Having a flat while out riding is never a good feeling, but if you master the tube replacement practice you’ll be able to get back on the road, or trail, in no time. In this article we’ll run you through the basic steps to get your bike rolling again.
The tools needed for this procedure are: multitool, tyre levers, a new tube or a patch kit and an air pump or CO2 canisters. We recommend you to carry these items with you on every ride.
Flats can be caused for many different reasons, the main two being a puncture - when you ride over a sharp object that puncture the tyre and the tube - or a pinch flat - when the weight of the rider cause the tyre to squeeze the tube against the rim during a strong landing or impact, usually causing two parallel cuts on the tube - often referred to as ‘snake bite’.
Although less likely, this may also be helpful for tubeless riders. As they can always carry a tube with them, just in case the worst happens.
Regardless of the reason, the only way of continuing your ride is to either fix, or replace the tube. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Remove the wheel, use your multitool if needed.
Using the tyre levers, pop the tyre off the bead from one side of the wheel.
Remove the punctured tube from the wheel
Run your fingers on the inside of the tyre/wheel to look for sharp objects. You can use a bit of fabric to avoid cutting or pinching your fingers.
Patch the tube in case you don’t have a fresh one. If you do you can use the new one, we recommend keeping the old one as it might come handy.
Pre-inflate the new (or patched) tube so it’s round. This will make it easier to install it inside the tyre/wheel.
Start by inserting the valve into the rim’s valve hole and work your way around, tucking the tube in.
Reinstall the tyre bead, again working your way around the tyre. You may need to deflate the tube a bit at this point.
Once the tyre is completely beaded into the rim, you can start to pump it up. We recommend pumping in small increments.
At around 20-30psi check for bulges or imperfections on the bead, and if you find something unusual, deflate the tube and correct that.
Once you’re confident the tyre is correctly beaded you can then finish to inflate it to the desired pressure.
And now you should be able to continue a abruptly interrupted, but once again enjoyable ride. Feel free to contact us in case you have any questions or concerns and happy riding!
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