Learn how to repair your flat bike tire tube with Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Whether you’re out on a leisurely bike ride or cycling against the competition, a flat bike tire can happen. Let us help you fix that flat and get back on your bike.
Removing the Wheel
If you’re putting on a new bike tire or replacing a flat tube, your first step is going to be taking off the wheel. Many new bikes come with a quick-release on the wheel, which you can use to take off the wheel. If you have an older bike, you will have to unscrew the nuts that hold the wheel to the bike frame. You will most likely need to release the brakes to make it easier to get the wheel off.
Removing the Tire
Once the wheel is off, remove the tire using a tire lever. Slide the flat end of the tire lever underneath the stiff edges of the tire. The stiff edges are called beads. Hook the other end of the tire lever onto the spoke. Take the second tire lever and insert it underneath the bead. Slip the lever between the wheel rim and tire until one side of the tire pops off. Use your hands to remove the other side of the tire. Remove the bike tube.
Checking the Tube and Bike Tire
Before you start anything with the tube, check the existing tire first.You will want to take the tire completely off the rim to make inspection easier. Inspect the tire for any objects that could have caused damage to the tube. This could include a shard of glass, a nail, or even a sharp thorn.There’s no point in replacing the tube if a harmful object is still lodged in the tire.
Instead of buying a new tube for your bike, you can also patch up the old tube. Check the tube for punctures. The easiest way to find a puncture is to slightly inflate the tube and listen for hissing spots. You can also feel the tube for a spot where air is leaking. Once you find the punctured spot, patch up the hole. You can buy bike repair kits, which can easily be taken on the road with you. Of course, sometimes a tube is beyond repair. Replace the tube if there are large tears or multiple punctures.
Installing the Tube
Before putting on the existing or new bike tire, you will want to install the tube. Put one side of the bike tire onto the rim of the bike. Slightly pump up the tube. A semi-inflated tube is easier to install than one that is completely flat. Line up the valve stem with the hole on the rim. From the valve stem opening, work the tube around the rim. Once the tube is completely around the rim, roll the tire over the other side of the rim. You can use your hands or a tire lever for this step.
Inflating the Tube
Before you pump up the tube, determine the appropriate PSI (pounds per square inch) for your bike tire. You can find the correct PSI in the sidewall of your bike tire. After the tire is completely around the inner tube use a bike pump to inflate the tube. Follow the recommended PSI on your tire’s sidewall. If you over-inflate, you can cause the risk of having a blowout.