Last week I took out the mountain bike to hit some local trails. A half mile into the ride, before even making it to any real trail, my rear tire went flat.
This was my first flat since I was probably 11 years old. Granted, until this year, I haven’t really ridden a bike in like 15 years, but what came next was more challenging than I expected.
First, I tried to locate the leak. I don’t know what good that was going to do. I didn’t have a spare tube, or a patch kit, or any hope of doing anything about it. So I walked the bike back home. And I realized it’s somewhat embarrassing to walk a bike. From afar people can’t see the flat and so it just seems like you don’t know how to ride it!
After getting back to my place, I removed the rear tire from the frame and started the struggle of pulling the rubber off the rim. I could not believe how hard this was! The concept or existence of tire levers was completely unknown to me.
My Explore Inspired compadre, Ryan Sarka, has been a competitive bike racer for a very long time, has cycled the length of the United States, and is my go-to guy for all things bike related.
As you can see, after his text I went out and got a bike lever. The Crankbrothers Speedier Lever to be specific, and damn does that thing work magic! The time I spent cursing out my rim as I struggled to pull the tire rubber up and over it can be chalked up to a character building exercise, hopefully never to be repeated again, now that the Speedier Lever is in my life.
Really, look how incredibly simple this is…
So with the Crankbrothers Speedier Lever, I was able to quickly and easily reinstall a new tube, and get back on the trail. Well, almost.
The flat tire was fixed, but then came the even more frustrating part. In my haste to take the tire off and start the tube changing process, I wasn’t even thinking about taking note of how the chain and rear cog were assembled, nor did I take into account down-shifting at all, which you need to do to get the chain back on in the right spot. Way to go Ronzio!
Yes, I’m a beginner. And yes, I felt like an idiot the entire time I struggled to change a flat or reassemble the chain and cog, but it’s all about learning and progressing right? In fact, it was just about 3 months ago that I got on this bike for the first time! I eventually got the damn chain back on the cog… eventually.
Moral of the story? I can’t recommend this little genius piece of hardware more. Tire levers save lives. Or at least your sanity.