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Fixing a Flat Tire

To fix a flat tire, the inner tube must be replaced or patched.  The quickest way is to replace the inner tube.  Determine the size of the inner tube by reading the number on the side of the tire closest to the rim .  Determine whether the valve is a presta or a schraeder type.  Obtain an air pump that is appropriate for your valve.  Remove the wheel from the bicycle by using a quick-release lever , or a wrench on a solid axle with a nut .  Once the wheel is removed the tire and inner tube must be removed from the wheel entirely.  Use one or more tire levers (sometimes called tire irons) to pry the tire from the rim of the wheel using care not to pinch the inner tube inside .  Start opposite the valve stem and pry one side of the tire off at a time.  Once the tire is removed, separate the inner tube from the tire .  Check the outside of the tire for damage and or anything that may have caused the puncture.  Carefully take a rag and wipe the inside of the tire with it .  This will pick up any thorns or other foreign objects that may cause another flat.  Sprinkle talcum powder on the inside of the tire to reduce friction (baby powder or corn starch may be substituted) .  If patching a tube, refer to the instructions in your patch kit.  If replacing with a new tube, remove from box.  You are ready to replace the tube.  Inflate the inner tube only enough to hold its shape (this will prevent pinching the inner tube) .  Place the slightly inflated inner tube into the tire .  Install the tire and inner tube assembly onto the rim of the wheel one side at a time starting by putting the valve stem through the hole on the rim .  You should be able to do this with leverage from your thumbs .  If not, you may use a tire lever very carefully, so that you don’t pinch the inner tube during installation.  If you are unable to do this step, contact your lbs (local bike shop) for assistance.  Once the tire is installed on the rim of the wheel, inflate the inner tube to ten pounds of pressure, and seat the tire by pushing it onto the rim with your hands and visually checking that the bead of the tire is evenly seated on the rim .  Inflate the inner tube to the recommended tire pressure that is displayed on the side of the tire .  If it is not legible, it is time for a new tire.  Install the wheel on the bicycle reversing the steps used to remove the wheel.  Go for a ride!


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