Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Triathlete Series I: How to fix a flat

As a new triathlete the thought of getting a flat while riding your bike is frightening. But, if you practice fixing a flat during your training, you’ll have the self confidence you need on race day.
Every rider should carry a basic repair kit: pump (or CO2), new tube and two tire irons.
  • For a rear wheel flat: drop to the smallest gear so it is easier to get your chain back on then release the brakes. For a front wheel flat: stand over your top tube and release the brakes.
  • Remove the valve cap, open the valve and depress it to release any remaining air.
  • Place two tire irons about 3-4 inches apart between the tire and edge of the rim being careful not to pinch your tube. Take one iron and place it in the opening you made and pull the other all the way around removing the tire.
  • Pull the tube out. Feel the inside and look at the outside of the tire for any object that may have caused the flat.
  • Reinstall one side of your rim.
  • Inflate a new tube just enough to hold its shape then close the valve.
  • Place the new tube into the tire starting with the valve stem.
  • At the valve stem, push the loose bead of the tire back onto the rim and work the tire back on with your thumbs and finish pumping the tire.
  • Put the wheel back on the bike. For front wheel: stand over the top tube, lift the front fork, slide the wheel into the dropouts, tighten and close the lever and then secure the brakes. For rear wheel: lift the chain, line the cog with the chain where it runs over the top pulley on the derailleur. Gently work the wheel down until it drops in and then secure the brakes.
Give the wheel a spin to make sure there is no rubbing of the brake or uneven spinning and then off you go!
For video instruction:

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