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I just fixed my first flat...at home. Tips?(7 posts)

I just fixed my first flat...at home. Tips?fracisco
Jun 24, 2002 8:34 PM
I had a slow leak at the end of Saturday's ride, and I was able to nurse home a few miles, topping off once along the way.

I did the tire change tonight, the first time with my roadbike. It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, and I was trying to be very careful not to pinch the tube between the bead and the rim when I put the bead back on. I had to use tire levers to get the last 4 - 5 inches of the tire back on the rim. The tires are Conti Super Sport 100's with a wire bead, that I will probably be replacing soon, as I found some nicks in the rubber rolling surface (the bike is new to me, but sat in the shop for a couple of years new, unridden).

If I would have had to do this on the side of the road, I would have been frustrated and swearing. Any good tips? I used baby powder on the tube, and on the spare tube in my under-saddle bag.
re: I just fixed my first flat...at home. Tips?zray61
Jun 24, 2002 9:11 PM
In my case it was practise makes perfect. When I first started riding I brought levers and a pump and silently prayed that I would not have to use them at the side of the road. Reality occurred, flats happened and I lost my self consciousness of making repairs at the side ofthe
road. Now I don't carry levers, I use my hands to get the tires on and off. And a CO cartridge inflater for air.

It took a while for me to get to this point.

I was so inept in the beginning that I attended a class that the local bike store gave. And I still screwed things up.
better than me...weiwentg
Jun 24, 2002 10:48 PM
I blew two tubes when I first changed a tire. and one day after a race when I changed tubes, I ended up putting 5 patches into the tube. mainly because I used tire levers to mount the tires.
tips: use kevlar bead tires. and don't use tire levers to mount tires.
re: I just fixed my first flat...at home. Tips?Dave Hickey
Jun 25, 2002 3:25 AM
We've all been there. Practice makes perfect. When you remount the tire, start at the valve stem and work your way around so the final 4 inches opposite the stem still need to be fit. Before you try to force the final 4 inches on the rim, go back to the valve stem and work the tire bead into the center of the rim. The rim is narrowest at the center. By the time you get back to the final four inches, the tire just rolls onto the rim. For me, it easiest the hold the wheel horizontal with mounted part of the tire(near the stem)pushing into my stomach.
re: I just fixed my first flat...at home. Tips?Steve Bailey
Jun 25, 2002 5:43 AM
1) Remove helmet, Camelback and gloves, take a couple of deep breath's, don't try to hurry (unless it's a race or raining at 35 degrees)

2) Remove tools; tire levers, pump/CO2, new tube (carry spare tubes - fix the actual hole in the tube later at home).

3) Pump up a bit of air into replacement tube, just enough to give it a round shape. This helps you from getting confused as to which is the good tube, etc.. Also makes it easier to install.

4) Shift rear derailer to smallest cog, release brake, release quick release, remove wheel from frame.

5) Release any remaining air from bad tube, remove threaded nut from presta valve.

6) Using tire levers, pry back one half of tire bead, remove bad tube, stuff bad tube into pocket/Camelback.

7) Carefully check exterior of tire for glass, reason for puncture, etc... Sometimes you don't find a reason. Check interior of tire also, I run my fingers a couple times, have yet to suffer a cut. Sometimes I find a thorn or piece of glass.

8) Install new tube, valve first.

9) With new tube resting inside the tire, starting at the valve, start pressing the bead back onto the rim. By the time you get to the final couple of inches, you may need to release some air from the tube. Not wearing gloves helps in getting the tire back onto the rim.

10) With tire back on to the rim, working from the valve, pry away the bead to visually check if the tube is going to be pinched against the rim by the tire bead. If you find a spot, use the tire lever on the opposite side of the pinch to push the tube up into the tire. Do not inflate with a pinch.

11) Push the valve stem up into the tire to get the valve seated against the tire bead. Re seat the valve nut (This helps with pumping)

12) Re-inflate with co2 or:

Note that using co2 will cause the tire to run a bit flat overnight as co2 tends to more readily escape from the butyl tube (something about chemical composition)

13) Place pump head onto valve stem, place wheel on it's side with the pump head resting against a rock or curb. Pump vertically a million times.

14) Re-install wheel onto bike, etc...

If all goes well, this entire process takes 5-7 minutes.

SB
Thanks for all the tips!fracisco
Jun 25, 2002 7:16 AM
I guess I did the change okay last night, as the bike rode fine this morning, and I didn't flat. Whew!

I'm still going to look into some new kevlar-bead tires, because I do have some suspect nicks in these.

I used to change out my mountain bike off road tires to slicks all the time...several years ago. Those were a lot easier than these.
Tips? Have all your flats...at homeStraightblock
Jun 25, 2002 9:08 AM
That way when you pinch the new tube putting it back in, or find out the glue in your patch kit dried up since the last time you used it, you can drive to the LBS to buy new ones.

Seriously, I carry a tube and a patch kit on the road, plus something to boot a big tire cut. In a pinch, a folded dollar bill or even a piece torn out of a discarded beer carton from the roadside will do.

When you use the glue in your patch kit, put the piece of cellophane from the patch over the end of the glue tube before you screw the cap back on. It will keep the glue from drying out as much between uses. I avoid patching tubes on the road, and only carry the patch kit as a backup in case of a second flat or if someone else needs it. Just be sure to replace or patch and test the punctured tube in your seat bag before your next ride.