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? 



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pedro's tire levers.

By any other name they smell as sweet....

Pedro's used to be made from recycled plastic nice, light but some times not as good for road tires. The tight road tires are easiest done with a good set of metal 'spoons' that have the lil' hook on the other end that catches a spoke and allows easier tire mounting.

If you're talking a fat tire (AKA mountain bike) then the Pedro's might do the trick but if you're having probs why not hedge yer bets and go with the metal (schmitt da hook) just to make things easier.

HOWEVER the levers can open up a can of OOPS by pinching the tube during install so practice, practice, practice.


It sounds like your bf doesn't use tire tools.  Kind of a he-man move.... totally unnecessary for him to show off since he already has a girlfriend.  I can mount a tire with out levers too but I'm secure enough that I don't need to show off to the ladies.

agreed..use levers.  I'm almost a he man and still have to use them.

another tip - use two levers. one to secure the (metal beaded part of the) tire inside the rim, and another lever to rotate around the rim and 'seat' the tire properly.


FYI - I would never use anything metal to do this, but maybe that's jsut me...



Don't use levers to get the tire on, it is a good way to pich the tube.

The key is to use the palm of your hands and put the tire on one side at a time.  Push the bead down into the center of the rim to get extra space and youshould be able to get most tires on by hand.  If not skip the tire lever and get one of these (although I suggest you buy it at your local bike shop and not online) to get the really tough part on.

Go here and choose from many, many videos on how to fix a flat on a bicycle, although this one is more appropriately titled How to Fix a Flat Bike Tire (w/o your boyfriend's help). You can do it, Agnieszka.

Bead jack saves the day!

Thanks much for this useful help, people!

Yes, that can of Oops that Jeff and notoriousDUG mention--the potential for levers to lead to a punctured tube--is indeed why my bf was reluctant to endorse tire levers for putting the tire back on (he likes them fine to take the tire off). He'll get a kick out of having been diagnosed with machoism. ;-)

I'll watch the videos that Gene recommends AND get the bead jack.
By the way, I watched three of these videos now, and in each the final stage of mounting the tire is an effortless, toolless, breeze. Ha.

Certain rims paired with certain tires can be difficult especially with road tires.  Fear not, when you get a flat on the road it will be easier than it is to do in your home.  The adrenalin rush of having to deal with the tire while you are out there will make you stronger. Of course, its not a bad idea to have two spares in case you pinch the first one while fighting to get it on.

Yes, perhaps it was adrenaline I was lacking. :-) 

Here's a fun little video showing the frustration (apparently it doesn't discriminate when it comes to gender) and the bead jack salvation:



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