The tyre changing challenge

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Bleeding knuckles, obscenities, sweat and frustration. Just a few of the delights that go hand in hand with changing a tyre in the comfort of your own garage. Take it out onto a wet muddy trail and you're in a different league.

It can be one of the most painful experiences for new riders as they get to know their bike. But it doesn't have to be.

Recently Northumbria TRF put on a tyre changing workshop as part of their monthly meeting. Tony Whitehead, a regular on the enduro and rally circuit demonstrated what he has learned over the years.

Tony's top tips

  • Find a place to change your tube a - large rock or tree stump makes a handy stand for the bike
  • Make sure you have the right tools
  • A cheap set of spanners will do the job, save your decent kit for the garage
  • Buy good quality tyre levers, 300mm long (3 of them), strap them to your handlebars. Long levers make tyre changing much easier and quicke
  • Get levers which have a hook arrangement to make things even easier
  • A valve remover is worth carrying
  • A small tub of tyre paste or WD40 is worth carrying to make it easy
  • Make sure you have a pump
  • Flatten a spare tube then replace the valve to save space.
  • A 21” tube will work in the back to get you home.
  • Good condition HD tubes will help you not to get punctures in the first instance
  • Check your spokes are in good condition and not loose
  • Carry some gloves or nitrile disposable gloves – to keep your hands clean(ish)
  • Tyre slime is good but can be expensive. Halfords sometimes do 2 for 1 if buying on line
  • Tyre paste is worth using – buy a big tub, put into small tubs and sell at £3.00 for some funds for the club

Your local TRF group is a great place to learn tips and routes from

members with decades of experience.

Join the TRF today and get down to next months meeting.