How many of you change your own flat tires?

George S.

Well-Known Member
I do it, but was foiled by a rear hub bike a while back.

Ebikes have stuff that gets in the way. It's kind of specific to the bike. Mid-drives may have sensors and things you can break, but rear hubs are complicated.

Do it at home. The YouTube stuff is helpful. I like carrying tubes, not patch kits. Recently had a valve stem separate. Glad I was going slow, because the tire and tube came off the rim. You can get big cuts in tires, where you stuff something in to keep the tube from coming out.

I like super-premium tires which protect the tubes, (and then the tube falls apart...)

Some tires are simply a chore to mount, especially new. Some are very easy.
 

RavingRoo

Member
After putting 100 miles on my e-Joe Anggun while riding alone, on Sunday I met up with a friend to ride around in Delaware along the river. Just 3 miles into our ride my rear tire went flat. The puncture was on the inside of the tube, and I'm pretty sure I know why. The rim tape was not fully covering a few spoke holes. I "think" I managed to get the rim tape moved over enough to fully cover those holes, but once I started putting the tire/tube on, who knows! :) Anyway, lucky for me, I've been practicing over the past month changing tires/tubes while fixing up my old Novara Aspen bike as well as another cheap bike I picked up to use with a Hill Topper electric kit. Plus, I did have some experience changing out tubes when I was kid. It really isn't that difficult, but sometimes you get about 3/4s of the way and it seems like it's impossible to get the rest of the tire on the rim. You just have to keep at it, you will get it! :) Anyway, it is indeed a whole other experience trying to change the rear tube on an electric bike. Man is it a pain in the ass getting those torque washers to line up along with everything else! But, I managed to do all of this on the road, and we completed our near 20 mile ride without further incident. I was glad I was prepared with two spare tubes and all the necessary tools (pump, wrench, and tire lever).
 

Vern

Active Member
You kind of need to know how and carry an extra tube and patch kit. I've seldomly had luck with patches but they're good in a pinch. Pun intended.
I practiced changing it after getting stuck and not being able to do it. Now I've done it a bunch and it still takes me awhile. A mid drive must be easier. Hub motors have extra washers and torque arms keeping the wheel from flying off.
 
Last edited:

Mark_0

New Member
I've changed the rear four times now for flats on my ST2. 2,700 miles of cycling.

It is pretty difficult for one person to do it on the side of the road without a stand like in that video.

A few tips;

Take out the battery. Reduces the weight considerably. Plus you should power it off anyway.
Turn the bike upside down. Be careful what surface you do this on obviously. I like to put a jacket under the handlebars and seat if I have one.
Make sure you are in the highest gear (smallest rear cog).
When you remove the axle there is a metal washer on the side you extract the bolt from. It can fall out as you move the bike around and you cannot lose it!
Rotate the wheel so that you can see all of the power plug that goes into the hub motor. It has a metal half ring that is recessed but that you pull up and use as a handle. Move the wheel so that the whole connector is exposed. Pull on that handle and the plug that connects the power comes out. Much better than cutting cable ties like in that video.
Now you can remove the wheel and fix the flat. Because the tyre is so big it comes off very easily. In fact that makes it difficult to get back on. The weight of the hub motor makes you want to stand the wheel up. But if you do that the tyre has a tendency to fall back off again. Keeping the tyre on with an un-inflated tube is a pain.
Putting the wheel back on is the hardest part as everything has to be aligned - and it is heavy.
The trickiest part is lining up the motor connecter with the cable. There is no play in the cable so you have to rotate the hub independently of the wheel so that it is in exactly the right place as you slide the wheel towards its setting. But you have to plug in the power before finally settling the wheel in place because the frame blocks the socket.
Also make sure you keep an eye on the disk brakes. The disk has to go between the pads obviously but that means there is little to no wiggle room.
Before tightening up make absolutely sure that the power cable is slotted behind a small cable guide on the frame. If you don't do this the cable can rub on the wheel and will eventually break and short.
Finally put the axel bolt back in - making sure the washer is still there. You will likely need to move the wheel up and down slightly to set the bolt into the thread on the opposite side. But when you do it fully aligns everything perfectly.
 

grench

Well-Known Member
I've changed the rear four times now for flats on my ST2. 2,700 miles of cycling.

It is pretty difficult for one person to do it on the side of the road without a stand like in that video.

A few tips;

Take out the battery. Reduces the weight considerably. Plus you should power it off anyway.
Turn the bike upside down. Be careful what surface you do this on obviously. I like to put a jacket under the handlebars and seat if I have one.
Make sure you are in the highest gear (smallest rear cog).
When you remove the axle there is a metal washer on the side you extract the bolt from. It can fall out as you move the bike around and you cannot lose it!
Rotate the wheel so that you can see all of the power plug that goes into the hub motor. It has a metal half ring that is recessed but that you pull up and use as a handle. Move the wheel so that the whole connector is exposed. Pull on that handle and the plug that connects the power comes out. Much better than cutting cable ties like in that video.
Now you can remove the wheel and fix the flat. Because the tyre is so big it comes off very easily. In fact that makes it difficult to get back on. The weight of the hub motor makes you want to stand the wheel up. But if you do that the tyre has a tendency to fall back off again. Keeping the tyre on with an un-inflated tube is a pain.
Putting the wheel back on is the hardest part as everything has to be aligned - and it is heavy.
The trickiest part is lining up the motor connecter with the cable. There is no play in the cable so you have to rotate the hub independently of the wheel so that it is in exactly the right place as you slide the wheel towards its setting. But you have to plug in the power before finally settling the wheel in place because the frame blocks the socket.
Also make sure you keep an eye on the disk brakes. The disk has to go between the pads obviously but that means there is little to no wiggle room.
Before tightening up make absolutely sure that the power cable is slotted behind a small cable guide on the frame. If you don't do this the cable can rub on the wheel and will eventually break and short.
Finally put the axel bolt back in - making sure the washer is still there. You will likely need to move the wheel up and down slightly to set the bolt into the thread on the opposite side. But when you do it fully aligns everything perfectly.
Try that in the dark after a long day at work...lol
 
Some local bike clubs offer classes in changing a tube for which you bring your own bike. Doing it once under supervision of an expert can help. That said, I stand next to my bike and cry until someone takes pity on me and helps.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
I have kevlar tires and Slime, but nonetheless, I had a sidewall blowout of my rear tire. No patch or spare tube could help me there, so I ended up walking the bike about three miles back to my house. Luckily, I was not further away.

Someday I want to try out the Tannus flat free tires and not have to worry at all: http://www.tannus.com/#intro
 

RavingRoo

Member
I thought I'd mention, for those with AAA car coverage, earlier this year they added coverage for your bike as well. If you are stranded with a bike problem, they will pick you up, and drive you home or to a bike shop, no additional charge. This applies to the two higher AAA tiers Plus and Premier, not Basic. So, carry your AAA card with you!
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I have kevlar tires and Slime, but nonetheless, I had a sidewall blowout of my rear tire. No patch or spare tube could help me there, so I ended up walking the bike about three miles back to my house. Luckily, I was not further away.

Someday I want to try out the Tannus flat free tires and not have to worry at all: http://www.tannus.com/#intro
Try Park Tool Tire Boot, smaller and thinner than a credit card. I've used them, work great!

 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Nirmala, don't hold your breath on those foam based tires! They are as vulnerable to UV ray disintegration and heat as any other foam product, whether inside a tire or outside (like expanding foam to seal cracks and holes along walls of your house). Rubbery type solid tires are more dependable; however, all solid tires ride hard! Honestly, at our shop we've had really good success with a combo of better quality tire, a little bit wider than your tire, liner (the Mr. Tuffy type) which wraps around a little more of the inside and a quadruple thickness thorn resistant tube. Yes, this is not a racer's light weight solution; however, for the commuter or someone who rides on less than optimal roads, this works.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
I am not sure how vulnerable the Tannus tires are. It is a new compound they are using. The resulting tire is actually lighter than a regular tube/tire combination, and the rolling resistance is about the same. On their website, they say "Aither compound has a very strong independence, and is extremely durable against any chemical attack from the outside. Thus, the products never get hydrolyzed, aged, degraded, nor do they show any color fading." It does not mention UV specifically, but I am not sure if you can generalize to all foam products from the foam used to seal house cracks which was not designed to be exposed to UV. Also, our bikes live in our garage, so there would not be excessive UV exposure. Even a regular tire will degrade if it is left out in the sun all day.