When you’re out in the trails or biking in the middle of nowhere, knowing how to fix a flat bike tire is essential in case the unexpected happens.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fix a flat bike tire.
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How To Fix a Flat Bike Tire
How To Fix a Flat Bike Tire The Traditional Way
Part of learning how to bike is that you also need to know how to fix the tire when the air goes out or you get a flat. It is like knowing how to maintain your car when you know how to drive.
If it is a skill you haven’t learned yet, here is a simple guide on how to do it.
What You Need:
- Bike tire tube
- Hand pump
- Tire levers
- Tire patch kit
1. Take out the tire of your bike that needs repair. Deflate all the air by pressing on the valve to let all the air out.
2. Remove the outer rubber by using tire levers or pulling the tire away from the rim.
3. Once the outer rubber is out, remove the inner tube from the rim.
4. Check for a hole in the inner tube.
5. You can visually check to see where the hole is. Do this by inflating the tube with a hand pump and see where the air comes out.
6. You can also use inflate the tube with a hand pump and pour water onto the inner tube and see where bubbles form. Bubbles will usually form where the air goes out.
7. Once you have located the tire, use your patch kit to fix the hole.
8. Apply the adhesive around the area of the hole and then patch it up by adding the patch.
9. Press it firmly for a few seconds. It should dry up easily and should cover the hole almost instantly.
10. Pump the inner tube to check if you have properly covered the hole.
11. Place the inner tube around the rim and make sure the valve is sitting properly right at the valve hole.
12. Put back the outer rubber and then inflate the inner tube using the hand pump with the right PSI.
Note: Most outer tires show the suggested PSI of a tire. If you have no way of knowing the correct PSI of the tire, inflate the tire and check by pinching the tire to see if it’s hard enough to hold your weight.
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How To Fix a Flat Bike Tire the DIY Way
When you’re biking, it is very important to have a hand pump with you or any access to any tire inflating device.
It is like driving a car without wrenches and basic tools — you can’t do anything when it breaks down.
But if that is all you have and don’t have any spare tubes with you, there are common household items that you can use to patch the tube of your bike.
This is so you can, at least, get yourself home or bike to the nearest repair shop.
What You Need:
- Chewing Gum, a piece of paper and super glue, or duct tape
- Hand pump
1. Follow the instructions above up to step 6.
2. To use gum, chew up until it gets sticky enough to cover the hole.
3. To use a piece of paper and super glue, apply super glue around the hole and cut a piece of paper that is enough to cover the hole. Press it firmly and let it dry before proceeding.
4. To use duct tape, cut a small piece of tape and place it on the hole.
5. Once you’re done patching up the hole, put the inner tube back on the rim with the valve aligned to the hole and pump it back up.
Note: This technique may not be a permanent fix but should be enough to help you reach your destination or get help from someone.
How To Fix a Flat Bike Tire For People Running Tubeless Tires
Most mountain bikes nowadays don’t use inner tubes and use tire sealants instead.
Although it may repair itself from minor punctures, large holes can still happen and this is how you can fix them.
What You Need:
- Hand pump
- Tire plug kits
- Tire sealant
1. Locate where tire sealant may be coming out.
2. Small punctures can be easily covered by the sealant inside your tire and allowing your sealant to drip through the hole should be enough to cover it.
3. If the sealant can’t do its job and there’s a bigger hole, you can use a tire plug kit to fix the hole.
4. The tire plug kit usually comes with a reaming tool and tubeless plugs (sticky rubber compound in a shape of a worm).
5. Use the reaming tool to make a bigger hole on your tire’s hole and twist it around once it’s in. This will allow the rubber compound to get in the hole properly.
6. Place the rubber compound on top of the hole and use the reaming tool to push it and plug the hole.
7. Cut the remaining rubber compound that is sticking out and let the tire sealant do its magic by filling out the small hole left.
8. Inflate your tire.
Note: If you have tire sealant and your tire is dried up from the sealant, make sure to put in some first before following these steps.
If it’s the rims of your bike that becomes the problem, Watch this video from Global Mountain Bike Network on how to straighten your bike’s wheels:
Learning how to fix a flat bike tire is an important skill to have as a cyclist or even just a person using a bicycle.
You’ll never know when an unfortunate event may happen and you could be in the middle of nowhere when this happens.
Learning how to fix a flat can save you in certain situations and could spell the difference if you’re going back home pedaling or pushing your bike for miles.
Do you have other clever ways on how to fix a flat bike tire? Let us know in the comment section below.
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