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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newb here who hasn't changed a tire since the BMX many years ago.

I want to put some slicks with smaller inner tubes on my mountain bike for a while, then change back a couple of times before the slicks stay on for the winter.

Anyway, I have the Zinn book and understand the logic of changing a tire, but I was wondering if anyone has any helpful tips. I'd also like to know how long on average it takes you to change a tire (i.e. 10 minutes if you've done it a few times?).

Cheers.
 

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Well length of time depends a what kind of bike... my road bike it takes a long time cuz the tires are so darn tight, but my P2 it takes under 5 mins.

Some helpful hits would be ... get a tire iron... plastic prefreably. I never used them a few years ago and always went at my tires with a screwdriver, but its really worth spending the 5 bucks and getting a set cuz then you don't havta be so careful putting the tires on (screwdrivers put holes in your tires right after you just patched/bought a tire). If you are too lazy/cheap to buy a set use the handles of butter knives. they are nice and round and fairly strong. Blow up the tire slowly if you are using an aircompressor, and make sure you got all the dirt/rocks out of the tire before you put the innertubes in. make sure the tire is going to rotate in the correct direction (its on the side of the tire), and thats about it.
 

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Depending on the rim and the tire cmbination, it could take from 2 to 20 minutes. Some rim/tire combos are alot tighter than others and can be very frustrating. Also if you use rim brakes, be careful that you don't crack the outside of the rim, with a tire iron, if they are worn down. I have done this before.

If the tire is exceptionally tight, stick a tire iron between the rim and the tire and push the iron down and wrap it around a spoke. Grab another iron and run it down the rim, between the tire and the rim, until you break enough of the tire out to loosen it up. Remove tire and tube.

Grab a new tube, throw a little air into the tube so that it is puffed up and takes shape. Unscrew the collar on the valve of the tube and don't lose it. Put the tube on the rim and the valve through the hole. Screw the valve collar on but keep it very loose. Arrange the tire over the tube, but don't attempt to seal the lip of the tire into the rim yet. Make sure the tube is not twisted under the tire, and that the tube is settled nicely within the walls of the rim. Now, at the valve push both outside edges of the tire into the rim, at the same time screw the valve collar tight. This will lock the valve area of the tire and tube into the rim. With your fingers work both sides of the tire into the rim around one side. Do this until the tire gets very tight. At this point you should be at least 3/4 the way around the wheel, being very careful so that you dont pinch the tube between the tire and the rim. The valve area should still be locked. Now, a fraction of an inch at a time, work one side of the tire into the rim at a time. Repeat for the remaining side.

Learn it. Love it. It will become second nature after a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the good advice :)

I know when I try this it will become easier than it now seems, but I have few last questions before I give it a shot:

1) When removing the tire, I get all of the tire outside the rim on one side, now does the tire just pull off the rim (pulling towards the side that's already out)?

2) Could you explain this part a bit more "Arrange the tire over the tube, but don't attempt to seal the lip of the tire into the rim yet. Make sure the tube is not twisted under the tire, and that the tube is settled nicely within the walls of the rim"...I don't know that the tire will look like "arranged" over the tube. Does it mean the sides of the tires are outside of the rim, and the next step will be to pull them inside the rim?

3) Could you explain this part a bit more "With your fingers work both sides of the tire into the rim around one side"...if I'm working both sides of the tire into the rim, won't it be on both sides at the same time? Maybe if I understand #2 better this will make sense?
 

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check out this webpage: http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/fix/

Go to the sidebar and scroll down to "Tire, flat repair"

- Chris

noonievut said:
Thanks for the good advice :)

I know when I try this it will become easier than it now seems, but I have few last questions before I give it a shot:

1) When removing the tire, I get all of the tire outside the rim on one side, now does the tire just pull off the rim (pulling towards the side that's already out)?

2) Could you explain this part a bit more "Arrange the tire over the tube, but don't attempt to seal the lip of the tire into the rim yet. Make sure the tube is not twisted under the tire, and that the tube is settled nicely within the walls of the rim"...I don't know that the tire will look like "arranged" over the tube. Does it mean the sides of the tires are outside of the rim, and the next step will be to pull them inside the rim?

3) Could you explain this part a bit more "With your fingers work both sides of the tire into the rim around one side"...if I'm working both sides of the tire into the rim, won't it be on both sides at the same time? Maybe if I understand #2 better this will make sense?
 

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1)The tire stays onto the rim because the inside diameter of the tire is less than the outside diameter of the rim wall. You will find that the more of the tire you get outside of the rim the looser the tire gets with respect to the rim. It is trigonometry, part of the tire will be a straight line between two points on the circumference of the wheel, which is a smaller distance than the arc of the circle. At some point it will become loose enough that you can slip the tire off the rim.

2)The slightly puffy tube will be situated in the rim. This is straightforward. Again, without attempting to place the lip of the tire into the rim, slip the tire over the wheel (and the tube), so that the outside of the tire is outside the rim. Try it, it will be easy and loose.

3) If you tighten the collar of the valve onto the rim, you will have about 2 inches of tire on each side "locked" into the rim. This is your starting point. Holding the wheel in front of you, work both sides of the tire into the rim going either way, your choice, clockwise or counter. At first the lips of the tire will go in very easy. At some point it will get very tight (refer to (1) trigonometry). Let's say you're 3/4 of the way around by now. Now concentrate on one side of the remaining tire outside the rim. With your thumbs push up HARD on the tire outside the rim. Start at the very end where the tire crosses from outside to inside the rim. Work your thumbs down the rim in short steps and eventually the remaining part of the tire will pop into the rim. Repeat for the other side of the tire.
 

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One can change a typical mtb tire setup in 2-3 minutes after some practice. In lieu of a tire iron, one can use a skewer, altho its hard on the rim in my view, as is anything else made of metal. Done it many many times tho. Regardless, just pry up one spot, then apply pressure sideways to slide it down the rim/tire contact point on around about half way. Bam, its all apart all the while your doing the next paragraph....
Remember, just before installing the tube..one can/should blow some air into it. Just unscrew the valve abit, and with your mouth, blow some air into it while your doing other stuff(some would call this multi tasking)like taking the tire off one side. Just alittle "form" will go a long ways in not pinching/twisting the tube inside the tire. I never use the valve stem nut. If you need it for inflation, just stick it under your spandex leg(along with the valve cap)to keep track of it when not in use. This has saved many a lost cap and nut.

I change tires on my 3 bikes weekly to different setups just for fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I decided last night to give it a shot and change a tire. Well it wasn't that hard. Only tough part was getting the 1st 2 levers over the tire, once the 3rd was on the others fell off as the tire loosened around the rim.

I wasn't sure though when I put the tire back on, if I had the tube sitting in the tire properly. I tried to push it up into the tire, but when I got all of the tire on the rim it felt like the tube was closer to the rim (noticed this when I squeezed the tire), not sure if this could cause a problem.

Anyway I pumped it up and it looked fine. I decide to then take both tires off and give the bike a good cleaning. I'm going to put some slicks on now and give it a spin on the road for something different.
 
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