10 Tips on Changing a Bicycle Flat

More than likely the tire that goes flat will be the rear tire and that’s the tire that most people dread to deal with. Jason Chance with TriCycle and Run in St. Michaels, MD, offers ten tips on changing that flat. 

1 – Push shifter down on the handlebar, and — while holding the tire off the ground and turning the pedal with your hand — get the chain onto the small gear in the back. It releases tension on the tire for easier removal.

2 – Unscrew the collar of the air valve all the way off.

3 – Remove the tire: Use your tire tool (leaver) to hook under the tire and pull that section over the rim. Then….

Option A: Leave that tool hooked under the tire. Take another tire leaver a few inches away and do it again. Keep doing that until the tire is free.

Cool Option B: Hold the tire in place on the other side of the tool and pull the leaver toward you around the rim, unzipping the tire. But be aware, “you’ll probably end up punching yourself in the face at least one time,” says Jason.

4 – Leaving one side of the tire on the rim, pull the tube out.

5 – Check the tire for anything sticking through it, by feeling all around the inside of the tire.

6 – Get some air into the new tube, by blowing into it like a balloon, before trying to put the tube into the tire (make sure you tighten the value to keep the air in the tube).

7 – Put your tube’s value into the hole of the rim and tuck the tube into the tire, making sure it’s not twisted.

8 – Put the tire back on the rim:

Option A – Use the spoon-side of your tool and work the tire into the rim. Make sure you hold the tire in place with the other hand.

Cool Option B – If you have the hand-strength, pull the edge of the tire up and over the rim with your fingers, using both hands in opposite directions around the tire. Use the spoon edge of the tool to flip the remaining section in, OR place both hands against the tire with the inside of the knuckles against the tire, grab and push tire the tire away from you, rolling the edge into place.

9 – Pump the tire with air. Don’t forget to put the collar-nut back on the air-valve.

10 – When putting the tire back on the bike, flip the rear de-railer back to give the tire more room and set the chain onto the smallest gear.

 

Jason Chance

Laura and Jason Chance both grew up in Talbot County, Maryland and are the owners of TriCycle and Run, a multisport shop focusing in running, bicycling and swimming in the area.

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