Bike Series: Recycle

The bike series is a short, informative, mini-instruction manual for common bike problems.

From learning how to put the chain back into its place, how to properly pump up and maintain tires, and to fixing simple malfunctions – this will be a handy guide for the rainy days when nobody is around to help you.

Quick-help 3:

How to fix a punctured inner tube

When you take your bike to an overpriced repair shop in the Hague, handymen are apt to just rip out your inner tube and throw it straight into the bin. But it should not be this way. Repairing a puncture is quick, and easy and takes only a cheap kit.

These are the steps to fixing a punctured air chamber.

  1. Find the hole

To find the hole there is a simple solution. By submerging an inflated inner tube into some water you will see the bubbles rising from just the punctured part. You only have to remember where it is when you take it out of the water!

2. Prep the rubber’s surface

The repair kit contains a metallic piece with a grater-like side. Without much pressure, grate the rubber around the hole, just like you would with some tasty Parmigiano. This will help the glue stick better to the rubbery surface.

3. Select the fixing patch

Select the right sized patch. It should cover the hole on all sides (preferably it will be at the centre), but the patch should not have a lot of excess material.

4. Apply glue and patch

Apply some glue to the inner tube and to the patch itself. The peel off side should look outwards when pushing it onto the tube. By applying some pressure, a nice bond is achieved and you can rest assured that air is going to stay where it should. According to most instructions, the paper film should be taken off, but do not worry if it is stuck. Think of it as an extra protecting layer.

By recycling inner tubes you can save yourself from major expenses. Rather than paying 8 Euros every time, fix it yourself and put it in your backpack, so that when the problem comes, you will have your ‘DIY’ solution at hand.

This was the third mini-instruction for the bike series.

Hopefully you will not need this knowledge soon.

by Matteo

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Cover Image from Unsplash

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