- 19mm wrench or 19mm impact socket with impact wrench
- 17mm wrench
- 14mm socket with extension
- valve core tool
- side cutters (or pliers)
- 2-3 tire levers/tire spoons
- rim protectors
- 6” or 8” C-clamp (a slow, hard way to break a bead – easier way)
- Windex (it is alcohol based, so it dries quickly unlike soapy water)
- axle grease
- tire gauge
- torque wrench
- hearing protection (impact wrench is loud)
- air compressor to seat the bead (or a trip to the gas station!)
- includes affiliate links to support the blog
1) Get the front tire off the ground. If you still have the center stand, this is easy. I put two 50lb sand bags on the rear seat, and the front tire stayed in the air.
2) Using the 14mm socket, remove the two bolts holding the front brake caliper on.
Place a rag on top of the fender to protect it. Lift the caliper out of the way and place on top of the front fender.
3) Using the side cutters or pliers, remove the cotter pin from the castle nut.
4) Using the 19mm and 17mm wrench, remove the castle nut from the axle.
and pull the axle out.
5) Remove the tire from the bike
6) With a valve core tool, remove the valve from the valve stem to let all of the air out of the tire.
7) Break the bead on the tire. There are a lot of different ways to do this. Some of them easier, but I thought I’d try something new with this tire change and try C-Clamps. Tightening the clamps on the tire will break the bead.
One side of the tire’s bead broken away from the rim.
I found it helpful to use a rim protector to get the bead on the other side broken.
8) Once the bead is broken on both sides, you can start using tire levers to lift one side of the tire over the edge of the rim. Use the rim protectors to avoid marring the paint. Liberal use of Windex help lubricate the tire off the rim.
9) When the first side is completely off, flip over and push off the other side. Again, use the Windex to make this part easier.
The new and old tire side by side:
10) When mounting the new tire note the direction arrow on the tire and align appropriately.
11) Using more Windex and rim protectors, lever the first side of the tire on.
12) Once the first side is on, lever the second on. Windex helps a lot. Also make sure to keep the tire pushed down in the rim. This keeps the tire in the narrow part of the rim making it much easier to lever that last bit of tire over the edge.
13) Replace the valve and lubricate the tire again with Windex. Use an air compressor to quickly fill the tire. This will cause the bead to seat on the rim. You will hear two loud “pops” as the bead seats.
This little compressor works great and was only $10 at a local auction.
14) Fill the tire to the recommended 33psi
15) mount the tire on a balancing stand and balance.
This tire was balanced by adding three 1/4oz (7g) weights.
16) Remount the tire to the bike and torque to the following specs:
Front Axle Nut: 30 ft-lbs
Front brake caliper mounting bolt: 30 ft-lbs
17) Replace the cotter pin with a new one
18) Take the bike for a ride
19) Enjoy a cold beverage!
I recognize using C-clamps and levers is the “hard way.” I do own a tire changer. It brakes the bead in a few seconds compared to the minutes it takes with the clamps. It also dismounts and mounts the tire far faster and easier than levers. Good tools cost good money, but save LOTS of time.
I bought the tire changer last year when I realized how many miles I was putting on my bikes and how many my wife was also riding. We needed between three and five sets of tires a year between all of the bikes. At $70-$100 per set to have them professionally installed, we recouped the cost of the tools in one year.
Written by Chrisluhman for Everyday Riding. All rights reserved.