Facebook Pixel

How To Fix A Bicycle Flat

Rate This

More Videos from Howdini 30 videos in this series

Getting a flat tire on your bicycle is no fun, but it doesn't have to be a big deal. Steve Madden, editor of Bicycling Magazine, shows you the quick and almost easy way to change a bicycle flat. (We still think you should have a cellphone and money for cab fare, just in case ...)

Hi I’m Steve Madden with howdini.com Today I’m going to show you how to fix a flat on a bicycle. First thing you got to do is take the wheel off, and that’s pretty easy. If you have a bike like this one with quick release wheels the first thing you do is open the break to make sure the wheel will come off more easily. Then you reach down and open the quick release lever. Then give the whole skewer a couple of twists so there is plenty of room to come off the drop out. Lift it up and it comes right off.

Okay, so here’s the flat wheel. First thing you want to do is give it a visual inspection. Look over the sidewalls and the tread to make sure there is not a big hole in it. Because, if you have a hole in it, you have a slightly more complicated problem then just a flat. Open up the valve and press it down a little bit to make sure all the air is out of the tire. Then you reach for these two tire levers here. A real pro can change a tire with just one, but it is easier to do it with two. The tire has a thing on it called a bead. It’s a piece of wire that’s embedded in the edge of the tire, and it snaps into the edge of the rim on the wheel. That’s what holds the tire on.

So what you do is take one lever, which has a little bit of a hook on the end. And you place it down on the inside between the rim and then bead. You hook it under the bead and lift up, pull it off. And this is how we’re going to start to pull it off the tire to get to the inner tube. And you reach in a little down the line with the other lever, and you hook that over two. Then run the lever down liker that so the bead is disengaged from a third to a half of the wheel. This way it should be pretty easy to pull it off. So put your finger right up there, run it along, and separates the bead from the rest of the rim. Now the next thing you need to do, you need to take the whole inner tube out. So press up like this, I’m sorry on the valve stem, there you go, pull it back out a little bit, and just putt the inner tube out. Push the valve stem up and bingo the whole stem is out.

Take a brand new inner tube out from your repair kit. Shake it out so it is pen like this and go back to the hole here in the rim where the valve stem goes through. Place that in and work your way around placing the inner tube back in. You go back to the valve stem and you start working your way around to snap this bead back in. Come back up to the valve stem now, and as you go again visually inspect to make sure that it’s working okay. It’s going well. Now I’m at the point where the bead is stretched. It’s going to be hard to get in there. On inner tubes that go up to very high pressures you’ll need to use the tire leer again to lift it back, to life the bead back over the rim. Okay, so now you take another look at it, so pull the valve stem and make sure that it is out far enough. Open it up and go to your pump.

Great piece of equipment, I recommend that you get it. Tire pressure suggested for each tire is located on the sidewall here. This is suggested to go up to 100PSI. So that’s what I’m going to do. Take the valve stem here, then you take this part of the pump and place it over he valve stem. Hear it click and lock it, then I like to use gravity to make sure it stay’s in place, and I start pumping. This has a dial, which shows you how high it will go. So I’m going to pump, get this up to one hundred.

Okay, so now we’re at the proper inflation, ready to put the wheel back on the bike. Again this is very simple. Take the bike; this is the quick release you want to make sure this is on the left hand side of the bike so it is symmetrical with the rear. Bring the bike over and bring the droplets over the skewer, and drop it down like that. Then you need to tighten this, you hold the quick release and turn the opposite side of the skewer a few turns just till you feel a little bit of pressure there. And then close the quick release. You should feel a fair amount of resistance here when you close it to make sure it’s on tightly. Now its time to lower the break, just push the lever down. Again we’re just reversing the process we used to take it off, and give it a spin. Everything seems to be working well. Close the break just to check it. Spin it again to make sure the break is seated properly. Okay, so that’s how you fix a flat on the front wheel.

What do you do if it’s on the rear wheel? Well changing the flat on the tire is pretty much the same thing, but you’ll notice the assembly of the rear wheel is a little bit different because that’s where the cassette is with all the gears. Nothing to be afraid of its pretty simple to fix let me show you how to do it. Same deal, you want to open the break, then reach for the quick release, pull both side of the skewer, open the quick release and give it a few turns. Then in order to get the wheel off you want to make sure that the gear is in the smallest gear, which is the gear closest to the derailer and the drop off. And then on the front it’s on the smallest chain link. Pull the rear derailer back, gently, so that there is clearance and just lift the bike up and the wheel comes right off.

Fix the flat, and its time to put it back on. You just reverse the process. Getting flat’s is part of riding a bike, they’re pretty simple to fix. Once you do it a few times you’ll see it’s not a big deal. I’m Steve Madden for howdini.com

Howdini is life’s little instruction manual, in HD. We’re all about bringing together the top, most respected experts in their fields to help us be the best we can be at all of the little and not-so-little challenges of our complicated lives. Howdini is the place to be for the know-how you want, when you need it. Or maybe it’s the know-how you need, when you want it. Whatever. We’re here to help. So come in and look around, won’t you?

We think you’ll love finding everything you want to learn about in one convenient place, and as we grow and add more categories and more Howdinis, you’ll be doing less surfing and more learning right here. And unlike television, Howdinis aren’t limited by time—we don’t have to break for commercials, and we’re always on.

Who is Howdini?

People often ask us, is there an actual person who is Howdini? And the answer is, it’s kind of like Lassie. Just as there were many Lassies, there are many individuals who are called Howdini. In fact, each of our experts is a Howdini, and, like all those Lassies, they really know their tricks. (Although so far there is no ‘How to tell your master that Timmy is trapped in the old abandoned mine’ segment)

Our gurus are people you know and trust because you’ve been getting advice from them for years, at places like Good Morning America, The Today Show, Money, Prevention, and Food and Wine (to name just a few). Many are best-selling authors. Others, like our medical experts, are respected leaders in their fields.

Howdini History

The first Howdini was Joanna Breen, who left a comfortable career at ABC’s 20/20 to create a how to video website after one too many frustrating experiences with handymen who weren’t that handy. Joanna had traveled the world reporting with Barbara Walters and others on injustice, outrage, and tragedy, but now it was time to turn her talents to dealing with crises closer to home, like what do you do if you drop your diamond ring down the drain. Joanna is the quintessential can-do girl, so she didn’t find the prospect of launching a gigantic website the least bit daunting. (Ok, that last part isn’t entirely true.)

Joanna convinced an old ABC News buddy, Shelley Lewis, to join her. Shelley had supervised roughly 9.7 million helpful how to segments during a long career executive producing television shows like Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning. A self-described “info-pig” who loves all kinds of information programming, she is never happier than when she’s learning an amazing new tip that she can annoy share with everyone she knows. Needless to say, Howdini was a dream gig for her. A career woman, a wife, a mother, and author of two books, Shelley considers herself equally challenged by all the facets of her life.

Joanna and Shelley were introduced to marketing executive Alison Provost by a mutual friend who knew that Alison had what they needed - entrepreneurial experience, patience, and a checkbook that still had checks in it. Joanna and Shelley could see right away that Alison should join Howdini. They figured that they would take care of the programming, and Alison would bring trustworthy sponsors to help pay the bills. It took Alison significantly longer to be convinced, maybe because she was crazy busy running a marketing firm called PowerPact, which she continues to oversee while serving as the biggest of big cheeses at Howdini. But whether it’s playing Suduko or launching a new business in a field she knows little about, Alison loves the challenge of a good puzzle, It wasn’t long before she began dropping obscure internet terms like “user-interface” and “googlebot” into casual conversation.

What’s Next for Howdini?

Our goals are modest. Complete and total domination of the internet, crushing Google, Microsoft, and any other punks who get in our way. (Hey, it’s a just a goal.) But until then, we will content ourselves making the best, most professional, most credible how to videos you can find anywhere. We want to help you solve your career issues, your parenting problems, your money troubles. We want you to be more glamorous, healthier, and less stressed out. We want you to check Howdini every day for fun, interesting, useful advice from experts you know and trust.

We want to make Howdini the community you love to be part of every day, To do that, we need to hear from you. Please share your suggestions, rate and comment on the Howdini videos, and the blog, (The Howdini blog). Tell us what you’d like us to create for you.

And then, when we’ve achieved that, it’s back to working on complete and total domination of the internet.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy



Get Email Updates

Fitness Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!