In all the years I have been biking, I have never changed my own tire…. until now.
Lately, when a tire needed to be changed, and they have needed to be changed, T would step up and take the wheel away for a few minutes and return later with a magically replaced tire. Before T, the incredibly condescending old retired farmer who managed my appartment building in Middle-Of-Nowhere Saskatchewan came over and completely took over the job when he spotted me doing bike maintenance. Prior to that, I just let the nice young man at the local bike shop in BC change my tires because he had an air compressor and the hand pump takes forever….. Plus I was cute and tiny and my service charges were almost non-existent if I was wearing my waitress mini skirt when I brought the bike in. Sad but true.
Actually, that compressor thing applies to T as well, but not the farmer who I thought might have a heart attack while trying to fill my tires with my travel pump.
This time, however, my tires for the French bike arrived while T was unavailable to install them for me. I am no longer cute and tiny and have long ago lost the mini skirt, but I do still have all the tools, tire pry-er and what not to DIY it. So I did.
Step One: Completely forget to involve your camera for blog pictures – check!
Step Two: deflate old tires
Step Three: run the tire pry bar around the rim on each side once to loosen the tires and have them shed dried up rubber gunk all over you
Step Four: Be really glad you only did short slow rides on these tires because they are crumbling to dust as you try to remove them.
Step Five: lever the edge of the tire over the rim, then run the tire pry bar between the tire and the rim starting where the tire is out of the rim so the tool drags the rest of the tire out as it goes.
Step six: be amazed at how easy this is going and repeat with the other edge of the tire
The old tire should now be off the rim.
throw out recycle old tire and old tube
Step eight: pump a little air into new tube, just enough so that it holds its shape slightly.
Step nine: insert tube into tire.
Step ten: use tire pry bar and LOTS of muttering to lever tire on to wheel.
Step eleven: bask in the glory of the new tire on the rim
Step twelve: reinstall wheel.
Step thirteen: notice “Direction of Spin” arrow on tire, realize it is pointing in the wrong direction, swear out loud, swear in your head as Little girl giggles and repeats bad word. Go out side and stomp around and cuss. Go back to step three, but this time the tire is firm and new and not shredding and not easy to remove, and just don’t even think about step six. Step eleven isn’t going to be as bask-y and you are going to need a adult beverage, but you can’t have one because there are children present and no responsible adults who know likely how to change a tire to be in charge if you indulge.
Step fourteen: wonder what the heck you are doing, because this has just taken a flipping hour and a half and YOU STILL HAVE THE OTHER WHEEL TO DO.
Step fifteen: really REALLY appreciate the wonderful spouse you have and think the condescending farmer might have had a point.
Step sixteen:Repeat with other wheel, being very, VERY careful to match the direction of spin, triple checking before installing the new tire onto the rim
Step seventeen: have a shower because you are now covered in bike grease and old dead tire. And so is your kid, who is practicing her new word.
Step eighteen: resolve to learn more exotic bad words so Gramma will be baffled instead of appalled next time she sees your small child
See, wasn’t that easy?