Repair Guides For Renters

Change a flat tire using the supplied repair kit


The common bicycle tire is called a “clincher” tire, and is made with beads on the inside edge of the tire. The bead fits snugly into the wheel rim. As the inner tube is inflated, the tire bead is pushed against the “bead seat” of the rim, the portion of the rim that is hooked to hold the bead. The sizing of the rim bead seat and the tire bead must match. There are currently many different bead diameter standards, and none are interchangeable.

Because tire beads can be a tight fit in the rim, it is commonly necessary to tire levers to pry tire beads up and over the rim sidewall. Do not use a screwdriver, knife, or other sharp objects, which might damage the tire or tube. Fully threaded valve shafts may have a locking nut next to the rim. Loosen and remove the locking nut before deflating.

  1. Deflate the tire completely. Even a small amount of air left in the tube can make it more difficult to get the tire off. For best results, press downward on the wheel while depressing the valve.
  2. Push one bead of tire toward the rim center. The tire bead will be pressed tightly against the rim. Pushing it inwards loosens the bead from the rim. Repeat on the other bead.
  3. Engage one tire lever under the bead of the tire. Engage the second lever 1-2″ (25-50mm) from the first lever then pull both levers toward spokes to lift the bead off the rim. Disengage one lever. Move it two inches (5cm) along the rim and engage the lever in the bead. Pull the lever to lift the next section of bead off the rim.
  4. Repeat engaging the lever until the bead loosens. Then slide the lever along the rim under the bead.
  5. Starting opposite the valve, pull the inner tube from the tire. Lift valve from valve hole and remove the tube from wheel.
  6. Remove the second bead from the rim, which removes the tire completely from the rim. To fully inspect the tube and tire, it is best to remove both completely.


  1. Note directional arrows of tire manufacturer, if any. Directional arrows printed on the sidewalls indicate the rotation of the wheel. Not all tires have direction orientation.
  2. Inflate the tube enough for the tube to just hold its shape.
  3. Install tube inside the tire. Install with tube valve adjacent to air pressure recommendations written on the tire sidewall.
  4. Lower tire and valve into the rim valve hole and align valve so it is pointing straight toward the hub. A crooked valve can lead to a flat tire later.
  5. Install one bead at a time. Work tire bead onto the rim with hands. If tire bead will not seat using hand, use tire lever as a last resort. Use caution when using tire levers to avoid pinching the inner tube. Engage tire lever using same orientation as removing bead.
  6. Work tube over rim sidewall and into rim cavity.
  7. Install the second bead onto the rim. Use care if using a tire lever.
  8. Inspect both sides of the tire for bead seating and for any sign of the inner tube sticking out. Reinstall if necessary.
  9. Inflate to low pressure and inspect the bead again on both sides. Look for a small molding line above the bead. This line should run consistently above the rim. Adjust if necessary.
  10. If the tire bead is stuck below the rim, and extra air pressure doesn’t correct it, use a lubricant such as soapy water. Do not use grease or oil.
  11. Inflate to full pressure and check with pressure gauge. It may be necessary to press downward above the valve in order to engage the pump head. For fully threaded valve shafts, reinstall the locking nut, if any. Do not use a wrench or pliers to tighten the nut — tighten to finger tight.