Monday, September 8, 2014

That tire isn't going to fix it's self!

     So I said I was finally going to learn to fix a flat and this was gonna be the day to do it.  I wined a few times that we would run out of daylight and we should do it another day, but my excuses were all used up.

     As you can see, we had everything needed to change a flat, there's the CO2 cartridge on the far right which replaces a pump to put air in the inner tube.  The metal thing next to it is basically a portable tool box. Pretty much anything that needs to be fixed on a bike can be fixed with this tool.  The yellow objects on the top are tire levers and those are used to pry the tire away from the rim.  Lastly, the black circle is a spare tube. Of course, I'm sure you recognize the pump, which I obviously don't keep in my saddle bag, but everything else I do.  Call me a bike shop on wheels:) 

     My tire was perfectly fine, so I assumed we could just study a manual and I would be prepared if I actually get a flat. Why would I fix it?? What's that old saying... If it aint broke...  That wasn't the plan.

       Have you ever seen a chart displaying the steps to perform the Heimlich Maneuver?  You're left wondering if you really could save someone from choking if that day ever came.  The best way to learn is by doing it.

     So I rolled up my sleeves and planned to dive right in.  The first thing I had to do in this process was deflate the inner tube (which would already be deflated in the case of an actual flat).  and I removed a small ring at the base of the air nozzle that held it in place.

     This is where those cute  yellow tire leavers come in.  I used those to pry the tire away from the rim so I could remove the damaged inner tube and replace it with the new tube, while making sure to keep the tire loosely around the rim.

See, I was right again; it was dusk by the time we were finished:)

      When the new tube is in and the ring is back on the nozzle loosely, I need to pump it up to about 20 pounds, then feel around the outer circumference of the tire, checking for lumps and making sure the tube isn't twisted inside, which could cause it to rupture.  and lastly, I tighten the ring and continue to fill the inner tube to 120 pounds ( which is not the case in all tires).

     I know this whole process might seem boring, and thank you so much for taking the time to read it.  You did me a huge favor, because I did it myself, that's true, but I had to write it down to know it actually sunk in:)

     If that day ever comes, and I'm sure it will, I can promise you I'll be fixing my own flat:)

Have a great day!!


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