VIDEO: How to Fix a Flat Tire and Learn how to Replace Your Tire. (Clinchers)

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This video tutorial will show you how to fix a flat tire and also how to change the tire itself. Don't wait until you're out on the course at the races to learn how.

You WILL flat.  The only good thing about riding a mountain bike for triathlons is that you probably will not flat ever.  Mountain bike tires can take a beating.  Switching to a road tire on a triathlon bike I have flatted many times.  It's imperative that you know how to change one.  Don't wait until you get a flat in the hot sun to learn how to change a flat like I did.  And we hope you have learned to change a flat by your first race.  If you haven't, do it a few times for practice inside the comfort of your home - even on a perfectly good tire.

Warning.  Amateur video.  I hope I was able to get enough good shots of the process.  Please feel free to add your tips to the comments area at the bottom of the article.

This tutorial is specifically how to change clincher tires.  These tires are probably the most standard and are the ones with an inner-tube inside of the tire.  Tubular tires have no separate inner-tube and need to be glued onto the rim.

Items needed
The following items are needed to change a tube in the event that you flat.  Note, I like to replace the whole tube.  I am not successful in patching a tube with a hole.  I have tried but to no avail I am always met with failure 5 minutes into my ride with the air leaking out of the patch.  This is the reason why I just carry a few spare tubes to change. (Maybe we need a tutorial on how to use a patch kit...anyone?)

Even if you prefer to patch your tube, this tutorial will still apply.  Once you get the tube out, you will find the leak and patch it and put the tube back on.

The following are items that you should be carrying at all times on your bike and will be what I will use in this video.

  1. 2-3 tire levers
  2. Pump or CO2 inflaters with spare cartridges.
  3. 2 spare inner-tubes.  Make sure they match the cubic centimeters (CC's) of your tire.

Removing one side of the tire

  1. Remove the wheel from your bike first and release any air from the tire that may remain.  See how to remove your rear wheel.
  2. Take off one side of the tire using your set of tire levers.  Insert the thin end of the lever between the tire and the rim and then pry-up the tire off of the rim.  You may use the hook-end of the lever (not in the video, it just makes life easier) to hold the tire back by attaching it to the spoke.
  3. Once you get one of the levers inserted and secured, move over a spoke or two and continue to repeat.  If you have used all three levers, remove the first one to keep going.  Depending on your tire, you may be able to use the last lever to simply 'slide' the rest of the tire off of the rim.

At this point you should have the entire side of the tire off of the rim.

Removing and changing the tube

  1. You should now be able to take the old tube out of the tire.  You can either patch it or change it.  This video will show you how to change it.
  2. Before we re-insert a new tube or the patched tube, run your finger along the inside of the tire (gloved if possible) to remove the source of the puncture.  You can also check your rim too.
  3. Put a few pumps of air into the new tube and insert it into the tire beginning with the valve stem-this will prevent any twisting.  I did not do this in the video, it would have helped in getting the tube on.
    *Note, some people like to lightly coat the new tube with baby powder to prevent any stickiness so that the tube goes on uniformly.

 Putting the tire back onto the rim

  1. Once the tube is seated inside the tire, work the tire back onto the rim making sure that you do not seat the tire onto the tube, but directly on the rim.
  2. You will come to a point where you will have about 6inches that you will not be able to get on with your hands, when this happens, use one of your tire irons to lever it back on. 
  3. Once the tire is seated back onto the rim, check to make sure the tube is not sticking out under the tire.  If it is, gently push it back under with your tire lever.
  4. Re-inflate to proper pressure.

Thanks to marmadaddy and Writebrained for some tips which I missed in the video that are included in the write-up.

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date: September 10, 2007