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Changing Your Own Tires At Minimal Cost

13990 Views 53 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  madmilar
I didn't want to keep paying to have my tires mounted and balanced. Especially since they charge $50 for both tires around here. So I started looking into buying the stuff to do it myself. Then I found that I could make some of it myself. Sure it isn't the prettiest pieces of equipment but it gets the job done. I got the wood, most of the nuts/bolts, and bearings for free. I paid $1 for the metal bar and $3.40 for some extra nuts and bolts. Then I paid, I think, something around $50 for the tire irons, rim savers, weights and RUglyde.

First of all, you are going to need:
-Bead Breaker (Homemade)
-Balancer (Homemade)
-Tire Irons (
-Rim Savers (
-Tire Lube (RUglyde, you can get it from NAPA)
-Valve Remover
-1/4 oz. Wheel Weights (

Here is the bead breaker and balancer that I made out of 2x4's

The bead breaker is just made to go on a stud in my garage with a piece sticking down to break the bead. You'll see how it works later on.

That balancer is made from 2x4's as well. Then I got some bearings and cleaned out the grease with paint thinner and used a light lubricant so that they spin freely.

I bought some balancer cones from to fit on a .5 inch bar. I didn't use it when I did my tires this time though. I bought the bar at Industrial Metal Supply.

After you have everything you are now ready to change your tires.

First of all, remove the tire from the bike using a 36mm socket.

You are going to want to set your tire on a couple 2x4's to protect the rotors. Mount your bead breaker on a stud and put the tire underneath to have the bead broken. Make sure you unscrew the valve on the valve stem so that there is no air in the tire.

You can see how the bead breaker is on the stud on the wall. I just drilled a hole and slid a bolt through.

Use the breaker to push down on the tire to break the bead all the way around. Once you do one part you may be able to push the rest of it off by hand. Break the beads on both sides of the tire.

You can use your knees to hold the tire off of the outer edge of the rim. This allows room for the bead of the tire to be pried over the rim. Use the hooked end of the tire iron to grab the bead. Use RUglyde to lubricate the inner part of the rim and the bead of the tire so that it will slide over the rim when you are taking if off. Apply a good amount.

Use the tire irons to pry the bead over the rim. Use the rim savers to protect the rim from the tire irons. Sorry I don't have a pic with the tire irons.

Once you have the first bead over the rim you then have to do the same to the other bead on the tire so that the tire will come off completely. Note the directional arrows on the tire so that you can put the new tire on going the right direction. VERY IMPORTANT.

I then went ahead and cleaned the rim and took off the old wheel weight since it was easily accessible.

Now you are ready to put the new tire on. Some tires have a little colored circle or something on the bead which is there to tell you that that is the heaviest part of the tire. You want to match that up with you valve stem because that's the lightest part your rim. Make sure you check the directional arrow on the side of tire and that it's going the right way.

The first bead can be pushed on the rim manually without tools. Just make sure you use the tire lubricant (RUglyde).

The second bead is going to need the tire irons to get it on the rim. Use the lubricant and the flat end of the tire irons to pry the bead on. You can see the tire iron I used over to the left. You can see the hooked end and the flat end.

Now that your tire is on the rim you are going to want to fill it with air so that the beads will set into place. You will hear each bead POP into place. Don't go over 60 psi. If you don't hear it pop you may have to remove the tire and re-lube it.

Once all that is done you are ready to balance the tire. Put the balancer bar through the tire and put the bar on the balancer. If you have balancer cones slide them on the bar and seat them on the rim so that the tire is centered on the bar.

Obviously, the heaviest part of the tire will go to the bottom on the balancer. Mark that spot and make sure that same spot always goes to the bottom. Take some wheel weights, I used 3 at first, and tape/mock them up opposite the heaviest part with some masking tape. What you are looking for is the tire to not roll on the balancer. There should be no "heavy spot." I ended up cutting of one of the 1/4 oz weights and only needed 2. Notice on the left you can see the taped wheel weights in blue and on the right you can see my chalk mark for the heavy part. Also notice that neither side falls to the bottom.

Mount the tire back on the bike and it's ready to go.

Here's pics from the front tire being done.

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VERY nice post!!!!!!!!!!!! Here they charge $50 too if you bring the wheels in
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Proving once again...necessity IS the mother of invention!

PS...I use an old Suzuki swingarm stand for the balancer.
I dont trust it to support my bikes but as a balancer it works fine!
I Purchased a bead breaker several years ago from J.C. Whitney for under 50.00
Proving once again...necessity IS the mother of invention!

PS...I use an old Suzuki swingarm stand for the balancer.
I dont trust it to support my bikes but as a balancer it works fine!
I Purchased a bead breaker several years ago from J.C. Whitney for under 30.00 you got me thinking.......I wonder if I could use my Redline rear stand for the "balancer"
Yes, I've seen rear stands being used.
now if only i was at home to change my tire....

thats a good thread there...

looks so easy
Wow that is amazing
here sum video for you guys probably get idea of the situation i even saved these on my desktop. Brought to you by my friend from SCUDMAN

Tire Removal

Tire Installation

What are those white plastics that guy uses in the video? I'm gonna have to change my own tires cuz there's no bike shop out here and I doubt the tire people here can do mine without messin up my rotors...

Nm he said tropicana juice cans haha

awesome post though I'm gonna have to do this when my 2cts get in... saturday morning project!

how do you make the video playable from the post instead of as a link????
Hey Bourgeois, what size bolts and bearings did u use for the stand? I'm thinking of making one this weekend... and was about to order some bearings on EBAY, I'm getting some Abec 5's. Thanks.
damn this thread gave me some ideas...
Oh you dont know about this AV?...

this is the reason why i was out this morning practicing
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Thanks for the info!! The local Stealership charges $70.00 per tire for labor.
Home Depot here I come..
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This has motivated me to do the 2ct thing...
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