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The only thing worse than not being able to ride is having to stop your ride because of a flat! You may have experienced this scenario or heard it from another rider. You are riding your bike, maybe you are commuting, maybe you are on a nice leisurely ride, or perhaps you are out for a bit of exercise. Partway into your ride, disaster strikes. It might come in the form of a loud bang, or suddenly you feel your steering go wobbly, the bike fishtails but you are not braking, and the pavement suddenly feels oddly metallic. You pull off the road and look at your bike, and your heart drops, the tire is as flat as can be, your rim is resting on the ground, and you are going nowhere fast.
Proper preparedness is important, especially in flat tire situations. This guide will walk you through how to change a flat, how to avoid flats, and what to keep in mind when buying tires.
1. Changing a Flat
Despite your best efforts, most riders will experience a flat at least once while riding. Replacing a tube isn't as daunting as you think. Here is a video that will take you through the steps for how to remove your wheel, replace your tube, and get you back riding!
Every time you ride, you should bring with you all of the required tools to remove your wheel, a patch kit or a replacement tube, and some way to inflate the tire back to a ride-able condition. Check out this video for more information on what tools and parts to carry with you.
2. Protecting Against Flats
Even better than having to sit on the side of the path and replace or repair your tire, trying to prevent the flat in the first place will save you all of that time and more! Here are some tips for you that will seriously reduce, and can nearly eliminate, the likelihood of a flat tire and keep you riding.
3. Tire Guide
There are also certain tires and products that you can use to better prepare for and protect against flats. Here are two:
4. Buying Tubes & Tires
Buying new tubes and tires can be intimidating. Walking into a bike shop and over to the wall of different numbers and sizes and codes, it is difficult to make sure you buy the right product. If you are feeling particularly lost, ask an employee to help you out, otherwise here are some good points to keep track of:
To even the most seasoned of cyclists, a flat tire is a bummer. To a new rider, it can be absolutely devastating. Thankfully it’s not the end of the world and hopefully this article will help in reducing and removing flat tires from your rides!
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