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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How do you change a tube?

I've blown three new tubes in four tries at putting in a new one. One LBS guy told me I was probably getting the tube caught between the tire and the rim, and that this is particularly likely to happen by the stem.

I've been changing tubes by loosening the tire off one side of the rim and the tucking the completely deflated tube from right out of the box under the tire, then reinserting the side of the tire back into the rim and then putting air in.

Do you have a better way? Ought I put some air in the tube first? Should I take the tire completely off the rim, add air to tube and put the tube in the tire and then the whole thing back on the rim? That's the way that LBS guy does it, but he said it's not the only way and some do it differently.

Thanks for any tips.
 

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monkey with flamethrower
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Always put air in the tube first, just enough to give it some shape, if you don't you can put a twist in the tube when you install and that will lead to a fast flat. Baby powder can help reduce friction between all the tire components making installation sometimes easier.
 

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Explain more what's happening. How and when does the tube "blow"? If it blows immediately after inflation you're not getting the tube in properly, and not getting the tire bead seated properly all the way around.

This might be helpful:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/flats.html#tireinstallation
 

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Anti-Hero
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Try not to use tire levers to get the tire back on. With some tire/wheel combos, this is impossible, but with many, you can just use your hands. If you do have to use levers, make sure that you're hooking the lever onto only the rim and not crushing the tube between the lever and rim.

And yeah, put a little bit of air in. Just enough to make the tube round- not enough to make it start stretching out.
 

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The classic pinch flat. It is very simple to avoid. Inflate the tube a little before inserting it. Not a lot, but enough to give it shape. On route I use a CO2 inflator. To give the tube some shape I use human air compression. Blow in to the presta valve and the inner tube takes shape. That is all the air it takes. After seating the bead take a minute and squeeze the tire, unseating the bead on both sides the whole way around the tire while visually inspecting for any signs the inner tube is not inside the tire and might be pinched.
 

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Slip Stream said:
The classic pinch flat. It is very simple to avoid. Inflate the tube a little before inserting it. Not a lot, but enough to give it shape. On route I use a CO2 inflator. To give the tube some shape I use human air compression. Blow in to the presta valve and the inner tube takes shape. That is all the air it takes. After seating the bead take a minute and squeeze the tire, unseating the bead on both sides the whole way around the tire while visually inspecting for any signs the inner tube is not inside the tire and might be pinched.

+1....what he said.......I use the exact same method.....Don't forget the last step about visually inspecting for the tube being caught under the tire bead...
 

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Squirrel Hunter
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Step #1

Dave Hickey said:
+1....what he said.......I use the exact same method.....Don't forget the last step about visually inspecting for the tube being caught under the tire bead...
In addition to not forgetting the last step - do not forget the first step. Determine the cause of the original flat and remove the sharp object. Run your finger around the inside of the tire to make sure it is clean. SlipStream outlined the steps nicely with the nominal inflation and all important visual inspection.

One other item to consider when getting frequent flats is if you have good rim tape. Get rid of whatever crap came stock on your bike and put a fresh layer of Velox tape on the rims. Don't let the bike shop sell you whatever the latest, coolest stuff they have on the shelf. Insist on the tried and true Velox.
 

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First time I got new racing tires, I installed the $11 Latex inner tubes without pre-inflating
or using talc. I had both front and rear tires only inflated to about 20 psi. Got to the park,
proceeded to fully inflate both tires to 120 psi. Within a space of about two minutes, before
I even got my shoes on, the tires blew one after the other. This was with other riders
ready to go on a group ride on hand to witness everything (big surprise). I felt like a
complete suppository.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rubber Lizard said:
Always put air in the tube first, just enough to give it some shape, if you don't you can put a twist in the tube when you install and that will lead to a fast flat.
Not putting some air in must have been my problem.


Rubber Lizard said:
Baby powder can help reduce friction between all the tire components making installation sometimes easier.
Sounds good. It's OK to just remove one side of the tire and push the tube into the tire while it's still half on the rim, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
JCavilia said:
How and when does the tube "blow"? If it blows immediately after inflation you're not getting the tube in properly, and not getting the tire bead seated properly all the way around.
Yes, right after inflation. Twice it blew up immediately, once it went into a fast but not explosive deflation about a minute or two after inflation.
JCavilia said:
I should have guessed Sheldon Brown would have something on this. His site is like the online bible of bikes, eh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Slip Stream said:
The classic pinch flat. It is very simple to avoid.
Glad to know it's a simple to diagnose problem and simple to avoid.
Slip Stream said:
After seating the bead take a minute and squeeze the tire, unseating the bead on both sides the whole way around the tire while visually inspecting for any signs the inner tube is not inside the tire and might be pinched.
Wilco. Thanks. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Keeping up with Junior said:
...do not forget the first step. Determine the cause of the original flat and remove the sharp object. Run your finger around the inside of the tire to make sure it is clean.
Ya. I found a thorn the last time. At least one time I couldn't find anything. The third time I can't remember if I found something.
Keeping up with Junior said:
One other item to consider when getting frequent flats is if you have good rim tape. Get rid of whatever crap came stock on your bike and put a fresh layer of Velox tape on the rims. Don't let the bike shop sell you whatever the latest, coolest stuff they have on the shelf. Insist on the tried and true Velox.
This bike is an old Peogeut with French steel rims. I noticed what I suppose you call the rim tape, the stuff that wraps around the rim and covers the spokes, is kind of thick and it looks old and sort of so-so condition. Now that I'm thinking about it, I got a new rubber rim tape for one of the wheels because the condition of the old one was bad. It's like a big wide rubber band.

I'll look into the Volox brand you mention. I'll probably pick them up and install them the next time I have to change a tube. :thumbsup:

Thanks to all responders for the help.
 
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