How to Change a Bike Tire

thomas and tire

Thomas blew out a tube on our last biking trip. What a great opportunity to teach him how to change a bike tire. I’m certainly not an expert, but trust me – it gets easier and faster with each change.

First you need to remove the wheel from the bike frame. This, like so many things in life, required lube. Thomas grabbed the WD-40.


I highly recommend unlatching the brakes first (I always forget this step). The wheel won’t slide out between the brake pads without first unhooking them. If you have to remove the back wheel, get ready to get a little greasy. You have to remove the chain from the gears.

Once you have the wheel off, you need to remove the tire. They make these special tools that you shove between the rim and the tire. Pop off the tire and the tube. It’s a good idea to inspect the actual tire because you can usually find a thorn or rock or piece of metal that punctured the tube. If you put in a new tube without removing the offending item, the second tube will puncture as well. I have never done that.

Inflate the new tube just enough. I still use trial and error here. Shove it in the tire and put it back on the wheel. This part either goes remarkable well or takes forever and the kids learn all sorts of new and creative language. That nifty little tool comes in handy here too.

Put the wheel back on the frame. You probably want to really take a look at how the frame and wheel go together before you remove the wheel. Memorize how the chain fits back on too. I’m just sayin’. Make sure the wheel is tightened. Hook the brakes back up. Fully inflate the tube.

I always like to do a final check. Make sure the brakes work, kick the tire, make sure the wheel isn’t going to fall off.

It took me forever to change my first tire and it wasn’t a pretty sight. But really, it’s easy and if I can do it, so can you and so can your kid. Thomas can’t do it on his own quite yet, but someday soon he will be able to change a bike tire and maybe even a tire on the car….