- By Jim Langley
Did You Know?
» Tool-free flat fixing is about proper technique, not strong hands.
» Most of the time, folding-bead tyres are easier to manipulate by hand than stiffer wire-bead versions.
» If you’re running thorn resistant tubes or tubes with puncture repairing sealant, you’ll probably need levers. Get the nylon kind; They’re safe on all rim materials.
» Using tubes that are narrower than your tyres, such as a 20c tube with a 23c tyre, makes the job easier.
» Thinner rim strips leave more room to work, while thicker ones increase the inner-wheel diameter and make the job harder.
» Even the most experienced hands-only flat-fixers are better off using levers when the temp drops.
» Master this technique, it might be the result of your tyre/rim combination, because tolerances vary from one manufacturer to another. Take your set-up to a Pro. If he needs levers, so do you.
10 Steps To No-Hands Flat Fixing
1. Remove the flat-stricken wheel from your bike, then find and open the valve.
2. Brace the wheel as you hold open the valve and work your way around the tyre with your other hand, squeezing as much air out as you can. as the tube is deflating, push the tyre beads (A) off the rim shelves (B) towards the centre and into the rim well (C).
3. Push the valve partially through the rim.
4. Using both hands together, fingers facing away from you – grip the section of tyre opposite the valve and lift the wheel so that its weight pulls down and makes lifting the tyre off easier. Pull (roll) the tyre towards you, using your thumbs as levers to lift and push up on the tyre. Leave your dominant hand in place to keep upward pressure on the tyre and, with your other, work around the circumference, squeezing it to guide the beads towards the centre of the rim. This creates slack in the tyre, allowing you to rest the wheel on the ground and, with both hands at the top, lift, push and/or roll the tyre over the side of the rim to remove it.
5. Take out the tube and run a balled-up glove along the inside of the tyre, in both directions, to snag anything sharp that may have caused the flat. remove the intruder.
6. Put one bead of the inspected tyre back onto the wheel.
7. Inflate your new or repaired tube just enough so it holds its shape. carefully tuck the tube inside the tyre and onto the rim, making sure the valve sits straight in the valve hole.
8. With the loose tyre bead facing up, use your thumbs to push about 10cm of the bead, opposite the valve, onto the rim. Moving your hands in opposite directions, work your way around the wheel, installing the bead until your hands are 15cm from the valve on either side or the tyre starts to resist. If the tube slips out between the bead and the rim, tuck it back in.
9. Rest the wheel, at the unmounted portion of the tyre, on your knee for support. Use one hand to apply pressure on that part of the tyre and the other to work your way around, squeezing it and pushing the beads towards the centre (again, this creates slack and eases installation). Push up on the valve and let the air out of the tube to create even more slack. using the heel of your hand, not your thumbs, coax the last part of the tyre onto the rim.
10. Inflate the tyre, reinstall the wheel and ride.