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Picture it. You’re cruising down the trail, enjoying the cool breeze and the rustling branches overhead, when all of a sudden, your tire pops. With your bike out of commission, you either fix the damage or are in for a long walk back to your car. Here are a few trailside repairs you should know how to do on your bike before getting out there.
Inflate a Flat Tire
Tires can lose air for many reasons, so this is an essential skill. However, if you don’t know how to properly use your hand pump, you can end up breaking off your tire’s valve stem. Now you’re in a lot more trouble than you were before.
Place the wheel against the ground and prop up the pump with a log or rock. This ensures that the valve and the pump head remain aligned. Resting the wheel against your thigh increases the chances of breakage because the pump will wiggle as you try to use it.
Patch Sidewall Tears
With the number of debris that can end up on trails, it’s essential to know how to patch a tire. Any cut in your tire larger than a quarter of an inch will require a patch. Carrying tire patches and sealant in your bag will make these fixes much simpler.
Fix Your Saddle Rail
If your saddle rail snaps, you’ll need to secure it before you can keep riding. Zip ties can usually secure the seat enough for you to finish your ride. You may need to get creative with the placement, but it should work.
Secure a Loose Spoke
If you break a bike spoke, you won’t be able to fix it out on the trail. Broken spokes need to be completely replaced by a bike mechanic. However, you don’t want to leave it flailing around while you finish your ride. Instead, wind the broken spoke around the spoke beside it. If you have duct tape, tape it down to keep it extra secure.
Now you know all the basic trailside repairs you should know how to do on your bike. If you have a handle on these, you’ll be able to handle most circumstances that come your way.