate tire

7. Put wheel back on bike.

new tire

Look how smooth that tire is!!

8. Ride like the wind.

I only have one new tire so far, so I put it on the back wheel so I could use it with my indoor trainer! The original tire was so knobby that it wouldn’t work on the trainer- rubber would go flying and it was super, super, super loud.

I’m so excited to finally be able to use it! (It’s still pretty loud but that’s ok.)

DSCN1633

One step closer to a tri-ready bike! Next up- another tire. Then pedals!

I went to a bike maintenance clinic last year after I realized too late that I didn’t know anything about fixing a bike or how anything on a bike worked. I took notes but of course I lost them. I’m keeping an eye out for another clinic so I can get a refresher. I highly recommend learning basic bike maintenance- you never know when you’ll need to use it. (Like in the middle of a triathlon).

Any tire-changing tips?