Thanks to Trev Williams of The Doctrine Training Ltd. for running a great tire change clinic last week for LYNX Oliver training camp participants!
Here is a step by step review of changing a flat on your rear wheel:
Part 1: Preparing to change your flat
- For safety, immediately move to the ditch to change your flat
- Change your gearing to small ring in the front and smallest chain ring on the rear cassette
- Undo your quick release skewer on the flatted wheel (do not unscrew though!)
4. Open your quick release brake on the rim of the flatted wheel
5. Lift your bike off the ground slightly and allow the wheel to drop out
6. Place your bike on the ground, chain ring facing the sky. (“Brains up” as Marie M says)
Part 2: Changing your tube (without using tire levers!)
- Rest your wheel on your feet with the valve stem at 12 o’clock (near hands in this photo)
2. Starting at 12 o’clock, with your thumbs parallel to the rim and pointing towards 1 and 11 o’clock, squeeze and push your hands down towards 6 o’clock. This stretches the tire rubber to create more slack at 6 o’clock where you will then roll the tire off the rim – one side only – no need to take the entire tire off the rim.
3. Remove the flat tube. Carefully inspect your tire to try to locate the cause of your flat. Carefully run your thumb along the inside of the tire to feel for any objects. Look for an embedded rock or shard of glass. You might have to bend your tire to pick it out. This is a very important step. If you didn’t flat due to a pinch flat, and you don’t find the culprit, there is a good chance you will puncture your new tube.
4. Grab new tube, unscrew valve stem, and blow some air into the tube to give it shape. Drop the tube down into the tire at 6 o’clock and then lay it in the rest of the way. At the top, insert the valve stem into the hole at 12 o’clock.
Part 3: Putting the tire back on the rim
1. With your tire and wheel still resting on your feet, valve stem at 12 o’clock, push up on the valve stem and begin to tuck the “open side” of the tire back onto the rim.
2. Once the tire is back on as much as possible, go back to the valve stem and repeat the “pinch and push” process to create tension behind your hands and slack at the bottom.
3. Once your hands meet at the bottom, use the meaty part of your palms to roll the last bit of tire onto the rim.
4. Once the tire is back on the rim, check that the tube is not pinching under the tire. Do this by facing into the sun (Trev says it really makes a difference) and checking front side and back side of the tire all the way around. When you look on the inside of the rim, you should always see rim tape, front and back. If you see black tube, you are at risk of getting a pinch flat unless you re-seat the tube completely inside the tire.
Part 4: Inflate your new tube and put wheel back on bike
1. Ensure that your tube valve stem is open
2. Put your CO2 cartridge in your adapter. 16g or 20g cartridges are suggested.
3. Unload all of the air into the tire
4. Put your adapter and used cartridge back into your saddle bag
5. Pick up your bike. Hold it by the saddle with one hand and stick your wheel back on your bike. The rear cassette should slide between the top and bottom of the chain and the bottom of the chain should drop back onto the smallest rear cog.
6. Close the quick release on your skewer (remember, no need to tighten as it was never loosened!)
7. Close the quick release on your break
8. Turn the pedals a few times to make sure the chain is properly seated, and your brake isn’t rubbing… and off you go!
This is the time of year to become proficient at fixing flats. Practice, practice, practice and if/when it happens on the road, you will be confident and competent.