The Chainlink

Lacking iron fists, I can't seem to be able to put the tube and tire back on

Hi Everyone! 

Since I started biking around Chicago 2 years ago, I have loved this happy mode of transportation. My introduction has been easy because my boyfriend has set up my bike and shown me all kinds of tricks.

Still, in my quest to become more self-sufficient, I realize that he won't always be around to help me with fixing a flat (so far he's always been, but he and I work relatively far from each other). This time when I got the flat, I had him watch as I tried to do it all by myself, to learn kinetically. Alas, I couldn't seem to find enough strength in my fingers during the last phase of reseating the tire and tube, and my boyfriend ended up finishing the job. That's always the bit I find daunting. 

Are there any tips or tricks anyone can offer on that last, most frustrating part of the tire fixing process? 

Thanks, 

Agnieszka

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i should clarify that it is women's and LGBT night.  you could go on any other open workshop night, too.  but you're guaranteed that women's night will be taught by one of their lady mechanics.  

Agnieszka Z. said:

Thanks, everyone, for the help. Y'all are super. 

I tend to stay away from anything "ladies' only," but your endorsements--as well as, ahem, reality of dealing with my tires--have won me over and I'll make plans to check out the West Town Bikes women night. 

Every possible tire/rim combination will be different but in very general terms it's easier to get tires on wide rims, it's easier to mount wide tires, it's easier to mount light tires. There are wide-wide-light combinations where you need no hand strength, the tire flops into position. You just have to be careful the bead is in the right place before pumping.

The owners manual that came with my 1965 Schwinn Continental recommended using a dull screwdriver if you ever had problems mounting a tire. Schwinn did not have tire levers to sell you. They did exist but most bike shops did not have any. Tires back then were all wide and the Schwinn steel rims were quite wide.

The other one that always helps is the tire stretches when you use it. A tire that was horrible when first mounted may be easy when you change the first flat. If you are a very light rider and like riding at low pressure the tire won't stretch as much or nearly as quickly. You could let the boyfriend beat up your new tires a few weeks. Or pump the new tires to max pressure until stretched. Careful with that last one, you'll lose traction easier on the wet and icy.

I'll also second the bead jack!  Much easier to use leverage than your palm if it's a tight fit. 


S.Presley☠ said:

Bead jack saves the day!

I did not say they were good or bad. I just offered a list. There is some good in them and some bad in them, but taken collectively, most people should be able to separate the wheat from the chaff and figure out what will work best for them in their own situation. I am sure that a bright woman like Agnieszka with good encouragement, like "You can do it, Agnieszka," will try techniques and learn by doing.

notoriousDUG said:

Or you could not link to horribly incorrect tutorials as if they were useful...

John,

Good words, though in this case the odds are relatively in her favor. Tires are Panaracer Col de la Vies (650b x 38 nominal) mounted on Rigida Sphinx rims. Rims are tighter than the more common Velocity Synergies, but the Cols are generally on the supple end of things and in any case these tires and rims have been together for ~4-5 years. Pressures are typically 50F/55R. She could easily deal with hand-mounting on Synergies, but it seems a bit extreme to rebuild a wheelset just for that :)

John C. Wilson said:

Every possible tire/rim combination will be different but in very general terms it's easier to get tires on wide rims, it's easier to mount wide tires, it's easier to mount light tires. There are wide-wide-light combinations where you need no hand strength, the tire flops into position. You just have to be careful the bead is in the right place before pumping.

The owners manual that came with my 1965 Schwinn Continental recommended using a dull screwdriver if you ever had problems mounting a tire. Schwinn did not have tire levers to sell you. They did exist but most bike shops did not have any. Tires back then were all wide and the Schwinn steel rims were quite wide.

The other one that always helps is the tire stretches when you use it. A tire that was horrible when first mounted may be easy when you change the first flat. If you are a very light rider and like riding at low pressure the tire won't stretch as much or nearly as quickly. You could let the boyfriend beat up your new tires a few weeks. Or pump the new tires to max pressure until stretched. Careful with that last one, you'll lose traction easier on the wet and icy.

Thanks for the good faith and encouragement, Gene. 

Gene Tenner said:

I did not say they were good or bad. I just offered a list. There is some good in them and some bad in them, but taken collectively, most people should be able to separate the wheat from the chaff and figure out what will work best for them in their own situation. I am sure that a bright woman like Agnieszka with good encouragement, like "You can do it, Agnieszka," will try techniques and learn by doing.

notoriousDUG said:

Or you could not link to horribly incorrect tutorials as if they were useful...

I know it sounds crazy but I would rather see people get good instruction and learn by doing it right with competent help vs. struggle over and over following poor advice from poorly vetted sources.  People tend to give up if they try something and fail a few times because it becomes frustrating.  If you want to help people learn to do stuff sending them to a bad resource is doing them a disservice.

YouTube is a hazard when it comes to getting any kind of technical advice because you have no idea if the person who did it knows anything.  If you want good advice go to West Town for an open shop or a class or even go to your local bike shop and ask them, they should be happy to show you.

Gene Tenner said:

I did not say they were good or bad. I just offered a list. There is some good in them and some bad in them, but taken collectively, most people should be able to separate the wheat from the chaff and figure out what will work best for them in their own situation. I am sure that a bright woman like Agnieszka with good encouragement, like "You can do it, Agnieszka," will try techniques and learn by doing.

notoriousDUG said:

Or you could not link to horribly incorrect tutorials as if they were useful...

Good plug, Dug.

A good plug for what?  

Same on me for promoting West Town Bikes and all of the other great shops around Chciago that will help you with your bike problems.


Gene Tenner said:

Good plug, Dug.

I remember that skit.  If I recall right, in one matchup Lloyd Bridges era más macho.



David P. said:

Juan,

This is where I would include a clip of the 'Quien es mas macho?' clip from SNL if I could find it online, which I can't.

Now you've got to name them all!

notoriousDUG said:

A good plug for what?  

Same on me for promoting West Town Bikes and all of the other great shops around Chciago that will help you with your bike problems.

Dug,

Some learn visually, some by reading and thinking it through, others learn by listening and still others by tinkering, etc. There are far more strategies and techniques for educating and training than I can begin to go into here. The most effective training technique in business is not one class and let them go, but to give students information in class, have them go out in the field and try it out, come back for more information and repeat multiple times.

There is no one way of learning or teaching.

Your string here was not an attempt to help, but a brazen foray to quash a method different from one you prefer and have a vested interest in.

“Are you freaking kidding me!? … WORST lessons … flat out bad … flat out wrong … horribly incorrect … poor advice from poorly vetted sources … hazard” are not phrases that prompt gaining knowledge, but are immature intimidations meant to bully towards a self-serving end.

“Same [Shame] on me for promoting West Town Bikes and all of the other great shops around Chciago [Chicago] that will help you with your bike problems,” is sanctimonious at best.

If your intent is to help your fellow cyclist, dial it down a bit and try encouragement with an open mind.

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