Tech Tips

How NOT to change a tube in 6 easy steps

Nail in tire
I was just riding along and !!


There are plenty of written tutorials on how to change a tube when you get a flat, but it's far more interesting knowing what NOT to do, than simply knowing what to do. Here's a reverse take on how, (or how NOT), to change a tube...


1. Forget about what caused the flat

Don't even bother finding what caused the flat tire, just rip the wheel out of your bike and pretend you know what you're doing. Surely somebody will stop and help you out. Make sure you absolutely do NOT check the inside of the tire for any protruding glass or metal, or inspect the tube to see if the flat was caused by a pinch from the wheel rim.

Teaspoon tire lever



2. Never remove the tire with the correct tools

Make sure you never use the correct tools. In fact, you could use a teaspoon or a screwdriver. Find anything that will cause irreversible damage to your wheel, even a crobar will do the job. Be as rough as you can, and remember to skin your knuckles on the spokes while you're at it.


3. Never take care removing and fitting the tube

Forget being gentle, just rip the tube out with your teeth. You could pump this tube up to help find the hole in it and keep it for later repair...or alternatively you could just lob it over the nearest fence. Don't bother inflating the tube slightly before gently placing it in the tire. Just unroll it and jam it in with force. Removing any folds or kinks is a waste of time.


Twisted Tube
A twisted tube, but I wouldn't worry about that!


4. Don't worry about pinching the tube

You might worry about pinching the tube between the tire and the rim, but what are the chances of that!? Just refit the tire using a variety of tools - tire levers, spanners, a multitool or even a tree branch. It's all good if you use excess force.

Now we're nearly through this, here is some light comedy from none other than Lance Armstrong. Take it away Lance....


5. Don't inflate tire to specifications

Whack that pump on and inflate the tire to the recommended 100 PSI pressure. But we all know "more is better" so keep pump that tire up as hard as it goes. Your pump cylinder will be red hot with friction, but just pump that darn tire super hard! Aiming for around 250Psi will ensure minimal rolling resistance.


6. Never ease the wheel back into the frame

Just slam the wheel up into your frame, and tighten the skewer. Don't bother checking if your brakes are rubbing, just see it as additional resistance training. Ride off into the sunset, and leave all your rubbish on the roadside for the next person to pick it up for you.


Obviously this is a light-hearted way of showing what NOT to do, so remember some of these points next time you change a flat tube. We've written instructions in the past, (How to change a flat tire), and it's a very good idea to enquire at your local bike shop as to whether they host maintenance clinics in store. In these clinics, you'll be able to learn all the basics, from fitting new tubes to adjusting gears amongst other things.

If you currently ride without a spare tube, you'd better change that habit pronto! Any cycling tube bundle should include the following at a minimum.

TIP: See if you can fit these items into a small ziplock plastic bag, so you always have what you need 

  • Spare Tube
  • Two Tire Levers
  • Homemade Emergency Details Card (Name, D.O.B, Blood Type, Next of Kin etc.)

Along with the above package, carry a small pump either in your pocket or on your bike. You'll never need it, until the day it gets left at home!


Near death changing a tire
We forgot about this one: Make sure you sit in the middle of the road while changing your tube!


Gopr2706Author: Joey Esterhuyzen
Joey has been racing bikes since he was a kid. He never grew old because of this, and still pops up on the race cards now and again near the pointy end... Joey loves nothing more than a solo road ride in the hills, or a fast and flowing MTB trail session... "Who says you can't whip an XC hardtail?!"

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