Flat Tires & How To Fix Them
If your BOB Stroller, Yak or Ibex Trailer has a flat tire you may need to replace the inner tube. The inner tube is what holds the air and gives shape to the tire when pumped up (see also Anatomy of a Stroller Wheel). Simply replacing the tire will not solve the problem. We recommend using bicycle tire levers to remove and install a tire, not screw drivers or sharp tools.
Most times you can use your tire again, but it is a judgement call on your part. If the tread is worn or there is a large hole or rip in the tire then it may be prudent to replace it. Thoroughly inspect the tire to make sure what ever punctured the inner tube is not still stuck in the tread of your tire. You will need to remove the tire and inner tube from the wheel to properly inspect your tire. Visually inspect the outside of the tread and then gingerly run your fingers along the inside of the tire to feel for anything poking through. If you locate a compromising object (thorn, piece of glass, etc.) you can remove it with tweezers.
You can even patch the punctured inner tube if it's a small hole. Locate the puncture by pumping up the tube and submerging in a sink or large bowl full of water. Where the bubbles originate is the location of the puncture! Keep your eye on that hole, wipe the spot down and draw a circle around the puncture with a marker. Now you can patch it up!
If you keep sustaining flat tires and you have determined that the culprit is not a foreign object poking through the tire or a damaged inner tube valve stem, then it may be something on the wheel or rim. You will want to closely inspect your wheel after the tire and inner tube have been removed for any inconsistencies (burrs, etc).
If you have an aluminum wheel (BOB Ironman Strollers, BOB Revolution AW 12", BOB Revolution CE, or older model BOB Sport Utility D'Lux Strollers, BOB Yak & Ibex Trailers) and the Rubber Rim Strip is missing, exposing the spoke nipples, that could be your problem. It is very important to keep the spoke nipples covered. The Rubber Rim Strip acts as a barrier between the metal spoke nipples and the inner tube. If the spoke nipples are exposed, inner tube punctures are possible. Add or replace the rim strip if damaged or use duct/wheel tape.
NOTE! Rubber Rim Strips are specific to the aluminum wheels. They are not needed if you have any BOB Stroller with the polymer (black plastic) wheels.
Simple Inner Tube Mounting Instructions
- Keep bicycle air pump and tire levers ready. Do NOT use gas station air pumps!
- Pull the tire off the rim using bicycle tire levers.
- Take the old tube out.
- Check the tire for foreign materials and punctures.
- *Inflate the new tube partially (just enough to hold shape).
- If you pulled the tire completely off, mount one side back onto the rim of the wheel.
- Insert the slightly inflated tube on the open side of the tire, starting with the valve at the rim hole.
- Carefully press the other side of the tire onto the rim of the wheel, sealing the inner tube inside.
- VERY IMPORTANT! Check to make sure tube is not pinched between the tire bead and wheel rim.
- Inflate to pressure indicated on sidewall of tire.
Tips for Step 8 & 9: After partially inflating tube, prior to inserting in between the rim of the wheel and tire, rub a little talcum powder on the tube. This may lower the risk of pinch flats during installation. Install one side of the tire at a time and try to do this by hand. Tools should be used only if necessary. Always make sure no part of the tube is visible or exposed once the tire is seated back onto the rim before inflating.
SPECIAL NOTE ON 12" WHEEL/TIRE/TUBE INSTALLATION!
The 12" tire can be very tight when installing on the associated wheel and can pose a significant challenge to the inexperienced. If you do not feel comfortable installing a 12" tire and inner tube onto these smaller wheels, we strongly recommend taking the parts into your local bike shop mechanic to have it done. Otherwise, you run the risk of "pinch flatting" the inner tube if you are not diligent in the installation process.
Tubes sustaining pinch flats due to improper installation can not be returned or warranted.
Caution! To avoid damage to tire or tube, and to prevent injury do not use screwdrivers or other sharp tools to mount tires and tubes. Never use high volume gas station pumps to fill low volume stroller tires.