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As more and more people move to urban centres and rely heavily on technology and service from others, many people are forgetting the basic skills they would have used frquently if they lived in the country. Tasks like include changing the oil, re-filling the anti-freeeze and yes, even using a car jack to change a flat tire. Please remember not to touch the tail pipe until it has cooled or let out the air in the bag inside your car, as the last time I did that I woke up in a hospital with partial brain damage from carbon monoxide. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising.
Being at least somewhat conversant in the arcane art of tire wrangling has several advantages. In the second place, having the ability to replace your own tires on your own terms can save you some dough, some time, and more importantly, ensure that the job is done to your standards.
While you can certainly change the tire on the ground (you may have to if you get a flat on the road), you'll find the job goes a whole lot easier if you work standing up.
If you're fastidious, you'll want to protect your wheels with rim guards, which are plastic sleeves that snap over the edge of the rim to fend off gouges. The second tool is something called a "bead buddy." These are small clamping devices that act like a third hand to prevent the bead you've just levered in place from climbing back over the rim during installation.
Tire-Changing By The Numbers1 With the tire on the stand, remove the valve core-even if the tire appears to be flat. 4 Install the rim protectors on the valve stem side of the rim and then slip your tire irons, hooked end up, under the bead next to the valve stem. 7 If you're lucky and strong, you can often pull the second bead over the rim without using irons. 8 There should be a thin rubber band under the tube to prevent the ends of the spokes from chaffing through. 10 I don't like rim bands because they're flimsy and shift around when you're installing the tube. 11 Check the tire for a directional arrow and orient the tire to the rim with rotation in the proper direction. 13 Lube the second bead and work it down over the rim, pushing as much of the tire onto the rim by hand as possible. Your first hurdle is going to be removing the bike from the wheel-or is it the other way around?
You'll also need some way of supporting the bike upright off the ground, which generally means a bike lift or at least a sturdy stand and a couple of healthy buddies to help hoist your bike. Unless you're riding a bike equipped with a centerstand, getting a wheel off on the side of the road is going to be problematic.
While floating brake rotors are more commonly found on sportbikes, they're starting to become more popular on cruisers too. The other day my mom had a flat tire and it made me think about my first flat tire experience. Nowadays, many drivers have roadside assistance services that will come fix your flats, but it’s always smart to know how to change a flat yourself. 1) Loosen each lug nut by spinning them counter clock wise just enough to get them to feel loose. 2) Place the jack in the safest place you can, which is usually a flat strong surface under the car close to the wheel. 3) Stand up and give the car a good shove to make sure it’s stable and safe on the jack. 7) Thread the lug nuts until they are snug against the rim and then tighten down in a cross pattern. 9) Finish tightening the tire down nice and tight using a good amount of body weight to ensure it stays on. If you didn't have the Titan Exhaust Air Jack, chances are, you wasted money on a service to aid you or risked your life by flagging down a stranger. The first two still require lessons or a look at a manual, but the third could be done by anyone.

First, plenty of cruisers still use traditional spoke rims and tube tires to support themselves.
Although a tubeless tire can be broken down and hand-mounted, it generally takes more effort than it's worth. You'll need a good set of tire irons, or spoons, which are nothing more than flat hunks of steel dressed and shaped to make removing the tire from the rim as painless as possible. I use an old 20-gallon grease drum as my tire stand, although a five-gallon pail or even a milk crate works well if set on a low bench.
Auto stores sell premixed tire lubricants-Rim Ease, Tire Slick and Slyde are three that come to mind. Mine came from Motion Pro, but if you're frugal you can cut strips of material from an old plastic bottle, slice a piece of hose lengthwise or snatch a set of door-edge guards off your dad's old Buick for homemade versions. The first is something called a "bead breaker," which as its name implies is a tool used to force cantankerous beads off their seats. Wet down the bead and rim with lubricant-the object is to make the bead slip over the rim as easily as possible. It's easy to snag a knuckle on a brake rotor or sprocket, so be careful if they're still attached to the wheel. However, you should inspect the inside of the tire for damage or foreign objects, especially if you didn't find anything external-like a spike-that may have caused the flat.
Inflate the new tube just enough to take shape, which will help prevent it from being pinched by the tire iron, and place it inside the tire with the stem next to the tire's balance mark. This normally doesn't take much effort, but if you need to, position the hooked end of the iron under the rim and lever the tire into place.
If you're installing a new tire you may hear a "pop" as pressure forces the bead into place. Give the tire and brake rotor the once-over, just in case you got sloppy with your lube, and remember that under some conditions, tire lubricant, especially silicone and WD-40, may cause the tire to slip on the rim, so take it easy for a few miles until the stuff has evaporated. With help, it may be possible to rock the bike up on the kickstand and slide a block of wood under the frame or even hoist the thing onto a stump (don't laugh- I once saw four guys lift an Electra Glide onto a cement "mafia block" so they could pull the rear wheel). Several technologically advanced cruisers use them, and they're a very popular aftermarket conversion.
But lately I've seen a few-not many, but enough to catch my attention-that have stopped floating. You’re driving along with your mind on the important meeting agenda, and suddenly your car pulls to one side and you hear that dreaded flapping sound of a flat tire. Because it’s a fairly common occurrence, car manufacturers have tried to make the tire change process one that virtually anyone can do.
If you’re on the freeway, getting off is the safest bet, even if you have to drive on a blown tire. Get the jack, wrench, and spare tire from the trunk of the car and bring them over to the tire that is flat.
Make sure to place the lug nuts in a pile that won’t get scattered, and pull the tire straight toward yourself to remove it from the wheel base. Line up the lug nut posts with the holes in the spare, and push the spare all the way onto the wheel base until it can’t go any farther. Begin jacking up the car until the tire clears the ground, and you have some extra space for the tire that’s not flat. If it gets stuck, give it a good kick with the back of your heel until it does start to pop, then pull it off.
Have it checked by a professional just to be safe and remember that a spare is only good a short time. You’re driving on the interstate, concerned with what you might have for lunch that day, or how much homework your teacher might assign, when BAM! This in itself isn't a bad thing, but it does complicate matters if you're unfortunate enough to puncture a tube, especially out in the boondocks. Since most punctured tubeless tires can be temporarily repaired with the tire on the rim, there's no real reason to struggle with one on the side of the road.

Despite what your buddy says, screwdrivers and crowbars are not tire irons, and if you try to change a tire with them you'll most likely ruin the rim, the tube and the tire in short order. If not, you can order a valve-core removal tool through any motorcycle shop or trot down to the local auto-supply store and plunk down three bucks for one. Cover the edges with something soft like an old blanket or a piece of hose to protect the spokes and rim and to prevent the thing from sliding around while you work. These retail for less than $75 and are worth every penny when you're dealing with one of those ornery SOBs that just won't let go. If you're going to reuse the tire, mark it at the valve stem so it can be replaced correctly. If you need help, a C-clamp or welding clamp works well, as does a bench vise if it's large enough.
Be careful; I've seen guys get nasty cuts when they brushed their hands over a piece of glass that had made its way through the tire. Then push the tube stem through the hole and run down the locknut a few threads (so the stem doesn't slip back through its hole). Old tires may not seat as forcefully, so don't be alarmed if yours gives you the silent treatment.
If you've installed a new tire, now's the time to have it balanced (a topic we'll be covering in a future issue). It may also be possible to borrow a small jack, which you could use in conjunction with the kickstand to hoist the bike high enough to remove the wheel. What happens is that the little buttons that hold the rotor to the hub become rusty and crusty, more so on bikes that have seen a lot of rough weather and have high miles on them.
Once the jack is securely in the correct spot, jack up the car until the tire is about six inches off the ground. Rather than tightening them one by one in order, start with one lug nut, tighten it about 50%, move to the opposite nut (across the circle) and tighten that one about the same amount. But in my experience the short irons are less cumbersome and-unless you're working on earthmover-size tires-provide all the leverage you'll need. Be sure to get the screwdriver style; the traditional automotive-style T-handle versions get hung up on the spokes. Either way, do give some forethought to what you'd do if a tire went flat out in the boonies.
If the lug nuts are really tight, try placing the wrench on the nut and standing on the wrench arm to use your full weight on it. Keep tightening opposite lug nuts gradually in turn until each lug nut is as tight as it can be.
Pop your trunk and pull up the bottom rug; you should see either a spare tire or a board that the tire is under along with a jack and a lug wrench.
Most shops, especially those that cater to off-roaders, should have tire irons in stock; don't forget you'll need two-one for each hand.
Some mechanics find it easier to install the tube after the first bead of the tire is in place. Some bead indicators are just a raised rubber strip, while others look like hash marks scribed into the tire. If you find just the tire, then look behind any panels that look like they move because sometimes they’re on the side tucked away. At the very least that should get you to the nearest gas station, where you can make arrangements for a proper repair. The first sign may be a brake lever that has too much travel because the high side of the rotor knocks the pad too far back into the caliper, or it may pick up a pulse as the rotor wobbles back and forth.
If you can’t find it, then any spot that is strong and stable, close to but not in the way of the tire, should do.

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