Introduction: How to Patch a Front Tire Presta Valve Bicycle Tube

These instructions will help the reader patch a punctured presta valve tube for the front tire of their bicycle. You will first learn how to remove the tire and tube in order to inspect it for holes. You will then be instructed on how to patch the tube before finally returning the tube and tire to the wheel.

Step 1: Items Needed

  • patch kit
  • tire removal tools
  • permanent marker (not black)
  • pump

Step 2: Definition of Terms

Step 3: Removing the Tire/Tube

1. Flip your bike upside down so that it rests on the seat and handlebars

2. Pull quick release lever into a horizontal position, then loosen the tire by holding the quick release cap in place and turning the quick release lever counter clockwise

3. Unattach the brakes by locating the brake latch below the tire, pulling the rubber back, pushing the two sides together and lifting metal piece off

4. Lift wheel off of suspension fork

5. Unscrew the black plastic cap from the air valve, and loosen the metal top until you can depress it; release the air from the tube by depressing the air valve until the tire can be flattened against the ground.

6. Remove the lock nut from the air valve

7. Insert bike tire lever tool using the spoon end, push tire towards one side with one hand and with the other use the tool as a lever to pull the tire over the rim sidewall.

8. Fasten the lever tool to the spoke using the hook end.

9. Insert second tool spoon-side under the tire.

10. Hold tire with one hand, hold the unattached tool and pull it towards yourself, continuing around the entire circumference of the tire until the one entire side is outside of the rim sidewall

11. With one side of the tire off, push the air valve up until it comes out of the rim, then pull tube out one side and remove it completely

Step 4: Patching the Tube

1. Get pump

2. Ensure that the metal tip of the air valve is loosened to allow air intake

3. Connect the valve to the pump and pull the plastic lever on the pump into a horizontal position to lock it into place

4. To locate hole, pump tube until fully rounded without kinks

5. As needed, continue to pump until hole is found.

6. You can try to locate the hole by moving the tube from hand to hand in a steering wheel fashion, feeling for air leaking. Or you can listen for the air leakage by using the same motion but putting your ear close to the tube to hear the hole.

7. When you find the hole, mark an X over it with a non-black sharpie

8. Deflate tube as instructed in Step 5 of Removing the Tube

9. Clean the area of the tube you marked with water, then dry it

10. Flatten the tube where the X is marked, then using the sand paper square from the patch kit, lightly sand an area slightly larger than your patch to create a rough surface where the patch can stick.

11. After sanding**, remove patch from backing and place the sticky end with the center of the patch over the hole. Press down and smooth.

12. Test out your patch by inflating the tube and listening at your patch site for sounds of air escape.

**If you have a different type of patch without the sticky backing, please refer to your patch kit manufacturer’s instructions on how to use it.

Step 5: Reattaching the Tube and Tire

1. Make sure the tube is deflated. Find the valve hole in the rim of the bike and insert the air valve

2. Pull up tire, and tuck tube underneath the wheel all the way around

3. To avoid the tube from moving, re-attach the lock nut

4. By pinching the tire, place the edge of the tire that is hanging out back into the rimwall. If necessary, if it becomes too difficult towards the end of this process, use a bike tire lever tool to complete.

5. Make sure metal valve stem is loose on the air valve and re-inflate using inflation instructions from Step 3 of Patching the Tube.

6. Inflate using gauge until the manufacturer’s recommended PSI (found on the side wall of the rim)

7. Remove valve from pump quickly, tighten the valve stem, and replace the plastic cap

8. Replace the tire onto suspension forks, and tighten the quick release lever clockwise

9. Reattach the brakes by pulling the rubber back, then flipping the metal piece back down and releasing the rubber.

10. Test your wheel’s spin and brakes, then take a test ride!

Step 6: Conclusion

Safety Warnings

  • Be careful not to overinflate your tube or it will pop again.

Now you have a bike tube that isn’t flat and leaking air all the time. Don’t you feel good about yourself? Congratulations! Go for a celebratory ride. You deserve it.

Created by: Jed and Andrea Harrison, Thane Boyce, Becca Mattson

Comments

author
eryl (author)2014-05-15

If you're doing this with narrow road wheels you may find that the tire is hard to pull over the rim. The trick is to pinch the tube on the opposite side to the levers, so that the bead drops into the well of the rim. This means that the tire will move over further. With mountain bike tires this trick can mean that you can remove a tire without levers.
Also when refitting the tyre (especially with narrow rims), don't put on the valve nut until you've pumped up the tire, otherwise the tube may be pinched between the bead of the tire and the rim. The tire will then have a bump in it where it's not seated in the rim properly. With narrow rims you often need to push the valve in slightly to make sure that the tire can seat properly in the rim

author
woodstockbirdy (author)2014-04-03

Patching tubes can be a saviour in order to get home but by no means are they permanent. You should always put a new tube in as soon as possible.

author

This is really helpful! My dad also taught me that if you were having a hard time finding a puncture you could slowly rotate the inflated tube through a tub of water and watch for bubbles, but then you have to make sure it's totally dry again before you can patch it and you can't really do that if you get a flat on the side of the road somewhere, unfortuantely.

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