Whether you are a city, country or mountain roads rider, you will find yourself with a flat bike sooner or later. Core riders and bike gurus are prepared to such an occurrence by making themselves available with expensive portable repair kits. Well, it is a reasonable solution but not for everyone. If you don’t want to live in the shadow of bringing always with you work gear or you are simply a bike lover who enjoys fresh air there’s another path: get some easy tools and do it at yours!
How? A multipurpose air compressor can be a catch-all solution making you save money. Indeed, today market offers really interesting opportunities to sort out all your problems in one fell swoop. Inflating, painting, cleaning, sanding and many more simple operations easily delivered in your garage, basement or garden.
Find out a detailed list of actions you need to be aware of when fixing your flat.
The first step when repairing a flat tire is to remove the tire in order to carefully evaluate the damage. If you have a tubeless setup the procedure would be different but, in this case, let’s stay focus on traditional setup and see how you can fully change or fix the hardware.
Now you can remove the wheel by holding the bike upright and loosening the rim brakes. Important: if it’s a rear-wheel flat shift your drivetrain into the hardest gear. Then you might want to position yourself opposite the chain and either unthread the thru-axle or open the quick release to remove the wheel.
Once the wheel has been extracted you can stick to the plan and remove the tire. Use the rounded end of your tire lever to hook the outer edge of the tire under the bead. Now that the tire is unseated attach the other end of the tire lever to a spoke so that it remains in place and the tire doesn’t pop back into the rim. Use a second tire lever, begin close to the first one then walk the lever around until one side of the tire is off. There’s no need to fully remove the tire, but this might be a greedy chance to clean your bike with a washing tool.
It’s time to look for the culprit. It is likely to be a sharp object, perhaps a screw or a nail. Once that the tire will be off and you will have pulled out the tube (when possible) you only have to carefully move your fingers along the inside part of tire and rim and detect the source of air loss. When you are sure nothing sharp is still in there go on with the inspection for any foreign object also around the outside of the tire. In that case you might want to evaluate the substitution of tire, but let’s not run that faster.
To scan properly your tube and be 100% sure you won’t have to deal with additional, annoying discoveries there’s one more technique. It’s easy, pump some air into the tube with and inflating gun and listen for outcomes. Every different damage has its own cause. One single hole means probably a sharp object has slash your tire, two holes side by side are symptom of a pinch-flat: the tube has been pinched between the tire and the rim.
If you already have one brand new tube bought online or wherever please skip to next section. If, on the contrary, you are one of those who likes to get their hands dirty – it’s not a crime to have multiple flats ready to be re-used – you can easily patch your baby.
Make the punctured air clean and rough the surface with an emery cloth and stick your patch over hole, press gently but without releasing before 1 min. do you prefer glue-less patches? No problem, only make sure to add a thin layer of glue patch and tube before going through the application.
Now that the patch is completely adherent to the tube you can finally insert it back between the tire and the wheel. Inflate the tube is really important at this stage, you will be able to place it inside more easily. Install the valve stem straight through the rim valve hole and run with your finger the tire into the rim gently. Be careful, don’t use tire levers to reseat the tire, you won’t risk to mistakenly puncture the new tube. Next, when you get to the valve stem pop both sides of the tire bead low into the rim and push upward in the stem to get the tube inside the tire. Make sure the tire bread is for any reason pinching the tube by carefully pushing the tire to the side as you work around the rim. Is everything looking good? If yes it’s time to put back the wheel taking care of quick release or thru-axles lever. Are you facing a rear-wheel flat? Lay the top of the chain around the smallest cog and insert the wheel into the frame before closing quick release of insert back the thru-axle. You can spin your cranks to have the chain operating perfectly.