No matter how carefully you ride, you’ll eventually get a flat tire. Luckily, fixing a basic flat is easy. The first time might be a bit difficult, but it gets easier the more you practice. With a basic repair kit and tools, a flat need never faze you again.
Here’s a closer look at how to fix a flat bike tire with some basic household items:
- Remove the wheel: You may want to flip the bicycle upside down to make this part easier. Release the brakes on your bike. Either release the cable or open the quick-release lever, depending on what kind of bike you own. Then release the wheel from the frame, unscrewing the nut or bolt-on axle with a wrench. If you have to remove a rear wheel, shift the chain onto the smallest cog of the cassette, and release the brakes. Push the rear derailleur back; then remove the wheel with your other hand.
- Remove the tube: Next you’ll need to deflate the wheel entirely. If you have a wide Schrader valve, push the pin in the middle down. If you have a thin Presta valve, unscrew it, and push down to release the air. Then you can detach the tire bead by pushing the edge in around the rim and moving it off the rim. Tire levers can make this process easier. Remove the tube from beneath the tire.
- Figure out what caused the flat: Next look for any punctures or tears in the tire and tube. You can probe the tire and tube with your fingers. If the puncture or tear is too hard to locate, you may need to submerge it in water to find the hole. Water bubbles will indicate the source of the flat. Severe damage may mean you need to replace the entire tube.
- Repair or replace: If the tube damage is minor, you can use a basic patching kit to repair the damage. Follow the instructions on the patching kit to patch the hole(s). Allow to dry. If the damage is too severe for a patching kit, replace the inner tube. Partially inflate the tube, and make sure that it holds air.
- Reassemble the tire: Push one edge of the partially-inflated tube into the rim. Then insert the valve stem. Push the rest of the tube inside the tire, and insert the tire bead into the rim completely. Make sure the tube isn’t pinched between the tire and rim.
- Reinflate: Slowly reinflate the tire. Monitor the tire bead and rim to make sure the tube is fully enclosed. Fully inflate to the recommended pressure, and seal the valve.
- Reinstall wheel: Finally, replace the wheel on your bicycle, making sure any nuts and bolts are appropriately tightened.
Now you know how to fix a flat on a bike. If you’d prefer a professional job, Bicycle Doctor House Calls can help. Call us, and we’ll come to you, so you can get back on the road.
Categorised in: Bike Repair
This post was written by Writer