Some of the following tips were gleaned from various sources, while some are of my own invention.
TIRE AND TUBE TIPS
- Check the tire prior to tube installation.
If you are installing a tube after having a flat tire you must inspect the tire outside and in for an offending object such as a thorn. Look for anything strange on the outside of the tire and remove all pebbles etc. Then look inside and very carefully feel for anything that might have caused the flat.
- Installing inner tubes.
I recommend using talcum powder when installing inner tubes. It helps to prevent the dreaded leaning valve stem problem and allows the tube to distribute itself evenly without wrinkles in the inflated tire. A messy job can be simplified if you put some talcum powder in a large zip top bag, add the deflated tube and shake. Save the bag for another day. Don't forget to re-inflate the tube just enough to give it form before installing it.
- Seating tires on the rim.
I use the following method to seat a tire on the rim. I am not suggesting you use it, and if you do, I take no responsibility for any mishaps that may occur. While I have never had a mishap, the possibility does exist, particularly with high pressure tires.
But first: If you are dealing with a Schwinn bike you need to determine if the rims are American made tubular type. If they are marked "Schwinn", you must use a tire specifically made for Schwinn tubular rims. If they are marked otherwise e.g., "Schwinn Approved", you can use a non Schwinn tire. Even though the tire size marked on the sidewall, there is a difference in the bead diameter of Schwinn and non-Schwinn tires.
It is often difficult to get a tire to seat properly on the rim all the way around. The first thing I do is to center the stem so that it is perpendicular to the rim. Then I push the stem into the tire so that the tire bead seats properly. I then determine the proper tire pressure shown on the wall of the tire. With my safety glasses on, I pressurize the tire to the recommended pressure and check to see if it is seated properly. There is usually a raised line on the tire at rim level that can be used for this purpose. If the tire didn't seat, I over pressurize the tire 10-15 PSI. If the tire still doesn't seat, I deflate it completely and go get some of my wife's liquid dish soap, a glass of water, and a small brush.
I Put a few squirts of soap in the water, mix and brush the soapy water on the bead of the tire all the way around on both sides. I Use the mixture sparingly since I don't want too much water to get inside the tire. Now I re-pressurize the tire. If the tire pops out to the rim at the recommended pressure I'm through. If the tire did not seat, I add another 10 to fifteen PSI. If it still doesn't pop out I try to work it out with my thumbs by pushing the tire wall up from the rim in the low area. The last thing I do is to make sure the stem is perpendicular to the rim and pulled all the way out of the tire. These methods usually work but occasionally I have had a tire that refused to seat.
- The really stubborn case.
Here's where There is some risk of a blowout especially if the tire is old although it has not happened to me. If the tire is new and the recommended pressure is say 50 to 80 PSI, it should be able to go to 70 or 100 PSI respectively without mishap. This should do it. If not, I deflate again and use more soap in the water. Higher pressure 700 mm tires usually seat at recommended pressures. I have never had a tire I couldn't seat but once in a while I have the opposite situation where the tire is loose on the rim before inflation. In this situation I use a hand pump and check while inflating to make sure the bead does not rise above the rim on one side and allow the tube to bubble out of the tire. The first time this happened to me the loud report brought neighbors out of their houses.
- What to do if the stem is not straight.
If after all this the stem is still not straight in the rim, do the following. With the wheel installed in the frame or forks, deflate the tire completely. Then break the beads away from the tire and reach for a long screwdriver or other long object. Place the screwdriver through the spokes and against the fork blades or frame stays. Grasping the tire on opposited sides of the rim, rotate the tire until the stem is straight. Re-inflate and hope that the tire seats. If it doesn't seat, repeat instruction number 3.
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Last revised 02/16/00
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