Getting a puncture in the middle of your ride is common for any cyclist. For experienced and pro riders, changing a bike tire shouldn’t be an issue. A beginner will also find it not troublesome with the needed tools ready to get the job done, but what if you forget to pack the tire levers on your biking gear? Don’t panic. This tutorial on how to change a bike tube without tire levers is written to help you out.
Get all the information you need about what makes you have to change your bike tube and the essential tools to get your bike tube changed. How to change a mountain bike tube without tire levers, and is it applicable for road bikes too? Get all your answers by reading this article, have a good read!
Reason Why Should Change Bike Tube
The most common reason that causes riders to change their bike tubes is that it gets flat. There are four types of bicycle flats, such as:
- Slow leak: this usually causes your tire to flat at a slower pace. Although you can still ride your bike, you need to pump the tire frequently;
- Puncture: the most common case to happen to every cyclist. Puncture is caused by the inner tire tube being cut through sharp objects;
- Pinch or snake bite: caused by the wheel running through a sharp edge, small hole, or narrow gap resulting in great pressure to the hitting point;
- Blowout: sudden burst that resulted in a big hole in the tire tubes. An over pressured air can cause it, and the tire can’t properly hold the inner tube.
Speaking of a puncture, some cyclists may come across a situation where their new inner tube is also getting a new puncture when you try to replace the old one with it. To prevent this from happening, you might have to be familiar with a few main causes of a punctured tire, for example:
- Puncture is commonly caused by the inner tube of the bike getting pinched between the tire bead and the bike’s rim;
- The culprit that causes puncture on the old inner tube hasn’t been fixed or taken out when installing the new one;
- Riders might accidentally knock some dirt during installing a new tire tube which can cause a puncture of the tube under pressure.
Tools Needed for Change a Bike Tube
One of the reasons that brought you to this page is because you are looking for a tutorial on how to change a mountain bike tube without tire levers—or basically, how to change a bike inner tube without tire levers.
There are only a few essential tools to change a bike tube, such as a new inner tube and a hand pump or inflator pump. Some cyclists may also prefer to prepare a pair of gloves to get a better grip on the tire. For a bike with a thru-axle, you might need to prepare a wrench to loosen the nuts so you can remove the wheel.
However, if you are curious and thinking about “what can I use instead of a tire lever?” There is indeed an option that can be used as a bike tire lever substitute. For example, you can use a pocket knife to carve a tire lever from a nearby wood. You can also use the lever that locks the chuck to the tube valve on your bike pump as a substitute for a bike tire lever.
But remember, this DIY tire lever only applies if your wheel is not made of carbon fiber. If you have a carbon fiber wheel, you could only use a tire lever or bare hands not to damage the rim.
Change Bike Tube Without Tire Levers
Now let’s get to the main topic; you can follow these steps to change your bike’s inner tube without any helping tool:
Remove Your Wheel
There’s no option of how to change a bike tube without taking wheel off, as it might make you have a more challenging time getting the tire off the rim. Therefore, you will need to carefully put your bike upside down, resting it on the handlebars. You can put cardboard underneath the handlebars and seats if you are afraid that direct contact with the ground might damage them.
If you remove the rear wheel, you can adjust your gears to the smallest cog so it will be easier to take off. For removing the front wheel, you will not have to change the gear, but you might need to disengage the brake, especially if your bike uses the rim brakes.
Remove the quick-release lever at the center of your bike wheel by pulling up the lever and loosening it by turning it 180 degrees. If your bike uses a thru-axle instead of a quick release, you will need a 15mm wrench to loosen the nuts off the bicycle.
Remove Your Tire
Before removing the tire, you must ensure it has fully deflated. You can poke the tire with a small and pointy object to let out the remaining air from the tire if there’s any. After the bike tire is fully deflated, you can work on the next step: removing it off the rim.
The best bike tyre levers you can use when at this step are your hands. To remove the tire off the rim, you must push the tire bead with your hands to get it into the rim’s center. Once you have gone around the rim, put the valve on the ground and support the wheels with your foot while pinching the top of the tire and pushing it forward so it can pop off the rim.
Check for Debris
After getting one section of the tire over the edge of the rim, you can go around and push it off. If you are getting punctures during outdoor rides, you might have to inspect your tire thoroughly inside the tire and find the culprit that causes the old tire to flatten, such as a shard of glass. If you are not doing this and removing the leftover object on your tire, your new inner tube will also be broken easily.
Reinstall the Tire Tube
You have already removed the old tire tube from the bike and ensured there’s no debris left on the bike. This time, you will have to reinstall the new bike tube into the wheel. You can follow these steps:
- Put the valve stem in line with the valve stem hole on the rim;
- Push the valve stem into the stem hole by squeezing the tire located on the stem valve hole;
- Pull the valve stem to ensure most of it has successfully gotten through the hole;
- Push the rest of the tube tire into the tire carefully, so you are not twisting the bike tube.
Adjust the valve stem by holding on several rim spokes while pulling the tire until the valve stem is straight to prevent it from getting damaged over time. After getting the bike tubes inside the tire, push the tire wall back into the rim. You can squeeze one side of the tire and make it over the rim wall.
Spin the wheel to ensure the tire bead has been pushed back to the rim and there’s no trapped tubing. Lastly, inflate the bike according to the recommended PSI and reinstall the wheel to the bike frame.
You can follow all the steps above to change your Polygon bike tube—to be exact, tire tube in general. Usually changing bike tires without a lever is easier for mountain bikes than road bikes, as the road bike might have a tight tire and rim combination.
Tips to Change Tires without Lever
Tire levers are a helpful tool that will allow you to remove and reinstall the tire more efficiently. However, they are not essential and can be replaced or substituted. Here are some tips to change the tires without a lever:
- Ensure you get a good grip over the tire when pulling the tire off the rim. If you are afraid your grip might be slippery, you can wear a pair of gloves before start working;
- Some cyclists like to put a little air on the bike’s inner tube before installing it back to the wheel. You might want to try this trick to testify whether this method works best for you or not;
- There might be bike tires, and rim combinations may be tougher to remove. Hence, they require riders to have a fair amount of force and good technique; if you are not yet experienced, you can choose to bring your bike to a trusted bike shop and get the tire replaced there.
If you decide to have the bike tire replaced by an experienced and professional team that is trustworthy, you can bring your bike to Rodalink, which is located in Jurong East or East Coast.
Rodalink is the official distributor of Polygon bikes that is also offering a wide range of bikes, accessories, parts, and apparels selection from the world’s renowned brands. Aside from that, Rodalink has a one-stop cycling shop where you can get assistance to maintain your bike, starting from changing the Polygon bike tire tube, replacing worn-out tires, adjusting bike levers, and many more.
Rodalink’s one-stop cycling shop consists of groups of professional and experienced mechanics that will gladly provide you with the best services. You might also want to consider becoming part of the Rodalink community member to get special offers and discounts for service fees. Get the best service for your bike only at Rodalink.