Remember that ride: the one where the sun was shining, there was a slight tailwind, and even the climbs felt like you were going downhill? Then remember that sudden hissing sound as you unwittingly rolled over the remains of a pint glass from the local pub?
For all those moments when your ride is brought to an abrupt halt (not to mention ruining your chances of a Strava KOM), this guide aims to give a short guide on changing your inner tube.
What you need
You will need the following three items:
• Tyre levers,
• A pump,
• A new inner tube.
An easy 10 step guide
STEP 1: Remove the wheel. If you have quick release wheels, this should be no problem, and even simpler if you have quick release brakes. Otherwise you will need to make sure you are carrying the right sized spanner and take care as you squeeze the tyre past the brake pads.
STEP 2: Remove the tyre. The aim is to lever your tyre over the rim on one side. But this can be easier said than done, depending on the depth of your rims and the tightness of your tyre fitting. If you have a tight-fitting tyre, as in my case, metal tyre levers may be preferable to plastic, although there is more risk of damaging the inner tube.
STEP 3: Remove the inner tube. With the tyre half-off, remove the dust cap and lock ring, and then extract the inner tube, valve last to avoid stretching it.
STEP 4: Find the puncture. Some skip this and the next few steps, but do so at your peril! By inflating the inner tube until it holds its shape and listening for the hissing sound, you should be able to locate the puncture. This will help you to check your tyre and rim to prevent further punctures.
STEP 5: Check the tyre. Hold the inner tube against the wheel, making sure the valve is in the correct place. Check the part of the tyre that corresponds with the puncture on the inner tube. (Note that there are two possible locations depending on the orientation of the original inner tube!) Then remove any debris that may cause further punctures.
STEP 6: Check the rim. Again, focus on the area where the puncture occurred, particularly looking for damage or spokes that may have been the original cause.
STEP 7: Put in the new inner tube. The reverse of removal (i.e. valve first), not forgetting the dust cap and lock ring. Make sure to tuck it inside the rim as neatly as you can to avoid pinches later on.
STEP 8: Put the tyre back on. Once again, this may prove difficult if your tyre is particularly tight. A technique that sometimes helps is to hold the tyre in place either side of the final section, whilst using a tyre lever to pop it over the rim. (Clearly this is easier with the help of a fellow rider or passer-by!)
STEP 9: Inflate the new inner tube. Before doing so, it is vitally important to check for pinches. Pull the tyre away from the rim all the way around and look to check that the inner tube is not caught between the two. (Otherwise the inner tube may explode on inflation, and leave your ears ringing as you wheel your bike home…)
STEP 10: Put the wheel back on, and you’re on your way!