Flat tire change

After watching Wayne and John remove, patch and replace my tire several times, I figured I would have to give it a try all by myself. There is nothing quite so satisfying as knowing that if in a jam, I am capable of changing a tire on my own.

It wasn’t without difficulty, and a broke a sweat before a broke a bead, but break it I did. With a little help from my car. 

Starting out, my lovely assistant in the background. (Suzi SX4)

I took pictures of how the tire was seated so I could check later.

The bike has been sitting in the weather – the chain looks bad! I cleaned it and oiled it – but will take it off and give it a really good soak when the snow flies.

My home made wrench/tire levers.

The milk crate was exactly the right height to take all the weight off the tire, yet keep it at exactly the right level to pull the axle out without having to lift it.

So I huffed and I puffed and I stood and jumped and swore and used the levers and broke a sweat. No luck. I needed leverage. I got a 2X6 and shoved it under my deck and tried to shove the tire lever down into the edge of the tire but it kept slipping and the deck was too high for any leverage, so I tried this:

It was easy! Sort of. I used a leftover block of wood in a triangle shape, the tip sat under the rim, the flat top was pushed by the 2X6 and voila! It popped like a … champaign bottle. FOr good measure, I rotated it and did the other side as well.

I tried a number of different wood scrap combinations but the wedge shape by far worked best. It would have been better with a less flexible piece of wood.

Out came the tube. I didn’t have a valve puller, so I just let out as much air as I could – it was actually easier to get out with some air in it.

Getting it back on, I kept the tire off the bead with one lever, the lower one in the picture, and used the other two to ease it back on an inch or so at a time. I put some air in the tube, and it went in very easily. The tube seems thicker than the one I pulled out, and it had ribbing – anyone know what that is for? Maybe anti-slip? (I think I just opened myself up for a ribbing there)

Ribbing

Voila

Very proud of myself 

My assistant and I took the tire to the Gas station for some air, then back on the bike it went. Got my hands dirty.

Looks the same, I hope:

Took me all morning, but it is done! Now I have the rest of the day to ride it. Maybe I should ask for a riding buddy just in case I forgot something…

1 Comment

  1. Way to go Tammy. I’m not surprised you could do it, but so many people take the easy way out and get others to do it for them.

    As the old saying goes: Is it ignorance or apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care.

    Mike

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