Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bike tire changing

Believe it or not, I've actually never changed a tire on my bike, or possibly any bike (that I can remember, at least). When I was living in Portland I had a few rather annoying flats, but I always wimped out on changing them myself. Portland is already such a bike savvy city that I felt pretty silly being "that girl" who goes into a bike shop and has never even changed a tire before, so instead I opted for being "that girl" who's willing to pay someone ten bucks to do it for her. When I was biking this summer by myself a lot, I figured it was probably pretty important that I take at least some steps towards learning how to repair a flat, lest I find myself in 15 miles from home with no way to get back. I watched some youtube videos, carried around tire levers and a spare tube, but never managed to run over anything bad enough to slow my bike down. Amazingly, I still have yet to get a single flat in the 1.5 years that I've had this bike.

Don't worry, nothing bad happened to my bike today, although I'm sure it will have a rough encounter with a beer bottle or something eventually. Tonight's tire change was entirely voluntary, although not entirely painless. My SO got a generator hub for me for christmas (yay!) and built it up for me, and I asked him to show me how to take the tire off of the old wheel and put it on the new one so that I could finally get some tire changing experience.

I'm pleased to report that I got the thing on and off mostly on my own, with my SO sitting over my shoulder and giving directions. The most difficult part was getting the tire back onto the rim, which required some help from someone with stronger fingers than the biketopus. Tire levers were flying everywhere, and I thought I was probably going to snap the tire levers (or my fingers) trying to get that stupid thing over the rim. Suffice it to say that if I had to change a tire alone in the wilderness, I would have arrived home pretty late/annoyed. But, I'm proud that I finally gave it a go. Do you think I should get this bike jersey now?

Oh, and I also made it over 850 this week, with my highest ever moving average: 15.09 mph over a 25 min ride. A 25 minute ride fueled by Lady GaGa, that is!


  1. Hm, and I always thought that an octopus would be the ideal bike tire changer. Eight strong tentacles--what more could you wish for?

  2. I haven't changed a tire since I started riding super-heavy kevlar-banded tires almost a decade ago. I do have some apprehension that I won't know how to do it when something does go wrong. And the last time I did change a tire, there were definitely snapped tire levers involved.