HOW TO, THE ART OF CHANGING TIRES
HOW TO, THE ART OF CHANGING TIRES It never ceases to amaze me how difficult some people find it to change a tire or repair a tube.
Having witnessed the most awful attempt ever by a member of Central Arizona Trials I thought
perhaps some easy tips from Shade Tree might be useful before the season starts.
Let’s go back to the “worst case scenario” first and I will attempt to explain what happened. It
was at my birthday trial and one of the rider’s asked if he could borrow some of my tools as he
wanted to change his tires. Two hours later and he is still in the workshop so I go to check on
what is happening…….
The scene of carnage took some believing! ……. nearly every tool was on the floor (not good),
and some unusual impliments were in play which had no place in my workshop and I have no
idea what part they played in the “dumb and dumber” procedure. The worn tire was now in
TWO HALVES! (hacksaw) and other bits of rubber, which I assume was the tube were
everywhere? I guess nobody had ever shown him how to remove a tire so lets deal with the
harder of the two wheels the rear.
Step one arrange what you will need.
Two shorty levers
New Tire and tube
Security bolt spanner (wrench) 13mm
Now with the back wheel out, lay it on the sprocket side, this will save the tube from getting
more punctures on the sprocket teeth.
Let out the air if not already punctured using the jaw of the 13 mm spanner, you won’t get it all
but make sure it’s flat.
Undo the security bolts, leave the nuts on, and push inward, may require a “tap” from the
rubber hammer, but ensure they are free to move in.
Using your heel, break the wall off the rim, may require a little effort if it’s a really OLD tire. Turn
her over and do the other side making sure the bead goes all the way down in the rim .
Kneel on the tire which will force it down into the well of the rim and then start at the valve
which should be opposite your knees, and use 3-4 inch bites until you have the cover over the
rim by about 12 inches, now you can take progressively bigger bites or pull it off by hand.
Push the valve all the way in and then pull out the tube. If this was a puncture then locate the
cause or pump it up again and then when you have found the leak lay the tube back on the cover
and mark the cover as to where the leak is, maybe a thorn, nail, whatever that will save hours
searching. Two side by side holes indicates a concussion burst from hitting a sharp edge with low
These are toast!
Remove security bolts and inspect for serviceability.
Remove the old cover by a single tire lever and ease over the edge of the rim with the wheel
upright. Now push down with your knee on the flat distorted area of the tire and it will come free.
Bin the rim tape!
Wire brush all deposits out of rim well and along the inside rim edges where the tire will fit. Old
left over tire deposits sometimes make it impossible to get the fitting line to “pop up” on refitting.
If you are going to “do” spokes now is a good time. I use the every 6 principle and now with the
wheel on the bench just start at the valve (hole) again and gently tighten every sixth spoke until
tightish, DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN, do all 36 spokes and then a bit like a calypso drummer use your
spoke key to tap each spoke in turn and they should all have a nice “ding” any variation to the
“DID” concerto can be remedied with a little more tightening of the offending spoke.
File off any protruding spoke metal that is proud of the nipple. Now take the electricians tape
and go round the rim well about 3 times. Press down and this will now stop the spokes from
coming loose. Find the 3 holes in the rim, valve and 2 security bolts, and with a round file with
a downward stroke only, cut off the tape covering the holes. (nice neat job!)
If the tire has a direction marker fit in the appropriate direction! Soap the side going on first,
and fit, with a lot of the newer compound tires these will slip on without having to use levers.
Lay the wheel down on the sprocket side having loosely fitted the security bolts. Inflate the tube
with enough air to seperate the sides, now insert in valve hole and as a temporary measure fit
the valve nut.
Push the tube into the cover and make sure it is over the security bolts.
Soap this side of the cover and start at the valve again take small bites 3-4 inches and the cover
will pop on. Use your knee to hold it in place as you go round the wheel. As the tire starts to
offer a little resistance STOP!
Check the security bolts and push them in and then push the walls of the tire down into the well.
The resistance will have reduced and now take those last couple of bites …… and finally the last
8 inches or so will just pop on.
Check the secuity bolts AGAIN and the cover goes down in the well both sides. Now inflate to
around 20 lbs and as you pass 15 or so the fitting line will come out equally and on both sides.
Tighten up the security bolts, deflate to the pressure you want and throw away the valve nut!
Fit the dust cover and, you Sir, are done!
That was easy wasn’t it ? and just remember we used to have to be able to change a tube and
be on our way again in 4 minutes if you wanted a place in the British or RAF Teams!