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History: FixAFlat

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How to change a flat tire

Be sure you have a pump, tire levers, and a spare tube or patch kit.
Remove the wheel from the bike and set the bike on the left side, off the derailer.

Make sure all the air is out of the tube: roll it on the ground with the valve open.

Make sure the valve is not stuck under the bead: push it up into the
rim.

Make sure the tire is not stuck to the rim: work it side to side.

1. Remove one tire bead from the rim:

Insert the smooth end of one tire lever under the bead, starting opposite the valve.

Wiggle it to make sure it is not pinching the tube, and lever the bead off the rim.

With your other hand holding the wheel near the lever and the tire against your chest, hold the lever tightly, near the bead, with the other end pointing down at the axle, and pull it toward you. If it gets stuck, push it away from you. If the bead slips back onto the rim while you slide the lever, hold with your other hand where the
bead is off the rim.


If the lever won't slide, hook the other end of the lever on a spoke, and do the same with another lever on the next spoke on the same side. Use the third lever to slide it off.

Slide the lever all the way around — don't use your fingers: the rubber can be sharp.

2. Pull the tube out, starting opposite the valve.


Push the bead that is off back over the tube at the valve, and pull the valve out of the rim.

Try not to turn the tube, or the wheel, around, to help find the cause.

3. Find what caused the flat in the tire or rim near where the hole in the tube is.


Pump the tube up until it expands to about twice its size.

Holding it near your face, listen and feel for air escaping. Note where the hole is.

Hold the tube next to the wheel and tire, with the valve lined up with its rim hole.

If the hole is on the inside of the tube, check the rim strip.

If the hole is on the outside of the tube, check the tire for a piece of glass.

If there are two holes (like a snakebite) on the outside of the tube, the problem was under-inflation. Check the rim for a dent that would cause the brake pad to touch the tire in that spot, causing a blowout down the road.

If you can't find a hole, check the valve: wiggle it and look around the base for a cut (especially if it was crooked in the rim), or put a bit of spit on the end to see if it leaks. If you still can't find the hole, dunk the inflated tube in water. If the hole is a big rip, you may need a new tire.

4. Put the new or patched tube in the tire

Inflate the tube slightly, but not enough to expand it.

Dust it and the inside of the tire with talc (baby powder), if you have it.

Push the bead that is off the rim over so you can see the valve hole, and put the valve in it.


Pull the bead back over the tube, and tuck the tube evenly into the tire all the way around.

5. Put the bead back on the rim

Use your fingers, not with the lever, so you don't pinch the tube:

Starting at the valve, push the bead onto the rim most of the way around on both sides.

Make sure the valve is straight, and that it is not stuck under the bead: push it up into the rim.

Let all the air out of the tube.

With the valve at the bottom and the unfinished part facing you, push the last part of the bead onto the rim:

Make sure the tube is not pinched under the bead — push it up into the tire with your finger or a lever. Hold your fingers against the back side of the rim and push with your thumbs on both sides at once, right where the bead crosses the rim. If the very last part is hard, try rolling it on with the palm of your hand.


6. Pump the tire up

Hold the valve while pressing the pump chuck on until you can’t see any threads on the valve.

Inflate part way, until the tire just holds its shape.

Make sure the bead is seated on the rim: look at the seam on the tire just above the bead – it should be an even distance from the rim all the way around. If it's not, push it into place with your hands.

If the bike doesn't have a brake release, put the wheel in now so you can squeeze the tire through the brakes.

Finish pumping the tire to the correct pressure.

History

Legend: v=view, c=compare, d=diff
Date UserIpComment Version Action
Tue 29 of May, 2007 08:10 UTC JSheehan68.166.182.41   4
Current
 v
Sat 12 of Nov., 2005 12:27 UTC JSheehan68.166.182.41   3  v  c  d  
Wed 09 of Nov., 2005 22:27 UTC pgarver68.250.211.140   2  v  c  d  
Wed 09 of Nov., 2005 22:23 UTC pgarver68.250.211.140   1  v  c  d