How to Replace an Inner Tube: Keep Rolling with These Easy Steps!

How to Replace an Inner Tube

Are you tired of pesky flat tires ruining your biking adventures? Fear not! Learning how to replace an inner tube is an essential skill that will keep you riding smoothly. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to conquer this task like a pro and get back on the road in no time!

There are 11 Steps to Replace an Inner Tube

Gather Your Tools

Before diving into the replacement process, gather the necessary tools to make the job easier. You’ll need a set of tire levers, a new inner tube (make sure it matches the tire size), and a hand pump or CO2 inflator.

Remove the Wheel

To replace the inner tube, start by removing the wheel from the bike. Shift the chain to the smallest rear cog, allowing for easy wheel removal. If you have rim brakes, release the brake tension by unhooking the cable from the brake noodle. For bikes with disc brakes, simply lift the wheel off once the quick-release or thru-axle is disengaged.

Deflate the Tire

Once the wheel is removed, it’s time to deflate the tire fully. Use a valve cap or your finger to press the valve and release the air. Ensure the tire is completely devoid of air pressure before proceeding.

Insert the Tire Levers

Now comes the trickiest part—inserting the tire levers. Slide one lever between the tire and the rim, then hook it onto a spoke. Repeat this process a few inches away with the second lever. This will create a gap, allowing you to work your way around the tire, prying it off the rim.

Remove the Tire

With the tire levers in place, carefully work them around the rim’s edge, lifting the tire off as you go. Be cautious not to pinch the inner tube during this step, as it may cause damage.

Inspect the Tire

Before installing the new inner tube, thoroughly inspect the tire for any debris, sharp objects, or damage. Remove any foreign objects and check for cuts or tears that may have caused the flat.

Install the New Inner Tube

Now it’s time to insert the new inner tube. Begin by partially inflating it to give it some shape. Insert the valve through the valve hole in the rim, then tuck the rest of the tube into the tire. Carefully work your way around the rim, ensuring the inner tube sits flat and without any twists.

Put the Tire Back On

With the new inner tube in place, start putting the tire back onto the rim. Begin at the valve and work your way around using your hands. Avoid using the tire levers in this step, as they may inadvertently puncture the new tube.

Inflate the Tire

Once the tire is entirely back on the rim, it’s time to inflate it. Use a hand pump or CO2 inflator to fill the tire with air. Check the recommended pressure range for your tire and ensure it’s within those limits.

Check for Leaks

After inflating the tire, check for leaks by listening for any hissing sounds or feeling for escaping air. If you suspect a leak, apply some soapy water to the tire and look for bubbles, indicating the source of the leak.

Reattach the Wheel

With the tire successfully inflated and leak-free, reattach the wheel to your bike. Secure it using the quick-release or thru-axle mechanism and adjust the rim brakes or disc brakes as needed.


How do I know when it’s time to replace my bike’s inner tube?

There are several indicators that it’s time to replace your bike’s inner tube. The most obvious sign is a flat tire that cannot be inflated or keeps losing air rapidly. Additionally, if you notice visible damage on the inner tube, such as punctures, tears, or bulges, it’s best to replace it. Regular wear and tear can also lead to deterioration over time, so if your inner tube is several years old or has been patched multiple times, it’s a good idea to replace it as a preventive measure.

 What size inner tube should I get to replace my flat tire?

To ensure a proper fit, you’ll need to choose an inner tube that matches your bike tire’s size. The tire size is usually printed on the sidewall and will be a series of numbers like “700x35c” or “26×2.1”. The first number represents the tire diameter (e.g., 700mm or 26 inches), while the second number denotes the tire width in millimeters or inches. The “c” in the example refers to the tire type (clincher). When purchasing a new inner tube, make sure the size matches the tire’s dimensions precisely, or opt for a range that includes your tire’s measurements.

Can I repair a flat inner tube, or do I need to replace it with a new one?

In some cases, you can repair a flat inner tube, but it depends on the extent of the damage. Small punctures caused by tiny objects like thorns or small nails can often be patched effectively. To repair a flat tube, follow these steps:

  • Deflate the tube and locate the puncture by submerging it in water or listening for escaping air.
  • Use a patch kit specifically designed for bike inner tubes.
  • Roughen the area around the puncture with sandpaper in the patch kit.
  • Apply the patch and firmly press it onto the tube, ensuring a secure bond.
  • Wait for the patch adhesive to dry before inflating the tube.


Congratulations, you’ve mastered the art of replacing an inner tube! With this newfound skill, you’ll be prepared to handle flat tires with ease and keep enjoying your biking adventures without interruption. Happy riding!

Roger Walker
Roger Walker
Roger is a long-time homeowner with an enthusiasm for DIY, gardening, and design. He has over eight years of experience as a lifestyle editor and has worked with some of the top brands in the industry. Roger's goal is to help people make their homes comfort, functional, and beautiful- all while saving money.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *