How to Fix a Flat Tire on a Kid’s Bike

Bike riding is one of the best childhood pastimes and a great way to make sure your child is getting exercise. Don’t let a flat bike tire stop the fun! Sure, you can take the bike to a shop and have someone change the tire for you, but if you know how to fix a flat tire on a kid’s bike yourself, you’ll save money in the long run.

When you notice that you need to change your child’s bike tire, make sure that you replace it with the proper tire. If your child has a normal street bicycle, choose a tire desired for that but if your child rides a BMX bike or a mountain bike, you’ll have to make sure you choose the appropriate tires for that.

Remember to make sure that you get the right size tire (check the damaged tire as it’ll say the size on it) with the right pressure level and traction. Once you get your replacement tire, you can get ready to change the tire.

Things You’ll Need

As with any project, start by gathering your necessary materials so you have everything nearby. This will speed up the process so you’re not scrambling to find your tools while you’re trying to complete your ] project.

For this, you’ll need the following:

  • A spare tire
  • A new inner tube
  • A bicycle pump or air compressor
  • A wrench
  • Tire levers

While most of these materials are well-known, but some of you might not be familiar with these parts, especially the inner tube and tire levers.

Tire levers are simple plastic tools that you’ll use to remove the tire from its frame easily. These are inserted between the tire and the wheel rim to remove the tire easily and quickly. You might need more than one of these for one tire change so have a few on hand.

Inner tubes are the air-cushioned piece that is inflated under the rubber tire. This is what provides the comfort and stability of the bike. This inner tube can be inflated and deflated with the use of the attached valve.

Once you have all of your materials on hand, you can start to replace the flat tire.

Step-by-Step Instructions

These are the typical steps to follow when learning how to fix a flat tire on a kid’s bike. Be sure to follow them carefully and take your time until you get more comfortable with the process. Before you know it this will be second nature to you. The steps have been broken down here so you can follow them better.

Step 1

Flip the bike over so the wheels are in the air. Use your wrench to remove the tire in question by turning and removing the bolts that attach the wheel to the bike frame.

Step 2

If the tire isn’t already completely flat, deflate the tire using the tire valve. This will remove all of the remaining air from the tire so that you can replace it.

Step 3

Take one of your tire levers and insert the round end of it under the tire (gently) so it’s between the wheel rim and the tire. Use a prying motion, lift the tire away from the rim and hook the other end of the tire lever to one of the bike spokes to hold it in place. If the tire is easy to manage you may be able to take the tire off at this point.

However, if it’s more difficult, you may need to take another tire lever and repeat the process further down around the tire until you can easily remove the rubber. Now, you can use a flathead screwdriver if necessary but you have to be careful not to make and punctures in the inner tube or the tire.

Step 4

Next, take the inner tube out of the wheel and remove all of the tire levers that are attached. If you think the inner tube isn’t damaged and just needs air, examine it to make sure. The best way to check for leaks/holes is to fill up the inner tube and submerge it in water. If you see air bubbles coming out of the tube you know there are leaks and the tube should be replaced.

Step 5

Look at the wheel rim and find the two wires that are situated along the two sides of the wheel rim (they’re called clinchers). To install the new rubber tire, situate the rubber between the clinchers and the
rim.

Step 6

Grab your new inner tube and place it inside the space of the new tire. Make sure you align the valve with the appropriate hole in the wheel. Thread it through so it fits well. This should allow the tire to rest on the wheel partly.

Step 7

Using your thumbs, push the outer edges of the tire under the clinchers. Make sure the tube is properly situated and doesn’t get pinched or punctured as you go. Once you begin to feel this getting harder to do by hand, pick up your tire lever again and insert it under the loose side of the tire.

Pull it to stretch the tire passed the wheel rim and use your thumbs to push the stretched tire rubber into the proper place. Repeat the process on the other side of the tire.

Step 8

You can now use your bicycle pump or an air compressor to fill the tire with air. Once filled, put the wheel back on your child’s bike using the bolts and your wrench again. Make sure the wheel is secure and flip it back over so the bike is standing on its wheels.

You now know everything you need to know about how to fix a flat tire on a kid’s bike. The more you do this, the more comfortable you’ll get with the process. Remember, take your time and follow each step thoroughly.

Jack C. Bennett
 

Jack Bennett is the founder and editor of Kidsonbikes.co.uk. In personal life he is a proud father of twins. He believes it is more important than ever before to encourage children to experience the joy of bike riding. Kids on bikes make as much sense as the sunshine in our world.

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