With every small or large bike ride, it can happen that the bicycle tire must be changed. To get to the tube or to change the jacket.

In order to be as well prepared as possible for such situations, if there is no workshop nearby, you will learn here in a short guide the procedure of a bicycle tire change.

More Tips And Tricks

Do you have a flat tire? Then read here how to mend a bicycle tube. If you want to know how to properly install and remove a bicycle tire, then watch the video tutorial about it.

Disassembly Of Wheels And Bicycle Tires

Rubber (caoutchouc) and fabric layers cover the bicycle tire (carcass). This sits on the rim. Most bikes have what are called “clincher” tires, which have two wires inside the tire. This bead is pulled over the rim. Hooks hold the clincher tire inside the rim.

Cross-section of a clincher tire and hook rim

Plastic tire levers are used to pull the clincher tires over the hooks of the rim.


To remove the tires, the wheel should be placed in an assembly stand. If not possible, then put the wheel on the side away from the chain to avoid damaging the rear derailleur. The bike can also be placed upside down – the brake levers, bell or light on the handlebars should not be bent in the process. With disc brakes with hydraulics, air can get into the system if the wheel is upside down!

For wheels without quick release, a nut must be loosened. Use grease to maintain the axle thread and prevent rust.

Change Bicycle Tire – Instructions

First, the wheel to be changed must be dismounted, so that you can work with the wheel sensibly. If the bike is one with a quick release, the disassembly is done quickly. If there is a hub lock, it must first be completely removed. If the wheel is also fastened with screws, a size 15 wrench is usually needed to remove them. In general, it is advisable with bicycles and their accessories to buy products only after a price comparison, because prices can fluctuate seasonally. Especially in autumn, most models are significantly reduced.

Hub with fixing screws, these are opened and closed with a 14 or 15 mm open-end wrench.
Another common model of the hub screw. Here a hexagonal wrench is needed to open.

Before finally changing the bicycle tire, the entire air must first be let out of the bicycle tire. Alternatively, it may also be sufficient to open the brake. Road bike brakes often have a lever on the brake. With V-brakes, the brake cable can be unhooked.

The road bike brake Shimano 105 has a lever to open and close the brake.
The V-brakes can be opened easily. Squeeze the brake and pull the brake cable out of the bracket. Now the brake flanks fold down on the left and right.

Now press the bicycle tire from the rim to better reach with a so-called tire lever underneath the tire and then lever it over the rim. To do this, take a second tire lever and apply it in the same way, while the first is held in a fixed position. If such a tire lever is not available, any flat object can be used for this purpose, but you should be careful not to use anything that could damage the bicycle tube or rim.

tire levers
The tire levers can be hooked into the spokes. This allows you to attach a second tire lever. You can now use it to completely remove the tire.

Then lift the bicycle tire over the rim of the wheel and inspect it for foreign objects that may need to be removed. Furthermore, the rim tape must also be checked. If it is no longer in the correct position or damaged, it must be adjusted or replaced completely. The bicycle tube is also checked for damage and, if necessary, patched (instructions for mending bicycle tires) or replaced. Instructions are included with the usual patching tool.

Remember to assemble the valve completely, as shown here in the picture.

Bicycle Tire Assembly


To align the tire and tube perfectly, the valve of the tube should sit at the same height as the logo and size indication on the tire. So you find the valve on the tire faster.

Make sure that the valve is at a 90° angle to the rim. A crooked valve can otherwise tear off and lead to a puncture.

Use only your hands and, if necessary, plastic tire levers to mount the tube and tire. Screws on the valve are tightened by hand.

  1. Now, to remount the bicycle tire, slightly inflate the bicycle tube and pull it into the tire. Take the wheel in front of you, with the valve hole of the rim facing up.
  2. When mounting the tire, pay attention to the direction of the arrows on the tire sidewall. The arrows indicate the direction of rotation of the tire. Later, mount the wheels so that the arrows point in the direction of travel. Now insert the tube into the tire casing.
  3. Check the rim tape on the rim. There should be a textile or plastic band inside the rim. This prevents the tube from being pressed into the rim. The sharp screws and bumps inside the rim could damage the tube.
  4. Last but not least, the sleeve must be pulled over the rim so that it lies firmly inside the hooked rim. This will require some effort. A little easier is pulling over by kneading the jacket and use of the tire lever.
  5. If the tube is now completely in the jacket, this can be further inflated. One should always note how the tube is positioned in the jacket. If the tube is fully inflated again, the wheel can now be reattached.
  6. When inflating the hose, it can happen that bumps appear on the tire. In this case, the air must be let out of the tube. The tire is not yet seated in the tire at this point, lift the casing with a tire lever and press the tube further into the casing.

That was it, now nothing stands in the way of a bike ride outdoors, you do something good for your health and can avoid the trip to a workshop if necessary! Changing bicycle tires can really anyone, even if it sounds a bit complicated in this description. If you have any tips on the subject of “changing bicycle tires”, let us know.

Mounting Difficult Tires

Even if the tire size and rim match, it can happen that the clincher tire is difficult to mount. Other tires are child’s play to mount. Schwalbe Marathon Plus is a common example of sluggish bicycle tires. Even with a lot of force, it can happen that the tire slips out on one side while you try from the other side to get the wire over the rim.

In these cases, you should use cable ties. With these, you secure the part of the tire that is already on the rim. If you now try to mount more parts of the tire, the tire will not slip down from the other side.

Inflate The Bicycle Tire

Inflating the bicycle tire should be as easy as can be. Nevertheless, problems can occur – besides, there is the question of how much air pressure is good for the tire. Therefore, at this point on the one hand a troubleshooting FAQ and a guide to the correct air pressure for each bike – from a road bike to MTB.

Inflate Tires – Solutions To Problems

  • Does the pump fit the valve of the bicycle tube? There are three different valve types in circulation – but only two different valve sleeves, as far as pumps are concerned. Most new pumps from the bike store have both bushings, which should be able to inflate any tire. A graphic on this and more you can find here with us: Bicycle tube – test and guide.
  • Are the tube and valve tight? If the air quickly escapes from the tube, there may already be a hole in the tube – or the valve is not completely screwed shut. If the valve is tight, you should examine the hose. Either you can already hear where the hole must be and feel it with your finger. Or, what is safer, you dip the inflated hose into a basin with water. Air bubbles should rise from the hole you are looking for.
  • If you inflate your bike at the gas station (which is possible if your tube has a car valve or you have a car valve adapter), inflate the tire only in short bursts and then check if the tire has enough air pressure. Automatic gas station pumps have an enormously high air pressure, which can cause bicycle tires to burst.

Bicycle Tire Inflation Pressure – Guide

The question of the correct air pressure depends on the bicycle tire (and indirectly on the tube). Mostly there should be a pressure indication on the bicycle tire, with minimum and maximum value. But even without a pressure specification, inflating the tire with the bicycle pump is safe. The tire should be firm after inflation, but can still be pressed in by hand with a little force. If you have too little air pressure, you quickly notice when you test drive the wheel briefly. Alternatively, you can also just press with a little body weight on the handlebars or the saddle. If the tire deforms so much at the bottom that it wears out, you definitely need more air pressure.

But what does the air pressure actually mean for the riding experience? Is more always better? Generally speaking:

  • High air pressure provides – as a rule – for better rolling. The tire runs more smoothly and with less friction loss.
  • Lower air pressure causes the tire to be more elastic and softer, thus adapting better to the unevenness of the ground and absorbing shocks. This feels better for the driver.

But in fact, it is not always the case that the high air pressure makes you go faster. A hard tire with full air pressure is suitable for well-paved roads. On paths with many bumps, such as forest paths or MTB trails, you may ride with low air pressure not only smoother but also faster.

That’s why road bikes have thin tires that are filled with high air pressure, while MTBs use thick tires that can be ridden with less air pressure. Tubeless tires also require less air pressure to exhibit a rideable tire shape because of their construction.

Bicycle Tire Air Pressure – Typical Air Pressure Values, Bar, And PSI.

Air pressure on bicycles, for German tires, is usually given in a bar. Sometimes, however, the standard American currency for air pressure, PSI (pound per square inch), is also found. Rule of thumb for converting from bar to PSI: 1 bar equals almost 15 PSI.

pro series
Seen here as an example: Air pressure should be at least 2 bar (or 30 PSI) and no more than 6 bar (90 PSI).

More Tips for Mounting

Often a few means can facilitate the assembly and increase the longevity of the bicycle tire.

For mounting, it is recommended to moisten the bicycle tire with a little soapy water. The mounting paste is also suitable here. This makes it easier to pull the tire over the flanks of the rim.


Why does a Bicycle Tire Wobble?

Sometimes a bicycle tire will eject because it does not sit evenly on the rim. To fix the bicycle tire optimally, you may need some mounting paste, also known as mounting fluid. These tools are also produced by well-known manufacturers such as Schwalbe or Shimano. Possibly, however, the egg is not on the tire, but on the wheel itself. In this case, you get help in our guide to wheel and spoke tools.

Bicycle Tires: How Much Bar?

Each bicycle tire should be accompanied by an indication of how many bars may be pumped into the tube! This should also be apparent on the tire casing. There is always a minimum and a maximum specification. Whether you have the right number of bars in the tire, you will find out by using a floor pump with a barometer. If you want to be more precise: For road bikes, there is the rule of thumb weight: 10. That is, you take your own body weight divided by 10 and convert that into the corresponding bar. A bodyweight of 80kg corresponds to 8 bar. Of course, this only applies to road bike tires that can withstand such high air pressure. Otherwise: try it out!

How to Inflate Bicycle Tires?

To inflate a bicycle tire, you need a suitable pump. There are different bicycle valves. If the valve does not fit the pump, you will not be able to inflate the tire. Dunlop valves are the most common in Germany. But there are also – especially on older bikes or bikes from abroad – Sclaverand valves and Schrader valves. Schrader valves are also known as car valves and have the advantage that they can be inflated with the air pump at the gas station – the valves are namely identical to the one on the car tire. In other cases, a proper floor pump with different attachment heads is helpful if you are unsure. Read more in our bicycle pump guide.

What does it Cost to Change Bicycle Tires?

If you have the bicycle tire changed by a bicycle mechanic, it will probably cost around 20 euros – but it can also be more expensive. This includes the price of a new tube of 4 to 7 euros. But it also makes sense to use the opportunity to put on a new tire – of course, you still have to add the price for it. You can find a price comparison of different tires from well-known manufacturers in our overview of bicycle tires. Changing a bicycle tire is actually a fairly easy task, which you can do even as a complete layman with our instructions. All you need is a set of tire levers.

How to Change a Bicycle Tire?

You can find detailed instructions on how to change a bicycle tire here: Bicycle tire change. A set of tire levers can be very helpful. Otherwise, you really only need your hands.