Riding Tips

The fastest way to fix a flat

thelink-article-012018-rickyWhether you are out on a training ride or in the middle of a race, fixing a flat should be done quickly. So if you struggle to get the tyre back on or need to use more than one tyre lever, odds are you can improve by following these simple steps.

Once you have taken your wheel off your bike (yes, you need to take your wheel off your bike first, and yes, I have seen people trying to change a flat with the wheel still in!), you need to take the tube out of the tyre.

Step 1: Use a single tyre lever to lift the tyre from the rim. Tip: Start exactly at the valve.

Step 2: Use the same tyre lever and slide around the rim keeping the tyre lever between the rim and tyre bead.

Step 3: Remove the tube from wheel, starting opposite the tube valve.

Now that you have the tube out, make sure you check the inside of the tyre. Run your finger slowly through the inside. If you find any debris, remove it carefully and re-check to ensure you have a hazard free tyre. All too often people forget this vital step only to change the tube and re-puncture down the road. Spend the extra 20 seconds checking it and it could save your sanity.

You are now ready to mount the new tube to the wheel. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Pump up your tube very slightly. No need to pump it up to its capacity.

Step 2: Insert the valve first, then work the tube into the tyre all the way around. Make sure you can’t see any of the tube sticking out.

Step 3: IMPORTANT: Start pushing the tyre over the rim wall at the opposite end of the valve first.

Tip: Check between the tyre and rim and make sure you can’t see any tube. If you can, you will most likely ‘pinch’ your tube and it will go flat when you pump it up.

Step 4: Using both your thumbs at the same time, work your way around the wheel, equally pushing the tyre on until you get close to the valve.

Tip: Deflate the tube, then pinch the tyre to ensure the tyre bead is in the centre of the rim profile. The centre of the rim is the shortest circumference – making the next step a cinch.

Step 5: Usually when most people get to this stage, it can be a battle to get the tyre on fully. Using the tip above, you should be able to push the rest of the tyre on with your fingers. If you’re still struggling, use a tyre lever to assist your thumb in pushing the remaining tyre into place.

Step 6: Check the space between the tyre and rim to ensure you cannot see any tube poking out.

Tip: If you can see the tube, instead of taking the tyre off and starting again. Simply ‘massage’ the tube and tyre and work the tube back into the tyre until you cannot see it any longer.

Step 7: Pump up your tyre and you are ready to go.

I hope this improves your ability to repair any puncture in record time and ensure that it stays inflated. Happy riding.

By Ricky Swindale – Pushys Sponsored Athlete

Categories: Riding Tips

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