Flat tire repair help

Texacat

New Member
Hey there! After a recent trip, once home a couple of days, we noticed one of the wallke bikes had a flat - no idea how, where or when...and totally wasn’t anticipating flats being much of an issue with a fat tire bike...was that naive of us?! Anyway, took wheel off bike (thankfully it’s the front one) and am now wondering what to do and how??!! Hate that there’s no tech/maintenance manual or support - especially for bike virgins like us that want to just get on our bikes and go! Have no idea whether these wheels have tubes or not, if slime is appropriate, how to best repair....where to even start?! Surely we aren’t the only ones who aren’t up to speed on all things bike and all the bike specific lingo? Half the threads I trawl through for answers are mentioning things and using terminology that is totally alien to me! So any straightforward plain talking help and nudging in the right direction would be most welcome and not regarded in the least bit patronizing! Lord only knows what will happen if a rear tire gets a puncture! Ouch!!!
thanks in advance
 

km406

Member
Hey there! After a recent trip, once home a couple of days, we noticed one of the wallke bikes had a flat - no idea how, where or when...and totally wasn’t anticipating flats being much of an issue with a fat tire bike...was that naive of us?! Anyway, took wheel off bike (thankfully it’s the front one) and am now wondering what to do and how??!! Hate that there’s no tech/maintenance manual or support - especially for bike virgins like us that want to just get on our bikes and go! Have no idea whether these wheels have tubes or not, if slime is appropriate, how to best repair....where to even start?! Surely we aren’t the only ones who aren’t up to speed on all things bike and all the bike specific lingo? Half the threads I trawl through for answers are mentioning things and using terminology that is totally alien to me! So any straightforward plain talking help and nudging in the right direction would be most welcome and not regarded in the least bit patronizing! Lord only knows what will happen if a rear tire gets a puncture! Ouch!!!
thanks in advance
Hopefully this can help to get you started in understanding what is involved. And yes, our bikes have tubes.

 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
totally wasn’t anticipating flats being much of an issue with a fat tire bike...was that naive of us?!

Yes. :) Fixing flats is part of biking. If you are totally new to fixing a flat, YouTube is fantastic. I haven't looked at the video above, but it's probably fine. You have to have a patch kit, minimum, and probably some tire "irons" to get the tire off the rim. You can pick those up at Walmart or REI, Amazon, or any bike shop. I'd probably suggest you find someone with some experience to help the first time. Maybe your LBS will let you watch while the fix the flat.

There are all kinds of flats. Pin holes to shredded tires and tubes, and sometimes it's just a loose valve core. (A valve core tool is cheap and really good to have.) This is pretty easy 90%+ of the time.

I like Slime. I use it as a flat preventative. (It, and nothing, is 100% effective). It can be used to fix some flats after-the-fact. Which reminds me, you need some way to blow your tire back up. Portable hand pumps you can carry on your bike are like spitting in the ocean for fat tire. CO2 cartridges and inflator, or a small battery powered pump are good for trail repairs. A good foot pump or any compressor is good for home and shop repairs. It's good to carry a spare tube too.

Some people go thousands of mile between flats. I'd say most people aren't that lucky. Learn how to deal and be prepared!

TT
 
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Operator7

Active Member
I researched this with my local shop that has an awesome repair guy and where they are very kind and generous. The bottom line that was explained to me is how difficult it can be attempting to change the tire of an ebike, and that you risk doing various sorts of damage. The best option in my book is to have the shop repair the flat, and not attempt to do it yourself - ESPECIALLY if it's the rear tire.
 

Luto

Active Member
Also know that some tubes don't work that well with vulcanizing (e.g. TipTop brand) patches. There are many types of materials for tubes these days. Vulcanizing patches work best with butyl rubber tubes.

I find that changing the rear tire is no more of an issue than on a regular bike. It depends upon the type of axel. A standard through axel or quick release is no different. If you have a special hub, it might be a bit more, but should be straightforward. I just changed the tires on my wife's bike, front and back. Took 20 minutes and 1/2 a beer.

I put ropes hanging down from garage rafter and suspended the bike, so no bike stand needed. By the time you drive to a shop, you can change them at home!

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/tire-and-tube-removal-and-installation. Park tools have very good videos.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
I researched this with my local shop that has an awesome repair guy and where they are very kind and generous. The bottom line that was explained to me is how difficult it can be attempting to change the tire of an ebike, and that you risk doing various sorts of damage. The best option in my book is to have the shop repair the flat, and not attempt to do it yourself - ESPECIALLY if it's the rear tire.
Well, you, and presumably your LBS guy know you better than I do, of course, so maybe for you taking a flat to the bike shop is the best thing, but very generally. if you know the difference between a screwdriver and a wrench, fixing a flat is pretty easy. I have to question whether the bike shop guy doesn't have a conflict of interest and is basing his advice on that.

TT
 

JDsplice

New Member
Region
USA
If you can afford it, I'd recommend getting basic flat-protection with Tannus Armoured Insterts. Don't need to learn how to fix a flat if you don't get it in the first place. You can find a bunch of YT videos covering it.
 

Operator7

Active Member
Well, you, and presumably your LBS guy know you better than I do, of course, so maybe for you taking a flat to the bike shop is the best thing, but very generally. if you know the difference between a screwdriver and a wrench, fixing a flat is pretty easy. I have to question whether the bike shop guy doesn't have a conflict of interest and is basing his advice on that.

TT
Me personally don't know much. I'm not good with this stuff. My bike shop guy on the other hand is literally one of the nicest and generous people I've come across. This is a guy who has a long list of loving reviews on Yelp, and in my personal experience would not charge me for basic maintenance stuff when I'd come by the shop. I should also add that I had originally purchased my bike online (got a fantastic deal), and went to his shop a year later when I needed maintenance - and I felt bad about that because I didn't give business to the local shop.

I'm pretty streetwise and not naive, and I can say with 100% certainty this wasn't a case of him explaining things to me in the hopes of making 50 bucks on a possible future tire repair. It's a case where on an ebike, you have to align the wheel with various components, and that if you don't do that correctly, it can cause major damage/problems. I apologize cause I don't remember the specifics, as it's been a couple years, but the basic conclusion was that it's best to have the shop repair a flat tire instead of attempting to take it off, insert new tube, and put the wheel back on in alignment with the magnets/motor components.

I recommend for people to make-up their own mind, so don't take my word as law. I'm simply sharing my experience that for the layman/rookie, like myself, my research led me to conclude it's better to not risk damaging a $5K bike on a tire repair. I should also share that my ebike is a Stromer, as I think this forum room is for another brand I'm not familiar with. I just came across this topic in a search.
 

Operator7

Active Member
Oh and so to share my concluded plan in the event of a flat tire:

1) Have a great tire and inner tube to prevent them in the first place (I bought an inner tube that is supposed to be very difficult to get a flat)
2) Gup tire sealant (it inflates and seals the tire so that you can travel to shop or your car)
3) Uber XL (I'm not an expert on this, but my research showed that some of these vehicles are large enough to carry a bike inside, and others have a bike rack)
4) Walk bike back to car or shop (worst case scenario)
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
Hey there! After a recent trip, once home a couple of days, we noticed one of the wallke bikes had a flat - no idea how, where or when...and totally wasn’t anticipating flats being much of an issue with a fat tire bike...was that naive of us?! Anyway, took wheel off bike (thankfully it’s the front one) and am now wondering what to do and how??!! Hate that there’s no tech/maintenance manual or support - especially for bike virgins like us that want to just get on our bikes and go! Have no idea whether these wheels have tubes or not, if slime is appropriate, how to best repair....where to even start?! Surely we aren’t the only ones who aren’t up to speed on all things bike and all the bike specific lingo? Half the threads I trawl through for answers are mentioning things and using terminology that is totally alien to me! So any straightforward plain talking help and nudging in the right direction would be most welcome and not regarded in the least bit patronizing! Lord only knows what will happen if a rear tire gets a puncture! Ouch!!!
thanks in advance
Just wait ´til a rear tire goes flat. If you´ve a rear hub motor, your in for a real treat. The best advice i have
Best advice is to learn everything you can about ebike maintenance, lots of tutorials on line. A lot of bike
shops won´t touch an ebike, & of those who will, some are pretty mercenary when it comes to charges. There
are a lot of nuances that we have had to learn from experience. We are pioneers in new territory. First rule of any
mechanical op. It goes back together the way it can apart; if there´s parts left over you probly made a mistake.
This principle is doubly important with a ebike, especially when it comes to removing & replacing rear hub
motor wheels. Those washers must go back the way they came off. My bike requires removing the rear
derailleur in order to remove the wheel**. All this stuff needs to be done very carefully so as not to damage
threads! This is why I´m keen on cheap starter bikes; it´s gonna be a learning experience no matter what
you ride. Cheapers bike have cheaper, but easier to replace parts. It´s a real shame to screw up a $5k bike
outa ignorance.

**It´s not the only way to do it, but letting the derailler hang aside on the chain simplifies things. Putting
it back needs great care not to damage threads, A double leg kickstand is a + for field repair, but I don´t
know if that´s possible with an XP?
 

Mr. AH

New Member
Oh and so to share my concluded plan in the event of a flat tire:

1) Have a great tire and inner tube to prevent them in the first place (I bought an inner tube that is supposed to be very difficult to get a flat)
2) Gup tire sealant (it inflates and seals the tire so that you can travel to shop or your car)
3) Uber XL (I'm not an expert on this, but my research showed that some of these vehicles are large enough to carry a bike inside, and others have a bike rack)
4) Walk bike back to car or shop (worst case scenario)
Just a note on Uber XL, as a first-time user and being in an emergency I just ordered one and waited not long. Thing was my bike was filthy having never ever been washed and I also was packing 4 extra batteries, saddlebags and more, it was a fair-bit of dirty bike stuff I had. Guy shows-up with a pristine-condition new tol suv worth megabucks more meant to take people to the airport and such, not my junk but the guy was very kind seeing my situation and I offered him an extra $20 for persuasion, I was really far-away from home with near-200lbs of gear... Anyways at the end he passed on the 20 but I insisted, for my one time experience very pleasant. Maybe someone else knows how to order one for a bike, I felt really bad stuffing mine into his limousine. Anyone?
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
A dbl. leg kickstand is a good thing to have if you need repair in the field. After a few ´long´ walks back home,
They can greatly simplify things by rocking the wheel in question off the ground rather than having to flip it over
with all your goods, etc. I ride with both a dbl leg & rear mount single kickstand for unlevel ground.
 
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