How To Change A Mountain Bike Tire?

How To Change A Mountain Bike Tire?

When it comes to bikes, the ideal scenario is not changing your tires unless you plan it.

However, ideal scenarios tend not to be the reality, and sometimes we wake up, and we find our tires flat and the bike on the ground.

You need to be at work or in school soon, so the only thing to do is either find a way to fix it, otherwise you need to know how to change a mountain bike tire.

In today’s guide, we’ll look at the situation where changing the bike’s tire would be better than repairing it. We’ll also give you a step-by-step guide on how to change your mountain bike tires, whether your bike is tubed or tubeless.


Why Would You Want To Change Mountain Bike Tires?

Bike tires can last for a long time, but they are not eternal. That means that at some point, you’ll need to change them for a new pair.

When it comes to mountain bike tires, you need to understand that this type of tire functions by providing a better grip and traction than other bike models.

Knobs produce the grip your tires need, and when those knobs are halfway gone, you should get a new pair of tires. You should also change the tires if you notice the threads or see any irregularities over the surfaces.

If that’s the case for your tires, then replace them immediately. If not, it can wait.

How To Tell If You Need To Change Your Tires?

Worn Tire

Here is how you can tell if your mountain bike tires need changing:

  • If the tires’ thread has worn thin, and if you can notice some flat spots over the surface.
  • Suppose you can see the fabric through the rubber. This needs an immediate change, or you’ll end up with some flat tires.
  • If the tire is showing any irregular or lumpy bumps on either side.

If you notice any of these signs, replace your bike tires as soon as possible. Not doing so can lead to accidents and flat tires when you least expect them.

Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Mountain Bike Tires?

Mountain bike tires require more durability, resistance, and grip than traditional bike tires or even BMX tires.

There are two types of mountain tires you should know about: tubeless tires and tubed tires. Each of these two types has a specific purpose, and therefore, each requires a different treatment when changing them.


Mountaine Bike Tubed Tire

Tubed tires have been the standard for bikes since their invention.

This type of tire works with an inner tube filled with air, generating pressure so that the bike can move faster. A rubber layer protects and covers the tube, allowing the tire to produce traction when riding.

Here’s what you have to do:

Removing the Tire

The first thing you need to do is remove the old tire and make sure the rim is working flawlessly.

If you can see that the bike’s rim or other component did not cause the flat tire, you can proceed with the next step.

However, if the bike is not working correctly, putting on a new tire will only give you a flat again.

Installing the New Tire

If you are sure that the rim is not the problem, you can inflate your new air tube. Inflate it enough to give it some shape, but not to its fullest or recommended pressure yet.

With the tube inflated just enough, you can put the tire over it a lot faster and easier than with a deflated tube.

Now, all you need to do is secure the tire back to the rim before inflating the tube properly. Ensure that the tire is correctly locked to the edge before passing onto the inflation part.


Mountaine Bike Tubeless Tire

Tubeless tires are regular tires without the inside tube responsible for better speed when riding.

The lack of this inner tube has a reason. Without the tube, there are no flat tires. Not having to deal with flat tires is as revolutionary as the invention of the internet, at least for mountain bikers.

Apart from the lack of an inner tube, tubeless tires are not that different from regular tires. However, changing a tubeless tire can be more challenging than changing a traditional mountain bike tire.

The first thing you need to know about is the tubeless tire compatibility. Tubeless tires are made for specific types of bikes and bike sizes, meaning that you need to get the right pair of tubeless tires for your bike, or it won’t work.

If you are unsure of what type of tubeless tire you need, consult with your provider or an expert before buying.

Here’s what you need:

  • Tire levers
  • Inflator head
  • Air compressor
  • Measuring cup
  • Tire sealant
  • Rags
  • Soapy water
  • Valve core remover
  • Syringe

Here’s what you have to do:

Tire Information

First, you need to know which type of tubeless tire is compatible with your bike, and then get a new pair of tubeless tires using that information.

Tire Removal

Removing the tire will be challenging if it is your first time working with a tubeless model. The first thing you need to do is to deflate the tire in its entirety, ensuring you remove all the pressure inside the tire.

Once the tire is deflated, proceed to push both sides of the tire towards the middle. By doing this, you’ll remove the tire from the rim sidewall. Now, using your tire levers, remove the tire from the rim.

Note: Be careful about the fluid at the bottom of the tire because it can be toxic for humans and animals. Follow the disposal guide given by the manufacturer.

Finally, clean up the bead seat of the rim with some rags and soapy water.

Tire Installation

Mountain Bicycle Tire Rotation Mark

The first thing you need to do is check that the valve you are using is secured to the bike’s rim.

Then, check for the tire rotation that the manufacturer printed on the tire’s sidewalls.

With that information, align the new tire with the rim and begin the installation.

Once you have both beads secured in the tire, it is time to apply the sealant. Now, there are two proven methods to do them, and we will share them with you.

First Method

For this first method, you’ll need a measuring cup and an air compressor. Once you have these two elements, check for the manufacturer’s recommended amount of tire sealant.

Pour the sealant inside by using a measuring cup. While you pour the bond, ensure that the liquid remains on the bottom until the beads are secured on the bike’s rim.

Now that the tire is connected to the bicycle, inflate it using the tire’s recommended air pressure.

Second Method

For this method, you’ll need a syringe, a valve with a removable core, and an air compressor. Once you have those items in hand, you can start by filling the needle with the recommended amount of tire sealant.

Mount the two tire beads before using the syringe. Now, secure the valve to the rim and proceed to remove the core. After the tire is attached to the edge, all you need to do is inject the sealant and install the valve core back.

All you need to do now is wait until the adhesive has set.

How To Make Your Mountain Bike Tires Last Longer?

Pump Mountain Bike Tires Properly

The best thing you can do is to never skid over surfaces like concrete or asphalt.

Both of these surfaces have little to no friction, and that lack of friction can wear off your tire knobs. Do it only when necessary for your safety.

Additionally, proper inflation is the best way to keep your tires working for a long time. The correct inflation will allow your brakes to work better, and therefore, you won’t need to skid or slide.

With the proper inflation, you also protect the inside mechanism, prolonging your tires’ life.

Tires are specific to each side of your bike. So, if your front tire is not made to be the front of your bike, you must change it. Using the wrong tire for the front or the rear can wear it down faster.

Avoid rocky terrains or extremely uneven surfaces as much as possible. This type of terrain will make your tires wear down faster than if you only ride over soft dirt tracks.

Note: Avoid extreme weather. For instance, high temperatures can make your tires wear down faster than in normal conditions.

Your tires can last approximately 3200 to 8000 km (1988 to 4970 miles)  in normal conditions, but they last half the distance under extreme heat.


Changing your bike’s tires is essential if you constantly use them over smooth or rocky surfaces. If the knobs of the bicycle are gone, then it is time to get a new pair of tires to replace the old ones.

Regardless of if your bike tires are tubed or tubeless, you need to follow the process according to specific measurements.

Usually, manufacturers provide the necessary information about air pressure and handling of the tires. So, if you are unsure, just check what’s written on your tires’ sidewalls.


Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by Danijel Cakalic

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