Ryan fixing a flat in Waitsbury
Ryan fixing a flat in Waitsfield

If you’ve ridden with Ryan at all this season you know that, inevitably, your trail session will be interrupted by him yelling, “Flat!”

It’s true, in the past month Ryan has had no less than eight flat tires. This is because Ryan is fat.

No seriously, we think he has a burr in his rim but we’re too lazy to search for it. So instead we’ve become like Mario Andretti’s pit crew – swapping out tubes in seconds flat. (After we poke fun at Ryan for a five minutes, then talk about the ride so far and then stare at the pretty clouds for a half hour.)

Here’s our step-by-step guide to fixing a flat tire:

  1. Before you begin, make sure your friend has a spare tube. (You should have one too but pretend you don’t and save yourself the $5.) You’ll also need tire levers and a pump.
  2. Remove the wheel with the flat tire. Look for what caused the flat. (No point in putting in a new tube while there’s a roofing nail pierced through your tread.)
  3. Don’t remove the whole tire from the rim! Simply unseat one side of the flat tire from the rim using tire levers.
  4. Pull the valve stem out of the hole in the rim and then pull the tube out. After the tube is out run your hand around the inside of the flat tire to feel for sharp points or other irregularities that could cause a flat.
  5. Pull the flat tube out from under the tire.
  6. Partially inflate the new tube – just enough so that it holds it’s shape.
  7. Tuck the tube back up under the tread and replace the valve stem through the valve hole in the rim.
  8. Re-seat tire bead into the rim being careful not to pinch the tube. You’ll probably get most of the tire seated with your hands but the last little bit may be difficult and require tire levers.
  9. Pump your tire about half way up to its normal pressure and inspect again to make sure the tire is properly seated on both sides all of the way around the rim. Then finish pumping.
  10. Mount your wheel back onto your bike

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