Repairing a Flat Tire

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About: Step-by-step video tutorials at http://BicycleTutor.com

This tutorial explains how to fix a flat tire on your bicycle.

Source: How to Fix a Flat Tire (More videos at BicycleTutor.com)

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    18 Discussions

    Hi,

    Your Video Instructable is missing a video. Please update the embed link and republish your project when you are done!

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    Nicole
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    Dumchicken

    8 years ago on Introduction

    you can just take duct tape... (every one knows what i mean)

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    rnesel

    11 years ago on Introduction

    This past weekend my first job with a kids' bicycle repair group was checking tubes for leaks and repairing them. The hard part was finding the hole (so I could center the patch) after scuffing and gluing the area. Any helpful ideas on how I can keep the hole in sight?

    1 reply
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    Prometheus

    11 years ago on Introduction

    An added tip for any bike with a rear derailler: Shift it into the smallest gear on the rear. This will make reinstallation easier for the chain on a rear wheel. Also, make sure there is no water in the tire before you patch, as this will interfere with the patch fully setting. Do not use the "glueless" patches, as they have little to no ability to bond with the tube itself, and thus preventing a reliable seal from occurring. Apply patches with the cleanest hands possible. The "scraper" or "buffer" is to expose fresh and sterile rubber for the patch to bond to. Try to place the patch as centered as possible, and do not shift it as you place it. Press and hold firmly to remove any and all air bubbles for at least 15 seconds, and rub the patch outwards to drive any other air-bubbles out as you maintain pressure on the initial hole. The type of patches shown is the ideal patches for a permanent repair, with the orange border around them. NEVER touch the exposed patch surface or the prepared surface. Better you use a little too much cement than not enough, and use the tube's nozzle to spread the cement over a slightly larger area. I disagree with using your finger to spread the cement, as typical skin oils can weaken and react with the cement and weaken it's bond. Better you use the tube's nozzle to spread it, just don't spread it too much larger than the actual patch size. I recommend the following: After applying the patch, inflate to about 15PSI, then check the "bead-line" around the rim.....almost every tire has one just about where the tire is exposed over the rim, and past the bead of the tire. Pull out sunken bead lines while pushing in wide ones to try to get it relatively even. Tight tires need more work on this than any, but patience pays off. If the tire is hard to work with, deflate it a little and try to manipulate the tire into shape. If it's too easy to place, add a few PSI...the tire should stay where you put it, but without you having to strain or struggle. If this proves difficult no matter what you do, the quality and/or actual size of the tire to the rim may be far mismatched, but with a little more work, it can be made to cooperate for now. Once centered on both sides, inflate to full PSI, wait about 1 minute or more to give the patch time to set more fully in a "working position".The patch should cure fully within less than 3 minutes once-set, but you can ride on it within two. It is best you inflate to maximum pressure at first after patching so the patch will cure at it's limit of stretch, and will give you some insurance if it may fail due to error or an occasional defect. Do not remove the plastic backing from the patch until you have fully worked the patch into the tube for at least one minute, especially if this is a roadside repair. The plastic backing gives you a way to form the patch to the tube without the glue sticking to your fingers. Press firmly, you don't want any part of the patch unbonded to the tube or it may cause a failure-point. Take the time to make sure every part of the patch is "ironed" to the tube. Re-gluing is not an option with a patch, so take the time to do it right the first time. Finally, patches are for punctures, not blowouts. Do not expect a patch to hold if the hole is greater than 25% of any of it's measurable dimensions.. It takes a 1" diameter patch to cover a 1/4" slit. Patches do not stick to patches permanently, so only overlap a patch to get out of an emergency.....but then discard the tube if you were so unfortunate to puncture right next to a patch. The patch may get you back to where you started, but will not hold reliably. Never patch a valve-stem failure, such as that caused by severe and extended underinflation. Never attempt to patch a tire blowout, it is better to sacrifice the wheel to get to civilization than to waste the patches on a futile effort, because they will fail anyway and you'll tear up a tire and rim anyway...only adding the futility and lost-time patching an incurable failure. Just my thoughts anyways......

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    AndyGadget

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent video. I've just this minute finished repairing a puncture on each of my sons' bikes, and was wondering as I was doing it if anyone had posted an Instructable on puncture repair. You've covered everything I would have done (and a bit more). All I would say is be Very Careful as you're running your finger around the tyre as you may find a sliver of glass or thorn the hard way - Ouch!

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    camp6ell

    11 years ago on Introduction

    i never knew that's what those hooks were for! I thought they were to hook under the tire bead (and help rip the inner tube!)...

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    westfw

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Huh. I have to replace a rear innertube, and I'm a bit daunted by the part that comes before "once you have the wheel removed from the bike." Have you got any tutorial on removing that rear wheel (and putting it back on)? The bike I have is a kid's one-speed, but it's still got that gear and chain and stuff...

    3 replies
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    Branwestfw

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    If your kid's bike is anything like my nephews' and the ones I had when I was young, it should just be a job of loosening the nuts from the axle and taking the chain off of the gear. If that is not right, would you post a picture?

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    westfwBran

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    This turns out to be correct. The rear axle was pretty much centered in a short slot, and although there was essentially no slack in the chain, loosening the axle bolts allowed the wheel to move forward so that there WAS enough slack to remove the chain. It wasn't much trouble at all, and my daughter has a new inner tube...

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    deleatur

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you, I really needed to learn how to do this.

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    GorillazMiko

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome job, you're always posting awesome stuff. Thanks for this, my dad always has problems doing this, and he used to get mad and stuff. Thanks! :P

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    Saint

    11 years ago on Introduction

    I really wish it was my front tire that got punctured for a change. It's easy when you can just take off the wheel. Sadly, it's almost always the back tire that runs flat, and it's a lot harder to fix. I usually repair it with the wheel still in place, though it makes finding the hole a lot harder.