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What to Do When a Road Bike Tire Won’t Go Back on the Rim

Every road cyclist who has had to change their tire has experienced the pain of an unfit bike tire that just won’t fit on the Rim. When the bike tire just won’t go back on the rim, and you are on your own with a road bike, you could also potentially end up with a pinched tube due to the annoyance. So what can you do when the road bike tire doesn’t return on the rim?

Your tire needs to be seated properly on the rim; otherwise, making it fit will be impossible. Then, install the tire on the rim starting from the valve, and pinch the tube as you start fitting it on. Use your thumb if it is still making it hard for you to do so. Using a tire lever should do the job if the tire bike tire doesn’t go back on the rim.

Your road bike tire might need to be replaced or maintained many times for a better quality journey, so it is important that you know how you can get a hard-to-fit road bike tire to get on the rim. This article will explain how you can help make installing the road bike tire to go back on the rim easier.

bike tire separated from rim

How To Install The Road Bike Tire Back On The Rim

You may have removed your road bike tire from the rim easily to inspect the rim for any damage or due to any other reason. However, you can face difficulty in putting it back on. If you are facing such a situation, use our guide to learn how to get it back on and tips to make it easier.

Before we start, make sure that you do not put or exert any huge force on your tire to make it fit.
Extra lateral force on the tire could disintegrate or disfigure it and may cause permanent damage.

Installing The Tire Back On

Tube-type clinchers are the most common types of tires in road bike tires – they may make you want to be more careful while installing them as we do not want to damage the inner tube. If the inner tube is damaged, installing the tire back on will result in a blowout accident because of the pinched, damaged inner tube. 

Before installing, inflate the inner tube to give it a shape, but don’t inflate it too much, as it will make it hard to install later. We are doing this so there won’t be any warps in the tire later on.

Start clicking it into place onto the rim from the side of the tire. If you struggle with getting it on, use a tire lever. A tire lever is a specially designed tool to help install and remove tires without damaging them. Make sure it lines up properly on the rim.

Next, push the valve stem up into the tire by inserting it into the rim’s valve hole. Before installing the valve stem nut, push the tube into the tire and install the tire bead onto the rim, starting from the valve hole. Since the tire might be hard to fit onto the rim, you can use a tire lever to do so or your thumb if it is not that hard to get it on at this stage.

While using the tire lever, make sure that you don’t let it damage your tire. A thinner tire lever may be safer for this purpose. Place your thumb over the edge of the bead you’re dealing with to ensure it doesn’t break loose from the rim, then scrape it up onto the rim. Be careful, as we don’t want the tube to get caught between the rim and the tire lever you are using.

The tire will then fit into its place. But make sure that the whole tire is properly fit onto the tire as we do not want any blowout accident after it is inflated. Here’s a video to help clarify how you can get these difficult tires to fit:

You can also take help from the following tips to make sure the road bike tire gets back onto the rim:

Roll Out The Tire With Your Hands

You can use your manpower to roll out the tire with your hands and ensure that you are not applying any other brute force that may disfigure your tire. This will help stretch the tire temporarily while fitting it on the rim.

Use Tire Or Dishwasher Soap To Get It On

Although there are tire soaps to make it easier to install the tire, you can also use dishwasher soap to do so. Pour it between the tire and the rim to make it slippery and easier to fit. Once the tire is fit, clean the dishwasher soap off. Most of the time, it comes out by itself.

Support From The Ground

Hold the tire with your hands and let the low spot stand on the ground. Exert some pulling force until it fits. However, you have to ensure the force isn’t brute enough to harm the tire.

Try A Tire Seating Lever

As we mentioned before, a tire seating lever is specially designed for the purpose to install and remove these stubborn tires with more ease. So, investing in these can make installing a road bike tire back on the rim easier.


It can be quite frustrating when you can not get your road bike tire back on the rim after removing them for any reason or if you get new ones on. But if it is the right size, you only need to employ some techniques so that it gets back onto the rim. We discussed these techniques and tips in our article, so you can use our guide to install it.