Flat Tires – Replace Tube

A flat tire usually means that the inner tube – the tube inside the outer tire that holds the air – has a hole. Congratulations! You’re one of millions.

You have two options: replace the tube with a new one, or patch the hole.
Because finding and patching a hole is a little harder, it’s easier to replace the tube with the spare first and patch the hole later.

6 Steps to Replace the Tube


  • Spare tube of correct size and valve type
  • Two tire levers
  • Pump
  • Pliers
  • A bit of patience!
  1. Remove Tire
    Shift to the smallest cog in the rear wheel and on the crankset in the front. Open the brake pads. Open the quick release. Take the wheel out. If repairing the rear wheel, put the drivetrain into the highest gear and unthread the thru-axle to take the wheel off its mount.
  2. Find Cause of Puncture
    Check the tire and inner tube for damage by running your fingers around the tire’s circumference. To find the puncture, pump up the old tube while listening and feeling for escaping air. Use pliers to remove stones, thorns, or debris causing the puncture.
  3. Remove Damaged Inner Tube
    Use the round end of one tire lever to pull the tire away from the rim. Hook the other end onto a spoke to secure. Run the second lever around the tire by peeling clockwise around until the tire separates from the rim. Remove the tube.
  4. Install new tube
    Inflate a new tube – this stops it from getting caught between the rim and tire when installing
  5. Reinstall Wheel
    Install valve and work the tire back onto the rim rolling the bead away from you. Pump tire to the correct pressure and reinstall the wheel. When tightening quick-release, keep bike on the ground so the wheel sits straight. Close brakes. Spin wheels to check brake pads aren’t rubbing.
  6. Inflate
    Pump to recommended PSI and check for leaks.

Pro tip:

Unless the outer tire has been significantly damaged, it doesn’t need to be replaced, just the inner tube.

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