Video - How to Replace an Inner Tube
Dealing with a flat tyre needn't hold up your bike riding if you know how to replace an inner tube. You'll need tyre levers, a new inner tube and a pump to get you back on your bike.
A bike inner tube is the rubber, balloon-like tube that fits inside your bike tyre and does the job of holding the air cushion that makes for those smooth rides! If you suffer a puncture or crash your bike, the inner tube can easily become damaged, so changing them out becomes one of those jobs that all cyclists have to do now and again!
Before you start, you'll need to get the right inner tube for your bike tyre. You can find this on the inner wall of your bike tyre, and it'll usually be the second set of numbers (the first ones referring to the tyres size itself).Shop inner tubes »
You'll also need:
- A bike pump
- Tyre levers
Take your tyres off
Once you've taken your bike wheels off, take the valve cap off the wheel and use the hook on the tyre lever to push in the end of the valve cap to release the air inside. This will make it much easier to get the tyre lever between the bike tyre and the rim of the bike wheel itself. Once you've got the tyre lever in, just push it forwards to lever the tyre off. Then, get the other tyre lever and move it around the gap between the tyre and the wheel until the tyre is completely loose. Once that's done, remove the inner tube.
Fix the puncture
Now is a good time to sort out that puncture. Move your finger around the inside of the tyre to find the hole - just make sure you've got your protective gloves on incase whatever caused the puncture is still there. If it is still there, remove it with a pair of pliers. Depending on the damage, you can either discard the tyre or repair the puncture. You can find out how to do that in our puncture repair guide.
Get some air back in
Grab your bike pump and inflate your inner tube slightly before sliding it back in between the tyre and the wheel. Remember to feed the inner tube valve through the valve hole on the wheel and make sure you tyre is pointing the right way (there's a handy arrow to help with that!). Line up the beading on the wheel and on the tyre, using the tyre levers if things get tight. Once everything is lined up, use your bike pump to inflate the entire tyre to the PSI (pounds per square inch) number that is specified on the tyre wall. Don't forget to replace the valve cap to keep any dirt and grime out, then reattach the wheel and you're good to go!
If you're struggling to get your tyre off or don't fancy getting your hands dirty, then Halfords can help. Our team of bike experts can replace your tyres or inner tubes for a small fee and we'll make sure your bike is safe to ride before getting you back out on the road!