The world has changed quite dramatically with COVID-19 and it's had a major impact on the cycling industry. In most cases in the past, getting a flat fix done was an in-and-out kind of thing - at the very worst, it took our mechanics a one-day turn-around. However, with cycling now becoming the top method of getting around Toronto, bike shops are overwhelmed with bicycle service requests and require appointment bookings, sometimes weeks in advance (even for flat fixes).
With this maintenance guide, we hope to help those that are mechanically confident to replace a tube on their Fahrrad bike that they purchased at Curbside Cycle! Many of the steps are very critical to safety, especially when reinstalling everything. Do not force anything into place - if something isn’t working properly, you must take your bicycle to a bike shop to be inspected by a mechanic.
This blog we'll focus on the front wheel, which takes less know-how than the rear as we don't have to deal with the gears!
Fahrrad bikes come stock with wheels that require a 15mm wrench to remove. You'll also need allen key set that includes a 2mm allen key - you can easily find these at your local hardware store. You will also need a bicycle air pump
and tire levers
, both found at your local bike shop!
If You're Removing the front wheel
It is extremely important that you unplug the dynamo cable from the hub. Neglecting to do so can damage your lighting system. Pull by the plug and not the cable.
To remove or install the wheel, you will need to have the V-Brake disengaged. Squeeze the brake levers towards each other and push the metal noodle out of its cradle.
Place Bicycle Upside Down
If you do not have a bicycle repair stand at home, placing your bike upside down will be the best method to do any at home service on your bike.
No tools required, the Hebie Chainglider clips and unclips when you need to install or remove!
Follow these steps and GIF closely. Have the bike in the 1st gear. Insert the 2mm allen key into the pulley hole. Gently push forward and the cable will show slack. Grab onto the cable and pull it out of the guide and out of the cable "hook".
Use your 15mm wrench to loosen the axle nuts. If your tire isn't already flat, let all air out of it now. Double check that the V-Brake and Shifter Cable are completely disengaged and remove the wheel!
Remove One Side Of Tire
For this demonstration, we have the wheel on the bike. Do not do this at home.
Instead, put the wheel onto a tabletop or lying down on your lap. Insert the 1st tire lever between the tire and the rim alongside the air valve. You can start prying and guiding the tire lever around the tire. If the tire is too tight, try pushing the tire in on both sides all around the wheel to loosen it from the rim. You can also use up to 3 levers to make the job easier! Once you have pried one side of the tire off of the rim, you can remove the tube and inspect it to figure out what caused the flat.
Types of Flats: Outer Puncture
Most common flat, usually caused by glass, thorns, nails or other sharp road debris. Remove the object from your tire before re-installing a new tube to prevent an immediate second flat.
Types of Flats: Pinch Flat
Commonly happens if your tire is not at the proper tire pressure or if you hit a curb or pothole with extreme force.
Types of Flats: Inner Puncture
Caused by a protruding spoke, or the rim tape needs replacing due to old age. We recommend going to your local bike shop for them to install new rim tape before putting in a new tube to avoid a second flat.
Using just your hands, get the tire back onto the rim! Using tools could result in puncturing the tube. Work your way from the valve to the other side. When it gets tighter to put on, massage the tire from side to side and all around.
Once you have the tire back on the rim, slowly inflate the tire, inspecting the bead (tire edge) to ensure there's no bulging and that the tire is seating properly on the rim. There is usually a line (either printed or raised) just above the rim that will indicate if the tire is seated. If it seats properly, you can bring the tire to the recommended pressure printed on the side of the tire. We generally recommend 60-65 PSI for urban city use on Fahrrad bikes.
You do not have to worry about this for the front wheel! Tighten down your wheel securely, ensuring the chain is properly tensioned and reinstall the gear shift cable. You can follow the steps above in reverse if you need a reminder! Re-engage the v-brake, spin the wheel and test everything out - if everything's kosher, you can turn your bike over and go for a ride!