How to change a bicycle tyre?

A bicycle tyre wears out over time. It is therefore necessary to replace them before they lose their grip and to avoid the risk of a puncture. Because with a worn bicycle tyre, you spend more time changing the inner tube than riding with your hair blowing in the wind!

Find out when and how to change your bike tyres with our tips. «Spoiler alert: if you’ve already changed an inner tube, you can almost disassemble a complete bike tyre!

How do you change a bicycle tyre? The steps to follow!

We’re not going to chicken out
How do you know if you need to change a tyre on your bike?

There are signs that don’t deceive:

You have a special puncture subscription.
You find that your bike lacks grip.
Your tyre is torn and punctured in places.
The studs on your mountain bike are as thick as a Breton cake.
When was the last time you changed the tyres on your bike?

Changing a tyre or a tube on your bike? That is the question

A common misnomer is that the terms «tyre», «wheel» and «bicycle inner tube» (CAA) are often confused. You often hear the wrong expression: «I have a flat tyre, I have to change it». However, these are three different mechanical parts.

If you have a puncture, change the inner tube. If you have repeated punctures, loss of grip and pronounced wear marks, change the tyre of your bike instead.

Have you had a shock and your wheel is spinning strangely? You need to have your wheel stripped!

How to check the wear of your bicycle tyres?

Regularly inspect the condition of :

the tread (the central strip in contact with the ground),
the sidewalls, looking for cracks and fissures,
the rubber. If you haven’t used your bike for a long time and it was stored in bad conditions, your tyre is all dry, and therefore more susceptible to punctures.

Some tyres have wear indicators. Handy!

When should you replace the tyres on your bike?

Bike tyres are wearing parts. They need to be replaced after a certain time and/or mileage. Some disciplines, such as mountain biking or gravel, wear them out more. The city is also a good place for wear and tear. Glass breakage, we cry out your name!

The average life of a tyre varies and depends on several factors (frequency of use, type of soil, brand, classic or puncture-proof model, etc.). For a more precise estimate, consult the manufacturer’s website and the product sheet for your tyres.

Good to know: Don’t just replace your tyres when they reach the end of their life. Change them according to the season, the type of ground or simply to gain in comfort and performance. Smooth tyres (slick or semi-slick) are less tiring than mountain bike tyres with large studs. Some tyres are also easier to mount because of their soft beads.

Can worn bicycle tyres be repaired?

No. A worn bicycle tyre loses grip and the wear increases the risk of a puncture. It is the inner tube that can be repaired with patches (self-adhesive patches or patches to be fitted).

How to choose a new bicycle tyre that is the right size and easy to install?

Inches, millimetres, ETRTO, not always easy to understand the differences, no?

The easiest way to choose a new bike tyre in the right size? Use the indications on the sides of your current tyres. If you really don’t understand anything, ask us.

To remove them more easily in the event of a puncture, prefer models with flexible beads.

The best way to choose a tyre is to use a puncture-proof tyre for the city or for your electric bike.

What tools should I use to replace a bicycle tyre?

This is what you need:

One or more tyre changers
A multi-tool, depending on how tight your wheel is
Gloves (recommended, but not required)
A pad shim if your bike has disc brakes (or a piece of thick cardboard)
A bicycle pump
A new tyre (better!)
An inner tube (new or in good condition, if you are reusing your current one)
A little elbow grease

Steps to take apart and change a worn bicycle tyre

While the tubetype is the most common type of mounting on bicycles, there is also a tubeless mounting. This assembly and the tools differ from the tubetype. This tutorial is for a tubeless system.

  1. Deflate the inner tube

    Put on your gloves and let’s go!

    To make it easier to remove a bike wheel and get it between the brake pads, deflate the inner tube by pressing on the valve. If your bike has disc brakes, go straight to the next step. The complete deflation can wait a few minutes!
  2. Remove the wheel from your bike

    For the front wheel, unscrew the nuts of your wheel by hand (quick release with lever), with a multifunction tool or a spanner depending on the type of tightening. For the rear wheel, the presence of the derailleur and the cassette requires a little extra handling to free the chain. Gently push back the derailleur and release the chain.

    Good to know: Does your bike have disc brakes? Place the shim or piece of thick cardboard between the brake pads. Why? If you accidentally press the brake, they will stick. With a spacer you don’t have to loosen them with a screwdriver!
  3. Remove the tyre from the rim

    Push the rigid edges of the tyre towards the inside of the rim. If necessary, use one or more tyre levers.

    Slide the first tyre lever under the bead and use it as a lever. In case of a stubborn tyre, position a second tyre lever about 10 cm away.

    Then push the tyre lever all the way around the wheel to completely remove the bead.

  4. Remove the inner tube from the wheel

    Before removing the whole tyre, remove the inner tube. Pull it out of the rim starting from the side opposite the valve. A small nut holds the Presta valves in place. Remember to unscrew it before removing the tube!

    Good to know : A tip? Kill two birds with one stone: take advantage of changing your bicycle tyre to check the condition of your inner tube and renew it if necessary.
  5. Inspect the rim base

    In a tube assembly, a rim strip is used to protect the AAC from the spoke heads and the inside of the rim of a bicycle wheel. This small strip can be made of plastic or adhesive fabric. Always check the condition of the rim tape. If it is worn or torn, change it at the same time as your tyre.
  6. Remove the entire tyre from the wheel

    Let your creativity run wild without being too abrupt. In other words: don’t force it like a brute. Slide the second side of the tyre off the rim by pulling it towards you, or pushing it away. Each to his own!
  7. Mount your new bicycle tyre in the correct direction of rotation

    There is a direction of rotation on many mountain bike, city and road tyres, but not all. In general, manufacturers (Michelin, Schwalbe, Continental, etc.) put an arrow on the sides of their models indicating the direction of rotation. By mounting the tyre in the correct direction, you can take full advantage of the tyre’s qualities.

    Once you have found the direction of the tyre, put one of the beads inside the rim and push it against the rim all the way around the wheel.

    A tip:
    «Check the pressure of your tyres at least once a month and more regularly if you ride a lot. Not only will you gain in comfort and speed, but you will also avoid premature tyre wear and reduce the risk of punctures!
  8. Install the bicycle tube

    Take the tube and inflate it slightly. Slide the valve into the hole in the rim and then the rest of the tube into your brand new bicycle tyre. Make sure it is well positioned, not twisted or bent.

    Before re-inflating, check that the tube is in the tyre and that it is not twisted. The valve should be straight in the hole.
  9. Put the complete tyre back on the wheel

The fateful moment has arrived…

Place the rod that was not yet installed in the rim, at the valve. Press it all the way around. If it sticks, it’s normal: some rods are stiffer than others. With your hands, push the edge of the tyre back into the rim.

To avoid damaging the tube (and even if it is tempting!), do not use your tyre levers.

Check that the tube is not pinched.

10. Put the tyre back on your bike, inflate it and… ride!

Place the front wheel on the fork or the rear wheel between the frame stays. Replace the clamping axle and screw the quick-release back on. For the rear wheel, place the cassette of your wheel between the lower and upper chain stays, push the derailleur back gently and slide the wheel on.

Inflate the inner tube completely when the wheel is back in place. To find out how much pressure to inflate your tube, look at the sidewalls of your tyres. A standard bicycle pump is fine, while a pump with a pressure gauge allows for more accurate inflation. Tip: Use a foot pump at home. It’s faster and less tiring!

Close the valve. Check that the wheels are fixed and that the brakes work well.

Well, that’s a problem. You can’t remove your tyre. And you don’t have the time, nor a spare tyre and the right accessories. For a quick, friendly and efficient repair, we have a solution for you…