Picture of How to Patch a Flat Tire on a Bicycle
Judith Guthoerl demonstrates how.
First she loosens the nuts holding the flat front wheel on.
You can actually fix a flat without removing the wheel, but it usually isn't easier that way.
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Step 1: Disconnect the Brake Cable

Picture of Disconnect the Brake Cable
The wheel hangs up on the brake pads.
The brake calipers are too close together to get the wheel out.
She pulls the end of the brake cable out of the opposing bracket thingy so the calipers can pop apart, letting the wheel out.
Every type of brakes has a different way of doing this.

Step 2: Plastic "Tire Irons"

Picture of Plastic
The bicycle patch kit came with these three little levers. They're called "tire irons" for historical reasons. She uses one to pry the tire over the side of the rim and then hangs the little hook on a spoke to keep it in place. She slides the next iron under the tire and pries it out further. She repeats with the third iron.
Now there's enough tire over the rim that it's easy to pull the rest over by hand.

Spoon handles work if they're smooth and you don't have official tire irons handy.
If you use screwdrivers it's very easy to puncture the innertube.

Remove the innertube from the tire.
You don't have to pull the tire all the way off the rim to do this.

Step 3: Feel for Nails

Picture of Feel for Nails
Whatever punctured your innertube might still be impaled in your tire. If you don't find and remove it, you'll get another flat right away. Look and feel inside the tire to see if there's something poking through. It's usually a nail, thorn, or shard of glass. Don't cut yourself.

Step 4: Inflate the Innertube

Picture of Inflate the Innertube
Put some air in the tube, but don't overdo it.
This air chuck is nice because it has a built-in pressure guage.
La Rotta5 years ago
 The last picture is extremely cute! awesome work Tim
dim20 La Rotta2 years ago
its a guy?
Such a good 'ible, I know many already know but having something like this to point to when the question comes up... Also spoons are great as irons, you can use the handle to pry and the spoon end makes a good patch squeezer, just put your thumb in the middle, grasp the handle and roll the spoon side to side... Also you used every item in the kit, save the french chalk, which is very useful, I was a tyrefitter, the chalk is your friend, you can mark your puncture, pop in the spare tube and fix later...
also the chalk is useful for when you put  too much glue on the puncture just apply the patch then grind some of the chalk or you could use flour around and on the glue to stop it from sticking to the inside of the tyre
sharlston5 years ago
that chain looks very slack on the last picture
irritant#96 years ago
This is a great instructable except I only seem to need a new tube because mine has dry rotted. Any ideas how to get around that?
Your going to have to buy a new tube, once they start to dry rot and crack they are irreparable :-[
lou196 years ago
Judith Guthoerl demonstrates how. First she loosens the nuts
sergio-cuba6 years ago
hi , I just read the instructions, its really nice, just missing one little detail.. which I've experienced lots... since tubes and tires have different thickness and diameter in relation each others, some times can happen that even putting the little air in the tube this gets stocked within the tire and the rim and when you blow some air in, then kapumbbb... blow your ears off and scare you for a couple seconds... this is easily avoid if before putting air, you pinch the side of the tire you just mounted into the rim, and make sure non of the innertube is a sight, it should be all inside the tire, then blow it to the right air pressure... I made a practice of this when working in the bike shop and believe me it save lots of tubes to blow off, thanx for reading, this page its awesome!
carpespasm6 years ago
very well done directions and funny to boot!
rohtop6 years ago
Nice Instructable! but I would like to add something which i came across when i was patching the tire of my ATB. My tires have a certain profile that "is going in one direction"... On the sides of the tire there is an arrow which indicates the rotation direction. Be sure to look at that before you put the tire on the rim. I had to take of the tire again! :)
benthekahn6 years ago
its also much easier to work on a bike if you flip it over so its resting on the seat and handlebars.
stasterisk6 years ago