How To Fix A Flat Tire On Your Cruiser Bike
There’s nothing worse than taking cruiser bicycles out for a ride, only to have the trip interrupted by a flat tire. Although they are inconvenient and frustrating, flat tires are relatively easy to repair. If you come prepared with a repair kit, spare tube, pump and tire levers, after only a few steps, you will be back on the road or trail in no time.
1. Removal of the Bike Wheel
The quickest way to fix a flat on beach cruiser bike tires is to remove the wheel from the bike. To do so, first you must release the brakes located near the wheel rim.
- If the brakes have a knob at the end of the pull cable, squeeze the brake arms together and the cable will release.
- Other bikes may have a quick-release lever which can easily be opened to release the brake. Next, you need to release the wheel. If your bike has a quick-release axle on the front wheel, open the lever and slightly unscrew the nut on the opposite side so that the tension holding the wheel is released. To remove a rear wheel with a quick-release lever, first shift the chain onto the smallest rear cog. Place the bike upside down, turn the rear quick-release lever until it is open, then lift the wheel out.
- If your bike has a bolt-on axle, use two wrenches to grab onto the ends of the axle, then turn the wrenches a few full turns. If you are removing a rear wheel, make sure to adjust the chain first as described above.
2. Removal of the Tube
Removing the tube will help you locate the source of the flat. After releasing the remaining air from the tire, you need to unseat your tire bead.
- Try to unseat the tire by using your hand to push one bead edge in toward the center of the rim.
- If you have difficulty, try using tire levers. Begin with the section of the tire that is opposite the valve. Using the long end of one lever, try to pry the bead of the tire up and over the rim’s edge. Sometimes a second lever may be placed 2 to 3 spokes to either side of the first lever for more assistance. After freeing one section of the tire bead, you should be able to use your fingers to unseat the rest of the bead.
- Finally, remove the tube from underneath the tire by pulling the valve stem through the rim. The rest of the tube should easily follow.
3. Locate The Cause of the Flat
Check for the source of the flat to make sure any particles or objects that caused the flat are removed before repairing or replacing the tube.
- Check the outside of the tire for damage, then check the inner tube and inside of the tire.
- If the cause is not obvious, inflate the tube to see where air is escaping or submerge it in water to see where the bubbles come from. If no apparent damage can be found on the tube, the valve could be damaged, requiring the entire tube to be replaced.
- Don’t forget to check your beach cruiser tires for similar damage and remove any objects.
4. Repair or Replace the Tube
If the damage is not permanent, it is time to decide whether or not you will repair or replace the tube.
- For a quick fix, use a patch to repair the hole. Make sure the damaged area is clean, use sandpaper to rough the surface of the area, distribute the glue and apply the patch.
- If the damage is too much for a patch, it will need to be replaced. You must check the tube for sizing information to make sure you get the proper sized tube before replacing it.
Put the Tube and Tire Back on
- To put the tube and tire back on the bike, ensure the rim strip is seated correctly, partially inflate the new tube to make sure it is holding the air, then lower the tube on the wheel by inserting the valve into the valve hole of the rim.
- Place the remaining tube inside the tire by pushing the tire beads inside the rim until the entire tube is in place.
- Finally, make sure the tube is not caught between the tire bead and the rim. Inflate the tire, check the valve to make sure it is straight, and check that the tube is not caught between the rim and tire.
- Completely inflate the tire and then you can be on your way, exploring the world with the help of fun cruiser bicycles.
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