How to Fix a Flat with Bill Nye

Ride bikes enough and you’ll see—flats happen. It comes with the territory; it’s part of the deal. But learn how to fix ‘em, and it won’t be a deal breaker. Here’s how in 10 simple steps!

Bill Nye is the bike science authority

1. First, remove the cap (and the nut, if it’s a Presta valve).

First remove the cap

Presta valve nut removal

2. Always start on the opposite side of the valve; it’s the loosest part and easiest to work with, unless you’re the Incredible Hulk.

start opposite the tire valve

3. Now, grab your tire lever. Hook it under the bead, and push AWAY from your body. It’s all about leverage!

it's all about leverage

4. Go all the way around, unseating the bead from just one side.

unseat one bead of the tire

5. Remove the tube and make sure whatever caused the flat isn’t still there—like glass or thorns. Ouch! You can use your finger or a cloth to make a clean sweep, just be careful.

remove the tube

6. Now, grab a new tube and give it some shape with a couple pumps of air.

give your new tube some shape with a little air

7. Then, put your valve back in through the rim.

insert your valve first

8. Starting at the valve, tuck the tube and tire back in all around the rim. Try using the palm of your hand for leverage--a tool will work, but be careful of giving yourself a new flat!

new tube

get that tire back on

9. Now, give it a good wiggle to make sure everything’s in place.

massage that tire to ensure it's seated

10. Finally, it’s time to pump it up (to the proper PSI of course), replace the nut on a Presta, tighten the valve tip and the cap. And that’s a wrap!

reinflate the tire and get rolling again