The Responsible Rider – this upstanding member of society believes in full preparedness at all times. They know how to fix a flat tire and always carry their Trusty Toolkit. For the budding Responsible Rider – follow the 3 handy steps below. For the rest of you, I suggest learning about the Responsible Rider and their Trusty Toolkit, then later we’ll see how other life philosophies might approach this challenge.
Becoming a Responsible Rider:
1. Around the web there are hundreds of videos and instructions about fixing flat tires written by Experts. I spent about 5 hours weeding through the endless fuzzy, grainy, mumbling amateur videos so that you don't have to. Here's the 5 best ones.IF YOU HAVE NEVER FIXED A FLAT BEFORE, GO WATCH THESE VIDEOS FIRST!
2. Always carry your Trusty Toolkit when biking. I recommend the following: 2 plastic tire levers, innertube patches, a mini-size pump and a bike multi-tool. Your bike shop can hook you up with all this stuff and it will fit easily into any backpack or handbag.
2b. You may prefer a spare innertube instead of patches – its bigger but you don’t have to spend any time finding holes in a popped tube. Carry patches even if you have a spare tube.
2c. If you have an old or beat up bike, i'd also recommend a roll of fabric sports tape. This can be used to repair flat-causing problems in the rim and the tire - both of which commonly cause flats on a junker bike.
3. PRACTICE!!! Practice
changing your innertube and using patches a couple times at home before venturing out into the world beyond. Use the videos above for help. Try both front and rear wheels. There is nuance to this process. You don’t want to be figuring out what does and doesn’t work in a rainy bus stop late at night.