We’d all like to think that the Gods will be on our side every time we go out for a ride, whether it’s a training ride or an event, but at some point the dreaded puncture is going to happen. It’s pretty much inevitable. So, it’s best to be prepared and know that you can swiftly and effectively deal with the problem when it arises.
You could go for the option of trying to patch up a puncture, but in most instances it’s quicker and easier to replace the inner tube.
What do you need
2 x tyre lever
1 x pump
1 x new inner tube
What to do
Remove the wheel
First things first, remove the wheel by pulling the lever outwards and unscrewing the nut on the other side. The wheel should then slide out from between the forks. It’s definitely easier for the front wheel, but with the rear wheel you need to ensure you keep the chain clear of the cogs.
Access the inner tube
Once the wheel has been removed from bike you need to deflate the tyre. Remove the dust cap and lock ring. Unscrew and then press the tip of the valve to release the air from the inner tube. Then loosen the tyre - pinch the tyre between your fingers and pull the tyre beads (the rounded edge where the tyre contacts the rim) to the centre of the rim. Get a tyre lever aligned with a spoke and scoop the tyre lever under the bead. Once engaged, push down on the lever to lift the tyre over the rim. You should be able to slide the lever all the way round the tyre to completely remove the bead from the rim. You only need to remove one side of the tyre, you can leave the other side in place.
Remove the valve of the inner tube from the valve hole and pull the inner tube completely out of the tyre.
Check the tyre
Have a look at the outside of the tyre and run your finger along the inside to check for the cause of the puncture. Get rid of any sharp objects you find to prevent future punctures. If you find a cut or hole in your tyre this might mean that it needs replacing.
Installing new inner tube
Remove the dust cap and lock ring and unscrew the valve tip on the new inner tube and Use the pump to inflate the inner tube a bit so that it holds its shape. Place the valve of the new tube into the valve hole and screw on the lock ring.
Sit the new inner tube into the tyre by gradually feeding it into the tyre carcass and ensuring it’s not twisted. Replace the bead (edge) of the tyre onto the rim. Use your hands initially, pushing the tube inside as you go. You may need to use a tyre lever as you get to the last section. Patience is needed as it can be a little reluctant towards the end. Don’t be over zealous with the tyre lever as it puncture the inner tube. Once the bead is over rim, check both sides of the tyre to ensure no inner tube is poking out.
Put the wheel back on
Refit the wheel onto your bike. Remember to re-connect your brakes.
Inflate the new inner tube
Inflate the tyre to the recommended pressure (found on the tyre sidewall) and make sure the tyre bead looks correct. If any bulges appear around the edge of the tyre and rim then immediately deflate and re-adjust tyre the bead position.
From here you should be good to go! And remember, practice makes perfect, but we hope you don’t have to practice to often!
If you’re a more visual learner, Halfords have a five minute video on replacing an inner tube, which you may find helpful.