How to Fix a Flat Bike Tire
Got a flat tire? This is the most important repair you can do yourself, yet many people do not put any effort into learning how to do it. It's pretty simple, and if you can change your own tube, you won't have to miss out on riding time because your bike won't be sitting in the shop!
You will need:
- Tire levers
- New tube
- Talcum powder
Let's get started:
1. Remove the wheel from the bike.
2. Deflate the tire completely, if it isn't already.
3. Remove one side of the tire from the rim. Use tire levers if necessary.
To do this, start at the valve stem and squeeze the tire beads in toward the center of the rim and keep pushing the tire in towards the rim bed. Work your way around the wheel until you have some slack at the end (opposite the valve stem.)
Stick a tire lever in there and pry the bead off the side of the rim.
4. Find the leak in the tube, and check the corresponding area of the tire for glass, thorns, or other debris. You should also check the rim for sharp edges that may cause flat tires.
Remove any contaminant that could have caused the flat.
(If there are two big holes in the tube like a snakebite, then you have a pinch flat. These are usually caused by not running enough air pressure in the tire.)
5. Remove the old tube.
6. Inflate the new tube slightly. (Just enough to give it shape.)
Tip: Coat your tube with baby powder to cut down on pinch flats.
Put the new tube inside the tire and insert the valve into the valve hole of the rim.
7. Mount the other side of the tire on the rim, similar to how you removed it. It is best to only use your thumbs, but you may need to use tire levers.
8. Partially inflate the tire and check that the bead is evenly seated around the rim. Make sure there are no bulges on the side of the tire.
9. Inflate the tire to recommended pressure.
10. Put the wheel back on the bike and ride.
That's it, 10 easy steps. Once you get the technique down, you can do this whole process in just 5 minutes!
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