How to Change a Flat Fast

Here are some resources to help you change your flat quickly and get back on the road with a minimum of fuss. General comments:

  • Practice at home. A lot, if need be. With a bit of practice, the process becomes a lot less intimidating and you can learn to do this really fast. There are some speed demons out there who can bang it out in under three minutes, but sub-five is realistic for almost anyone who’s willing to practice and focus on the task at hand.
  • If you flat while out with a group, let people help you or ask them to help you. It goes a lot faster when everyone knows what needs to get done and can participate in the process.

Here is a great video that Pamela H. and Larry F. both found on YouTube. I’ve searched every nook and cranny of the know e-universe, and I think this is the best video I’ve seen yet. Coach Troy follows almost exactly the same procedures I do, so naturally I support his technique.

I also found a decent video on how to use a CO2 inflator. Or you can get detailed instructions on the two most popular models, the Genuine Innovations Microflate Nano and Genuine Innovations Airchuck SL. Both are great and easy to learn how to use.

Finally, I’ve attached a detailed procedures outline of the steps involved. This is a modified version of the handout I’ve used at in-person clinics. It’s very close to what Coach Troy does, and if use both this outline and the video, and practice at home, you should definitely have all the info and skills you need to become a NASCAR-worthy flat changer!

Prevention

  • Use Mr. Tuffy liners (use the orange ones)
  • Ultra-lite tubes are more prone to flatting, especially pinch flats. Some are sturdier than other, so play it safe.
  • Check your tires for deep cuts before each ride. If there are any bulges, you should change the tire or insert a “tire boot” (see below).

What to carry

  • Spare tube
  • CO2 canisters (I typically carry two)
  • CO2 inflator (see links above)
  • Tire levers (Pedro’s brand are my favorites. Very strong and since they’re yellow, they’re easy to keep track of.)

 

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