How to Fix a Flat Bike Tire
If it hasn’t already happened then it is only a matter of time. Time for what you might ask? If you spend any amount of time on a bicycle, you will eventually experience the dreaded flat tire. From my experience, it’s best to be prepared for the inevitable than to be stuck out on the trail or road, far from home walking your perfectly ride able bike.
It really is quite simple to learn how to repair bicycle issues that you may come across. Let’s learn how to fix a flat bike tire and get you on the road again.
Want to know why I take such a keen interest in this topic; go to my Where It All Began page and find out.
How To Fix A Flat Bike Tire – It’s Exercise Time For Your Fingers!
The first thing to note about fixing that flat tire problem of yours is that you need to have a spare inner tube with you. The majority of your flat tires will be the result of your inner tube leaking air. Your tire is still totally usable once the new inner tube is installed.
OK, you have your inner tube ready now what? First thing you need to do is to remove your wheel from your bicycle. It is all but impossible to replace your tube with the tire still latched onto your bike.
Let’s Replace That Tube
This will be the step to test out your finger strength. With a rolling motion, you need to remove the tire and airless inner tube from the wheel. I would suggest doing a trial run at home to see if you are able. If not, no big deal, enter the Tire Lever.
There are many different styles of tire levers like the ones shown in the picture below, but they all work very similarly. Instead of using your fingers to remove the tire from your rim, you can insert a tire lever and literally push the tire off. Now that I know about them, I think that anyone looking to learn more about how to repair bicycle tire issues should have one in their tool kits.
The Old Inner Tube Is Off… Now What?
Your first instinct is going to be to immediately insert your new inner tube into the tire and then try and roll it back onto the rim, but avoid this temptation. The first thing you are going to want to make sure of is that whatever it was (piece of glass, screw etc) that caused you your flat is no longer there. Have a quick look in your tire to try and find any evidence of something that could puncture your new tube. Once that step is complete, then it’s time to get that new tube back into the tire.
A Couple Of Quick Shots Of Air
To start off with, an inner tube with no air in it is going to be tough to get back onto your rim while staying in the tire. The easy solution is to give the tube a couple of shots of air from your bicycle pump (you do have one right?). The picture below shows how much easier it is to work with a new tube that has some air in it.
Start At The Air Valve
With your inner tube now inside your tire, carefully place the tire tube combination back onto your rim by first inserting the tube’s air valve through the hole on the rim (see picture below)
With the valve inserted you can now slowly work the tire tube back onto your rim either with your tire levers or with your fingers as pictured below. It may take a bit of practice and time but the tire will eventually fit nice and snuggly up against the rim’s edges.
Before you start to re-inflate your tire, make sure that your inner tube is still completely inside your tire or you may puncture it when it is pressured up again. Simply push the tire aside as you spin your rim around and look inside. You should not be able to see any inner tube whatsoever. With that complete, pump it up to your desired pressure (marked on the side of the tire as shown below).
You Did It!
With your tire fully inflated and holding air, you can now re-insert the tire back onto the bike. With that step complete, you are now able to tell all your friends about how to fix a flat bike tire, in case they too have issues with one while riding. It’s now time to get back on the road and feel the wind on your face once again.