As of today I have changed a full set of tires twice, taken my rear tire off 10 times and replaced my tubes 4 times.  Shit happens friends.  When you inevitably get a flat, being prepared will make or break your day.  It also helps to have a good crew of riders who have your back and also know how to change a tire (makes it so much faster).

The below photo was taken while repairing a flat after picking up a nail in my rear tire. I lost air pressure and the bead almost instantly after hitting the nail at 55mph.  The bike wrenched to the left while I counter steered to maintain balance as I aimed for the highway shoulder.  I battled the lack of control by giving into it and riding out the fishtailing rear end. Experience and a bit of luck get all the credit for getting me to the side of the road.  The right tools, preparation and good riding buddies got me going again.

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To prepare for a flat all I did was change my tires twice over the course of a couple weekends. It will be very apparent after the first time what you do and don’t need for your tire change kit.  Also your wallet will thank you for it. A tow in a remote area and labor to fix a tire is no joke.  In fact in some areas it may not be possible (I had zero cell service when I got my last flat…).  For under $100 you can buy the essentials and some beer to change your tires which is roughly the cost at a shop.  At worst it is a break even adventure that will pay dividends for you and your riding buddies.  

 

Tire and Tube change Essentials:

BEER: lots of it

Tire Irons

Valve stem tool (if you have a tube)

Air Pump (Slime has a decent one)

Lube (lots of lube): 50/50 water and soapy mixture (I use simple green, windex or No-Mar)

Lube container: I used an old travel spray container for hair spray

Rim Protectors: I use cut outs from a plastic container (Plastic Milk containers make great protectors)

Lashing Straps:  4 work best

Pick your wrench

Nice to have but not critical:

Model Specific Tool Kit

Large Towel: Any old shower or beach towel (put this down on the ground to ensure any contact with your rim is soft)

Tire supports: Blocks of wood to keep the brake disc/sprocket off the ground

Larg Spray Bottle