Changing a flat tire can be a challenge. Fortunately, when changing a tire on a group ride, there are usually plenty of fellow cyclists willing to help. However, there are about 20 steps and, when sweat is pouring down your face and everyone is waiting on you, it is easy to forget one or two. Here are some of the steps that I wish that I hadn’t forgotten or skipped over the years.
1. Store your spare tube in a zip lock bag with some baby powder. I once had a new tube that had been in my bag so long that the valve had rusted and the tube wouldn’t hold air.
2. When changing the rear tire, shift into the smallest gear. It will make it easier to remove.
3. After removing the old tube, run your fingers around the inside of the tire and around the rim to see if what caused the flat is still there.
4. Put a small amount air into your spare tube before inserting it into the tire. It will be easier to install and there will be less chance of pinching the tube.
5. Some tires are difficult to get back on the rim and you may need to use a tire lever. However, be very careful because you may pinch/damage the tube.
6. Don’t fill the new tube all at once. Partially fill and check to make sure that the tube isn’t sticking out and that tire bead is seated properly all around the rim.
Here is a 5-minute video which demonstrates the proper way to change a tire.
Quote of the week: “Sweat is just fat crying.”