Fixing a Flat with an Inner Tube

Get back on the road with this guide to fixing your blown bike tires.

No matter if you’re an experienced daily biker or a weekend warrior, at some point, you’re going to get a flat tire.

Because of that, it’s important to know how to replace the inner tube, so you can get back on your bike and aren’t left stranded with a long walk home.

To do this, start by finding the size of your inner tube. This information will be located on the side of your tire and listed first in inches followed by the width of the tire. It’s always a good idea to stash a spare tube and a hand pump or CO2 cartridge in your saddle bag on a long ride.

To change your flat, you will first need to remove the tire lip from the rim:

  • Start on the opposite side of the valve
  • Insert a tire lever in between the tire and the rim and go around the rim toward yourself

Once the tire lip has been separated from the rim, you’re ready to remove the old inner tube:

  • Pull out the valve, followed by the rest of the inner tube
  • Grab the new inner tube and install it
  • Remember to insert the valve first and follow the inner tube along the tire, pushing it into the tire every couple of inches

When reinstalling the tire onto the rim, start opposite of the valve and use your thumbs to tuck the tire back into place. Once the tire is in place, you will be ready to re-inflate it. Make sure you fill the tire to the correct pressure, which can be found on the side of the tire.

Once it’s inflated, you’ll be ready to reinstall the wheel onto the forks. Learn how to put the wheel back on your bike whether it uses a traditional wheel setup or a quick release lever.

Flat tires are a pain. But when you know how to properly replace your tube, they won’t take the air out of a great day on your bike.

For help with tune-ups, installations, adjustments and repairs, visit our bike service PROS at your local DICK’S Sporting Goods.