How to Change a Wheelchair Tire Like a Pro

how to change a wheelchair tire

There are two main types of wheelchair tires; solid and pneumatic tires.

Solid tires rarely need changing, but you want to be sure that you know how to change them should the need ever arise.

Pneumatic tires have air in them, tend to flatten when punctured, and soften even without a puncture. This makes them require changing at varying intervals. They are, however, relatively easier to change as they require less effort.

Wheelchair tires can be changed in workshops if you so desire. But if you are DIY-savvy and decide to change them yourself, then this guide is a must-read for you.

Here, I’ll show you how to change a wheelchair tire, regardless of whether you’re using a solid or pneumatic tire.

Table of Contents

How to Change a Solid Wheelchair Tire (Without a Mounting Tool)

Tools for Changing the Tire

  1. Stanley knife / a pair of shears (for cutting things off)
  2. Lever (ensure that the surfaces are smooth to avoid damaging the rim)
  3. Zip tie

Related: How to Easily Unlock a Power Wheelchair

Steps to Undergo when Changing a Solid Tire without a Mounting Tool

  • Cut through the old tire in multiple places using the shears and Stanley knife. This makes removal easier
  • Try to cut through the cord inside the old tire when cutting
  • Try to lift off or remove the old tire from the wheel
  • If the resistance is still too much, resume cutting, but this time, make it deeper
  • Try removing it again, until you’re successful
  • Put away the shears and knife after you remove the old tires. You have to always ensure that you exercise caution where sharp objects are involved
  • Pump some air into the new tube to prevent pinching it in the process of replacing the tire
  • Pick the new tire and place it over the wheel, lining the valve stem to its rim
  • Starting from the side closest to you, try and fit it into the rim, one half at a time
  • Use a zip tie to hold it in place
  • Placing one hand over the tied side, use the other hand to push the tire into the rim firmly, moving around the tire, away from the other hand
  • Go as far as your hand allows without removing the one that’s holding the zip tie in place
  • When you can no longer go further, use your hand to hold the tire in place
  • Remove the hand at the zip tie and pick up your lever. Insert it upside down underneath the side of the tire that’s yet to be tucked into the rim
  • Rotate the lever and place its tip on the hook of the rim. Lift it up, grab the tire, and tuck it into the rim
  • Do this continuously, shifting the lever forward and repeating the steps until, finally, the whole tire is firmly tucked into the rim
  • Look over the tire to check for spaces that are not properly tucked in
  • If you find any, use the lever to tuck them in or place the tire vertically on the ground and roll it back and forth to firmly press it into the rim
  • Clip off the zip tie

How to Change a Solid Wheelchair Tire (With a Mounting Tool)

how do you change a wheelchair tire

Tools needed for Changing the Tire

  1. Zip ties
  2. Tire installation tool
  3. Tire tools
  4. Lubricant

Related: How to Motorize a Manual Wheelchair

Steps to Undergo when Changing Solid Tires with a Mounting Tool

  • Remove the hub cover of the wheel and remove the hub bolt and assembly using a screwdriver machine
  • This should completely detach the wheel from the wheelchair
  • Mount the wheel on the tire installation tool
  • Using a lever and a screwdriver, remove the old tire
  • Place the new tire over the valve stem of the wheel
  • Prep it with lubricant for easy installation. Apply the lubricant on the entire tire, focusing majorly on its insides
  • Zip tie the tire to the wheel in 3 places around every other spoke
  • Work the tire into the rim – step by step
  • Sit the tire fully into the rim. You can do this by hitting it firmly with a hammer on different sides
  • Cut off the zip-ties when this has been successfully done
  • Remove the wheel from the mounting tool by hitting it firmly from below, pushing up the wheel
  • Replace the bearing hub, bolt, and assembly
  • Ensure that the handrails are inside
  • Attach the wheel back in place to the wheelchair

How to Change a Pneumatic Wheelchair Tire

how to change a wheelchair tire

Tools for Changing the Tire

  1. Tire tools
  2. Pump
  3. Screwdriver
  4. Lever

Related: How to Get a Wheelchair Van Donated to You for Free

Steps to Undergo when Changing a Pneumatic Wheelchair Tire

  • Detach the wheel from the wheelchair
  • Unscrew the bolts that hold the rim to the old tire
  • Take the air out of the old tube
  • Go on either side of the valve and, using the tip of the tire tool, remove the edges of the old tire from the rim of the tire where it was installed
  • Once a side of the tire is out, proceed to detach the tire from the rim with your hands by pulling them completely apart
  • Separate the old tire from the tube and place them aside
  • Ensure that the tape on the inside of the tire is still firmly attached to prevent punctures
  • Place the new tire over the valve stem of the wheel
  • At the side of the wheel closest to you, tuck in the edge of the tire into the rim of the wheel using the tire tool
  • Take the tube and insert it firmly inside the tire, ensuring that it goes completely in
  • Put the screw in at this end to keep the tube from falling out of position
  • Tuck in the entire length of the tube throughout the circumference of the rim to prevent it from pinching
  • Finish placing the tire’s edges into the rim, ensuring that all of its edges are firmly held inside the rim of the wheel
  • Use your tire tool to ensure that it is in the middle of the rim
  • Attach your wheel back to your wheelchair
  • Repeat these steps for the other tire
  • Attach the tip of the pump’s tube into the air outlet of the tire and turn the pump on
  • Take off the pump once the tire is fully pumped
  • Repeat this on the other tire
How to Change a Wheelchair Tire Like a Pro

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