Flat tire repair

I posted this in moped repair but am repeating it here hoping to get the attention of someone who has the talents necessary to post it in Wiki .. learning how to do computer stuff is very challenging for me.

CHANGING A TIRE/REPAIRING A FLAT can be easy as pie .. or maddeningly difficult .. if you're on a road trip and are tired, and you have time, and the job is not going well, make camp, rest, have a tea or cold drink, go at the change relaxed .. stress causes accidents like falling mopeds, blood, lost parts (oh you should have heard me hollering during one sweaty change which would have been much worse if I had not found a handy shade tree to work under.)

1. Get a motorcycle tire iron or two, you will NOT regret it.

2. Lay a large pece of bedsheet or carboard on the ground where you will be working, especially on a roadtrip, as you will almost certainly be dropping nuts, bolts, washers into grass and gravel. But even on your driveway a small part can bounce or roll a long, long way.

3. Make sure the bike is solid on its kickstand so it won't fall over (on you especially) when you're taking the wheel off .. I try to raise my bike to make getting the back wheel off easier. I nw normaly carry a round aluminum plate to put under the kickstand (it's handy for camping in sand) but I have had to find pop (soda) cans, beer cans, or flat pieces of wood, flattening the cans, stacking them, putting them under each fork of my kickstand.

4. Okay .. so the wheel is off (I have never had a front tire go flat .. but lots of rear flats, and I hear from others this is normal.) Mark the tire and rim with chalk or something like that to located the tire once its off .. this will help to find a puncture in the tube, as the tube is located on the rim with the stem. The mark on the tire will also tell you which side is up after you've examined the tire.

5. To get the tire to separate from the rim I sometimes have to stand on the rubber (wheel lying on the ground of course) and stand on the rubber, putting extra weight on .. however, and this is very important, put a large rag or piece of cardboard on the ground under the hub so you won’t get dirt in the hub.

6. Use your tire irons or iron and round end of a box wrench to pry one side of the tire slowly and carefully off the rim.

7. Chalk mark the tube which side is 'up', then carefully remove the tube.

8. Remove the tire completely from the rim.

9. Use gasoline to wash grease and oil off your fingers so you won't be greasing the tire or tube .. this is important as the patch won't stick to oil or grease .. it helps to think "brain surgery" here. Carry lots of clean rags, especially on a road trip, and discard dirty ones. Rags are cheap.

10. Examine (by using your eyes but more importantly also the feel in your fingertips) along the outside and inside of the tire for sharp objects, being careful not to puncture your fingers. If your flat is from abrasian between tire and tube the spot will usually be obvious, with lots of rubber dust in the tire.

11. Remove the sharp object completely .. needle nose pliars are good to have for this job.

12. After having used your chalk marks to align your tube and tire, that way locating the puncture, mark the puncture with a large circle using a permanent magic marker (ballpoint pen ink is oily). Patch your tube according to the patch kit directions .. making sure you have cleaned and 'sanded' the repair spot, blowing 'sanding' dust off the sanded area. Cleanliness is vital. If you talcum powdered the tube before putting it into the tire you will have to very carefully wash and dry a large area around the patch spot. I wash the whole tube because my fingers pick up talcum and that's as bad as grease for the patch.

13. After rubbing talcum (baby powder .. a good, non-abrasive grade, and yes, there is abrasive baby powder due to lust for corporate profits) into the inside surface of the tire, put one side of the tire back on the rim. Please note that some tires will show direction of rotation by an arrow and the word "rotation".

14. Without pinching the new, talcumed tube (yes .. install a new one, or a previously patched and tested one, this can and probably will save MUCH aggravation caused by having to do this whole job over again a mile down the road) put in the good tube. This will allow your new patch to 'cure' for a few minutes or many days, depending on when your next flat occurs. I had two flats in two hours once, but it was the result of not properly cleaning the talcum from the the patch area .. and that was where I learned to install the new or cured and tested tube instead of the patched one.

15. Without pinching the tube, push and 'iron' the other side of the tire into the rim, making sure the tube is straight and not kinked or stretched or twisted.

16. Partially inflate your tube, and baby powder the inside of the rim on both sides. For inflation I use a small, inexpensive hand pump and find it pumps well beyond required limits .. but you won't be able to blow your tube and tire. As if you were 'kneeding' bread dough, 'kneed' the tire so that the bead on both sides is even with the rim. This may take two or three or four or more partial inflatings, deflating, inflatings, kneedings, but is very important.

17. Getting the tire to

Re: Flat tire repair

Newbies you really should read this.

Re: Flat tire repair

Vimy Ridgeway /

Bob, I would add this to #12, a trick taught me by my dad and which I also use for all rubber patchwork, including patching my rubber pond liner after the raccoons have had their way with it:

For a more effective, longlasting patch. vulcanize the patch to the inner tube. This is done by spreading rubber cement beyond the borders of the patch (not too much, a sixteenth of an inch will do), then, after the patch is stuck to the tube, take a match and light the excess rubber cement. By burning the edges of the patch, you melt the sides of the patch into the tube for a better seal. Don't let it burn for too long, only a couple of seconds or you will melt the tube.

Re: Flat tire repair

Okay but you breezed over the part I need! How did you get that rear wheel off??

Re: Flat tire repair

with a wrench

Re: Flat tire repair

Okay... but there is a lot going on back there with the belt, housing, brakes, etc. I can change a bicycle tire, no problem, but how much more to it is there for a moped? What do I need to watch out for?

Re: Flat tire repair

Moped Poet /

Go at it slowly .. don't loose parts .. make diagrams .. set a day or two aside for the job if you haven't done it before.

Re: Flat tire repair

Moped Poet /

Getting the back wheel off .. raising the bike makes it easier to work on .. just ordinary mechanics after that .. set a day or two aside if you haven't done it before .. make diagrams of which part goes where.

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