Change a Flat Tire

by Joanne on October 1, 2013

Bicycle Repair: How To Change a Flat Tire

Garmin Edge 800 Cycling Computer

Garmin Edge 800 Cycling Computer

This article came to my email from They must know that I won’t venture out on my bike without Ted. I’ve had so many flat tires with no clue how to change the thing.  If it wasn’t for Ted, I’d still be out there roaming the streets, walking my bike home.  So read on friends and if you have anything to add, please comment.

Changing the Tire on your Bike:

Regardless of whether you are a mountain biker or road cyclist, chances are good that if you have logged some hours in the saddle you have probably experienced a flat tire. Not having the right tools for the job can make this a long, drawn out experience that you would likely wish to forget. However, if you are prepared and have what you need when the time comes, you can be back up and riding in no time.

Here’s a basic list of what you’ll need.

• Spare tube (might actually want to carry two on you at all times)

• Tire Levers

• Pump

Now that you have the right tools, here is a step-by-step guide for changing out the tube.

1) Turn the bike upside down so that the handlebars and seat are resting on the ground and remove the wheel that has the flat.

2) Insert one of the tire levers between the wheel rim and the rubber rim of the tire and pry the lever back so that the hook end of the lever attaches to one of your spokes.

3) Insert a second tire lever similarly a few inches away from the first lever and pry it back as well so that the hook attaches to a spoke. At this point you should have a section of the rubber rim of the tire free of the wheel.

4) Insert a third tire lever a few inches away from the second, and pry it back again. As you do this, the rubber rim of the tire should begin to become free from the wheel. As this happens, begin to slide the tire lever around the wheel to completely free one side of the rubber rim of the tire.

5) Once one side of the rubber rim of the tire is completely free of the wheel, you can remove the tube from inside the tire.

6) Inspect both the inside and outside of the rubber tire for thorns, nails, staples, or anything that might have caused the flat and remove them.

7) Using your pump, slightly inflate the new tube. This will help you insert the new tube into the tire, as well as help prevent any pinches that can occur when fully inflating the tube.

8) Insert your new tube into the tire by first threading the air valve through the wheel.

9) Using your thumbs, push the rubber tire rim back into place within the wheel rim. Use a tire lever or two to finish the job.

10) Pump the new tube up to your desired PSI and replace the wheel on the bike, securing it tightly – and off you go!

Having the right tools can make changing a flat tire on the road or trail a breeze! is an excellent place to get all the tools you need for this simple repair and more! In addition to a great selection of bicycle gear, TriVillage also offers 10% off all orders over $100 with code: ORDERS100-10, and free shipping over 75!



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  • At 2013.10.01 13:34, Lori said:

    I am an expert on changing tires LOL! A couple years ago I had something like a dozen flats in a season. I got good at changing. Now I bought gator skins and they have been wonderful. Only 1 flat in 2100 miles of riding.

    • At 2013.10.01 13:36, Joanne said:

      Thank you. I’m looking up gator skins for sure. I hate being so helpless.

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