Newbie cannot change his darned tube..


New Member
Mar 6, 2011
Hello, new here, hope this is the correct subforum to post something like this.

So I've got this roadbike with thin racing tires on it that I can't seem to get off..
I've changed non-road tires before on an MTB, but the actual tire doesn't seem to detach from the tube- what am I doing wrong?

I have the tool thing (what is it called?)

It's like the tube, tire and wheel are all connected, I just can't seem to hook the tire out of there, it's seems attached?
Am I just being silly here?

Get 2-3 tire levers. Some of them come with a little hook on the other end to hook around a spoke, so you can lever the tire bead out, then hook that lever to a spoke. Then take another lever and insert it in between the bead and the rim, and "zip" out the bead on that side. To take the tire totally off, work from the same side and get the tire bead from the opposite side the same way. Don't use any tool of any sort that has sharp corners, metal or otherwise.

Here's what you need:

Lot's of good online videos that show the whole process like this one:

And yes, racing tires can be pretty tight and take some effort to get the tire irons up under the bead. Make sure all the air is out of the tire and it helps to quickly run around the whole wheel unseating the beads with your thumb and forefinger. Just quickly squeeze both sides of the tire together every couple of inches to break the tire beads free. It makes things easier.

Thanks guys!

I have two metal tire levers.. will those suffice?
Is plastic advised because it would treat the tube more delicately and minimize the possibility of inadvertent damage?
Originally Posted by orvn .
...I have two metal tire levers.. will those suffice? Is plastic advised because it would treat the tube more delicately and minimize the possibility of inadvertent damage?
Yeah, metal tire levers were standard for many years and some high end versions are still around. They definitely work but can nick tubes and tend to be narrower which puts more stress on rim sidewalls when prying off tight tires. Probably not a big deal for most rims but I wouldn't want to get in and start prying a really tight tire off a full carbon clincher rim with a pair of narrow metal levers.

Make sure there aren't any burrs on your metal tire levers and pick up a pair of plastic levers when you get a chance, they're pretty inexpensive items and you'll need them again. Oh and try really hard not to use tire levers to reinstall the tire. Yeah that takes practice and can be tricky on really tight tire rim combos but it minimizes the chance of pinch flatting the new tube during installation.

Thanks again, I got it off, was really simple.

Yeah, I only have the steel levers at the moment, but I'll be extra careful when reinserting the tube and use my thumbs instead as much as possible.

Unfortunately, I seem to have purchased the wrong thickness roadbike tube, so I'm just going to patch my old tube for now, as I live in a pretty remote place, with not a cycling shop for a while and my old tube only appears to have a minor puncture in one place.

Much obliged!
No problems patching and reusing tubes, I do it all the time. Be sure to carefully check the inside of the tire with your fingertips especially in the area of the puncture before installing the patched tube. Very often the piece of glass, sharp rock or tiny piece of wire, staple, etc. is still protruding through the tire which will just cause another flat if you don't remove it.

When you reinstall the tire it helps to place the tire label directly over the area of the valve. That way when you get flats and pull out the tube to find a leak, possibly a very slow leak that's hard to find without soapy water you can figure out approximately how far the leak was from the valve. Knowing that you always install tires with the printed label lined up in the valve area lets you quickly narrow down on the part of the tire where the leak occurred which can really help for finding tiny pieces of wire and other small things that cause slow leaks.

When I have a flat, before I remove the tire, and if I remember, I try to mark the tire next to the valve stem. Then, if I have a puncture I can line up the tube and the tire and see where the tire was punctured. In the past I have looked at the tire, run my thumbs inside the tire, and still not found anything in the tire. And when I installed the new tube, found that something was still in the tire and had another flat before I even installed the wheel. (But be careful about running fingers inside the tube. If there is glass or something in the tire, it can really cut you.) Also, I carry a patch kit and 2 tubes, just in case. And as persons said early, try to install the tire on the rim using just your hands. And make sure you do not pinch the tube between the rim and the tire.

Best of luck. We have all been there.