Don’t get stuck on the trail! — How to fix a flat tire |

Don’t get stuck on the trail! — How to fix a flat tire

Charlie Cuisinot
Special to The Union
If you have a flat on your back tire, shift into the highest gear to allow easy removal of the wheel.
Courtesy of Adventure Nevada County

One of the great things about biking is that you can go nearly anywhere and take in some of the most beautiful scenery that the county has to offer.

In one moment, the solitude of nature can turn into a harrowing tragedy if you’re not prepared. Flats happen, so make sure that if you are biking you know how to fix it so you’re not stuck.

If your flat is in the rear of your bicycle and has gears, shift into the highest (hardest) gear in the rear. This will allow easy removal of the wheel without putting stress on the derailleur.

Remove the wheel from the bike. Use a tire lever to remove one side of the tire only. Remove the tube from the tire and place it in your pack or dispose of it properly.

Run your finger tips along the inside of the tire to feel for any sharp objects such as thorns, nails, etc. Pump up the new tube slightly, until it retains a circular shape.

Insert the new tube into your tire and replace the open side of the tire on to the wheel. Make sure there is no exposed tube from inside the tire.

Pump up the tube to your desired PSI, do not exceed the manufacturer’s max PSI labeled on the sidewall of the tire. Reinstall the wheel on to the bicycle.

Recommended Trail Tools

Multi-tool with a Chainbreaker: Most bolts on a bicycle can be adjusted with a small range of hex wrenches, the addition of a chainbreaker will allow you to repair your chain if you break a link.

Zip-ties: If you’ve broken a shifter, lever, derailleur, etc., zip-ties are a great temporary tool to secure any part of your bike that could be dangerously hanging off after a crash.

Tire Levers: A must have if you’ve managed to get a flat tire on the trail. Tire Levers are essential in the removal of the tire to access a tube.

Spare Tube: No one wants to ride home on a flat tire, carry an extra to get you back safe.

Hand pump or C02 inflator: A must have as well for the repair of a flat tire. Carrying both a hand pump and C02 inflator is a great idea to cut down on the time it takes to inflate the tire by using the C02 for a quick fill. A hand pump can be used to more accurately inflate your tube to the desired PSI.

Bike Lights: If you’re out for a ride and you find yourself having too much fun near dusk it’s not a bad idea to carry some bike lights.

Power Link: Power links and replace a broken link in your chain without the use of tools. They’re specific to the manufacturer and number of speeds of the chain. Make sure to purchase the correct one.

This article came from the Adventure Nevada County Magazine.

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