How to replace a bike tyre inner tube

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 information 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
  • Pliers
  • Gloves
  • Tyre levers

If you’re missing anything, you can order everything on this list from our bike maintenance and bike tools sections.

Step by step guide

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 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 (just make sure you’ve got your protective gloves on) to find the sharp item or hole and remove it with a pair of pliers. Depending on the damage, you can either discard the tube 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 slightly inflate your inner tube 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, 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!

Find out more