For the avid cyclist, knowing how to repair a tyre is must-have skill. Knowledge of repairs can mean the difference between a refreshing ride on a Saturday morning and spending that time at the bicycle shop. Fortunately, bike tyre repair is an easy process that requires minimal tools. A single person can do the job in a short time, provided that the tyre is not slashed or otherwise destroyed. Many flat tyres are the result of punctures or low air, however, and these are easy to fix with the right equipment. By simply acquiring this equipment, learning what to do with it, and having it to hand, a cyclist can have more time on the road.
To remove the wheel on a bicycle, you must first release the brake to gain access. Most bicycles have a lever mechanism located above the wheel itself, which you can pull to release the breaks. If your brakes attach with a knob located on the pull-cable, squeezing both brake arms should do the same job.
Next, remove the wheel itself. If your bike has a quick-release axle, simply flip the lever and release the nut that attaches the wheel to the frame. If you have a bike that is not quick-release, use two tyre levers to pop the tyre bead away from the wheel frame. You only need to release one side to perform the repairs.
Before fixing a flat tyre, you need to know why the tyre is flat in the first place. Many flats are a result of punctures, and the debris that caused the puncture may still be present. You need to remove it before performing any repairs. Look on the outside of the tyre for any nails, other sharp objects, or cuts from a piece of debris that has since fallen out. Then, take a clean cloth and run it along the surface of the tyre. Any sharp objects or rough patches cause a cloth to catch, thus potentially revealing the cause of the flat tyre.
Be sure to check the inner tube of the tyre as well. To do this, you must first remove the valve cap, which is the piece that you remove to pump air into the tyre. After removing the cap, you can reach inside to pull the tube out of the tyre. Check the tube for damage in the same way that you check the outer tyre. If you find no rough patches, re-inflate the tube and place it under water. If there are any holes in the tyre, bubbles form at the spot in question and identify a leak.
Once you have identified the location of the leak, determine whether it is small enough to fix. Long slashes are likely impossible to fix using a repair kit, thus making a new tube the next step. If repair is possible, mark the damaged area, then acquire a repair kit. When you are ready to perform the repairs, clean and thoroughly dry the area that you plan to repair.
Most repair kits include a patch and a supply of glue. This type of glue tends to stick more effectively to a rough surface, so take a small piece of sandpaper and apply it to the area you intend to patch. Be careful not to remove too much of the tube's surface.
Next, spread the glue on the area where you plan to apply the patch. Wait until the glue is slightly sticky to the touch, then place the patch on the hole and hold it in place. When you release the patch with your hands, make sure it stays in place before you step away from the repair.
Once the glue on the patch is dry, apply a bit of talc to the tube and the inside of the tyre, so that the tube slides in more smoothly. Re-inflate the tube and place the valve inside the tyre frame, then use your hands to insert the tube back into the outer tyre. Once the tube is fully inside the tyre, insert the tyre rim back into the metal rim of the wheel, being careful to avoid catching the tube where the rim and tyre meet. Once you have finished connecting the tyre to the wheel, re-inflate the tyre and attach the wheel back onto the bicycle by reversing the process you used to remove it.
Fortunately for owners of flat bike tyres, eBay makes it easy to shop for and purchase a patch kit that includes all required components. Simply visit any page within the site and enter the phrase "patch kit" to gather a long list of appropriate products. If you already have the tools and simply need the patches, enter " bike tyre patches" instead for a more suitable list. Once you find the product that you feel best fits your needs, click on the product's name or photo to view a complete description. Be sure to take note of sizing and item specifics as well as price and shipping information