Even if you’re the type of cyclist who prefers to leave maintenance and repairs to the professionals, there may come a time when you’re the only source of help around. And if you’ve never had to fix a flat tire, you might be surprised at how quickly and easily it can be done.
The tools of the trade are relatively light and easy to carry: a patch kit, tire lever or two, mini-pump, multi-tool or wrench and spare tube. These can easily fit into a backpack or a small carrying case that you can affix to the seat post.
With the bike sitting upside down deflate the flat tire’s remaining air for easier removal. Use the quick-release mechanism or a tool to loosen the wheel. Unhook the brake cable so you can get the wheel out. Use a lever or two to force the tire off of the metal wheel. You’ll have to find the source of air loss in the tube; but since something must have punctured the tire first, it could still be stuck in the rubber and need to be removed.
If the tube’s hole isn’t immediately visible you can pump it up (if it’s hard to see it should be able to take some air) and feel or hear the source of air loss. The smaller the hole the easier it is to patch up, though many cyclists feel more comfortable using a new tube than trusting their handiwork.
When patching the tube, first use the kit’s sandpaper to create a surface that will allow for a better hold. Then apply the glue, according to its specific instructions and finally, the patch.
When you’re confident the patch is solidly in place and the glue is dry, put the tube back into the tire and use a lever to reposition the tire onto the wheel. After adding the right amount of air, be sure to get everything back into its rightful place, including the brake cable.
SpinsanityCycles has the tools, accessories and tips to help you make simple repairs on your own. Visit www.spinsanitycycles.com or call 905-551-7746 to find out more.