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How do YOU fit an inner tube and tire?

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How do YOU fit an inner tube and tire?

Old 01-08-22, 04:23 PM
  #1  
SquishyBiker
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How do YOU fit an inner tube and tire?

I just watched a video where someone fitted a tire in such contrast to me, that I couldn't bite my tongue!
The host both inserted a flat inner tube (he even twisted the tube!) and seated the last part of the tire at the valve with tire levers!!!
So how do you fit an inner tube and tire?

Heres how I do it:
  1. Check the rim tape is centered on the rim and is in good condition, and check the tire for glass/thornes
  2. Ensure the tire direction is correct and align a spot on the tire with the valve hole for ease of location later (I usually pick center of the brand), then feed the tire on one side of the rim.
  3. Inflate the inner tube enough so it holds its shape as this will prevent the tube twisting on fitting, insert the valve, and then feed the tube so it sits in the rim.
  4. Hand feed the remaining bead onto the rim by working from the valve evenly on both sides to the opposite end of the rim - if the tire is too tight, deflate the inner tube ensuring it stays in the rim, and squeeze the tire so both beads sit in the center of the rim, then attempt to hand feed the last of the tire on the rim.
  5. Put the valve nut on about 3/4 of the way onto the valve to help with fitting the pump head, and inflate the tire to the tires max pressure to seat the tire.
  6. Deflate the tire to the correct pressure, close the valve, remove the valve nut and store the valve nut it with your puncture repair kit.
It might not be the same as others and may have a bit more work, but I never pinch a tube and my tires seat in the beads perfectly nearly every time (except for WTB tire beads as it turns out!)
I also refrain from using valve nuts these days, as they put pressure on the inside of the valve seal with the tube leading to premature valve seal failure, but they are handy for when your pump has a tight slide on head (as opposed to a screw on head)
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Old 01-08-22, 04:33 PM
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cxwrench
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Tl;dr
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Old 01-08-22, 04:40 PM
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Sometimes I'll allow a little air in the tube before mounting, but it also works well to simply use it flat, and spread it around the inside of the tire.

I usually start at the valve and work around the tire, but I have heard arguments to start opposite the valve and work towards the valve, then push the valve in slightly when doing the final seating.
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Old 01-08-22, 04:56 PM
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HillRider
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I do pretty much what you do but never bother with the valve nut and I have seated the last few inches of a very tight tire with a plastic tire lever or, better, the Kool Stop Tire Jack. Also, use tubes at the low end of the size range, e.g. a tube for 700-20 to 700x25 in a 700x23 tire.
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Old 01-08-22, 05:23 PM
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CliffordK
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If I have the nut, I'll install it when I'm done.

Most of my tires are soft enough that I can use my thumb on the tire side of the valve to hold the valve in place while pushing my pump on.
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Old 01-08-22, 05:26 PM
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SoSmellyAir
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Originally Posted by SquishyBiker View Post
I just watched a video where someone fitted a tire in such contrast to me, that I couldn't bite my tongue!
The host both inserted a flat inner tube (he even twisted the tube!) and seated the last part of the tire at the valve with tire levers!!!
So how do you fit an inner tube and tire?

Heres how I do it:
  1. Check the rim tape is centered on the rim and is in good condition, and check the tire for glass/thornes
  2. Ensure the tire direction is correct and align a spot on the tire with the valve hole for ease of location later (I usually pick center of the brand), then feed the tire on one side of the rim.
  3. Inflate the inner tube enough so it holds its shape as this will prevent the tube twisting on fitting, insert the valve, and then feed the tube so it sits in the rim.
  4. Hand feed the remaining bead onto the rim by working from the valve evenly on both sides to the opposite end of the rim - if the tire is too tight, deflate the inner tube ensuring it stays in the rim, and squeeze the tire so both beads sit in the center of the rim, then attempt to hand feed the last of the tire on the rim.
  5. Put the valve nut on about 3/4 of the way onto the valve to help with fitting the pump head, and inflate the tire to the tires max pressure to seat the tire.
  6. Deflate the tire to the correct pressure, close the valve, remove the valve nut and store the valve nut it with your puncture repair kit.
It might not be the same as others and may have a bit more work, but I never pinch a tube and my tires seat in the beads perfectly nearly every time (except for WTB tire beads as it turns out!)
I also refrain from using valve nuts these days, as they put pressure on the inside of the valve seal with the tube leading to premature valve seal failure, but they are handy for when your pump has a tight slide on head (as opposed to a screw on head)
I did the same thing this morning (when I noticed that my rear tire was completely flat) except (a) I used Michelin Airstop tubes which have threadless valve stems and thus no valve nuts, and (b) I use plastic tire levers at the very end.
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Old 01-08-22, 07:13 PM
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Greg R
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That's Youtube for ya. Anyone from schooled and/or credentialed to shade tree can post. If the content violates safety, established practice, or just plain unskilled, it can warrant a down vote with a comment why.
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Old 01-10-22, 08:46 AM
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I'm with O.P. on valve tube first on, last off, since I've got maximum slack.

I've always used the heel of my palms to get the last bit of tire mounted. Maybe I'm just too dense to figure out how to use tire irons to get the tire ON -- they're pretty simple and useful to start getting a tire OFF.
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Old 01-10-22, 09:28 AM
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HillRider
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Maybe I'm just too dense to figure out how to use tire irons to get the tire ON -- they're pretty simple and useful to start getting a tire OFF.
The "trick" to using tire levers to install the last few inches of a tight tire is to turn the lever so the little ridge at the end faces down toward and catches on the rim. That way it doesn't slip off of the rim and avoids pinching the tube.
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Old 01-10-22, 09:38 AM
  #10  
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Assuming tire and rim tape and tube (esp. valve area) are all in good condition:

A. Orient tire so it is pointing forwards (if directional tread) and the label is lined up with the valve hole in the rim, and put one bead of the tire onto the rim
B. Put a small amount of air in the tube, just enough so it isn't completely flat.
C. Insert the valve of the tube into the valve hole in the rim
D. Put the tube into the partially-mounted tire as much as possible
E. Push the other bead of the tire onto the rim
F. work your way around the rim, pushing the tire towards the centre and look for any sign of the tube being trapped under the bead of the tire or between the bead and the rim; work any points of trapped tube back inside the tire
G. Pump the tire up just so it has shape, spin the wheel and look for spots where the tire is too high or low compared to the sidewall of the rim, fix these spots if necessary
H. Inflate to desired pressure
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Old 01-11-22, 06:45 AM
  #11  
subgrade
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1) Put a small amount of air in the tube, just enough so it isn't completely flat.
2) Put the tube into the tire
3) Align valve with label
4) Make sure tire thread is pointing the right way, put valve through the hole in the rim and mount one side of the tire
5) mount the other side of tire with fingers, going around the rim in both directions from the valve, and checking tube doesn't get caught between the bead and the rim
6) mount the last bit of the remaining tire bead using levers, if necessary
7) Pump the tire up just so it has shape, spin the wheel and look for spots where the tire is too high or low compared to the sidewall of the rim, fix these spots if necessary (usually not needed, as the beads will pop into place when tire is inflated)
8) Inflate to desired pressure
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Old 01-11-22, 09:49 AM
  #12  
pennpaul
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I used to seat the tire at the valve last (for 25+ years) until I couldn't on a new rim/tire combo, googled it, and saw that seating it first would give me a little more slack. So now it's always seat at the valve first.
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Old 01-11-22, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by SquishyBiker View Post
I just watched a video where someone fitted a tire in such contrast to me, that I couldn't bite my tongue!
The host both inserted a flat inner tube (he even twisted the tube!) and seated the last part of the tire at the valve with tire levers!!!
So how do you fit an inner tube and tire?

Heres how I do it:
  1. Check the rim tape is centered on the rim and is in good condition, and check the tire for glass/thornes
  2. Ensure the tire direction is correct and align a spot on the tire with the valve hole for ease of location later (I usually pick center of the brand), then feed the tire on one side of the rim.
  3. Inflate the inner tube enough so it holds its shape as this will prevent the tube twisting on fitting, insert the valve, and then feed the tube so it sits in the rim.
  4. Hand feed the remaining bead onto the rim by working from the valve evenly on both sides to the opposite end of the rim - if the tire is too tight, deflate the inner tube ensuring it stays in the rim, and squeeze the tire so both beads sit in the center of the rim, then attempt to hand feed the last of the tire on the rim.
  5. Put the valve nut on about 3/4 of the way onto the valve to help with fitting the pump head, and inflate the tire to the tires max pressure to seat the tire.
  6. Deflate the tire to the correct pressure, close the valve, remove the valve nut and store the valve nut it with your puncture repair kit.
It might not be the same as others and may have a bit more work, but I never pinch a tube and my tires seat in the beads perfectly nearly every time (except for WTB tire beads as it turns out!)
I also refrain from using valve nuts these days, as they put pressure on the inside of the valve seal with the tube leading to premature valve seal failure, but they are handy for when your pump has a tight slide on head (as opposed to a screw on head)
I to all that, and try to make sure the tube is in the tire with no twisting. After the tire is mounted, I pump the tire up to half pressure, and then lett out all of the air. I then pump the tire up to the pressure I want. Oh-----------and BTW I put talcum powder in the tire so that the tube can slide into it natural unstressed position.
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Old 01-11-22, 10:01 AM
  #14  
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fwiw - I add a little air to the tube, after getting the tube & tire on I'll add more air. I hold off on max pressure until I've inspected & massaged the tire all around on both sides so everything it even, the tire is seated under the valve stem area then pull down on it while pressuring the tire to keep it in place there. if anything is irregular or uneven, I might let some air out to massage some more. when everything looks good & even, then I'll pump it up all the way
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Old 01-11-22, 10:04 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I to all that, and try to make sure the tube is in the tire with no twisting. After the tire is mounted, I pump the tire up to half pressure, and then lett out all of the air. I then pump the tire up to the pressure I want. Oh-----------and BTW I put talcum powder in the tire so that the tube can slide into it natural unstressed position.
I also am with the OP plus I also add talcum powder.
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Old 01-14-22, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dmark View Post
I also am with the OP plus I also add talcum powder.
Surprised to read 13 replies before the “powder” use was even mentioned. I use “baby powder”. My usual method is have the tube devoid of nearly all air AND be sure to cap the valve stem. Sprinkle a half teaspoon or so into a plastic shopping bag (check for holes first)! Add the tube, twist the top of the bag and shake it like Grandma used to powder donuts! I also usually add a bit of powder inside the tire and distribute as much as possible. I believe that the powder allows the tube to “settle in” better than without using it. RE: the valve stem issue, I ALWAYS start there and yes do push the stem in a bit to allow the bead to drop into the rim. I also place the recommended pressure info very near the valve stem. Most of the time I don’t need a tire lever or bead jack (but i have them available for those tight tires). After inflating the tires to about half the recommended pressure, I roll them a couple of revolutions to “settle things in” then resume pumping until the beads “snap” into place usually with an audible POP.
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Old 01-14-22, 08:29 PM
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Check the can. Most of the powder now is cornstarch
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Old 01-15-22, 08:55 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Greg R View Post
Check the can. Most of the powder now is cornstarch
I’m using an old bottle of DR Harris aftershave talcum powder that I got for shaving but didn’t like it. Any wheel with newly installed tube smells vaguely of aftershave now.
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Old 01-15-22, 09:46 AM
  #19  
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A trick I've used a few years now to get the right amount of air in the tube to start - I blow them up by mouth. Fast. (I grew up in a farm-like environment. A few germs aren't going to kill me.) No messing with the pump. I cannot put in to much air.

I also start at the valve and finish with my palms if I can. I was never gifted strong hands. Age and the beginnings of arthritis are taking their toll so the levers get used more they used to for mounting but the tires I prefer aren't that hard to mount. (I've never been a Conti fan.)
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Old 01-15-22, 10:34 AM
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Old 01-15-22, 12:25 PM
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After the tube is installed and tire seated, I put about 20 psi in and then use my thumbs going around each side to make sure I did not inadvertently get the latex tube pinched between the tire and rim. It is rare but it happens, which is why I check.
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Old 01-16-22, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
3) Align valve hole in rim with tire label, drive-side.
As the most important, I'd bump this up a couple steps to #1.
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Old 01-16-22, 02:06 PM
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SoSmellyAir
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
As the most important, I'd bump this up a couple steps to #1.
Post #11 above (Bike Forums - View Single Post - How do YOU fit an inner tube and tire?) by subgrade did not specify drive side, so when I saw your post I had to run out to my garage to verify my valve / tire label alignment.
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Old 01-21-22, 05:57 PM
  #24  
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I have always put air in the tube then put tube in tire letting out air till it fits then letting out a little more.
Center the valve on the tire logo
If there is a valve nut put it on loosely
Feed the tire on to one side of the rim with my hands starting at the valve
Let more air out of the tube so it doesn't get pinched on the rim
working from both sides of the valve slip tire onto the rim using a plastic tire iron to push any tube that gets pinched into the tire cavity
With tight tires, work around the tire squeezing the two sides together to make more room.
If I can't roll the last bit over the rim lip I use the kool stop tool to finish the job, often moving it a couple of times so I am not pushing a large section at once.

I find I can also use the Kool stop tool to get a hella tight tire off the rim too, often in combination with a plastic tire jack .

By the way, We have some extra wide plastic tire irons at the bike exchange and they work better than any others I have tried. These are Pedro's
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Old 01-22-22, 12:08 PM
  #25  
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Pretty much same for me, except I leave the valve nut on and barely tight enough to keep from unscrewing itself. Probably just because I'd likely lose it in my bag otherwise.
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