How to Change Tires on Split Rims

by Jayme RichardsUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Bead breaker

  • Two levers

Split rim tires use a locking ring on the outer bead of the rim to hold the tire in place. One-piece tires use a fixed bead. Split rims allow a relatively quick repair that you can do on the side of the road but the rims can be quite dangerous when changed incorrectly or badly maintained. Since an incredible amount of pressure is on the locking ring at all times you must ensure the rims are securely on the tire before re-inflation.

Deflate the tire. This is extremely important, as the pressure can cause the tire to explode if done incorrectly. Mark with chalk where the valve stem and the split is in the locking ring. This ensures that the wheel balance is correct when re-mounting the tire.

Break the bead of the tires on both sides using a bead breaker.

Push up on the locking ring with a lever and place the end of a second lever in the recess created by pulling up along the ring. Then, using both levers, pull up all the way around under the ring until it is free. Place the locking ring aside.

Remove the rim from the tire, making sure that you don't damage the valve stem in the process. Take the tube out from the tire. You can either patch the tube or replace it with a new one, depending on the damage.

Insert the repaired or new tube back into the tire casing. Make sure that the valve lines up with the chalk mark that you placed on the tire earlier. Replace the rim back into the tire, passing the valve stem through the appropriate space on the rim.

Put the locking ring on the top of the tire and line up the split in the ring with the chalk mark on the tire from earlier. Kick down and out at the opposite end of the recess in the ring to secure the ring back onto the rim. Stand on top of the tire to keep the ring in place as you move along the tire until the entire ring is secure.

Inflate the tire and place it back on the vehicle.


Always deflate the tire before working on it, as the pressure you will be working with is immense. Make sure that the ring is secure before inflating once more.

More Articles

article divider