How To Change A Mountain Bike Tire

Last Updated on July 25, 2022

Whether it’s from deterioration or its threads have already run out, your mountain bike tires will need to be replaced at some point in their lifespan.

Changing a mountain bike tire is easy and all you need is a few simple tools to get you started. It will only take a few minutes of your time and you can get back to riding the trails with a new and grippier one which can help you enjoy your ride more.

Here, we’ll show you a simple step-by-step guide to fixing your bike by installing a new tire to replace your old one.

What You Need

Before we start our guide on how to change your mountain bike tires, make sure you have the following tools and equipment:

  • 3x plastic tire lever
  • Bike air pump
  • Bike tire mount
  • Wrench (for bikes that use axle nuts)
  • Presta valve adapter (for Presta valve type tubes)

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Remove the mountain bike wheel which has the tires you will replace. Most mountain bikes today use a quick-release lever to lock the wheel in place. All you have to do is flip the lever and unscrew it to where you can easily pull it out from the bike.

For older bikes that use bolt type axles, use a wrench to loosen up one side of the nut and do the same to the other side. Completely remove the nut from the axle so you can pull out the bike from the tire.

Step 2: Deflate the tire by unscrewing the cover of the tire valve stem and then use the hook-like portion of your tire lever to press the pins in the middle of the valve stem. Continue to do this until there’s no more air coming out of the valve.

For inner tubes with Presta valve stems, unscrew the valve tip first until it’s fully open and you can simply press the tip to let all the air out.

Step 3: Remove the tires by using the curved end of the tire lever and sliding it in between the tire and the rim. Carefully pull the lever down so that the tire will move away from the rim and lock the lever into one spoke of the rim.

Note: Make sure that when you slide the tire levers into the rim that you won’t touch the inner tube as it can puncture it.

Step 4: Repeat step 3 by using another tire lever right next to where you’ve placed your first lever. Slowly work your way around the rim until the tire finally pops out.

Step 5: Remove the inner tube and also the old tire from the wheel to get the wheel ready for installing the new tire. If you see any cracks or wear inside your inner tube, then it means that you should probably use a new tube for your tires.

Step 6: Check the proper rotation of the new tire and slip one side of it into the rim of the wheel. You can easily do this by hand.

Step 7: Insert the valve of your inner tube into the valve and place all the inner tube inside the tire. You can inflate the inner tube slightly for it to be properly set inside the tire.

Step 8: Push the free edge of the tire into the rim using tire levers. You can also do this by hand if the tire can easily go through the rim.

Step 9: Roll the tire into the edge of the tire into the rim to put it into place.

Step 10: Inflate the tire into its corresponding air pressure using the mountain bike air pump. If you’re using a Presta valve, use the Presta valve adapter to fit it into the bike pump.

Step 11: Put back the mountain bike wheel into the bike and tightly lock it in place so you can ride it again.

how to change a tire bikeFAQs on Changing Mountain Bike Tires

How do you change a tube on a mountain bike without a tire lever?

Fully deflate the tube for the tire to move freely. You can then remove the mountain bike tire with your bare hands by pulling one side of the tire away from the rim. You can change the tube with a fresh one and by still using your hands, place back the tire into its original place in-between the rim.

How do you change a 26-inch bike tire?

Changing a 26-inch bike tire is still the same process as changing any kind of mountain bike wheel-size. Just follow the same steps and you can easily change your old ones to your new ones.

How do you change a tire on a bike without a lever?

If you’re forceful enough, you can change your old tire by just using your bare hands and having a bit of grip strength. As long as you can completely deflate the inner tube then you can easily pull out the tires from the rim and place the fresh ones with your hands.


You need to replace your tires at some point. You also shouldn’t wait for it to fully wear out as it can lead to serious issues. Old and overused tires can easily be punctured and can even slide out when going through rough roads.

Make sure to check the condition of your tires before you ride and see if it needs replacing.


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