Monday, 4 August 2014

Replacing Front Tyre / Tube

Hi there,

Today I changed the front wheel rubber to a Ceat Secura ribbed type. While at it I thought it's kinda useful to make a post demonstrating how to remove the front wheel, tyre and the tube on a CI Electra 5s with disc brake. 

While on the road, the most common scenario faced by riders is having a flat tyre. In which case, all you need to do is remove the damaged tube and replace it with a new one (provided you carrying one, else put a patch! That too should be available to be used). This post will come in handy in that scenario as well.

Note the setup shown here is of my 2009 Royal Enfield Electra 5s, which has a front disc brake. Considering the exploding two wheeler market (especially talking about the new UCE RE sells!) in India, there is a fair chance that your bike may be of a different make/model. In such case please refer to your owner manual or workshop guide to avoid causing any damage to your bike.

So without further ado, lets get going:


1. Relax the Hex nut on the left side of the front wheel axle.

2. Now on the left hand side of the axle, hold the nut underneath so that it stays put, and then open the Hex Bolt from top using a spanner.

3. Once the bolt is out of the way, remove the Hex Nut from the left side of the axle.

NOTE: Put something underneath the main/center stand so that the front wheel can stay afloat, i.e. without any load on it. This makes it easy to remove the axle rod.

4.With a mild push (you can use a screwdriver or something similar to give it few gentle knocks) to make the axle rod (called spindle) pop out on the right hand side. Like shown here.

BEWARE: Once the axle rod is removed, do the following without fail:

1. Slide out the front wheel and the brake disc smoothly from it's slot without disturbing the disc brake pads.

2. While taking out the front wheel, two spacers from either side of the wheel will fall off. Keep them safely away from dust and dirt.

3. DO NOT OPERATE THE DISC BRAKE LEVER, when the disc is taken out (along with the wheel)


First the valve needs to be removed to release the air. A special tool is required for this. Once the valve is taken out (keep it safe!), remaining air from the tube leaks out.

Using firm and gentle push try to release the bonding of the tyre wall from that of the rim edge. No hard work here, just make sure you don't exert too much pressure to affect the rim or spokes.

Tyre removal rods can be used to lift the tyre edge (Bead Base) out of the rim. Do this carefully and make sure the rods must not cause any damage to the tube inside or even to the rims.

One rod is used to lock and hold the part of bead base that pops out first.

Second rod is used to pop out the remaining part of the tyre in a gradual manner.

25% through opening the tyre.

Once side wall (of one side) of the tyre is out, push the TUBE VALVE into the rim and then the tube can be take out from the same side. The metal valve should be taken out first, followed by the remaining part of the tube.

IMPORTANT: (In case of a puncture)

In case there is a puncture, this is the best time to inspect the tube for the same. Also remove the other side of the tyre completely, if there is a suspicion of multiple punctures. So that the inside of the tyre can be felt with bare fingers for any sharp protrusion which may puncture the tube again. Make sure any nails are removed, the inside surface of the tyre is double checked to be smooth and safe before putting a new/fixed tube inside. 

Once the above steps are executed insert one side of the tyre side-wall into the rim. Steps that follow are just the reverse of what was done while removing.

FIRST make sure the tube valve is seated in the hole on the rim correctly. Only then start inserting the remaining part of the tube.

Tube insertion halfway through..

Complete tube has been put inside the tyre now. Now the rods can be used to the tuck the tyre's sidewall inside the rim.


Give a gentle push to the tyre side walls (on both sides!) to ensure its uniformly sitting on the rim edge. Do it on one side of the tyre and then flip and repeat the same on the other side.

Clean up the axle, two spacers and the axle nut with a clean cloth/rug to make sure there is no sand/dirt on them. If available apply little grease on the axle rod  and spacers.


Slowly put the axle rod through the following: Right suspension, right spacer, wheel hub, left spacer and left suspension. Give it a few mild knocks to make it go through to the other side. DO NOT HIT HARD as its done. Make sure the axle rod is gliding through all the components and not stuck midway due to any misalignment.

First put the Bolt and Nut on the right side suspension and then put the hex nut on the axle rod threads. 

Tighten the Hex Nut. 

This is how the left side of the wheel would look after you have done a good job.

and the right hand side..

IMPORTANT: Fill air until the front tyre has the recommended air pressure.

BEWARE: Once the front wheel is fitted back, the front disc-brake lever would be depressed (as if there is no brake fluid inside the cylinder) for a while and the front brake will be completely "unusable" at this point. So be very careful as you take the bike off the center stand. The compression (/usability) of the front brake will slowly restore on its own as you ride/roll the bike. So I suggest- take the bike on a flat road, at a low speed and keep squeezing/gripping and releasing the front (disc) brake lever. Slowly you can feel the brake is coming back to form. Do not ride fast until you have confirmed that the front brake is back to it original/usable form.

That's it. We are done replacing the front tyre and tube.

Hope this post was useful and would come in handy in the future as well.

Ride safe & Ride far,


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