Bicycles are a great way to get around, but if you don’t know how to fix a flat bike tire, you’ll be stranded. This can be a greater issue if you don’t have a patch kit with you.
To help you get out of a flat bike tire situation without a patch kit, we’ve put together this “How to fix a flat bike tire without a patch kit” guide.
It’s designed to be easy to follow and quick to read so that you can troubleshoot your own flat tires on the road or in the dirt.
How to Fix a Flat Bike Tire Without a Patch Kit in Six Easy Steps
Here are six easy steps for fixing a flat bike tire without using a patch kit:
Remove the Wheel From the Bike
If you’re riding on pavement, remove the wheel from the bike by lifting up on the frame with both hands while holding onto the handlebars.
If you’re riding off-road, use an Allen wrench to loosen the nuts on each side of the rear axle.
Then lift up on the frame with two hands and pull the wheel away from the bike.
Remove the Inner Tube and Locate the Hole
The next step is to take out the inner tube and find the hole where the air escaped. There are three ways to look for the hole.
The easiest way is to simply look at the tire as if you were looking through the hole. You’ll see the hole right there!
Another method is to hold the tire up to the light and look for any dark spots on the inside of the tire. These will indicate the location of the hole.
Lastly, you can use a flashlight to shine directly into the hole.
This works best if you’re using a reflective vest or some other type of clothing that reflects the light back towards you.
Patch the Hole Using Cable Ties and Damp Material
The next thing you need to do is patch the hole. To do this, use cable ties and fasten them on both sides of the puncture.
Next, use damp material like grass, moss, or dirt, to fill the hole. This will not make the inner tube totally airtight.
However, it will reduce the rate of the air’s escape as much as possible.
Put the Inner Tube Back in Place
Now that you’ve patched the hole put the inner tube back in its place. Make sure the patch is facing outward and that the valve stem is pointing toward the ground.
Once you’ve done this, tighten the nut on the end of the axle.
Replace the Wheel On the Bike
Finally, replace the wheel on the bike. Tighten the nuts on the sides of the wheel first.
Then tighten the nuts on the axle. Don’t forget to check the tension on the spokes before tightening them.
Pump up the Tire to Full Pressure
When you’re ready to test ride your bike, pump up the tire to full inflation. Check the tire pressure gauge to make sure it reads correctly.
If it doesn’t, then you may have a problem with the valve stem.
Test Ride Your Bike to Make Sure Everything is Working Properly
Finally, test-ride your bike to make certain that everything is working properly.
If you still experience problems following these instructions, you should contact a local bicycle shop for assistance.
Tips & Warnings
Make sure you know how to change a flat tire before fixing one. Calling a professional is better than trying to fix a flat yourself.
Always wear protective gear when fixing a flat tire. Your hands and arms could get scratched or cut if they accidentally touch exposed metal while working on the bike.
Moreover, never attempt to fix a flat tire on a busy road or highway. Doing so could result in serious injury or death.
Move your bike to a safe location instead.
Flat tires happen all the time. Fortunately, most can be fixed with just a few simple tools.
Before attempting to fix a flat yourself, practice at home first. Then, always wear protective gear when working on your bike.