Knowledge Level: Beginner
The sun is shining, you're ready for your commute and as you open the shed door the tyre is flat. This should not be the end of the ride, within minutes you can be out on your bike if you have prepared by having a few spares handy.
What you will need?
To fix a puncture you should always have a few spares hanging around the shed, just in case the inevitable happens in between putting your bike away and getting it back out again. The spares you should have available are:
- Spare inner tubes
- Tyre levers
There are no puncture repair kits listed above, this is because a repair should be temporary and not a permanent solution to your puncture. The cost of an inner tube is outweighed by the practicality, time saving and safety benefits compared to a puncture repair kit.
Steps to fixing a flat
Step 1: Take one side of the tyre off the rim
It is really important that you take only one side of the tyre out of the rim, putting both sides of the tyre back on the wheel can be a little trickier. To do this you will need to place one the tyre levers under the tyre wall and place the hook in the spokes.
Take the other tyre lever and place it a couple of inches down the tyre and place this under the tyre wall. You should now have taken enough of the tyre wall out of the rim to run the tyre lever around the tyre to release one whole side.
Step 2: Take out the inner tube
Before you take out the inner tube you should make sure that there is no locking ring on the valve, spin this off before you take out the inner tube and place the used inner tube to one side for checking.
Step 3: Check the tube and tyre
There is a reason why your tyre is flat; you should check the old inner tube and tyre for any glass or debris that has caused this.
Pump up the inner tube and find where the air is leaking, line the inner tube to where it was in the tyre and take a look/light feel of the area around the tyre for any sharp foreign bodies. If the piercing in your inner tube is on the side or where it touches the rim it could be one of two things: you could have trapped the inner tube between the tyre and rim or the spokes from your wheel are sticking through the rim and piercing the tube.
Step 4: Insert the new inner tube
Once you have cleared the tyre or placed rim tape in the bottom of your rim you need to place the inner tube back in the wheel with it half inflated. This will help the process of putting the tyre back on the wheel and not catching the inner tube between the tyre and rim, something which will save you time and the frustration of another blown tube.
Step 5: Place the tyre in the rim and fully inflate
Work your way around the tyre, holding one hand at a point and working the tyre in the rim from that point. Hopefully your tyre should mount easily onto the rim, but road tyres or folding tyres might be a little more difficult. A little bit of washing up liquid or warming the tyre by moving it might make it a little easier to fit.
Once your tyre is fitted back on with the inner tube in place, pump some more air into the tyre and reach the recommend tyre pressure which should be stated on the side of the tyre.
Disaster averted, you now know that when you have flat tyre, it can be fixed in minutes and you can get on with your ride.