How to change a mountain bike tire with an inner tube and V-brakes

Our very detailed step by step guide to changing a tire on a mountain bike that uses an inner tube and has v-brakes.

Step 1 Open Brakes

Open up the brakes so the tire can be removed.

Open up V-brakes

Step 2 Position Bike

Now you can put your bike in a repair stand, or if you don’t have one turn it upside down in the grass like this:

Upside down for tire change

I generally prefer the upside down method to using my stand.

Step 3 Open Quick Release

Open up the quick release and unscrew it a bit to remove the wheel.

Open quick release

Step 4 Deflate Tire

Make sure all the air is out by pressing on the valve.

Empty Tire Of Air

Step 5 Pull Tire Off Rim

Pull the tire off of the rim.  Sometimes this is easy and other times a pain.  I start on the opposite side of the valve and just muscle it off.  Once you get it a little off the rim it is easy.  You can use bike tire levers, but I usually find it unnecessary for mountain bike tires.

Pull Tire From Rim

Step 6 Inflate Inner Tube

Inflate the inner tube just enough so it has shape.

New Tire and Inner Tube
Slightly inflated Inner Tube

Step 7 Insert Inner Tube Into Tire

Now that the tube has some air in it, it can be inserted into new tire.

Inner Tube Inserted Into New Tire

Step 8 Put Tire and Tube On Rim

Now it’s time to put the new tire and inner tube on the rim.  I start by putting the valve through the rim.  Next, I start working one bead of the tire into the rim.  Be careful not to pinch the inner tube.  It will be easy for 3/4 of the bead and then it will get a bit hard. Make sure the bead you have in the rim is in the deepest part of the rim. This can sometimes be a difficult step, but I usually muscle through it.  You could again use tire levers if necessary.  Be extra careful of the tube if using levers.  Repeat to get the second bead into the rim. 

Insert Bead Into Rim
New Tire is on the rim

Step 9 Check Tube For Pinching

Now that you have the tire on the rim you need to make sure the tube is in correctly.  Starting at the valve and pull the tire a little away from the rim and make sure you cannot see the tube.  Go all the way around both sides making sure the tube is inside the tire and not pinched between the tire and rim.

Check Inner Tube For Pinching

Step 10 Inflate Tire

Now it’s time to carefully inflate the tire.  Preferably you have a hand pump with a gauge.  Attach your pump and slowly begin filling.  I like to fill about 10lbs of pressure and then look around the rim on both sides to make sure the bead is staying in.  If you don’t have a gauge, pump till the tire gets a little firm.  Now go to 20lbs and again check that the bead is staying properly seated in the rim.  Continually check the tire as you slowly inflate.  I like to go to max pressure just to make sure the tire is seated completely.  I then let out some air and fill it to the pressure I want. 

Inflate Tire

Follow the above directions backwards to install the new tire and rim back on the bike. 

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