Posted by: Tina | February 6, 2011

Changing a Road Bike Tire

A couple weeks ago I rode my own bike for the first time since the Kelowna Apple in August. The embarrassing reason for the lengthy delay in getting back on the bike is that I got a flat while transporting my back to Vancouver after the race. My lack of confidence about doing my own bike maintenance combined with a low motivation to do things at which I don’t immediately excel, resulted in my bike sitting in storage for five months. Pitiful.

I’ve only ever had three flats in my entire life riding bikes, including my years as a regular bike commuter. The year I was training for the Hoodoo 500 bike race (and riding my bike almost exclusively for exercise), I didn’t get even one flat. This all explains why I haven’t had many opportunities to practice changing my tire.

Not being able to fix a flat was the source of quiet stress during the 2010 race season. My plan if I got a flat during a race was simply to end my race, as I didn’t carry tools, a spare tube, or a pump (or alternative). I always felt relieved wheeling my bike into transition, knowing I wouldn’t have to worry again until my next race.

The more I race, the more likely it is that I will have to face a flat tire during a race at least once in the coming years. So the good news story here is that I finally changed the flat all by myself, with only two YouTube consultations (Changing a Road Bike Tire). While I am going to have to do it again for practice and to get faster, I do feel more confident that I could actually fix a flat during a race if necessary and still manage to finish.

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Responses

  1. I have the same anxiety about changing a tire during a race. I carry a tube and pump but have never actually had a flat during a race. I am a little worried that even thought I know how to do it, I will panic if it is during the middle of a race. Do you know which two videos you watched that alleviated some of your anxiety?

  2. The video that really helped is this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5K-DXt9djA


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