What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

20 March 2013

Tire Repair

A post! Two days in a row! I know, it's the end of days.

When I was a kid, my dad always made a big deal out of having to put chains back on bike gears or repair punctured tubes. I know it's not much fun to be hauled out of your recliner to fix a bike, but now that I know how to do both of those things myself, I can't help but wonder: Why didn't he just teach us how to do it ourselves so we didn't have to bother him next time? (I suspect he enjoyed being the fixer but just acted disgruntled so we didn't know he was enjoying it.)

Image from kikashi on stock.xchng.
One day last week, I hopped on my bike and felt the ominous wobble that could only mean my tire was flat. (If you've ever worried that you'll get a flat tire on a bike and not know: Trust me, you'll feel the difference right away.) After Chad and I found a bus and made our way home, I set to work right away to fix my tire. I learned the how-to of flat repair last summer, but I don't often get to practise it, so I was kind of excited.

I took off one side of the tire, pulled the tube out, aired it up, and could hear air escaping from the hole right away. Result! So I cleaned up the area around the hole, put on a patch, and replaced the tube. I even remembered to feel around the inside of the tire and find the pointy culprit-- it looked like a broken staple-- before I put the tire back in place, and aired the whole shebang back up. Done.

Not done.

Next morning I realised, because my tire was flat again, that I hadn't put the inflated tube in water to find if there were any more holes. Oops. So, I aired up the tube nice and big like my coworkers had taught me, stuck it in a sink full of water, and found two more very small holes. No wonder I hadn't noticed them before.

Two patches later, and I put the tire back together and aired it up once more. I'm happy to say that the patches are still holding. Even still, I'm going to need a new tube. And also a new patch kit.

Have you ever changed a bike tire? When did you learn how to do it?


Anonymous said...

My bike riding phase was very short and no, I never had a flat or a chain problem. Just lucky I guess.

Tim said...

Changed a few thousand tubes over my cycling career. Taught the task more times than I care to remember.

First learned from my dad and grandpa on my first bicycle (a very long time ago)

Su Wilcox said...

@Delores: Wow, that is lucky!

@Tim: Yeah, I bet you have! :) It's very cool that you learned so early.