Repair a Flat Bike Tire

by jpc_touring-bicycle

Getting a flat tire is an inevitable a part of biking, it doesn’t matter what sort of using you do. Fixing a flat bike tire is easy with fundamental instruments, a little bit data and loads of follow. The extra you do it, the extra routine it’s going to grow to be. This text will stroll you thru the steps of how you can repair a flat and alter your bike tire, together with particulars on altering each the entrance and rear tires.

When using your bike, all the time carry a spare tube, restore equipment, tire levers, a motorbike pump or C02 inflator and a multi-tool and comply with these easy instructions to get again on the street shortly. (For extra device ideas, learn What to Usher in a Bike Restore Package.)


Listed here are 5 fundamental steps to fixing a flat bike tire:

Take away the wheel: Launch your brakes, then the wheel. (We’ll present you how you can take away the entrance and rear wheels).
Take away the tube: Deflate the tube fully and take away it by urgent on the bead (edge) of the tire or utilizing a tire lever so you’ll be able to entry the tube.
Discover the reason for the flat: Examine the wheel, tire and tube for the situation and causes of tears or punctures.
Patch or change the tube: When out using, you might choose to switch the tube with a brand new one and repair the broken one later.
Reinstall the wheel: We’ll stroll you thru the steps for the back and front wheel.


Discover a Flat Tire Restore Workshop 


Take away the Wheel
First, when you have rim brakes, you’ll must launch your brakes.

If in case you have a v-brake, squeeze the brake arms collectively to ease the stress so you’ll be able to launch the cable.


Quick-release lever being opened on bike brakes

If in case you have a quick-release lever on the brake, open the lever.


Subsequent, launch the wheel from the body.

A person opens a quick-release axle on the front wheel of a bike

If in case you have a quick-release axle, open and maintain the lever when you unscrew the nut on the alternative aspect.


A person uses a wrench to loosen the bolt of a bolt-on bike axle

To loosen a bolt-on axle, use a wrench to loosen the bolt.

Tip: It helps to make use of a motorbike stand or to flip the bike the wrong way up. Bear in mind to take away your panniers and different baggage beforehand.


To take away the rear wheel, comply with these steps:

A bike chain on the smallest cog of the rear cassette

1. Shift your chain onto the smallest cog of the rear cassette.


A visual comparison of rim brakes and disc brakes on a bike

2. If in case you have rim brakes, open up the brakes so the tire doesn’t get caught while you take away the wheel. (If in case you have disc brakes, you received’t must launch brakes.)


A person loosens a quick-release axle on the back wheel of a bike

3. Many wheels have a quick-release axle system. Pull open the lever and spin to loosen; you might must unscrew the nut on the alternative aspect.


The rear derailleur on a bike in it's normal position, and a rear derailleur being pushed back

4. Push the rear derailleur again in order that the chain lifts away from the cog.


A person lifts the rear wheel from the drop outs of a bike while pushing the rear derailleur back

5. Along with your different hand, take away the wheel from the dropouts on the bike body.



In case your bike has disc brakes, watch out to not contact the rotor when opening the quick-release mechanism as a result of it may be scorching sufficient to burn you. Additionally, keep away from getting oil or different contaminants in your disc brakes.
Observe taking the wheel on and off as usually as potential. The extra you do it, the better it is going to be while you really must do it by the aspect of the street.


Video: Eradicating the Rear Wheel


Take away the Tube
Deflate your bike tire fully. You’ll do it one in every of two methods, relying on the valve.

A Schrader valve on a bike tire

If in case you have the broader Schrader valve (the kind you see on most automobile tires), press down on the small pin within the heart of the tire valve.


A Presta valve on a bike tire

If in case you have the thinner Presta valve, take away the plastic mud cap, flip the small valve on the high counterclockwise and press all the way down to launch air.


Subsequent, unseat the tire bead (the sting of the tire that matches below the rim) utilizing these steps:

A person unseating the bead of a bike tire from the wheel

1. It is harder to do and not using a tire lever, however you’ll be able to unseat the tire bead by pushing the bead edge in towards the middle of the rim and dealing your manner across the rim. Then transfer the bead of the tire up and over the surface fringe of the rim. 


A person using tire levers to remove a bike tire from a wheel

2. If in case you have tire levers, use it for extra leverage. When utilizing tire levers, begin on the part of your tire reverse the valve (to keep away from damaging the valve stem). Use the longer finish of 1 tire lever to pry the bead of the tire up and over the sting of the rim.


A tire lever placed on the spoke of a bike wheel and a person using a second tire lever to unseat the tire from the wheel

3. If you cannot unseat the tire with only one lever, place a second lever about two or three spokes to both aspect of the primary. (Tires levers include a useful notch that may be secured in opposition to a spoke, holding the lever in place.)


A person removes a deflated tube from beneath the tire of a bike by pulling the valve stem through the hole in the rim

4. As soon as a piece of the tire bead is free, it’s best to be capable to free the remainder of the tire bead together with your fingers. Take away the inflatable tube from beneath the tire by pulling the valve stem out by the rim first. The remainder of the tube ought to slide out simply when pulled. Watch out when pulling the valve out by the rim so that you don’t harm the valve on the sharp fringe of the rim.


Discover the Explanation for the Flat

Rigorously examine the tire and tube for punctures, cuts or tears. As soon as you are taking the tube out, have a look at the next to search out the reason for your flat so that you simply don’t instantly get one other one together with your substitute tube.

The tire: Begin on the surface of the tire and work your manner in. Search for any embedded objects within the outdoors tread. Completely verify the tire together with your thumb and index finger, feeling the within of it.  Should you discover one thing, verify the tube on the identical approximate location to see if there’s harm there.


A person dunks an inflated bike tube in a bucket of water to locate a leak in the tube

The tube: Tube harm may be troublesome to identify. Should you do not see any apparent punctures or blowouts, inflate the tube to verify for escaping air. To seek out very small leaks, deliver the tube near your face to really feel for air or pay attention for a hiss, or submerge it in water and search for bubbles.


A bike tube with a cracked valve stem

The valve: If the valve stem or base is reduce, cracked or severely worn, it might be leaking. If that’s the case, the whole tube will should be changed.

The rim: Search for protruding spoke ends contained in the rim, or areas the place the tube could have pinched in opposition to a spoke-hole opening.



Don’t take away the tire all the way in which from the wheel. When you establish harm someplace, you’ll be able to verify the identical location throughout the tire, rim and/or tube to see if you happen to can establish the reason for the issue.
Add a pair of tweezers to your bike restore equipment to take away small gadgets out of your tire or tube.


Ought to You Exchange or Restore A Broken Tube?

Supplies for repairing or replacing a bike tube


When to Exchange Your Tube

To save lots of time whereas out biking, many cyclists could choose to switch a broken tube with a brand new one and restore the previous one later. You also needs to change—as a substitute of patch—your tube any time the harm is just too in depth or extreme to patch, when a patch job fails to carry or when the tube’s valve is broken.


Store Bike Tubes 


Restore a Broken Tube

Most business patching kits include every part that you must create an efficient patch within the area. Observe these common steps to restore your tube:

1. Discover the broken space.

2. Clear and dry the broken space.


A person roughs up the surface of a bike tube before patching a leak

3. Tough up the floor of the broken space with sandpaper (to assist the glue adhere).


A person applies glue to a bike tube before placing a patch on a leak

4. Unfold the glue (vulcanizing fluid) and permit it to set till cheesy.


A person applies a patch to a damaged area on a bike tube

5. Apply the tube patch and maintain it in place with strain.


Store Bike Tube Patch Kits 


Restore hack: To quickly repair a tear within the tire sidewall, use a folded-up greenback invoice (or an empty power gel wrapper). Place it in between the tire and the tube so it covers the gash and prevents the tube from bulging by. You too can use shoe glue.

To learn extra, learn our article on Patch a Bike Tube.


Put a Bike Tube Right into a Wheel

A person inflates a bike tube before putting it back in the tire

1. Partially inflate your new or repaired tube to present it form and guarantee it holds air.

2. Should you fully eliminated your tire from the rim whereas fixing your flat, push one edge (or “bead”) of the tire contained in the rim.


A person inserting the valve stem of a bike tube into the hole on the rim of a bike wheel

3. Then, insert the valve stem into the valve gap on the rim. Test that the valve stem is straight and never at an angle.

4. Then place the remainder of the tube contained in the tire.

5. Starting at some extent reverse the valve, push the opposite tire bead contained in the rim.


A person works the tire bead of a bike tire back inside the rim of a bike wheel

6. Proceed across the wheel (in each instructions on the identical time), working extra of the tire bead contained in the rim. This can get more durable as you go. Pinch each side of the tire in towards the middle of the rim to make issues simpler, or rigorously use a tire lever to finish the job. Use warning when utilizing a tire lever to keep away from pinching the tube.

7. As soon as the tire and valve are in place, verify alongside its edges to make it possible for the tube will not be caught between the rim and the tire bead. This might trigger one other flat.


A bike tire being inflated

8. Now inflate your tire slowly, checking each side of the rim to make it possible for the tire bead stays firmly seated. Double-check the valve as you go to make sure it stays straight. To ensure your tube would not get caught between your tire and the rim, go round the entire tire as soon as and pinch each side of the tire inward.


A bike pump gauge and a bike tire showing the recommended pressure for the tire

9. Inflate the tire to its beneficial strain (printed on the tire itself or in your proprietor’s handbook). If you do not have a gauge, use your thumb as a information. In case your thumb presses in simply, preserve pumping.


Video: What Measurement Bike Tube Do I Want? 


Reinstall the Wheel
Put the Rear Wheel Again On

A person replaces the back wheel of a bike after fixing a flat

With the bike flipped over, place the rear wheel so the highest part of chain is draped over the smallest cog in your cassette. 
Line up the axle of the wheel with the dropouts on the bike body. Decrease the axle into place whereas pulling the derailleur again to get it out of the way in which. Be certain that the axle is firmly within the dropouts.
Holding the quick-release lever in place, tighten the nut on the drive aspect of the bike. Shut the lever. Be certain that it is tucked out of the way in which and never touching the bike’s body. If the lever closes too simply and is touching the body, it is most likely not tight sufficient. 
Bear in mind to reconnect your brakes (if vital) and ensure they’re working.
Spin the pedals and ensure the gears shift usually.


Put the Entrance Wheel Again On

A person replaces the front wheel of a bike after fixing a flat

Line up the axle of the entrance wheel with the dropouts within the fork and decrease the wheel into place. Be certain that the axle is seated within the dropouts.
Maintain the quick-release lever in place as you tighten the nut. When the nut is tight, shut the lever. Be certain that it is tucked out of the way in which and never touching the bike’s body. If the lever closes too simply and is touching the body, open the lever and tighten the nut some extra.
Reconnect the brakes (if vital) and ensure they’re working.


Different common ideas:

To recover from any fears of fixing a flat bike tire, follow doing it a number of instances at dwelling till it turns into routine.
Should you get a flat tire in a spot that’s unsafe, transfer your self away from the unsafe space. Stroll your bike to a public place or the place you’re not at risk of getting hit in visitors. 


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