Why wait until after your tri to learn? You already said that you "FEAR" a flat on the bike, why not know how to deal with it before your race? That makes no sense to me. On your easy or off days, allocate an hour and get practising. Once you at least know how to change a tire then that fear is going to be GONE.
And if you do it now, if you're not sure you can at least take it into the LBS to see if you did it right. Although you'll know if you did it wrong as you'll puncture the tube.
Here's how I do it:
1) Deflate tire and remove wheel from bike. Open brakes and QR and drop the wheel out. If it's rear wheel, shift chain onto smallest cog before dropping wheel out.
2) Starting opposite the valve stem, I insert a tire lever (plastic, DEFINITELY not metal) into one side of the tire. Hook it under one edge of the tire - this is called a "bead". Lift off the bead that's closest to you, and hook the lever onto one of the spokes.
3) Move along a couple of spokes and repeat step #2. Generally this should result in the entire bead coming unseated. Run the tire lever all the way around the tire to get it off.
4) Remove the nut on the valve stem (if it's there) and push the valve stem towards the outside of the wheel. This should give you enough innertube to take off.
5) Remove the other bead of the tire. You should now be left with a tire, a tube and a wheel.
6) Take the tire and put one bead back on. Do this all the way round. Make sure the label of the tire lines up with the hole where the valve stem goes.
7) Inflate the tube slightly so that it takes shape. Then, insert the valve stem into the hole, and stuff the tube into the tire.
8) Then, starting OPPOSITE the valve stem, put in the second bead. Go a third of the way round one way, then do the other side. You should be able to get about 3/4 of the tire on, no worries.
9) Deflate the tube, and with your hands push the back side of the tire towards the middle while pushing the front of the tire on at the same time. If everything goes well then the remainder of the bead should pop on. This it the hardest step of all. If it doesn't go on by hand you can use a tire lever - hook the lever underneath the rim and slide the tire on. BY HAND is the best method.
10) Push the valve stem in all the way a couple of times. This helps free the tube around the stem if it's caught on the bead.
11) Go all the way round the tire, making sure the innertube is not sticking out anywhere. If it is, you should be able to wiggle it back in. If it's difficult, add a touch of air to the tube.
12) Pump up tire to half pressure and check that it's seated properly. There should be no bulges or anything, anywhere.
13) Stick wheel back onto bike, making sure it's straight and level. If it's rear wheel, make sure your chain is on the bottom cog otherwise your shifting gets messed up.
14) Pump up tire to full pressure and you're done!
Seriously, practise, practise, practise. There is no reason to be scared about changing a tire, but if there's one thing that's guaranteed, you WILL flat at some point, so why not learn now? I took 30 minutes per tire when I first started, now I'm down to 5-10 minutes.
Vittoria PitStop is what you want for tubbies. The guys I know who regularly ride tubbies have a can of that and a spare tire to deal with flats. If you have to change the tire then you can just roll on a new tubbie, just don't take corners too fast! At least that's what I've heard - I ride clinchers, me.
In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings
If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
Specificity, specificity, specificity.
The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis
| current weight: 190.0