A Beginners Guide To Road Cycling: Changing Tyres & Fixing Punctures

One inevitability about cycling, especially on a road bike, is that at some point you will get a puncture. To a certain extent the type of tyre you ride and the types of roads you use will govern the frequency of these occurrences. I recently changed my road bike tyres, so I thought I’d put together a brief photographic guide to help any beginners new to fixing or changing inner tubes, as the same method is used when repairing punctures.

Requirements:

2 or 3 tyre levers.
Puncture repair kit – Self adhesive type.
Spare inner tubes.
Spare tyres.
Pump.

STEP 1: Turn the bike over.

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STEP 2: Remove the punctured wheel.

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STEP 3: Deflate the inner tube.

STEP 4: Insert one tyre lever under the clincher tyre, prising out the tyre from the rim, attach lever to spoke to hold.

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STEP 5: Holding the wheel between your legs, carefully insert the second lever next to the first lever and under the clincher tyre. Gently run the lever away from your body working your way around the rim until one side of the tyre is free from the rim, taking care not to snag the inner tube.

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STEP 6: Carefully remove the inner tube from the rim, and if possible find the location of the puncture. This can be done several ways, but my favourite method is to slightly inflate the tube and feel for the release of air.

Once discovered, mark the position of the hole, then locate the same position on your tyre and remove any offending objects which may have caused the damage, such as a thorn or tack – If you cannot find anything in the tyre, make sure to feel the inside of the tyre and rim for any debris, as punctures rarely cause themselves, unless its a pinched type caused by the tube nipping the rim.

STEP 7a: Taking the inner tube in your hand, gently abrade the surface of the rubber around the hole with a piece of fine sand paper, then apply a self adhesive patch and hold firmly for a good 30 seconds. If you have a traditional repair kit, apply a thin layer of glue allowing some time for the glue to set, before applying the patch and holding.

STEP 7b: If the punctured inner tube is too poorly damaged or you are in a rush, completely remove the inner tube from the rim and replace with a new tube.

STEP 8: Ensuring that the tyre and rim are now free of foreign objects, carefully place the inner tube back around the wheel rim, taking care not twist. Once the inner tube is in place, slightly inflate the tube, this will help avoid any tyre nip and also place the tube in the centre of the rim.

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STEP 9: Carefully place the bead of the tyre in the wheel rim, moving around the outside of the tyre until you are in a position where the majority of the tyre is on the rim and now needs to be physically pulled onto the wheel. This last part is crucial, make sure not to nip the tube, but exert enough pressure to pull the final clincher bead on to the rim – Sometimes this is easier said than done, as these Continental GP 4 Season Tyres were very tight on comparison with the Schwalbe Lugano tyres I replaced.

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STEP 10: Fully inflate the tyre to the required pressure and place the wheel back on to the bike.

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