Fixing a Rear Flat Tire on Vado SL 4 EQ

Qamera

New Member
Well I did it on my own, but it wasn't easy so I thought I'd impart some of my experience, particularly as it relates to this bike - which we love!
  1. Check to see where the Flat is
    We were a bit surprised at the flat tire in the first place. Couldn't find anything in the tire itself so as a first step I put air back in the tube (maybe someone let the air out while it was parked in downtown Seattle?). Couldn't see any place in the tire itself but air was coming straight out of the tube right around where the valve is. The valve was in straight and appeared to be fine.

  2. Remove the back wheel
    Easier said than done. I put the bike upside down and removed the through-axle. This was not easy at all, as it was in VERY tight. The only way I figured it out was to try it out on my other bike (we have two, one each) and it was much easier. So yes, turn the bolt on the derailleur side, counter-clockwise. First, shift into the highest (smallest) gear. Then as you pull out the axle, hold the derailleur out so that the wheel pops out. Be very aware of how the wheel comes out because you'll want to remember how it "looks" (fits) when you put it back in, in step 7below! This is probably the biggest deal of the whole operation.

  3. Remove the tire from the wheel
    Follow normal instructions that you can find anywhere, to remove the wheel: Let any remaining air out of the tire, remove the bolt from the value so it can slip out when ready, then use the pry tools to get the rim of the tire off the wheel.

  4. Check the tube for a hole, rip, or puncture.
    I couldn't find one at all, but I kept the tube and will check it out later.

  5. Replace the tube with a new one.
    This was relatively easy. Put 'just enough' air in the tube so that it will hold its shape. Standard stuff.

  6. Fit the tube back into the tire.
    This was the most difficult part for me because the tire itself - the one that the bike comes with - has an extraordinarily tight fit and does not really stretch much. I finally was able to solve the issue of 'whack-a-mole' by holding the wheel against my stomach and using the palms of both hands to force the last bit of the tire over the edge of the wheel. In addition to my two hands, I also had to use one of the pry tools.

  7. Put the tire back onto the bike.
    Technically this was the most difficult part of the whole process. I could not find any instructions online or in any YouTube video that showed a) how to do it with a through-axel that does not quick-release, and b) how to do it on a bike that is upside down on the floor. Also because I have an SL, it's really difficult to fit the wheel back onto the tire due to the close fit of the fender. The assumption in all of these videos seems to be that you have a fancy bike stand for managing all your repairs I finally got the wheel back on by holding it very close to the axel entry with one hand, and pulling the chain and the derailer over the bottom of the sprocket, with the other ('bottom' in the case means the top, but since it's upside down, it's the bottom). The chain barely slipped onto the edge of the wheel and I had to manually pull it up onto the lowest gear sprocket. Lots of grease on the hands!
Anyhow I just want to say that anyone can do this, though it wasn't easy. I"ve never changed a tire before in my life, am not mechanically inclined, but was able to figure it out. However it was much easier doing this in the warmth of my apartment. Next time I'm sure it will happen when I'm 60 miles out on a ride! I'm reminded of learning how to do an eskimo roll on a kayak, in a pool. Easy peasy - until it happens and you are upside down in the middle of a Class 4 rapid!

Enjoy!
 

TurboTed

New Member
Well I did it on my own, but it wasn't easy so I thought I'd impart some of my experience, particularly as it relates to this bike - which we love!
  1. Check to see where the Flat is
    We were a bit surprised at the flat tire in the first place. Couldn't find anything in the tire itself so as a first step I put air back in the tube (maybe someone let the air out while it was parked in downtown Seattle?). Couldn't see any place in the tire itself but air was coming straight out of the tube right around where the valve is. The valve was in straight and appeared to be fine.

  2. Remove the back wheel
    Easier said than done. I put the bike upside down and removed the through-axle. This was not easy at all, as it was in VERY tight. The only way I figured it out was to try it out on my other bike (we have two, one each) and it was much easier. So yes, turn the bolt on the derailleur side, counter-clockwise. First, shift into the highest (smallest) gear. Then as you pull out the axle, hold the derailleur out so that the wheel pops out. Be very aware of how the wheel comes out because you'll want to remember how it "looks" (fits) when you put it back in, in step 7below! This is probably the biggest deal of the whole operation.

  3. Remove the tire from the wheel
    Follow normal instructions that you can find anywhere, to remove the wheel: Let any remaining air out of the tire, remove the bolt from the value so it can slip out when ready, then use the pry tools to get the rim of the tire off the wheel.

  4. Check the tube for a hole, rip, or puncture.
    I couldn't find one at all, but I kept the tube and will check it out later.

  5. Replace the tube with a new one.
    This was relatively easy. Put 'just enough' air in the tube so that it will hold its shape. Standard stuff.

  6. Fit the tube back into the tire.
    This was the most difficult part for me because the tire itself - the one that the bike comes with - has an extraordinarily tight fit and does not really stretch much. I finally was able to solve the issue of 'whack-a-mole' by holding the wheel against my stomach and using the palms of both hands to force the last bit of the tire over the edge of the wheel. In addition to my two hands, I also had to use one of the pry tools.

  7. Put the tire back onto the bike.
    Technically this was the most difficult part of the whole process. I could not find any instructions online or in any YouTube video that showed a) how to do it with a through-axel that does not quick-release, and b) how to do it on a bike that is upside down on the floor. Also because I have an SL, it's really difficult to fit the wheel back onto the tire due to the close fit of the fender. The assumption in all of these videos seems to be that you have a fancy bike stand for managing all your repairs I finally got the wheel back on by holding it very close to the axel entry with one hand, and pulling the chain and the derailer over the bottom of the sprocket, with the other ('bottom' in the case means the top, but since it's upside down, it's the bottom). The chain barely slipped onto the edge of the wheel and I had to manually pull it up onto the lowest gear sprocket. Lots of grease on the hands!
Anyhow I just want to say that anyone can do this, though it wasn't easy. I"ve never changed a tire before in my life, am not mechanically inclined, but was able to figure it out. However it was much easier doing this in the warmth of my apartment. Next time I'm sure it will happen when I'm 60 miles out on a ride! I'm reminded of learning how to do an eskimo roll on a kayak, in a pool. Easy peasy - until it happens and you are upside down in the middle of a Class 4 rapid!

Enjoy!
Getting a rear wheel back on can be a struggle even with a bike without fenders, and getting chain guck on your hands is often unavoidable. Like most things, it gets easier with practice.

I would add one more step to your process, which is based on experience. Before putting the tire back on the rim you should check it thoroughly for any foreign objects which may still be lodged in it that caused the original puncture. This could be a thorn, small nail, piece of wire or even a small sharp stone. Not removing this can result in another puncture immediately! As I said, based on experience.
 

mordase

Member
Well done on dealing with your first flat tyre. Hopefully it will be easier next time. As already said, the rear wheel is more fiddly due to the chain and derailleur. I have had to deal with 3 flats this year of which 2 were caused by the tiniest shards of stone embedded in the tread and the other was a mystery as no object was found but a tiny hole was identified in the tyre casing. The two caused by shards were not visible to the naked eye but running my finger tips inside the tyre casing helped locate them. Pulling them out was also fiddly and some tweezers or small pliers would have helped. It would have been very easy to miss and then have all the issues of another flat with a new tube. Hope this helps.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
Carry some nitrile gloves in you kit.

I find the plentiful puddles here in the PNW to be helpful in finding leaks by dunking the tire/tube in one to find the leak..

At least you had a tube!
 
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Qamera

New Member
The irony is that my partner says she didn't really notice the flat because of the power from the bike! She did notice a slight lack of control. When we looked at the tire having gotten back home, it was completely flat. Completely. Rim seems ok though.
 

Allan47.7339

Well-Known Member
It's also important to index the tube to the tire. Line up the label on one side of the tire, usually chainring side, to the valve stem. This allows you to figure out where the hole in the tube is in relation to the tire and find and remove the cause.

If it's a really small puncture and hard to find, inflate the tube and rotate the tube past your mouth to feel the air on your closed lips. Some punctures can be very small. A wire from a motor vehicle radial tire is only a little bigger than a hair but will still flat a tire after a few miles and are very hard to find. Sometimes a piece of glass will be in the tire and just below the inside of the tire so that it's not visible but will pierce the tube after it's reinflate and ridden on. I used to commute about 20 miles each way to work. I almost always carried two tubes, a pump and an inflator even though I used Schwalbe Marathon plus tires.
 

jodi2

Active Member
Is there anything different on the Vado SL to the creo SL in taking out the rear wheel/fixing a puncture in the rear? I thought it's the same procedure as on normal bikes and easier then with e-bikes withe rear hub motor?
 

Allan47.7339

Well-Known Member
There is nothing unique to the Vado SL as far as fixing a flat from a standard bicycle rear wheel with a thru axle. Even a Turbo S with the hub motor was not that much different just the connector and extra weight.

Most people don't practice changing their tires until they get their first flat. Usually it's by the side of the road and raining or when you are furthest from home.
 

Qamera

New Member
The Vado SL was surprisingly easy to flip upside-down. But it might be just as easy to keep the bike upright if you prop it against a tree. Probably a separate discussion...