Technical Tuesday: How To Fix A Flat Tire

Mar 30, 2010 at 0:09
Mar 30, 2010
by Mike Levy  
 
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In this, the first installment, of Technical Tuesdays, we'll cover one of the most common mechanicals: the dreaded flat tire! Inside you'll find step by step instructions and a How-To video to guide you through this 'must know' fix!

Read On...

Being able to fix a flat tire, whether it's while you're out on the trail or back at home, is a mandatory piece of bike knowledge. While a lot of readers out there no doubt already know how to go about replacing their tube, those who are new to the sport or have not yet been forced to learn how may not be so adept at it. We're going to keep it simple for this first installment of Technical Tuesdays and show you how to repair your flat. If you haven't had a flat yet and don't think you need to know how, your time is coming!

Watch the video to learn how to easily change a flat tire
Views: 25,233    Faves: 66    Comments: 20




Step By Step Flat Tire Instructions

Tools needed: Tire levers (do not use screwdrivers please) and a pump

Tire levers, pump, and a new tube ready for action
Tire levers, pump, and a new tube ready for action

Flat tires have to be one of the most common mechanical problems faced by mountain bikers. Nothing kills the day's flow more than popping a tube halfway through a ride, it's just a bummer all around. While fixing a flat is a pretty simple job that should only take a few minutes with practice, it's something that a surprising number of riders struggle with. Even if you already know what to do (besides call your mom to come get you), there are a few tricks that can make the job quicker and easier. These instructions assume that you've already removed the offending wheel from the bike, and while we're using a standard tire and tube setup, many of these steps still apply if you manage to flat your tubeless setup and simply want to put a tube in to get you out of the bush.

There can be a number of reasons why you no longer have any air in your tube. One of the most common is surely the dreaded pinch flat. A pinch flat is as it sounds, the tube was pinched between the rim sidewalls and the tire hard enough to cut it. The more air pressure you run, the less chance you have of pinch flatting, but you will have less traction at higher pressures. The other common flat tire culprit would be some sort of foreign object. Picture thorns, glass, sharp rocks and you'll get the idea. It is important to figure out why you flatted so that it doesn't happen again due to the same cause.


1. Start by removing the wheel from the bike and letting out any remaining air. This will make unseating the tire bead much easier.


2. When fixing a flat, unless the tire is damaged there is no reason to completely remove it from the wheel. You only need to remove one side of the tire in order to replace the tube. Some tire and rim combos have quite a tight fit which can make starting with a tire lever difficult. To make it easier, start by squeezing the tire bead into the center of the rim all the way around the wheel. This will make getting the tire lever under the bead much simpler.


First lever installed and hooked onto a spoke, freeing up both hands
First lever installed and hooked onto a spoke, freeing up both hands


3. Line up the tire lever with a spoke that comes from the same side of the wheel that you are working on. Hook the spoon end of the lever under the bead and pry it up and over the rim wall, hooking the opposite end of the lever to the closest spoke. You should now be able to let go of the lever and have it be held in place by the spoke and tire bead, giving you two free hands to repeat the process a few inches to the left or right. The key here is not to get greedy and try to pry too much of the tire bead off at one go. Some tires will only require one lever to remove, but some may need two or even three. When putting in multiple levers, start within an inch or two of the lever that is already in place, otherwise it will be very difficult to get the new lever under the bead.

Start the second lever close to the first. If it's too far away you'll have a hard time getting under the bead
Start the second lever close to the first. If it's too far away you'll have a hard time getting under the bead

4. Once a good portion of the tire bead is up and over the rim wall you should be able to slide one lever completely around the wheel and have one entire side of the tire up and over the rim all the way around. Now you can pull out the punctured tube, but be sure to keep the tube in the same relation to the tire as you remove it. Likewise, make sure that the tire does not rotate on the rim as you're removing the tube. If you're not sure what caused the flat and are worried about a piece of glass or thorn that may still be stuck in the tire waiting to put a hole in the new tube, lining up the hole in the tube with the tire will tell you where you should check.

You only need to remove one side of the tire's bead
You only need to remove one side of the tire's bead

5. You should always take the time to figure out what has caused your flat tire. Some pinch flats are obvious, but others can be a bit of a mystery. Locate the hole on the tube by putting some air into it and holding it close to your face so that you can feel or hear the leak. A pinch flat will usually look like two parallel slits across from one another and running lengthwise on the tube, although sometimes there will only be a single cut. If there is a single small hole then it was most likely caused by something that was ran over on the trail like a thorn or sharp stone. If so, you'll need to make sure that is not still stuck in your tire's casing. Run your palm up and over the inside of the casing slowly, being careful not to cut yourself if you drag your hand over something sharp. Remove whatever you find.

Use your hand to check the inside of the tire for foreign objects - be careful!
Use your hand to check the inside of the tire for foreign objects - be careful!

6. Once you're happy that you've found the cause, it's time to install a new tube. Before you put it in be sure to put a few pumps of air in to the new tube so that it takes shape. This will help keep it from being pinched by the rim, tire bead, or tire lever, when you finish it off. Start by putting the valve through the rim's valve hole and then screwing on the valve cap. Doing this keeps the valve from pulling back out of the rim as you work the tire on. Once the tube is all the way on it is time to reinstall the tire bead. Place the wheel upright on the floor in front of your feet with the valve stem in the highest position and the uninstalled bead facing out. Starting at the valve stem use both hands working away from the valve in opposite directions to push the bead up and over the rim. At the point opposite to where you started you may end up with a 6" section that is too tight to push over the rim's sidewall.

Reinstalling the tire bead
Reinstalling the tire bead

7. This is the important part that will let you finish installing your tire without having to resort to using levers, which can easily puncture your new tube. While still holding the wheel on the floor, start opposite the remaining tight section and squeeze the bead together towards the center of the rim. What you are doing is forcing the bead into the rim's middle section where the total circumference is slightly smaller than out at the sidewall, therefore making the tire a looser fit on the rim. It may take a few tries, but you should be able to push the last tight bit of tire bead up and over the rim wall with a few strong pushes of your thumb. Once that is done you need to make sure that the new tube is not trapped between the tire bead and rim. If it is you'll be rewarded with a loud bang as it explodes at the trapped section once you pump it up. Before you put any air into it squeeze both sides of the tire together and visually check to be sure you can see any part of the tube that may have got caught during installation. Pay special attention to the thicker rubber near the tube's valve stem. Once you're satisfied that you've done it right pump it back up and you're all done!

Check to be sure that no part of the tube has been pinched between the tire and rim
Check to be sure that no part of the tube has been pinched between the tire and rim

Watch for Technical Tuesdays every week. Down the road we'll be covering nearly everything and anything bicycle repair related, but if there are specific jobs that you'd like to see us tackle be sure to post them below.

Was this tutorial helpful for you? If you have any hints or tricks for those who may be struggling with this repair job, share them below!
Must Read This Week






186 Comments

  • + 64
 It would probably be helpful to post how to re-grease bearings and rebuild hubs.
  • + 63
 or how to true a wheel or how to set up suspension
  • + 74
 easily my least favourite job on a bike. other tasks may be more difficult, but changing a flat is so demoralizing. you could be having the best ride of your life and then "psssssssssss" and it's all forgotten and you have to stop and work on your bike in a bad mood...

that said, it's fairly straightforward, but this is the first in a series so why jump to the more advanced stuff? chances are, if you don't know how to change a flat, you'll be miles over your head trying to work on your suspension or the inner workings of your hub. and given that this is the first in a series, that stuff will probably be covered in future installments.
  • + 4
 they dont need to tell you how to regrease bearings, build hubs, or how to true a wheel because any one who needs to read this has never heard of how to do any of those, let alone know what they are.
  • + 4
 Not being funny its a good vid but youv got to be a complete idiot not to know how to change a inertube, and he said "cahnge the inertube" "obviously" well no you can save your self a good £14 bu fixing the puncture if its not to big...
  • + 10
 £14?! For an inner tube? Its always best to carry a spare tube since it takes up no less space than a puncture repair kit. And not everyone was born bike lord of the universe like yourself. I think this will be very helpful to beginners, and I learnt a trick or two!
  • + 4
 as im riding on 3.0s thats how much a decent inertube costs, and im sure maxxis ones are abotu £8 + fpr the 2.7s and they certainly dont come off the rim as easy as that
  • + 7
 3.0s lol... isn't that a bit over kill?

and I think £8-10 is probably still a better estimate for DH tubes... If your really do cost £14 have you considered trying to buy them in bulk (5s or 10s) on the internet as usually you can make a fairly decent saving that way! And plus when you have 10 spare tubes its almost a guarantee that you won't get a puncture for 6 months Razz

I do however see you point that for most riders repairing each tube at least once can save you a lot of money over time! My usual tactic is to replace the tube on the trail and then repair the old one from the comfort of my own home as not to waste any riding time... Then the repaired tube goes back in the Van/Camelback
  • + 2
 im saved i had no clue how to replace a tube!! Wink thanks bro
  • + 6
 ridiculous and unnecessary. post something worthwhile like "no-ah" said, suspension set-up or bearing maintenance, not how to fix a flat.
  • + 5
 Yeah. Because there are absolutely no suspension set up guides anywhere on this site... Bearing maintenance changes from hub to hub, and most hub manufactures have a guide of some sort.
  • + 3
 @ no-ah: you can actually use the bike's axel and a wooden stick to true your wheels. Nothing like doing it in a proper wheelstand, but it can tide you over in case you don't have it.
  • + 15
 Glad some of you enjoyed it! Keep in mind that there are some riders out there who do not know how to do this task, you didn't at one point either! =) There will be a lot more things to cover, some of you will already know how to do some of it and some of you won't, so keep that in mind.
  • + 1
 to no-ah and thegb1212, there is a suspension setup article on pinkbike. I saw it a month ago. It's put on by the dudes at transition.
  • + 1
 Nokian DH tubes are the best! like £5 each and didn't have a flat at all with them walst i had my DH bike for over a year!
  • - 3
 im sure anyone on pinkbike knows how to do this
  • + 2
 For frolosophy that happened to me at Kicking Horse...
  • + 4
 "im sure anyone on pinkbike knows how to do this"

Clearly you've not spoken to the same users I have Razz
  • + 1
 dang britain is expensive. tubes here are 5 bucks, or 8 bucks if you want a heavy duty DH tube.
  • + 3
 well until all bike shops stop getting people booking their bikes in for a puncture repair this video is still needed
  • + 2
 why is everyone beign neg proped for stating valid points the prop systems a joke, its not like wer direspecting the guy in the vid or anything like that urgh
  • + 1
 Just in regard to the expensive tubes, by like 3 £4.99 nutrack tubes for the price of 1 expensive one, if your running dual ply tyres on a dh bike then punctures shouldnt be much of a worry, in regards to truing your wheels it remarkably simple once you know you can do it in literally seconds Smile just do a search on google, setting up suspension is about knowing how changing something will affect your ride, then thinking about a run changing something dramatically at the bottom but only one adjustment then fine tuning between, and so on Smile
  • + 2
 Bike shops love getting tube repairs. Well, at least the owners do. They can make tons of money off of them. All the local shops around here charge 5 bucks for the tube, but $10-15 to change it for you. The employees hate it, but it's super easy money, that only takes a few minutes to do. Derailleurs are a big money maker too.
  • - 1
 It's actually embarrassing that such a How-To is up.. Is it honestly that hard to even try? C'mon
  • + 4
 dude its better to know what you're doing before you fix stuff.
  • - 1
 I know what you mean, but I just think it's a better experience to fail and recognize what you did wrong (called thinking) then just following step-by-step.

Other things like wheel building, for example, has money on the line; rim, spokes, hub, nipple... That is something anyone would need guidance, but replacing a rubber skin?
  • + 1
 yeah sorry i thought this article was on fixing a puncture, not just changing a tube..
  • + 12
 this tire fixing installment was just about as bad as the suspension set up video a few weeks back....purely basic stuff that people with $2k+ bikes already know how to do....
  • + 1
 Just do what everyone else does and get their boyfriend to fix it. LOL
Back in my XC daze we use to change flats in under a minute with a quick fill co2 thing.
With some tire/rim combos you need big metal tire levers to get the last bit of bead to snap over the rim.
Stans No Tubes for me. No flats in over 4 years using the stuff.
  • + 20
 "purely basic stuff that people with $2k+ bikes already know how to do...."

a) Not everybody has a $2k bike on here
b) (1/2) The people without $2k bikes seem to think that you can get one by swapping a $100 BMX and a PS2, so they probably need instructions to put on there shoes in the morning, never mind do something like change a tube! They're going to struggle though, there's no instructions for the pump!
  • + 0
 TBH when i had my stinky if i used to get a flat id pay my bike shop to fix it, worth paying them like £6 to change it while i wait as its more hassle than its worth in time for me, thats when i was runnign 2.5 maxxis high rollers, now iv got my demo and bighit i wouldnt let them within 10 metres of it, you wouldnt be on pinkbike if you had a crappy bike with no interest how to fix it or any plans to build or buy a nicer machine to race / have fun on, thos people to go to biek shops and agreed i bet they make a killing off it, i remember my first flat tyer i was about 7 years old i knew i had to get to the tyer to get it out i was puzzled at first but forced the tyer off the rim checked the tyer for a thorn or nail etc inside then robbed the tube of my brothers bike Razz was fairly simple must of took me a few hours tho, i just dont belive a site with high standards really needs to wast money and the time making a vid like this, im not up to date with parts but that tube looks like one of them high presure things, not your average prada, the wheel looks liek it must of cost abotu £300
  • + 2
 @ SPOONYMAN~
while i agree about the whole BMX thing (LOL), I still believe that if you DONT know how to change a flat tire on your own bike....you have absolutely NO EFFIN BUSINESS riding a bike or being on a website like this....
its the equivalent of not knowing how to wipe your own arse....
  • + 1
 i loled!
  • + 4
 it's been said, but i'll refresh everyone's memory. yes, this is a biking website, so what better place for a beginner to learn how to do some basic maintenance? this article was written for beginners, and to give some fresh tips to those who already know the basics. there was a time when everyone here didn't know how to change a tube (or wipe their own ass for that matter), and pinkbike has kindly provided an in-depth explanation of how to do it for all the beginners out there.

granted, it's the riders responsibility to learn these things, but what is the problem with giving them more resources to do so? i don't understand why people are offended by this.
  • + 1
 k so i have a flat on my stp fyi the rim is a wtb dual duty and the tire is a kenda dj tire . now ive taken the wheel off and all but it just wont come off its like superglued on it ... the bead wont even come off and there is no gap ... has anyone else ever had this problem?
  • + 2
 Tubeless tyre with tube lol
  • + 36
 lmao who doesnt know how to change a tire! iv been changing tires since i was like 5!
  • + 5
 and now your 6 ?! yeh, some of us DON'T know how to change a tire...ahh but then i am so impressed with your obvious tire changing skills - your my hero!
  • + 27
 as anyone who works in the bike trade knows, fixing flat tires is a VERY common workshop job - easily the most common job I do!!

its really surprising / worrying, how many people do not understand how to resolve a flat tire - especially the younger riders!! (this worries me, as it shows that the bike scene is not teaching new riders basic maintenance skills)

I will have a customer come into the shop, riding a £2,000 full suspension bike, and he does not know how to fix a puncture Frown


its the same problem, as a motorist not knowing how to check the oil levels, or tire pressures on their automobile (car for UK readers..)


this article is actually long overdue, and will help save riders time and money!!

I'm sure there are more "technical" articles due to come in this series


a word to anyone saying this article is dumb, don't assume other riders actually have this knowledge! all knowledge is good / useful!!
  • + 22
 ha.. f*ck those plastic pieces. f*ck those plastic pieces!
shoulda shown dh tire / dh rim, or tubeless repair / tubeless to using road tube, ect?
and metal levers! (w/out bending rim or ripping tire beads ha)
  • + 2
 Metal levers make this task sooooooooo much easier
  • + 17
 and at all the people saying this is a waste of time, i worked at a bike shop for a summer and changed countless flats because people didn't know how to so just because you know how to do stuff doesn't mean others dont. it'd be like me saying a hub maintenance video would be pointless, like who doesn't know how to do that already
  • + 18
 There a lot of kids reading this who don't know how to change flat tires or perform any basic repairs. Its basic to most of us but valuable for many.
  • + 13
 is he blind? why is he not looking at the camera?

this is the most basic thing any bicycle rider should know. a how to video is just silly. a better video would have been to show how to install a DH tire easily
  • + 23
 deadatbirth, Reading the other comments would have told you that there will be videos in the future that will feature many different topics, possibly including how to install a full-on DH tire. Also, there are riders who are new to the sport who may be able to install a new tube, but don't mind learning a new technique or two...
  • + 4
 Username says it all
  • + 15
 is it 1st of april already?

i might do an instructional video on how to spell tyre
  • - 1
 Me too: I'm tyred of people speeling "tires" like the want.
  • + 2
 They ARE spelling 'tire' correctly... if you are North American, that is.

I spent three years in the USA having to use American spelling in my communications. Their spelling is more phonetic and often ignores the etymology. Note the following examples with American spelling first:
Tire / Tyre
Specalized / Specialised (talking the word, not the brand)
Theater / Theatre
Color / Colour
Douchebag / Wanker

I pick the spelling depending on my audience.
  • + 1
 and we say herbs instead of erbs because there's a f* "h" in it Smile
  • + 12
 This is a great start to a series,
although it is basic, many do not know how to do it.
more importantly, many do not ask because it is so basic - embarrassed?

either way, keep it up.
  • + 14
 Very sweet idea guys, and good write up, with photos at appropriate spots. Looking forward to the rest of them! -Greg
  • + 12
 Ahah so funny i just finished changing mine and then i visit pinkbike and you guys posted a tutorial ahah. I have to stop using scewdrivers, they damage my rims :\.
  • + 12
 a screwdriver is a bad idea, don't use it mate. just get them plastic things to help you take off the tyre.
  • + 12
 I liked it, I hate flat tires and changing them. Good idea for an article.
  • + 11
 Ah, so thats what the hooky things are on the tire irons are for! Interesting, I had no idea. I learned something. I knew there was a reason to get up today.
  • + 11
 im grateful for this video, learned a couple of little tricks i didnt know.
  • + 11
 Where am I, mountain bike action? I think I clicked on a bad link or something...
  • + 3
 maybe your the bad link...hope you never have children; EVERYONE starts at the beginning and needs help, not attitude...
  • + 11
 There must of been a somthing really interesting behind the camera, or a really fit girl.
  • + 10
 this seems kind of unnecesary. if you cant fix a flat, you shouldnt be on pb
  • + 17
 I don't really see how that would be a rule. Plus the point of this article is to identify the many tips and tricks when changing a flat that the common PB user may not know.
  • + 1
 regardless, i hope they start showing more advanced stuff
  • + 7
 The responses to this thread give me hope for my children. Provided they've got just a few critical thinking skills, they'll be head and shoulders above the sea of half wits when looking for a job. Keep it up kids! Great video Mike. Keep em coming.
  • + 8
 great tutorial for the new riders or someone with little to no mechanic's skills. I would like to see a tutorial on how to tune a derailler, althought its rare that i use one. It would be nice to learn.
  • + 12
 Next week we'll cover setting up a rear derailleur from start to finish. Check back on Tuesday!
  • + 8
 This is a great idea guys! Will help beginners with small repairs in the future, hope to see more of these kinds of features
  • + 6
 That's a very good article, but this is pretty simple.

In the downhill world, changing a flat can be way more pain. When you have, let's say a mavic 729, a 300 grams downhill tube and a 2 ply DH casing 2.5 tires, there is no way you can do that with your hands, or even with some cheap plastic tires levers. (At least I can't)

That'd be interesting to see an article with a burly setup, unlike this xc wheel, xc tube and folding (I guess) single ply tire.

However, this is good to see articles like this, and I hope there will be more!
  • + 1
 would a mtx 33 rim 2.3kenda krads and regular tube do, or i have a 2.5 tube i make fit i could do a video on that to prove it works trust me its a bitch to do but all of this helps
  • + 6
 Holy crap, I feel like an absolute retard right now. I didn't know or realize that the little hooks on tire levers were for hooking onto the spokes like that. I've been doing it awkwardly for years..... Friggin' DOH!
  • + 6
 why not bleed brakes, rebuild a fork, set suspension, lace a wheel, face a headtube, rebuild a hub!!!!!!! things that are usefull.
  • + 3
 I would really underline the 4th sentence of point 2. I know people being bike mechanics that don't really use this tip to the full extent using plenty of brute force instead of working the tyre into the row in the middle of the rim. I was biking All mountain a lot flatting some sturdy tyres (my record 13 patches on one tube in one all day ride...) for years, not knowing that!

PUSH THE TYRE INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE RIM IT WILL COME OFF WAY WAY WAAAAY EASIER. those who don't do it will be surprised how sturdy tyres can come off without the use lever (depending on the rim)
  • + 1
 I learned this technique when I tried to take some WTB Timberwolf 2.5 SuperDuty DH tires off of a pair of Deemax wheels. It took me nearly an hour until I discovered that they come off almost without a problem if I just moved the bead to the channel in the middle of the rim. Clockwork.
  • + 1
 baaah... Deemaxes and Mavic UST systems in general, apart from all great features are just bonkers with taking off a tyre.... It's even harder other way around, to fit the tyre well in the rim without any wobbling because parts of the tyre stuck in the middle row. I can't understand why they make this row so edged instead of rounded so the tyre can pop out into the sidewall rows easier.
  • + 3
 you left out how to install a valve cap Smile
  • - 1
 THIS IS THE FIRST TECH TUESDAY LIKE HE SAID! LOTS OF PEOPLE DONT KNOW HOW TO CHANGE A TUBE
  • + 1
 chill was just poking fun at Mikey Smile
  • + 1
 2 ply hi rollers on DT 6.1s do not come off. Ever. Anyone who can do it without 2 huge metal levers is a god in my book.
  • + 1
 some rims are special indeed...
  • + 2
 for a quick, cheap, and easy way to fix a flat if you would be willing to patch a tube grab some park tool glueless patches, 9 out of 10 times they work amazing and i run my tires at 70psi. best part is you can throw the levers and patch kit in your pocket, at my lbs i think a patch kit is $1.39 around there and has 6 patches and a peice of sand paper. and between me and my friends at one point one of us had about 7 of theese on a tube and never worried about them
  • + 3
 Ha! I might take my words back. I too have been offered ridiculous junk for some of my bikes. You know they say "You can swim all day in the sea of knowledge and still come out completely dry."
  • + 2
 I like that. I am going to use that phrase. (already cut and pasted)
  • + 2
 Amazing how many people don't know how to do this properly, it's the most likely problem you will ever have with a bike. Pushing the bead to the middle is a cracking tip though, its let me take tyres off with my bare hands for years (even with old style d321's)
  • + 6
 this tools for removing a tire, suck, i mean, u can do it with bare hands
  • + 11
 Think about it for a second and you'll realize that not all tires are easily removed with only your hands. The video shoes using levers because most people will need levers to remove the tire, although not always.
  • + 1
 If you can take off and mount a 3C on a 823 with just your hands I'd say you can do just about any tire.... tire levers are for da weak. But this is prob useful for all da gromlets
  • - 1
 there is no way you are taking off a DH tire without a lever.
  • + 1
 have u ever tried to do it?
  • + 1
 i run 2.5" 3C minions on 823 rims and i can take them off and put them on with no tire levers...
  • + 1
 there is tactic involved.... once you master da tactic you are a wizard
  • + 2
 Another great tip I've come to rely on over the years is to use the Mavic tire levers if you have a particularly tight bead. If you can only get one regular tire iron on and hooked to a spoke, then take the ultra-thin Mavic lever and squeeze it in under the bead as close to the hooked iron as you can, then work the tire off one little bit at a time.
  • + 5
 ok who ever on Pinkbike obviously rides a bike and everyone that rides a bike knows how to change a tire?????
  • + 1
 and obviously you're a DeucheMuffin?????
  • + 1
 hahahahahahaha, DeucheMuffin...how about - can everyone say, REEEETARDMUFFIN! hey muffin no offense, we know you can change a tire but maybe you should change your handle.
  • + 5
 Would be great with a toturial for UST / tubeless...
  • + 0
 Not much of a difference. Just avoid using any tyre lever harder and with sharper edges than this parktool otherwise you damage the tyre or rim ( I wouldnt personaly dare to use even this one on my UST). The best are soft plastic almost rubbery ones with rounded edges (maxxis or continental) U just need to use them gently so they dont break. More than making one leverage and then sliding the lever along the rim rather than trying to get another lever. It's a tough job with UST.
  • + 1
 The yellow Maxxis ones are the best IMHO. I also hear that Maxxis are no longer making them so I buy them whenever I see them.
  • + 1
 depends for what. If we are talking UST then they are excellent indeed, but for regular tyres & tubes Parktools are better I believe.
  • + 1
 I thinking for everything - I find the park ones too thick. I like 'em slim to fit in between the bead and the rim when its real tight.
  • + 1
 TWO TIPS MISSED:

1. Article says "lining up the hole in the tube with the tire will tell you where you should check." I do this for my own tyres by lining up the dot in 'maxxis.com' with the valve. This way if I can find the puncture but not the hole, and vice versa, I know roughly where to look.

2. I always wear my 5.10s when wrenching. At about 15-20psi of inflation, wherever I see the bead is not seated properly, I put that part of the tire on the ground with the unseated bead uppermost, put my shoe on the side knobs and lever the wheel towards the ground, this pulls the bead outwards and helps the tire seat. This way you don't have to over-inflate the tire to seat the bead.
  • + 1
 i say we do a video contest on who can change a tire the fastest:P
i can do 2.3 kenda krads on a rhyno lite rim with a regular 1.9-2.25 tube in about 5 minutes or less with a single tire lever from punctured flat to fully inflated with a floor pump to 70 psi
  • + 4
 I always wondered what the hooks were for on my tyre levers. I always used to use spoons when I was a kid.
  • + 5
 back to basics...well for starters its a good tip
  • + 4
 Real man dont use tire levers. Real man use bare hands. BARE HANDS... bear hands...
  • + 1
 Must be a mechanic! That was always my moto!!!!
  • + 1
 That works most times, but DAMN do wide rims and tight beads SUCK!! I almost had a nervous breakdown after getting a flat w/ my bud miles ahead on an epic backcountry ride. No chance w/ bare hands (rynolite rim and new wide tire). Two broken tire levers later my buddy doubled back. Took more grunting than a good boning to get er off!!
  • + 0
 D321, Nobby Nic. Very tight. There must be about 10" of tyre to try and loop over at the end. Cant even see the inside edge of the rim.
  • + 1
 one point. i wouldn't use my hand to check for thorns nals etc. could get a big cut from some things that get stuck in the tyre. instead squash some tissue together and run it along. it will snag on anything that is stuc in there
  • + 5
 it's true, imagine if you were riding street and it was a snapped needle or something (not much chance, but possible), then you cut yourself running your hand along the inside of the tyre...

That's right, you can actually catch AIDS from changing an innertube!!!
  • + 1
 haha Feckin legend !! Wink
  • + 1
 good point but to bust that myth aids dies in the air in about 8 seconds,, still gross tho and u could get tetnis still
  • + 2
 Ha Realy, u need to no ur bike before u can use it properly!!! SO if u cant change a tube, u should try cooking or even watching tv Wink
  • + 0
 Not every tyre rim combo are easy to fit. Had plenty of experience. Was working as a competent mechanic when you where born. Whip
  • + 3
 Awryt! keep ur pants on! All tyres are easy to fit Fact! some are just tight. Whip
  • + 0
 Sometimes the opposite is the problem - trying to stop the bead from blowing off the rim when you have a loose tyre and a small diameter rim.

I remember once seeing a huge bubble come out of the sidewall and I just yell out "Block your ears!!" and I'm running away from the wheel. We all watched as the bubble got bigger and bigger and gradually pushed the bead off half the rim, and in dooing so released some of the pressure in the tube. These days I'm a lot more careful to check the bead at all stages of inflation.
  • + 1
 If you can't change a tube you should get on a big yellow bus!
  • + 0
 just saying some tyre and rim combos are a real tight fit. One day you will get one like that and then you will remember this conversation.
  • + 1
 Bet I Don't. I'm not special.
  • + 1
 I think this a great new addition to the web site i know that if there's something i don't know how to do and it's on here it will definatly help me out. though for me it's a bit hard to learn from a video.
  • + 4
 tsk tsk for using a tire lever on a tubeless tire
  • + 1
 Sorry, but you have missed the key method for getting tyres on and off.
If you want to know how to do it properly then watch the video below:

www.notubes.com/movieztr.php
  • + 1
 In the article he reinstalls the tire bead starting from the valve side. In my experience, you get more slack if you start opposite the tire bead. Is there a specific reason he starts at the valve stem?
  • + 2
 I always start at the valve. I guess its because once youve seated the valve and poped the tyre on it wont move about.
  • + 1
 i thinks its so you dont move the valve to much and damage it. i think my last like 5 flats have been due to valves breaking away from the rest of the tube
  • + 2
 This is a great article, even for people who have changed many flats, because there are a couple little tricks in there that even experienced people might not be using.
  • + 1
 Has anyone got any tips on how to get tires (2.5 3C minions) on and off Spinergy Fall-Line wheelsets? - I can do it, but it requires steel levers, a lot of time, stress and patients.
  • + 1
 Check the last two sentences of the second step in this article.
  • + 1
 No, that doesn't help at all. I've tried all that. My Bike Mechanic cusses when he has to change my tires.
  • + 1
 Parktool's are probably the best ones I have ever tested. Steel levers will do your rims: don't use them.
  • + 1
 I've snapped 4 of them, my mechanic goes through about 1 or 2 per tire change....
  • + 1
 Try the steel-core plastic ones. They're easy on your rim and as strong as full steel irons.
  • + 2
 It's easier to tell where your tire is punctured if you spray some soapy water on it, then press on the tube then look for bubbles.
  • + 2
 hahah, i got a set of those parktool tire levers and never realized that the other end is meant to hook them to the spokes.. very handy good article though, keep them coming
  • + 2
 imo this is the hardest thing to do and the most common thing i replace on my bmx....
also another pain in the ass, untangling bike chains when you dont have a tool :p
  • + 1
 Thanx! I didn't know before how to change tires Smile I always gave my wheel to this junky and fixxed it for me for a bottle of beer, now I can drink the beer myself Big Grin
  • + 1
 I would dearly love to see that video with my D321 rim and Nobby Nic Tyre combo. It is possible you may see a grown man weep in defeat. Not a good combo, Uber tight!
  • + 1
 having worked in a shop, its amazing to see how many riders come in just for flats. but we always let them watch and give pointers
  • + 2
 a good vid but i dont really see why its nessisary most people will probly no
  • + 1
 Ok, so i have a Maxxis Minion 2.5 that i'm trying to pry off. I've been through 3 tyre levers, and the thing seems unmovable. help!
  • + 1
 how come his tire says tubeless but he has a tube? i know how to do pretty much all the stuff on the tech tuesdays but i just watch them for fun. lol.
  • + 2
 i hate fixing flats or replacing tubes its easy to do but so fucking annoying
  • + 3
 those tire levers look way better than my wally world ones ;[.
  • + 2
 yea but if you get any kind of cleaner on them or lube, they snap.
  • + 1
 well thats gay...
  • + 0
 Awesome tutorial.

It's been many years of tube changing for me since we have 3 bikes (mine, wife's and daughter) and still learned a couple of tricks here.
Thanks again and keep them coming.
  • + 2
 I'm all about punture repair kits
  • + 1
 I'd like to see an episode on how to change form a single fork to a double fork. That would be a helpful video
  • + 2
 fixing a flat inner tube on a UST tubeless rim hilarious !! lol
  • + 1
 yes, that's what I was thinking too...guess it's just for the video.
  • + 0
 what they could not find another wheel ?? lol
  • + 1
 HAHA LOL
  • + 5
 They are compatible with tubes, too...
  • + 7
 damn haters propping us down :\
  • + 2
 dont give a damm about props..
  • + 1
 A personal favourite of mine is to dust and rub the tube with baby powder so it doesn't bind to the tire, seems to help.
  • + 6
 I prefer to rub my tube with baby oil
  • + 7
 I enjoy rubbing my tube the old fashioned way to be honest!
  • + 2
 gorilla tape tubeless, or go tubeless.
  • + 1
 gorilla tape - is key to life.
  • + 0
 A lot of people saying they didn't know how to do this. How do you manage if you get a puncture on the trail? Surely you don't just push it home?
  • + 1
 I don't know what those people do, but like everyone else that has worked in a shop theat chimes in, there certainly are a lot of people coming in to get this done. And when I should be doing fun stuff like building bikes or doing repairs, I end up changing tyres all day long.
  • + 1
 True. Try charging on obscene amount for tube changing, at least it makes it worth while. Watch out for dog poo!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Anyone who didn't know how to do this would almost certainly not have a pinkbike account?
  • + 5
 Not sure about that. They might be the same guys who don't ever read adverts properly and constantly ask if I will swap ps1, bmx etc for my higher end product. Lot of kids on here with bags of enthusiasm and little experience.
  • + 1
 why this guy has tube there????? tubeless tire with tubeless rim.... I did not get it
  • + 3
 Heh go Tubeless.
  • + 1
 spoons work as tire leavers Big Grin
  • + 1
 yes they do freeride glory Razz
  • + 1
 now try doing that with a Minion 3C tire! Razz
  • + 1
 Mike how are your XT wheels holding up? Have you found their limit?
  • + 2
 that it is too easy
  • + 1
 Specialized 26x3.0 Inner costs £4... Sorted!
  • + 1
 clean
  • + 0
 Is this really necessary!
  • + 0
 i like bikes
  • - 3
 wow now i know how to fix a puncture! u learn something new everyday eh!
  • + 5
 everyone's gotta learn sometime.
  • + 6
 This isnt a tutorial about fixing a flat. its replacing a tube. there should be a section about patches, glue, what kind of patch to use on pinchflats, tears, and the like. Poor tutorial.
  • + 13
 Well i find it just as retarded not running UST with a nice sealant :>
Nice tutorial, but come on... waste of time. Tons of them already out there for the beginners.
And i really hope the guy is not actually running all the time a tube with that combo (LUST/UST RIM), i got like 20+ holes in my rear 2.35 HR LUST at the moment, "thank god" for sealant.
  • + 2
 @frolosophy yea but look around...yeap thats right your on a mountainbiking website!
  • + 5
 I rode bikes all through my youth, my grandpa fixed flats for me when I was little, never had issues with tires from around 10-15, so I never had to change any tubes. Then I got a car and didn't touch a bike again until 2 years ago, now I'm 30. Suffice to say I popped one my first day out on a lift run and didn't know what the F to do. Yeah, rip it off and slap a new one on, that's how I did it. But this tutorial is the right way to do it, which I didn't understand 2 years ago. You learn as you go with things like this and this is a starting point....2 years later, yeah I want to know how re-grease my hubs and service my own shock, but you have to get to that point First....
  • + 6
 @ PerryDH... exactly - a mountain bike website would be the perfect place to teach beginners against simple maintenance!

And there maybe another point to this tutorial (I'm just guessing) but Mike Levy (the author) may have wanted some practice at writing tutorials and "technical" maintenance guides/articles as this is a new feature to the website, before going into something like hub or fork servicing! Any discrepancies or ambiguity will be negligible for changing a tube but vital for bleeding brakes!
  • + 1
 @ DJProgidy: I think you're quite right, so I'm gonna finish this write up.

1. Peel off your patch.
2. Stick it where the punture is.
3. Your happy to go now.
  • + 11
 DJPrOdigy, There will be separate videos down the road that will cover all such things. The goal is to have one a week, so we won't be covering more than one topic per article. spoonyman, You nailed it.
  • + 1
 Where do I post the video of me rubbing my tube?

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