It happened; you’ve found yourself with a flat tire or a warped rim and need to get a little surgical with your bike. The front wheel isn’t so daunting, as there isn’t as much going on as the rear. But as luck would have it, it’s the rear tire that you need to change!
Well, don’t worry. With a combination of the help through this article and a bit of practice, you can have that rear tire removed and replaced in no time. We’ll cover the ins and outs of changing tires of un-assisted bikes as well as hub motor eBikes.
A Few Differences Between the Tires
Knowing how to change a rear bike tire is an essential skill for any cyclist, whether you ride a regular bike or an eBike. While the basic principles remain the same, there are some differences to keep in mind when dealing with an eBike.
One of the main differences is the weight of the rear wheel on an eBike. This is because the motor is located in the hub, making the wheel heavier than a regular bike. As a result, you may need to apply extra force when removing the wheel.
Another key difference is the higher tire pressure required for eBikes. This is necessary to withstand the added stress from the motor. When changing the rear tire on an eBike, you’ll need to ensure that you inflate the new inner tube to the correct pressure. This may be higher than what you’re used to with a regular bike.
Despite these differences, the process of changing a rear bike tire on an eBike is similar to that of a regular bike. With the right tools, some basic know-how, and a bit of rehearsal, you can become confident in your ability to handle this task.
Changing the Rear Tire of an Un-Assisted Bike
It is a rare occasion that a flat happens when it’s most convenient for you. To combat the foul intentions of “Murphy’s Law,” it is always smart to have a tube, pump, and tools on you or somehow attached to your bike. This list of steps assumes that you already have a spare tube and everything you’ll need on hand. If you see things you don’t have on this list, go get them! Doing so will make your life much easier when something happens to your tires.
When you notice something is going on with your ride, like the bike sliding around too much in the rear, pull over and check it out. If you notice any tears or punctures in the tire, it’s crucial to replace the inner tube before proceeding.
(Remember to always prioritize the maintenance and upkeep of your bike to ensure a smooth and safe ride to avoid this and other troubles that might come unaware.)
- When you’ve assessed the damage and have determined that some work needs to be done to the tire, you’ll first want to flip the bike upside down and remove the chain. This is easily done by removing pressure from the derailer.
- To remove the wheel from your bike, you have a couple of options depending on the type of bike you have. If your bike is equipped with quick-release levers, you can simply loosen them and pull the wheel out. However, if your bike does not have quick-release levers, you will need to use a wrench to loosen the axle nuts. This will permit you to remove the wheel from the bike safely and efficiently.
- To deflate the tire, you have a couple of options. One way is to use a tire lever to press on the valve stem, releasing the air from the tire. A tire lever is a small, thin tool used to pry a tire’s bead off the rim of a bicycle wheel. It is a very helpful tool to have on hand when changing a flat tire, as it can make the process much easier.
Another option is to unscrew the valve cap and press on the valve core to let the air out. Both methods are effective in deflating the tire and preparing it for maintenance or repair.
- To remove a tire from its rim, it’s recommended to use the aforementioned tire lever. Begin by placing the lever at one side of the tire and slowly work your way around the rim, gently prying the bead up a little bit at a time. This method ensures that the tire is removed safely without causing any damage to the rim or tire. You can easily remove the inner tube once the tire’s bead is off the rim. Remember to take your time and gently remove the tire to prevent any unnecessary damage.
- It is important to carefully inspect the inner tube for any signs of damage. If you notice a puncture, you can use a patch kit to fix it. However, if the damage is too severe, it’s best to replace the inner tube altogether. When installing a new inner tube, it’s crucial to ensure the valve stem is properly seated in the hole in the rim. Take your time to double-check that everything is secure and in place before inflating the tire. This will help prevent any potential issues or accidents while riding.
- To reattach the tire to the rim, take a tire lever and begin at one end of the tire. Slowly work your way around the rim, using the tire lever to gently pry the tire bead back onto the rim. It’s important to be patient and not force the bead too quickly, as this can damage the tire. Once the bead is fully settled on the rim, fill the tire to the suggested pressure. However, be careful not to overinflate the tire, as this can cause it to burst or become unstable.
By following these steps, you can safely and effectively reattach your tire without causing any harm to yourself or the tire. Reinstall the wheel on the bike, and if you’re roadside and have had to replace the inner tube rather than patch it, don’t forget to take the old tube with you. Why leave it for someone else to deal with?
Changing the Rear Tire of Hub Motor eBike
As stated above, many steps for a regular, un-assisted bike are the same for an eBike, even with a hub motor. Some obvious differences need to be observed, though. For the sake of consistency, here are all the steps involved.
- Turn off your eBike or remove the battery before working on the wheel to ensure your safety. This will prevent any accidental engagement of the motor. Look closely at the tire for any visible damage, such as tears or punctures. If you do notice any damage, it’s recommended that you replace the inner tube to avoid any further issues.
- Disconnect the power cable from the motor before removing the wheel from the bike. If your eBike has quick-release levers, you can easily loosen them and pull the wheel out. However, if your eBike does not have quick-release levers, it will be necessary to use a wrench to loosen the axle nuts.
- To deflate the tire, you have two options. The first is using a tire lever to press on the valve stem. Alternatively, you can unscrew the valve cap and press on the valve core.
- Use the tire lever to pry the bead of the tire off the rim. Start at one side of the tire and work your way around the rim, using the tire lever to pry the bead up a little bit at a time.
- Once the bead of the tire is off the rim, you can get rid of the inner tube.
Inspect the inner tube carefully for any signs of damage. If you happen to notice a puncture or hole, don’t worry, you can easily patch it up with a patch kit. However, if the damage is too extensive, it may be necessary to replace the inner tube altogether. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so take your time inspecting the tube thoroughly to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.
Note: Use some common sense when weighing out whether or not to patch or replace the tube. Due to the greater pressures and speeds that come with an eBike over an un-assisted bike, it’s better to err on the side of caution and replace the tube with a fresh one rather than trying your luck with a patch.
- Insert the new inner tube over the rim. It is crucial to ensure that the valve stem is correctly positioned and securely seated in the hole on the rim. This will stop any air leakages and ensure that the tire stays properly inflated. Take your time to double-check and make any necessary adjustments before inflating the tire to the recommended pressure.
- Use a tire lever to pry the tire’s bead back onto the rim. Start at one side of the tire and work your way around the rim, using the tire lever to pry the bead down a little bit at a time.
- Get some air in the tire but make sure to inflate it to the suggested or recommended pressure levels adequate for your particular eBike.
Reinstall the wheel on the bike, reconnect the power to the motor, put the chain back on, throw in the battery, and you’re off!
At Hovsco, we use eBike-rated all-terrain puncture-proof tires with rugged rims, strong spokes, and a few sizes. For example, the HovRanger and the HovCity are equipped with 27.5” x 2.25” tires, the HovBeta and HovCart come with 20” x 4” tires, and all of our other models come with 26” x 4” tires.
These are common sizes and are easy to get your hands on. So, to save you some heartache, make sure to include a tube or two along with some simple tools when going off on your next trek.