It sounds like the simplest task in the world and you’re probably scoffing over your porridge as you read this, but it’s time to talk tyres – well, more specifically, the basics of how to put one on. Yeah, yeah, sounds easy but just think of your ride last week: how many riders did you see breaking out into a clammy sweat, standing helplessly on the side of the trail with tire levers in hand, throwing pleading glances as you rode by? Exactly. Once you’ve nailed the technique you’ll realise it was never that difficult in the first place.
Putting a tire on is actually really easy but it still manages to catch some people out.
Step by Step
First off: get the tube ready. Spread it out and pump a little air into it.… but take care not to pump it up too much; it’ll make it harder to mount.Before you even attempt to fit the tire and tube onto the wheel, work out which direction the wheel rolls and marry it up with the direction on the tire.Then place the wheel onto the tire in position …… and just put one side of the tire into the rim.The whole tire needs to be lying comfortably in the rim bed. Tip: Pros align the logos with the valve hole.Then guide the air valve through the hole in the rim …… and fit the tube into the awaiting tire.Now check the valve is straight.TAKE NOTE! Start 180 degrees away from the valve, so you can seat the tire deeper into the rim so it’s easier to mount.Using both hands, press the rest of the tire into the rim. Lean the tire on the floor or on your thighs; this will make it easier to press it into the rim. TAKE NOTE: Don’t pinch the tube against the rim with the tire.It usually gets tougher as you get closer to the value. It’s important to make sure the opposite side of the tire is already securely sitting in the rim.If the last few centimetres prove almost impossible then you can rely on a tire lever for that extra bit of help.If the tire’s on but the valve isn’t quite vertical then take a firm grip and slide the tire gently around until you get the right position.If the size of the valve hole and the valve are the same then we don’t recommend threading a knurled nut on; they tend to just keep the valve straight and can lead to the valve getting damaged.Instead, hold your thumb on the tire and push down firmly exactly above the valve to fix the pumphead onto the valve.Now pump up the tire. We’d recommend an air pressure of around 1.8 bar at the front and around 2.0 bar at the rear, and for plus-size go for 1.0/1.2 bar. Important: Every tire has an indication line that should be completely visible when the tire is seated properly.Done! The tire’s on!
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Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer