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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    287

    Changed my first *&^)_&&^%$ tire

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    GRRRRRR! UUUUUUUGGGGHHHHHH!!! (Those are screams of frustration)

    I had to change my first tire. Thank God it was a front tire. The house probably wouldn't be standing if I'd tried the rear tire.

    First, I got all my cold weather clothes on and went out expecting to go on a nice bike ride. I hooked up my shiny new bicycle pump with the built-in pressure gage to check the tire pressure (first mistake - I'm pretty sure I've been hooking it up wrong all along) and, like always, it said "20 lbs" and then when I pumped the pump it felt like air wasn't even going in but then the gage read 200 lbs after, like, 2 pumps. So I pumped it 6 more times or so (all the while thinking - 'this thing doesn't feel like it's pumping right) and when the little needle settled around 110 I pulled it off. Then I noticed the little wire thing at the end of the presta valve was bent (the part that the tiny little thing screws up and down on) and I thought "ah! That's why the pump isn't acting right!" so I tried to bend the wire thing and it broke off.

    So I thought "time to change my first tire" and brought the bike in the house where I could take my time.

    1. Since the valve was broken I had to find something to poke in the middle of it to let out all the air

    2. then I used my tire levers to start taking off the tire and getting the inner tub out and realized I needed to take the wheel off first.

    3. So I opened my break and then opened the "quick release" to take the tire off. It was not "quick" and took all of my muscles to release the $#&^ thing.

    4. Got really hot and sweaty and changed out of my cold weather clothes.

    5. Took out the skewer and a spring fell out- not sure which way it was in.

    6. Took the wheel off and took out the inner tube.

    7. Blew a little air in the new inner tube and got the tube in without twisting it and started feeling very sure of myself.

    8. Got the tire back on the rim - yay! But noticed it was kind of hard to get the edge tucked back in around the presta valve.

    9. Put the wheel on and put the skewer through and stuck the spring on there (hope it's in the right place) and screwed the little nut on the end of the skewer.

    10. Turned the "quick release" lever nice and tight while I was holding the nut on the other side and then started trying to close the $*%^@$ (*&^%$# lever (remembering that the lever must line up with the fork). I used all of my arm muscles until they were quivering - jamming the bike's stem up against the corner of a wall and shoving with all my might. No success. So I layed on the floor and tried to press with my feet. No success. So I unscrewed the lever one revolution and then VOILA!!! I was able to close the lever using only my hands!

    11. Examined the dent I left in the corner of the wall.

    12. Closed the brakes.

    13. Pumped up the tire.

    14. Said "What a good girl am I!!!!"

    15. Looked at the back tire for comparison and realized there was a bolt on the valve stem, holding it tight to the tire rim - realized I'd left the bolt on the valve and it's now inside the $&)*)$#@& tire.

    16. Sat down to write you.

    So - tomorrow I'm going to do the whole thing over again and get the stupid bolt out of the stupid tire. I didn't get to ride my bike and now I have to get ready for work, and I won't have time to ride it tomorrow because I'll be putting myself through this again!

    UUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    37
    I feel your pain. I know my time to change a tire is comming soon and it make me a little nervous. I make sure i take cell phone and cab fare incase I cannot do it alone.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    57
    It might not be a bad idea to go through the process of fixing a flat before you actually have one. I mean physically take the tube out, etc. so that when the real flat comes its old hat and you already have the experience of taking the tire off the rim and so forth. It's much easier to fix a flat in the comfort of your own home.

    Practice makes perfect!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,365
    This is a good how-to video on changing a tire. Pop some popcorn and enjoy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5K-DXt9djA
    I can do five more miles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973
    Oh- I feel your pain. I am a recent returnee to cycling (long hiatus since high school) and had to relearn about flat tires, presta valves, pumps etc. My first flat on the new bike also showed up at home. I had already watched two videos and my dh was on hand to walk me through it, but it still interrupted ride plans. I have had about 5 flats in the last month or so because I live in the desert and we have thorns everywhere. So I now have gator skin tires with kevlar and have high hopes to avoid getting any more. (was going to make a bad pun about having those hopes deflated by more punctures....)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    sorry to laugh but that was a pretty hilarious description of one's first tube change Well done! You've made about half the mistakes you can make, don't have to make them again, but can move on to the remaining half!
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Newberg, OR
    Posts
    758
    Ahhh, good times, good times. The first time I changed a tire was to switch the nobby tires on my old hybrid to smooth road tires. I was doing pretty good and was proud of my work, so I called hubby in so he could tell me what a good job I did all by myself. Well, turns out that I didn't know that certain bike tires are like car tires. Due to the tread, they have a little arrow saying which way they're supposed to roll. What are the chances that I'd put both of them on backwards? 100%. So off they came again so I could turn them around. After I got them both back on, I went in the house...and not 2 minutes later there's a loud BANG! Yep. The tube had gotten pinched and popped. I changed 5 tires total that day. By then it was too late to ride.
    Road Bike: 2008 Orbea Aqua Dama TDF/Brooks B-68


    Ellen
    www.theotherfoote.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,619
    I was doing ok until you got to #15. WHAT BOLT?

    you're ahead of me. Every time I've done it, i've needed help.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,619
    Dear Stacy
    I sent this to my husband because he's had lots of encounters like yours.
    He laughed so hard (sorry) that he was in tears.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Quote Originally Posted by Biciclista View Post
    I was doing ok until you got to #15. WHAT BOLT?
    Nut. It's a nut. Most people leave them off - maybe whoever's helped you each time has tossed it out before you even saw it. It can be useful in keeping the tube aligned with the hole while you're mounting the tire.

    Stacey, are you sure you didn't take the nut off before you packed the tube up? Easy way to tell: if the stems on both your tubes are the same length, then they should be protruding the same distance from the rim. If the nut's inside, it would be keeping that much of the stem inside, too.

    Anyway, good job and great sense of humor! I wish it were as easy as lph said though. Sometimes people just get in a hurry and make the same mistakes over and over, no matter how much better they know. Not that I would know a-a-a-nything about that
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    Good job, stacysue! For all of you reading this and dreading when it will happen to you, I have some unasked for but very valuable advice, should you decide to bite...

    The winter is the perfect time to learn how to change a tire and tube, and to practice so that come spring, you'll have nothing to worry about. So call up your cycling buddies, make some pizza or cookies, and have a Flat Tire Party or two. Everybody brings their wheels and tools and learn together.
    Last edited by tulip; 10-20-2009 at 12:54 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Bridgeport, PA
    Posts
    232
    What Tulip said. Practice, practice, practice! Another good reason...tires can be very hard to get back on the first couple of times. The bead loosens up quite a bit after a couple of changes. It also took me a few (ok...a lot) of tries to be able to get the rear wheel back on fluidly.
    "The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community." -- Ann Strong, Minneapolis Tribune, 1895

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    15
    Staceysue, that's awesome! You made me laugh so hard (in a good way). That was nearly verbatim how my first tire change went! My first tire change didn't have a bolt to get lost inside the tire, but my third tire change (three days ago, on my daughter's 20" wheel) resulted in a tire exploding in my face. However, don't give up! It gets easier! In between those two, my second tire change (her front 20" wheel) went beautifully.

    Aren't those skewer springs a pain? I *think* they go big-side-toward-the-fork, but you'd better get confirmation on that.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Portland
    Posts
    183
    Sorry you had a tough time, but thanks for sharing!!! That was great!

    BTW, did you take the skewer all the way out of your wheel? You don't have to do that, you just need to loosten it enough to allow it to pass out of the fork. (Although I have also loostened too far, losing the bolt and spring in the process - no fun!)

    Hope you have better luck next time.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    36
    Great job......However, get rid of the nut....it's not necessary. It's just one more thing you have to remove. Another tip.....coat your tubes with talcum powder....this prevents your tubes from sticking to (or becoming one with) the tire. You'll impress your hard core bikers if they saw that you did this....also it is a good gauge if your LBS is worth their weight in service.

    Happy riding!

 

 

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