How to Change

The world spins around and changes every second of our life, in good or bad ways, or maybe it does not need to be either. Let’s face it, however, that good changes have not happened as much as we needed it to. At work, budgets and policies prevents sound changes for a better service. In our country, our legal system is not utilised fully to speed up the right changes to battle the environmental issues/ global warming. Our economy would rather still rely on selling an unbelievable amount of plastic packaging/ products harmful to the environment and manufacturers have no responsibilty over their disposal. We are held back to concentrate on the obstacles – literally just think over and over again about the potential drawbacks without actually attempting to change.

So, how do we change? I ordered some tyres which arrived more than a week ago, yet I have been contemplating changing them only. I looked back on what influenced me to make this “change”, as I present to you this ultimate “how to change… your tyres” tutorial.

Life has changed when I found this mountain bike (MTB) on gumtree for £60, but I keep spending time regretting not asking for a lower price because its tyres were so oxidised. Having said that, the gears were working very well as I climbed the hills in Barnsdale part of Rutland Water for £60, which gave me extra to “upgrade”. However, a good pair of tyres can cost £20-50 which was precisely why I should have bargained. I keep thinking whether I should sell this and get something more “hybrid” in the £100 range instead. Anyway, I got some tyres after a temendous amout of online shopping. Effort. Changes were happening in the right direction, but I dreaded to unbox those tyres for days, because the last time I changed tyres was in 2012/13 and it took me 3 hours. What was worse was that my old bike tubes does not hold air well since despite changing tubes – and I am afraid the same will happen this time too!

Cracks on the bike was worrying. Also see how the schrader valve was being stretched to one side – poor tube.

Ordering tyres was also a gamble – I ordered 26×1.75 which are thinner than these 26×2.0, and I don’t know if the tubes underneath were 26×1.75 compatible. But the only way to find out was to rip them out. It turned out they were, but they were not compatible with 26×1.5 which I nearly got instead. Phew! With the expected time required being so long, I quickly put some frozen chicken portions with soy sauce and ginger into the oven to make the completion of the dirty work more wothwhile.

Step 1: Deflate the inner tube to allow removal of the tyre.


Step 2: Lift the edge of the tyre with one tyre lever and stabilise it against the wheel, and pull a second tyre lever around the rim until one side of the tyre came out completely.


Step 3: remove the inner tube.


Step 4: Detach the other side of the tyre from the rim completely, and check that the rim tape inside remains central – mine does not want to behave…


Step 5: Place one edge of the new tyre into the rim, so that you can then feed the old inner tube, half pumped up, into the gap.


Step 6: Feed the other side of the tyre into the rim until you struggle (on the right). At this moment, push the tyre on the opposite side of the rim towards the struggling side and wiggle. Deflate the tube further if needed. Do everything you can to clear the lip of the tyre until it can be tucked in.

Step 7: Check around the whole rim on both sides that the inner tube was not pinched between the tyre and rim, but wrapped fully by the tyre.


Step 8: Ensure the valve of your inner tube is perpendicular to the rim, unlike how it was before! Right is right. Continue to check for this as you proceed to pumping the tube up again. Check that you don’t exceed the allowed psi shown on the tyre. (I am amazed that the tyre detemines the maximum psi, not the tube.)

Step 9: Rescue the chicken from the oven to avoid burning. It was finger and bike dirt licking good! So it only took me 45 minutes for both tyres this time. The new Schwalbe Silento hybrid tyres were lighter and thinner yet still have deep treads on the edge for lateral traction off road. The reflective stripe adds to cycling safely if my refelctive jacket was not enough… Most importantly, they are not oxidised rubber being left in the sun and the rain without being used much. It was unfortunate that one of the tubes were actually previously punctured and repaired (hence the wonky valve). Sometimes, when I comtemplate on doing something, there is a legitimate reason behind it. I knew I should have bought some inner tubes too, in this case. Now I will have to cook chicken one more time soon…

It seems that changes can be made easier if I: 1. put myself into that situation on purpose (i.e. ordering those tubes), 2. do the task bit by bit, cross that bridge when I get to it, and forget about what-ifs, 3. know that food awaits. 🙂



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