Diverse Directions: Self-Guided Cycling Tours in France

Instructions for Changing a Flat Tire

Should you experience a flat, find a safe, shady space off the road or path to make the repair and follow these steps:

  1. Disconnect the brake's quick release mechanism and remove the wheel.
  2. Starting at the point on your tire farthest from the air valve and using the flat, un-notched side of a PLASTIC tire iron, reach down between the tire's sidewall and the edge of the wheel rim. Then, gently lift the sidewall over the rim and secure the notched end of the tire iron to a spoke. Repeat this process two spokes to the right and two spokes to the left until approximately six inches of the tire's sidewall are over the rim. Now -- again, gently, so as not to damage the tire or puncture a tube that may be salvageable -- run a tire iron between the tire's sidewall and the wheel rim until the sidewall is completely over the rim.
  3. Starting at the valve, remove the fully deflated tube. Note: you may have to remove a locknut that holds the valve in place above the rim surface.
  4. Carefully inspect the tire -- inside and out -- for the cause of the flat. Being careful not to cut yourself, remove any sharp objects from the tire before inserting the new tube.
  5. Partially inflate the new tube, until it begins to take on its round shape. This will make the new tube easier to install and will lessen the chance of the tube becoming pinched when the sidewall is repositioned inside the rim edge.
  6. Starting with the valve, insert the new tube under the tire. Confirm that no part of the tube is exposed or getting pinched and then, pull the sidewall back up over the rim (again, begin at he point on the wheel farthest from the air valve).
  7. Before fully inflating the tube, gently knead the tire with your thumb and index finger, working around the circumference of the tire to confirm the sidewall is in place and the new tube isn't being pinched by it.
  8. Fully inflate the new tube.
  9. Remount the wheel and reconnect the brake's quick release mechanism.