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1m from the curb is great advice. Also ride at least a door's distance from parked cars.

Changing a tire is the first thing I learned to fix on my bike. Now I can do it with my eyes closed. If you ride a lot, you'll get flats. It's inevitable. Another tip--buy a patch kit instead of new tubes. A tube can be patched infinitely, as long as it's a puncture and not a pinch flat. A kit has 5-6 patches for the price of one tube. It's worth it after a couple flats, especially if you ride a lot. I carry a spare on every ride, which is either a new tube or a patched tube, and if I flat on the road/trail I just swap it for the spare, then patch the puncture when I get home. Patching on the road or trail is kind of a pain, takes several minutes, and leaves more room for mistakes that might cause the patch to fail. It's easier to take the time to do it right in the comfort of my living room. I've never had a patch fail. Always keep TWO spares on hand, whether or not you actually carry both on rides. That gets to be a pain for me because I have 3 bikes, all of which take different tubes, but I've never been stuck with a flat when the bike shop is closed.

ETA: Also, it's always an ego boost to be the hero with a spare tube when someone else flats. You only flat when you don't bring a spare tube!

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This was awesome enough to warrant it's own thread.

What I would add is a little known secret to reduce pinch-flats:

Dust all your inner tubes with a small amount of talcum (baby) powder. Most new tubes come with a hint of talcum on them already, but often it's not enough. The dust will add help prevent your inner tube from sticking to the inside of the tire which will HUGELY reduce the amount of pinch flats you get!

Jason

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A few more tips not mentioned in that video:

-If you're patching the tube, locate and mark the puncture. If it's something sticking in your tire, it's easy to match it up and mark the tube. If not, you may need to inflate the tube outside the tire and listen/feel for the leak. I hold the tube next to my face and squeeze it, since it's easier to feel a tiny jet of air on the sensitive skin of my face than it is with hands. A sink or bucket of water is helpful for finding tricky leaks.

-Another trick that helps finding punctures is always setting the tire on the rim so that the logo is directly over the valve stem. That way you can match up which part of the tube was in contact with which part of the tire, even when it's off the bike.

-Check the inside of the tire for debris or things sticking in it by feeling around the inside of the tire with your fingers when it's off the rim.

-Visually inspect the strip inside the rim to make sure it's covering all the spoke nipples. If it's worn, it can be replaced for about $1. That strip is also a good place to write your name and phone number, in the case the bike is stolen and brought to a shop for a flat fix, a good mechanic will notice that and contact you. Most returned stolen bikes are recovered in bike shops where a mechanic recognizes the bike, or just notices something isn't right.

-When your new tire and tube are on the rim, inflate it a third or halfway, just enough to firm up the tire. Stop, then check the bead all the way around to make sure it's seated in the rim and that the tube isn't pinched. If it's not, you've just saved a new tube from a pinch flat! Deflate and stuff the tube in there. If it's good, fill it up!

Maybe I should just make my own flat change video, instead of talking so much smack about it.

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A few more tips not mentioned in that video:

-If you're patching the tube, locate and mark the puncture. If it's something sticking in your tire, it's easy to match it up and mark the tube. If not, you may need to inflate the tube outside the tire and listen/feel for the leak. I hold the tube next to my face and squeeze it, since it's easier to feel a tiny jet of air on the sensitive skin of my face than it is with hands. A sink or bucket of water is helpful for finding tricky leaks.

I always remembered my dad holding the tube in the sink to find the bubbles that would show the puncture. If you're out on the trails and don't have a sink handy, get your hands wet and run them over the tube - the air will bubble on the moisture on your hands.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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I always remembered my dad holding the tube in the sink to find the bubbles that would show the puncture. If you're out on the trails and don't have a sink handy, get your hands wet and run them over the tube - the air will bubble on the moisture on your hands.

Never thought of that! I usually just carry a spare and patch it at home. I don't have the patience to do it right on a ride.

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I always carry a spare tube, a pump, and a multitool. On longer rides I consider carrying more tools, but I give my bike a safety and maintenance check before I start any ride, so I've never needed them. The only unrepairable incident I ever had on a ride was a snapped derailleur hanger, and I was close enough to my car that I just walked out. Worst ride ever. I woke up with poison ivy the next day, too.

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