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  #1  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:20 AM
Speaker for the Dead Speaker for the Dead is offline
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Would it be dumb to try to change my bicycle's tires?

The question is in the subject, but here's some background:

1. I'm a winter biker for years, and before I moved I lived very close to a local bike shop, so I never needed to worry about changing my own tires from regular to studded. Now I don't, so it would be way more convenient for me to know how to change my own tires.

2. I'm not a handyman at all. Skills I've acquired this year include "changing a fuse," "screwing things into walls," and "hanging pictures evenly."

3. My toolset is pretty limited.

Would it just be wiser to let the bike guys do it, or is it actually pretty simple?
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:23 AM
Rick Rick is offline
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It's actually very simple, but you need the right tool ( cheap)
Go to the bike shop pay them to do it and ask them to teach you and sell you a set of levers.
In 10 minutes you will know how and have the tools you need.
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Last edited by Rick; 12-22-2012 at 10:23 AM..
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:26 AM
running coach running coach is offline
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it's about the most simple thing you can do. All these years and you've never fixed a flat tire?

Mountain bike/cruiser/comfort bike or road bike?

You'll need:
pump-large floor pump for home, small hand pump for the road
two tire irons
Quik-stik If needed to put back tire on rim, will not pinch the tube.
Changing tube how-to

Last edited by running coach; 12-22-2012 at 10:27 AM..
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  #4  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:29 AM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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This seems like a skill you'd need if you got a flat in the middle of nowhere, or after hours when the bike shops are closed. Go ahead and get you some learnin'.
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  #5  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:29 AM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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My biggest problem was getting a kink in the inner tube. That create a pressure point and eventually a blow out. Usually on the road later and miles from home.

Poking the tube with a screwdriver as you lever the tire off was also frustrating. But, at least a leak shows up quickly and it can be patched. I guess today the bike shops have fancy levers? As a kid we always used a screwdriver from dad's toolbox.

Last edited by aceplace57; 12-22-2012 at 10:30 AM..
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  #6  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:32 AM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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I agree that it's wise to have someone knowledgeable show you and go over tips like keeping the valve stem in straight and not letting the tube get pinched. It's best to actually do it under the watchful eye of someone who's experienced. Like Rick says, it's fairly simple. However, I can see where some people who aren't particularly mechanically inclined (e.g. my sister) just won't want to do it.
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:33 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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three tire irons make it easier.
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:37 AM
running coach running coach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
My biggest problem was getting a kink in the inner tube. That create a pressure point and eventually a blow out. Usually on the road later and miles from home.
You avoid the kink by slightly inflating the tube before replacing the tire on the rim.

Tire irons have a rounded end to avoid puncturing the tube. The bigger problem is pinching the tube when levering the last bit of tire onto the rim.
This is mainly with road tires, most mt. bike tires are a loose enough fit that they can be removed and replaced by hand, no irons needed.
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:43 AM
scr4 scr4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
This is mainly with road tires, most mt. bike tires are a loose enough fit that they can be removed and replaced by hand, no irons needed.
You should never use tire levers to install a tire, even on road bikes. The levers (irons) are for removing the tire.

Also, after you install the tire, I recommend you check the gap between the tire and the rim to make sure the tube isn't pinched in there. Stick a finger (or tire lever) into the gap and run it all the way around, both sides.
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  #10  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:47 AM
running coach running coach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
You should never use tire levers to install a tire, even on road bikes. The levers (irons) are for removing the tire.

Also, after you install the tire, I recommend you check the gap between the tire and the rim to make sure the tube isn't pinched in there. Stick a finger (or tire lever) into the gap and run it all the way around, both sides.
I meant the removal, my poor phrasing. I use the Quik-stik I mentioned to replace the tire. (Road bike, very tight fit)
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  #11  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:52 AM
scruffycat scruffycat is offline
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To avoid pinching the tube as the last bit of tire goes on just make sure the last bit is by the valve. Then when you finish push the valve in and it should clear any pinch.
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  #12  
Old 12-22-2012, 01:00 PM
casdave casdave is offline
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Yup. get someone to show you how. Its not really something you can get from a book.

The wider your rims the easier it is, I do not use levers to put the tyres on, on narrow rims with narrow tyres you really cannot.

I found out the only way to get these extremely tight fitting tyres on is to try work some slack around the rim to one place and then pop the last bit on.
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  #13  
Old 12-22-2012, 01:11 PM
Speaker for the Dead Speaker for the Dead is offline
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Thanks, everyone! As I typed I was really worried I was going to get a long series of people saying "...watch it on YouTube, doofus." Good to know that I ought to ask for a tutorial. The place I buy from is great for personalised service, so that shouldn't be a problem.
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  #14  
Old 12-22-2012, 01:15 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is online now
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Studs? In bicycle tires?

Are you sure snow chains wouldn't be more convenient?
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  #15  
Old 12-22-2012, 01:18 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Studs? In bicycle tires?

Are you sure snow chains wouldn't be more convenient?
Studded tires.

Probably better if there are clearance issues.
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  #16  
Old 12-22-2012, 01:22 PM
Speaker for the Dead Speaker for the Dead is offline
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Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Studs? In bicycle tires?

Are you sure snow chains wouldn't be more convenient?
I've only ever ridden with studs, and that's all I've ever seen sold! They work just fine on snow and soft ice. Anything but solid sheets, which I'd be kind of dumb to bike across, anyway.
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  #17  
Old 12-22-2012, 01:24 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
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By the way, once you've learned to change the tire, you might as well get a portable pump and a spare tube and carry them with you, along with the tire levers. Then you'll never get stranded because of a flat tire. (IMHO the best portable pump available is the Topeak Road Morph G.)
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  #18  
Old 12-22-2012, 01:35 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
By the way, once you've learned to change the tire, you might as well get a portable pump and a spare tube and carry them with you, along with the tire levers. Then you'll never get stranded because of a flat tire. (IMHO the best portable pump available is the Topeak Road Morph G.)
Seconded on the pump, it's the one I carry. I get 50-75 flats a year(goatheads) and it's held up well for the past 18 months.
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  #19  
Old 12-22-2012, 03:28 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
By the way, once you've learned to change the tire, you might as well get a portable pump and a spare tube and carry them with you, along with the tire levers. Then you'll never get stranded because of a flat tire. (IMHO the best portable pump available is the Topeak Road Morph G.)
Thirded on the pump.
For a lever I personally love my Crank Brothers Speedier lever which both removes and installs tires without pinching the tube.
Very slick tool.
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Remember this motto to live by: Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather one should aim to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, glass of Scotch in the other, your body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO! Man, what a ride!"
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  #20  
Old 12-22-2012, 04:11 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
three tire irons make it easier.
They should be called "tire plastics" these days.

No need to go to bike shop. Just go to youtube. I'll bet there are more than a dozen videos showing you how to do this. Just be sure you don't pinch the tube and give yourself a flat.

Last edited by John Mace; 12-22-2012 at 04:12 PM..
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  #21  
Old 12-22-2012, 04:20 PM
standingwave standingwave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speaker for the Dead View Post
Thanks, everyone! As I typed I was really worried I was going to get a long series of people saying "...watch it on YouTube, doofus." Good to know that I ought to ask for a tutorial. The place I buy from is great for personalised service, so that shouldn't be a problem.
Another skill to pick up is to learn how to use a chain tool. One time I was mountain biking and I bashed my dérailleur on a rock, pretty much destroying it. With the chain tool, I was able to shorten the chain allowing me to bypass the useless dérailleur. I was pretty much limited to one gear but it beat the heck out of pushing it home.
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