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Bike tire replacement = ugh.

When I came home for Easter, I intended to take my lovely old green Schwinn bike back with me. Then, my sister informed me that one of my inner tubes had a pretty good leak in it. So I decided to replace the inner tube, like I did to the other wheel last year, and go on with my life. I've done that before and I was confident I could do it again.

This morning, upon pulling out my bike and taking off the back wheel (with the dysfunctional inner tube), I realized that the tires were old. So old and decrepit that there were cracks all over and it had no tread left where the wheel touches the ground. Therefore, I got my mom to go to Wal-Mart with me and get me some new tires too. I was bound and determined to fix my bike, even though I'd never replaced a tire before. I figured, it can't be much harder than replacing an inner tube, and that was pretty easy.

But then came a difficult, frustrating, and tear-inducing part. The tire would not go on the rim. I tried for over an hour, and slightly punctured the new inner tube in the process. I finally came in and told Mom what was going on and begged her to call somebody who knew what they were doing.

My brother and I ended up driving across town, picking up some tube patching on the way (and a new inner tube just in case), to the house of an older gentleman from church who said he'd help me. And he did get the first side of the tire onto the rim, and helped me patch up the new-but-punctured inner tube. Then we attempted to complete the task, prying the other side of the tire onto the rim. This was difficult, again. The older gentleman told me he thought the tire was actually too small for the rim (despite its being the exact measurements, per printed box and lettering on the side of the tire, as the old tire which had fit perfectly--I made triply sure). But we did get it on.

And then we found more punctures in the inner tube. *sigh.* On to the other new inner tube, the one without the irritating punctures.

So we got the new-and-not-punctured inner tube into the tire again, and pried the tire onto the rim again--after making a side trip to Big Lots (like a discount department store) to see if they sold tires; we hoped to find a different brand and try it on for size. Anyways, we got the tire & inner tube on, and pumped it up... and it held the air. Success!!!

I remounted the back wheel while my brother and the older gentleman replaced the tire on the front wheel--the inner tube there, you remember, had been replaced last year and was still good--and soon enough they finished with that wheel and I remounted it too. I took my bike for a spin to make doubly sure of the inner tubes (and to see if I'd reconnected the gear line right), and all seemed well.

But of course, as my brother and I arrived home from the other side of town, it started raining. So I must postpone my "real" bike ride yet again.

Remind me not to get Bell brand tires for my Schwinn brand bike. Even if they do say 26" by 1 3/8".


da_baum said…
Don't get Bell brand tires for your Schwinn brand bike. Even if they do say 26" by 1-3/8"
RS said…
Well the reminder could have been postponed a little. :P
da_baum said…
Oh. Sorry...

Don't get Bell brand tires for your Schwinn brand bike. Even if they do say 26" by 1-3/8". :)
Carol said…
Just happened on your blog and enjoyed reading the saga of the bike tires! :-)
RS said…
John: haha. right.

Carol: glad you liked it! The sequel is that I had gear problems right after that (which, of course, I didn't discover until trying to ride it after fixing the tire), so it was in the shop for a week getting that fixed. But now it's completely road-worthy. :)
Carol said…
Well,I'm STILL impressed that you worked on the bike! And, hey, those gears would've probably gone bad, anyhow! :-)

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