How to Take a Tire off a Rim – Step by Step Guide

The life of bicycle tires is not forever, like clothes they can wear over time especially if exposed to different types of surfaces. Even if it has a protective rubber, sharp objects can penetrate the treads. It’s time to change the tire when you see the wear marks on it like shallow grooves, visible threads or casing others.

Our first impulse is to take it to a shop because removing a tire from its rim is not easy to do. It’s a challenge especially a step where you separate its ‘bead’ tucked inside the rim. As much as you want a professional to do it, there is a cheap alternative that you can do. Read this article for more information about how to take a tire off a rim.

Things You Need for This Tutorial 

  • Tire lever.
  • Lubricant (for tight bolts).
  • Screwdriver.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Take a Tire off a Rim 

1. Loose the Bolts

To take out your bike rim, the first thing to do is loosen the bolts to take out the wheel; it holds the wheel and the frame together. If the bolts are tight, you will use a lubricant like vegetable oil or silicone. If you own a modern bike, you will find that it doesn’t have bolts. Just loosen the quick-release to get off the wheel.

2. Free the Brakes 

If the bicycle has brakes that have a high chance of disrupting the removal of the wheel, so you should release them too. To release the brake, just slip the cable (that connects the handle to the brake) out of its socket which you can find the arms of the brake. If this doesn’t work, try loosening the cable in a locked position.

3. Get the Wheel Off of its Frame

If you’re working on the rear the wheel, and then move the chain to its smaller gear before you loosen the bolts then take the wheel out. The wheel which is on the front would be more easier to take out.

4. Flatten the Tube

To do this, press the pin in the top of the valve's inner tube, the air in the tube will escape through the valve. Unscrew using the screwdriver the stem’s top part and so you can remove the lock ring.

5. Untie the Rim’s Tire Beads

To do this stage, squeeze the tire together around the rim. Squeeze them until you see from the tube then you’ll see that the tire is already resealed from the rim inside.

6. Take out the Tire Levers

Make sure that you use tire levers and not substitute tools to avoid damaging or scratching the rims. Put one lever under the rim and out the tire’s edge, pry the lever over the rim. Repeat the process when you’re on the 8th of the bike’s circle shape, make sure to leave the first one in its first place. Next thing to do is to zip the 2nd lever around the wheel. You would see the tire coming off on the side. Completely remove the tube.

When you're already done, the tire is already removed. If your goal is to take the tire off the rim to replace with new ones or replace the tube, you can read more.

7. Fill the Tube with Air

If you suspect that the tubes are malfunctioning, you can fill it with air to check if there’s an air leak happening then find the hole so you can pinpoint where the issue is. To do that, insert the tube with air in water. If bubbles or foams come out of it, it means there’s a hole.

8. Inspect the Tire

Rub the surface area of the tire and check for traces of nails, glass, thorns and other objects that could have damaged the tube. To do this, use pliers to remove them if you discover some. Ensure no shape objects remain on the tire can damage your tire and tube.

9. Patch the Inner Tube

You can either fix or replace the inner tube. You can fit the tube hole by cover a patch onto the hole to seam it. . And, for change the new tube, you should un-wrap the new tube. Then remove the lock ring and dust cap and put into the rim. If necessary, replace both the tube and the tire.

10. Put the Tube into the Tire

In this step, make sure that the tube is not twisted. For both repaired tube or replace new tube, you need to do the same step. Pump some air in the tube so you can avoid pinching it while you put the back a tire on the rim.

11. Put Back the Tire into Its Rim

Putting back the tire into its rim is as tricky as removing it off from the rim. Do not use the screwdriver or lever so you can’t damage the new tube. Make sure to check the wall of the tire for an arrow, or if your bike has a specific treading pattern, then that’s better. Put on the one side, then the other one.

Other Methods

1. Standard Removal

This is the most common way of removing a tire of a bicycle from its rim, the whole process is written above. This is an alternative if the first method wouldn’t work on your bike model. The first thing to do is to remove the valve cap. Put one tire lever on the side opposite the valve, it is commonly named as the bead, which you can find beneath the tire’s edge.

Next thing to do is pulling it down to get the tire off its beads. To provide more leverage, fasten it onto a spoke. Take out another lever and put it six inches away from the first, then pry this location too. Repeat the process using the third lever, by that time the tire will pop off the rim.

2. One-Sided Removal

If your goal is only to have a contact with the tube so you can remove it, you can do the one-sided removal method. This method will also make way for you so that the tire would be re-installed on the rim easier and quicker. To do this, stop when one portion of the tire is already removed, and then pull it out of the tube. The downside of this method is that you can’t accurately know the reason why the tube broke.

3. Hands-Only Removal

If you do not have tools with you, you can still take the tire off the rim. First, squeeze the tire’s sides on valves opposite side. Doing this way, you would be able to force the beads into the rim. Next, pull up the tire’s one side and then over the other rim’s side so you can create one small opening. After this, go along the rim to bring the other part of the tube over the rim, and then you can remove the tube.


Those are the ways and methods you can know how to take a tire off a rim. I hope you learned the things we mentioned, and the alternative we gave would be of real use if the first one won’t work. We understand that this process is challenging, but not all the time we can call a professional to help us.

If you own a bike, there would be a time that you have to change the tire or tube, and most of those times you should do on your own. We are happy to be of assistance. We hope that this article is helpful to you.

If you have suggestions, comments, and questions about this article, please let us know in the comments below. Happy biking!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments
%d bloggers like this: