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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    583

    Turning Into a Bike Geek

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    After decades of being able to avoid changing my own flats, I finally fixed one of my own. I was was fortunate to be able to do it at home and the job was easier than I expected. Now I'm off to enjoy my handiwork!
    LORI
    Pivot Mach 4 / WTB
    Updated Vintage Terry Symmetry / Bontrager InForm RL WSD

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    The first time I changed a tire I was also at home, which was a good thing because it took forever and I couldn't get the tire seated right on the wheel so I gave up, let it sit overnight and re-did it the next day.

    I'm still not very fast at it but have been able to help a few folks deal with flat tires on various rides. This weekend I'll be ride marshall at a ride for the National Law Enforcement Memorial, so I'll expect to be putting my skills (or lack thereof) to work again.

    A couple of tips I learned recently from an experienced friend --

    - After removing the wheel from the bike, turn it around slowly to look for signs of a puncture. While turning it, pinch the tire to help unseat it from the rim.

    - When putting the tire on the wheel, line up the value stem with a marking on the tire, such as the first letter of the logo. This will make it easier to find the hole in the tire to remove any embedded sharp objects after you've located the puncture on the tube.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    583
    Great tips, ny biker. I had heard about squeezing the tire to unseat it from the rim but I forgot to do it today. Oh well, it still came off relatively easily. I also knew about lining up the valve stem with the tire label but I thought that rule was more stylistic than functional. You're the only person to point out a good purpose for this.

    One thing that I learned was to check the direction of the tread if you're going to take the tire completely off the rim. I had to study the tread on the rear tire, which is different from the front, to make an educated guess about which direction to put the tire back on. Hubby came home and confirmed that I had done it correctly. He was impressed that I had done the whole thing by myself.

    I'm glad that my first experience was on the front tire. I'll feel much more confident someday when I decide to tackle the rear.
    LORI
    Pivot Mach 4 / WTB
    Updated Vintage Terry Symmetry / Bontrager InForm RL WSD

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    Home is a great place to change a tire and do any other bike repair & maintenance. Another good place to do it is at a bike shop. My bike shop has 2 bike stands each with a set of tools located just outside the repair area for anyone to use. So if you run into trouble there are experts right there to help you.

    You might think that's not a very good business model--to provide tools for people to use for free instead of paying the mechanics to do simple jobs-- but I think it is a great business model. Empowering people to take care of the simple stuff makes them feel more confident, and they keep riding instead of giving up, and they buy more stuff from the bike shop and their bikes will need repairs that they can't or don't want to do themselves. Then the mechanics spend their time on real repairs instead of the simple stuff that people could do themselves, which probably makes them feel a lot better about themselves too.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

 

 

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