Punctures are a part of cycling and it pays to be prepared with the equipment and knowledge needed to repair tyres and get back in the saddle. Changing the tyre is a relatively simple process. Nevertheless it is important to understand how to treat different types of punctures.
Follow the five stages outlined to remove and replace a bike tyre. Replacement parts are available on eBay including tyres, inner tubes and puncture repair kits.
The most common reason to change a bike tyre is because of a puncture, either in the inner tube or a severe one to the tyre itself. However, tyres do wear out over time and you will need to replace yours from time to time.
Some riders also choose to upgrade their tyres to improve their ride or to adapt their bike for a different surface.
Tyres may need replacing if they have not been used for a long time as they can develop dry rot which appears as cracks in the tyre sidewall. Dry rot must not be ignored, because even though the tyres will pump up normally and hold air, they are still dangerous and could rip away from the rim when cornering.
These punctures are caused by riding over a sharp object such as slivers of broken glass, nails and other sharp debris that is lying on the road surface. The sharp objects pierce through the tyre and into the tube.
Also known as a 'snake bite' because of the double puncture marks, this type of puncture is the result of the tube being pinched between the rim and a stone, or hitting against the pavement. This is often associated with low pressure in the tyre.
Some people call these 'slow punctures'. It is still possible to ride a bike with a slow leak, but it will not hold air well and will need to be pumped up more regularly. If the condition worsens the inner tube may need to be replaced since it can be difficult to locate the puncture in order to patch it.
If inner tubes are pumped up when they are not contained within a tyre, they are likely to pop. To avoid a blow out, only pump up an inner tube to its full pressure when it is held in by the tyre.
If the inner tube has only received a small cut or if the hole is very small, then it can be fixed by patching. This uses a puncture repair kit where the affected area is sanded down and cement is applied. When the cement is fully dried the patch can then be put on.
When done properly, patches repair the inner tube to a high standard. For larger punctures, or for slow punctures where the source of the puncture cannot be found, then the inner tube must be replaced. A puncture to the inner tube usually does not require the replacement of the tyre.
To change a tyre you will need a few simple pieces of inexpensive equipment:
These help to remove the tyre from the rim. They are usually sold in packs of two or three which will be sufficient. They are usually now made out of plastic and are light and portable enough to carry with you on the road.
It is a good idea to have two pumps, a larger one kept at home and a smaller one to carry on the bike.
Tyres have two types of valves, Schrader and Presta. It is important to know the type of valve on your tyres. Most pumps will work with both types of valves or have two connectors.
Pumps with an inbuilt pressure gauge are also available.
* Extra Tube and Patch Kit
Punctures are repaired by either patching the inner tube or by replacing it; therefore spares should be carried on the bike when riding. An extra tube and a patch kit are light in weight and will make things a lot easier if a puncture occurs.
These items are all available to buy on eBay. The search feature is found on every page and the Sporting Goods portal is under the Sports & Leisure heading. There is a Cycling section and a Cycling Accessories sub-section.
How to Change a Tyre
There are several different stages to changing a tyre correctly. Don't worry if you get one of the stages wrong as you can easily repeat it.
Try to practice changing your tyres at home before you find yourself having to do it for real on the roadside or off road.
These five stages explain in detail how to change a bike tyre. However, all bikes, wheels and tyres are different so you should get to know your bike well.
1. Take the Wheel Off the Bike
To remove a rear wheel, you will need to lift the chain off first.
To remove the wheel from the rest of the bike, either:
* Loosen the wheel nuts or
* Use the quick release mechanism.
The wheel should then slide out. You may need to loosen the brakes to allow enough space.
2. Take the Tyre Off the Wheel
* Wedge a tyre lever in between the rim and the tyre
* Lever it upwards to pull the tyre away from the rim.
* Hook the end of the lever on to the spoke and repeat the process with another lever, two spokes further along.
* Repeat a third time and the middle lever should fall out.
* Repeat until the tyre is loose enough for you to run the lever easily around the inside rim of the rest of the tyre.
Some tyres will come off more easily than others, even if they are technically the same size. This should not be a cause for concern but may require more force. The plastic levers may not always be strong enough and so it may help to use something metal, perhaps something as simple as a teaspoon.
When one side of the tyre has been removed all around the wheel, the inner tube can be taken out.
3. Check for Debris
If a puncture was due to a sharp object on the road surface then it is essential that the tyre is thoroughly checked and the debris removed. After a small puncture the tyre is not usually damaged, but if the debris remains lodged in the tyre it will be at risk of puncturing a new inner tube.
If the inner tube is being replaced then it can be discarded.
If you planning to repair the inner tube, inspect it to find the puncture and then it can be patched.
4. Replace the Inner Tube
The new tube should be taken and placed in the tyre, ensuring that it is flat all the way around.
Do not try to place your new inner tube on the wheel; put it in the tyre. Sometimes it is easier to put a little air into the inner tube so that it sits more easily in the tyre. Do not fully inflate your inner tube until the tyre is fully back on the wheel.
* The tyre and tube should be placed back on the wheel together.
* Take care not to jam the inner tube against the rim as you tuck in the first rim of the tyre.
* Line up the valve stem with the hole on the wheel, but make sure that it is straight.
* Then tuck in the second rim of the tyre.
Tucking in the second tyre rim will become tougher as you progress around the wheel. You may need to finish it off with the tyre levers to fit the tyre fully back on to the wheel.
5. Replace the Wheel and Pump Up the Tyre
When the tyre is back on the wheel, spin it and checked that it is 'seated'. This means that it is even on the rim all the way round the wheel.
You can then inflate your tyres, though it is usually better for the wheel to be replaced back on to the bike frame first. If you have quick release brakes, it is better for the tyre to be inflated before the wheel is replaced.
Whilst it is being inflated it is important that it inflates consistently without the tube being pinched or twisted. If the tube is pinched or twisted, it will need to be deflated, taken out and Stage Four repeated.
When the wheel is put back on the bike frame, with the brakes and the chain reattached, it needs to be test ridden to ensure that the wheel is aligned and turning properly.
How to Prevent Punctures
Some punctures are unavoidable but riders can help to reduce the likelihood of punctures. A good riding position should be adopted; it is advisable to ride a bit further out on the road, away from gutters where sharp debris can gather. This also allows bike riders to be more visible to other road users.
To successfully change a tyre, you need to be prepared with the right equipment and knowledge, as well as the confidence that comes from practice.
It is important that you know your bike well. The process of changing a tyre will differ slightly with different types of tyres and bikes, including the method of removing the wheel from the frame and the type of valve on the tyre.
Buyers can purchase their spare parts on eBay where sellers offer a wide range of cycling tools. It also protects customers with secure payment and the Buyer Protection Program.
Knowing how to change a tyre is essential for cyclists everywhere as punctures are inevitable. With the know-how and all-important equipment available on eBay, you will be able to enjoy being on your bike for longer.