How to Fix a Flat
Eva Navisotschnig

If there’s one thing we’d encourage you to know, it’s how to fix a flat. It’s an easy fix and will save you from a long and unfortunate walk home. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • bike pump or CO2 cartridge and adapter
  • tire levers
  • a spare tube or patch kit
  • a little patience

How to get it done:

1. Deflate the tire.

2. Disengage the brakes. 

3. Unhook the quick release. If your bike has a bolt-on axle, you’ll need two wrenches to loosen the axle.

4. Remove the wheel from the frame and set the bike aside.

5. Take your tire levers and insert one of them between the rim and bead of the tire and run the lever around the entire wheel until you’ve freed the tire.

6. Remove the tube.

7. Inspect the tire and tube for the cause of the flat. Carefully feel around the inside of the tire for anything poking through, like glass or thorns, and remove it before proceeding.

8. Start putting it all back together. Insert the valve stem of the patched or new tube in the rim and work the tube between the rim and tire along the entire wheel.

9. Pull the tire onto the rim while making sure not to pinch the tube between the two. Do this by hand if possible. If you need a bit of help at the very end, carefully employ a tire lever.

10. Next, you'll need to make sure the tube is seeded correctly and not being pinched by the tire. Work your way around the tire, pushing it back to confirm the tube isn't caught between the tire and the rim. It may be tempting to skip this step, but if you start pumping a tube that's pinched, you're likely to be starting at step one all over again.

11. Pump it up to the factory specified PSI on the tire with the CO2 cartridge or hand pump.

Of course, if you're on the side of the road, as opposed to at a bike shop, you'll be using a small hand pump or CO2 cartridge.

12. Put the wheel back on the bike and be sure that you re-engage and test the brakes before hitting the road again.

Changing a flat tire may seem overwhelming, but when you look at each step on its own, there’s nothing too complicated about it. Armed with the basic information and the necessary tools, anyone can change a tire and fix a flat when the time comes.

If there’s one thing we’d encourage you to know, it’s how to fix a flat. It’s an easy fix and will save you from a long and unfortunate walk home.
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