Sunday, March 28, 2010
TECH TIPS: Hands-Only Bike Tire Installation & Removal
When I "work" at cycling camps like Lon Haldeman's PacTours, one of the most popular things I teach is easy bicycle flat tire repair. The "easy" part is taking the tire off and putting it back on using your hands only; no tire levers. It's the easiest, fastest and most fun way to install and remove bicycle tires, and it's the way they were made to be put on and taken off.
It's easy for me to show you how to do this in person, but it's not so easy to explain it - even with a video. So I asked my friend, cyclist and illustrator Karl Edwards to draw what I described to him and I can now show you this great illustration that depicts the hand positions and how you get the tire on and off the rim using the mechanical principle built into all bicycle tires and rims.
I also put together a fun webpage explaining it in detail with tips and another key illustration.
Watch out, though: once you master the technique and demonstrate your speedy, effortless, flat-tire mastery on rides with friends, you may become the designated tire-changer and have to fix everybody's flats!