Adventures in Bike Maintenance Part 1 (Fail #1)

Earlier this week, in my attempt to become a well-rounded triathlete, I decided that I need to learn some basic bike maintenance. I had a flat tire, so it seemed fitting that changing a tire might be my first try at solo bike maintenance. My friend Brian had given me a tutorial on changing bike tires a couple of years ago, but I never had to utilize my newly learned skills, so unfortunately the knowledge faded over time. I thought a couple of YouTube tutorials would be a sufficient refresher, so I googled “how to change a bike tire video” and memories of the procedure started rushing back to me. I’ve got this! I thought with confidence.

I successfully removed my front tire from the bike (step 1), put it on my table, and started working on popping one side of the tire away from the rim (step 2). Once the side of the tire was off, I extracted the inner tube (step 3). So far so good. I started to feed the new tube into the tire and all of a sudden became completely convinced that the new tube was way too big for the wheel. I checked and recheck and triple-checked the size of the wheel and the tube and they said they matched, but it really didn’t look it. I decided to call to my professional cyclist friend, Terry, and ask him about my concern, and he assured me that the tube would indeed fit the wheel and to keep going. So I did.

I fed the new inner tube into the tire (step 4), and then began the task of feeding the tire back into the rim of tire (step 5). After much pulling, pushing, straining, sweating, and swearing, I had successfully got the tire back onto the wheel and BAM! I had changed a tire!!

Feeling like a complete bad ass, I placed the tire back onto the bike and began to inflate the tube. Damn, I’m good, I thought to myself, I’m a like real bike mechanic, look at me go! I was pumping away on my bike pump, basking in my awesomeness, when BOOM! The inner tube exploded inside my tire and my bubble of inflated self-confidence burst all over the floor.

Well, shit.

So back to the sports store I went. I bought another inner tube, I successfully installed it, and I was careful not to celebrate my victory to early this time.

But hey, I got some good tire changing practice. Maybe I’ll make a YouTube tutorial of my own one day 🙂

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