Tips on fitting inner tube (road bike) without busting new tube

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  • Tips on fitting inner tube (road bike) without busting new tube
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    A little air in it and spare the levers

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    Make sure that the bead on the opposite side of the tyre to the the last bit you are trying to get in is on the lowest part (centre) of the rim.


    A little bit of air in the tube. I also try to avoid using tyre levers unless I really have to, which is almost never and I’m not strong either.


    I recommend one of these tools: Simson Tyre Mate
    It lifts the tyre up and over the rim, so it doesn’t catch on the tube.
    It makes fitting Marathon Plus tyres much easier, they can be rather tough to fit.


    Use talc to rub down the inside of the tire and dust the inner tube with it as well. Press the tire down into the rim well.


    don’t use levers for refitting the tyre. the park tool site has a useful guide

    Got a puncture on my way home from work on Friday. Fitted new tube and realised my pump was missing an important bit. Walked home – 5 miles. This morning got a puncture on way to work. Fitted new tube but holed it during the fitting process. Got a lift home. Rims currently being fitted with Schwalbe Marathon +. For future reference, how do I fit a tube without busting it? Those little tyres are damn tight. TiA


    I used to have the same problem and sorted it out by purchasing a VAR tyre lever;-


    put one side on, put in tube and gently inflate so it pushing against the tyre and not sitting on the rim. Put on other side carefully checking you’re not nipping the tube.

    Don’t use levers which is easier if you have folding tyres.

    Practice at home if you struggle as it’s better to waste a few tubes in the garage than face a long walk home.


    no air in the tube and no tyre levers.
    with decent technique you shouldn’t need tyre levers getting most tyres either on or off.
    why are some of you recommending air in the tube? the more air in the tube them more difficult to pop the bead over the rim.

    mark a.

    Folding tyres work for me as they are much easier to get them over the rim without tyre levers. My previous Conti Gatorskins were evil on my rims. Once everything is back together I double check that I haven’t pinched the tube before inflating.

    Schwalbe M+ are meant to be one of the worst for getting on to the rim. You should never get a puncture, but if you do there’s a good chance of needing lots of swearing to get them back on again.

    Spa Cycles have an excellent video near the bottom of their home page on how to get M+ (and other horrible tyres) back on without levers:


    with decent technique you shouldn’t need tyre levers getting most tyres either on or off.

    True, but there are plenty of road tyres that are pretty much impossible to remove. No air in the new tube and careful technique involving moving the bead to the centre of the rim to ease the last segment over the lip pf the rim has never defeated me.

    Oh and don’t go mad with the pumping action as you can puncture at the valve stem if over-zealous.


    A little bit of air in the new tube – just enough to make it “round” and go up inside the tyre, rather than any getting under the bead.

    No tyre levers to put tyre back on. Get the bit of the bead that you fit first (start at the valve) right down into the well of the rim – keep pushing it down all the way round and then go for it with fingers or thumbs to get the last bit of bead on.

    Double-check that the tube is fully in the tyre and not snagged under the bead before you inflate.

    Thanks for the advice and links chaps. Much appreciated.

    The Marathon + look great btw and appear pretty bomb proof too.


    Always start opposite the valve and go round towards it. That gives more space for the bead to sit in.


    A pair of gloves (rubber palm work gloves) can help in grappling with a tyre, plus they keep your hands clean.
    There are tyre fitting soaps available.

    Schwalbe say
    “Why is it sometimes so difficult to
    fit a tire?
    Fitting difficulties often arise when the diameters of the
    rim and the tire do not match perfectly.
    Rims can have a diameter tolerance of ± 0.5 mm. In addition,
    each rim flange height can also have a tolerance of
    ± 0.5 mm. These figures add up to a total diameter tolerance
    of ± 1.5 mm, or 4.7 mm over the circumference. This
    corresponds to a maximum possible circumferential difference
    of 9.4 mm between the largest and the smallest
    A tire has to fit on both extremes, so because a safe fit
    has to be ensured even on the smallest permissible rim
    diameter, the proper centering of the tire on the largest
    permissible rim can prove quite difficult.
    The circumferential tolerance of SCHWALBE tires is
    ± 1 mm.”
    Schwalbe Technical Information

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