How to change a flat tire on the trail.

If you have not had a flat tire yet while riding on the trails, consider yourself lucky.  My brother ran over a thorn one day on the trail and his tire was flat within a minute.  It will happen one day so you might as well be prepared and have the knowledge to get it done.  Now you should carry a small tool kit when you ride but there are a few things for this particular situation that you will need for sure: 

  • spare tire tube (just in case a patch won’t work – make sure it’s the right size – found on the side of the tire itself)
  • patch kit with either glue patches or self-adhesive patches
  • tire pump
  • tire lever or small regular screwdriver

The process of both patching and replacing a tube is fairly similar and easy-to-do with a little practice:

  1. Get off the trail and turn the bike over.
  2. Undo the brakes, if necessary.
  3. Lift up on the quick release lever if you have it or use the proper tools to remove the wheel.
  4. Using a tire lever remove the tire from the rim.
  5. Take out the inner tube.
  6. Make sure the tire is free of thorns and anything else that could damage it.
  7. Once you’ve located the hole, use the glue in the patch kit and apply it around the hole.
  8. Then hold the patch in place for a few minutes and allow to dry for a few minutes.
  9. Pump up the tube and check for any other leaks, fix as necessary.  If none, deflate.
  10. Put one side of the tire back on the rim.
  11. Put the patched tube into the tire – you’ll want to inflate it just a bit.
  12. Put the other side of the tire back on the rim using the tire lever – be careful so that you don’t pinch the tube.
  13. Inflate the tire to the proper amount.
  14. Hook the brakes back up.

Your good to go.  Just make sure to replenish your tool and patch kit if needed.

Tip:  Filling your tire tubes with a sealant like SLIME will greatly reduce the need for you to patch holes on the trail because this product instantly seals small holes.  This can be purchased at your local bicycle shop and/or retail store such as Walmart, Kmart or Target.

Ride, live, have fun.

Cindy 🙂

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