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To compact a non-folding bicycle tire for storage...

2006, John S. Allen
photos 2006, Jacob Allen

Touring bicyclists are often seen with a spare tire strapped clumsily across the bicycle's rear rack in two loops, in the shape of a figure 8. But... a tire will roll up much more easily and compactly into a compact donut shape of three smaller loops that lie smoothly on top of each other -- because rolling the tire into three loops doesn't twist it. Why bother with a special folding tire, then? Roll up a tire as shown below.

First, hold the tire in front of your chest, with your hands opposite each other. Move both hands to the middle, making the tire into an hourglass shape. DSCF0264 Tire unrolledsm1.jpg (10203 bytes)
Then switch each hand to the far side of the tire and pull the two sides across each other. The resulting three small loops of the tire will start to fold on top of each other. DSCF0265 Tire rollingsm1.jpg (11388 bytes)
Push the top loop down and the bottom loop up, using your chin and knee as necessary. Grip the three loops of the tire like a steering wheel and turn it around and around to equalize the loops. When done with this, tie the loops together with tape, twine or a couple of old toe straps opposite each other so the tire can't spring open. DSCF0266Tire rolledsm1.jpg (11669 bytes)

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