A flat bike tire is bad news, but luckily,
fixing a flat is simple. Just follow our easy, step-by-step process, and you’ll be back on
the road in no time! All you’ll need to change that flat is a replacement tube or a patch
kit, and two tire levers. The first step is to remove the wheel with
the flat tire. If it’s the rear wheel, shift your bike into the smallest cog in the back;
this will make it easier on you. To start, open the brake, which will allow
the wheel to come out freely. Now flip your bike over, undo the quick release, and remove
the wheel. Again, if you’re working with the rear wheel, pull the derailleur back with
your hand to make removal easier. At this point in the process, grab those tire
levers. We recommend using tire levels over other tools because they’re less likely to
damage the replacement tube when putting the tire back on after you repair it.
For our next step, let any remaining air out of the damaged tube. Once the tube is empty,
use one of your tire levers to get under the bead of the tire. Move a couple inches to
either side, then use your second tire lever to lift the bead of the tire over the rim.
Slide the second tire lever until one side of the tire is completely off. Now that we’ve taken the tire off, we’re going
to remove the tube to check for damage and see if we can find the debris that caused
the flat. A tip before we get started: The valve stem is easier to remove if you bend
the tire back as you lift up on it. For this step, you’ll inflate the damaged
tube, then look and listen for where the hole is. Once you’ve spotted the hole, use the
valve stem for reference to begin checking the tire and make sure you’ve removed whatever
caused the flat in the first place. After that, carefully double check that the
tire is free of any other potential problems by running your hand along the inside of the
tire. We’re now ready to replace the damaged tube
with a good one! Begin by unraveling the tube….this is the
fun part! Put air in the tube until it begins to take shape. Put the valve stem in first,
then use your hand to insert the rest of the tube into the tire.
Next, use your hands to roll the bead of the tire back over the rim. Most of the time,
this can be accomplished simply by using your hands, but you can also use those tire levers
if you’re working with an especially tricky tire.
With the tire back over the rim, fill the tire to the recommended pressure and ensure
that the bead of the tire stays properly seated on the rim. Now it’s just a matter of putting
in the work to get the tire up to the correct pressure; we’re almost done! The fourth and final step involves replacing
the wheel. To accomplish this, first line the wheel up with the dropouts on the bike.
Lift one piece of the chain over the gears, and pull the derailleur back until the wheel
slides into the dropouts on the bike. Make sure that the wheel is all the way in the
dropouts before tightening the quick release skewer. Close the lever on the quick-release
mechanism, flip the bike over, and reconnect the brakes. Make sure the wheel is centered
and the brakes are working properly, and there you have it! Your tire is fixed and you’re
ready to get back on the road.