How to Repair
Your Bicycle’s Flat Tire
By Benjamín Centurión
Many bicycle riders don’t know how to change their flat tires, and being out there in the woods or riding on highway in the middle of nowhere, knowing how to fix a flat tire is a must. Read on to know how to get the tube out of the tire, fix or replace your tube, and finally how to put the tube back on your bike again.
First of all we want to take the wheel off the bicycle. Modern bicycles come with a quick release hub that can be easily taken off using both hands. If your bike doesn’t, always carry the appropriate tools to unscrew them. Once with the wheel free, use the levers that usually come inside your repair kit to pop out the tire off the wheel, one side will do. In the absence of levers a screwdriver will work as well. After that, take out the pinched or punctured tube that is inside.
With the tube in your hands pump air into it and with your hands feel all around the surface to find where air is escaping. Once you find the spot take out the sandpaper of your kit and scratch the surface around the pinch or puncture. This cleans the surface and gets it ready for the glue. Apply the glue, wait a minute or less to get it sticky then place the patch. Rub the patch back and forth until the chemical interaction between the glue and the patch occurs. With the pump verify that the patch worked.
Now check the inside and outside of the tire to seeif what caused the flat tire is still in there. If it is: take it out! Align the stem of the tube (deflated) to the stem hole in the wheel, put it in. Get all the tube inside the tire using your hands, and then with the levers put the edge of the tire inside the wheel. Grab your bike and put the wheel back on, make sure the tire is pointing forward. Tighten the quick release hub and pump some air into the tube, deflate the tube, and pump it completely full this time.
So when you get a flat tire, remember that fixing it is not hard at all. Just take out the tube, stick a patch to it and put the tire with the fixed tube back on. Follow these steps, and you will be on your bicycle again in minutes.