How to Change a Mountain Bike Tire
It is inevitable that at some point you will need to change your mountain bike. You may get a flat tire from wear and tear or from punctures. There are various ways to fix a damaged tire. One of them is to change the bike tire.
You analyze where the damage is and its extent before replacing or mending it. When you know how to change a mountain bike tire, you will be able to fix a puncture whether you are on the trail or the driveway within a short time.
So what do you need to change a mountain bike tire? You will need a pump, Allen wrench, tire levers and a new tube
Below is a step to step guide on how to change a mountain bike rear tire.
- Turn your bike upside down so that the seat and handlebars are on the ground and the wheels are in the air. Rotate the pedal to ensure that both wheels run freely. If they do not, undo the rear wheel brakes.
- Remove the wheel from the bike. Once the brakes are undone, pull out the cable from the brakes to open up the pads and give room for the wheel to come out. The tire is mounted to the axle by two nuts. Using an Allen wrench to loosen the bolts and remove the wheel.
- Disengage the tire from the rim. To do so, insert one tire lever between the rim and the wall of the tire. Gently, lift the tire over the rim using the lever and let the tire rest in front of the rim and hook it to a spoke to keep it steady. Now, insert the other lever about two inches from the first. Again, use the lever to pull the tire over the rim. Once the bead is loose enough to slide off, pull the tube out.
- Inspect the tire and the inside of the rim. Feel around the tire tube and the inside of the rim to ensure there is nothing that could cause damage in future. Often, debris and things such as nails, thorns, a spoke that sticks out can hide inside the rim and cause further damage even after repairing or replacing a tube.
- Clean both the rim and the tire thoroughly. Once the tire is clean, you will easily tell where a tear on the tube is and remove any remaining debris on the rim.
- Replace the tire. Start by inflating the new tire just enough to give it a circular shape. To insert it back to the rim, start at the valve stem. Put the valve through the hole in the rim. Next insert the tube in the rim. You can use your bare hands to replace the tire. However, if it is too tight, use the levers. Be careful when using the levers to not pinch or poke the tube.
- Iinspect the tube carefully to ensure that it is well fitted. Feel round the rim to ensure that the tire is not bent or folding.
- Use the pump to inflate the tire to recommended pressure.
- Mount the tire back to the frame. Screw the nuts backs accordingly. Reconnect the brake cables and the chains. Ensure that the brake pads are properly installed and centered.
- Test the bike. Run the pedal clockwise and then anticlockwise to ensure that it is running appropriately. Tighten loosen the brakes to ensure they are in place too.
Changing the front tire in a mountain bike
Usually, changing the front tire is way easier than changing the rear tire. This is because, the front tire is independent unlike the rear tire which is connected to the brake pedals and chain.
For the front wheel, all you need is to dismount the wheel from the frame. If your mountain bike has a lever, use your fingers to push the lever from the bike frame. If your bike has nuts, use the Allen wrench to loosen the nuts holding the wheel axle to the frame. Once the wheel is out, follow steps 3-5 above. To replace the tire back to the wheel frame, secure the nuts back to fasten the wheel to the frame. As with the rear tire, inflate the tire to the appropriate pressure.
Rear tires require more time and skill to replace in comparison to front tires. With a few hand tools you will be able to replace the tires of your wheel anywhere. While tear and wear may cause a tire to go flat, clogging from debris can cause the tire to puncture too. It is recommended that you replace your tire for every 1000 miles covered. Replacing and repairing a mountain bike tire is a skill that every cyclist should have before hitting the road. You never know when a flat tire will come knocking.