Puncture Repair 101
If you ride enough, at some point you have to deal with these, otherwise, you get left stranded in the middle of nowhere and we don’t want that!
Q: What is the most common cause of a puncture?
A: Low tyre pressure leading to a pinch flat
Q: What are 4 ways to easily avoid a puncture?
A: Make sure your tyres are properly inflated to avoid pinch flats, purchase a floor pump with a built-in pressure gauge for your home, this encourages you to keep your tyres pumped and at the right inflation, when riding diligently look ahead to see small sparkly things in the bike lane, these could be glass or metal to avoid, look for abrupt edges or potholes, high impact easily causes tube pinch punctures.
Q: What is a pinch flat?
A: When the tube gets compressed hard and pinches on the metal rim, causing two holes either side of the tube.
Q: What things should I carry with me if I want to fix a flat while out on my bike?
A: A spare tube, a compact hand pump, tyre levers and here for essential kit
Q: Should I flip my bike upside down to fix a flat
A: Only if you must, for higher style points and less damage to your bars and saddle, lay your bike gently on the non-drive side. Much more pro.
Q: Air pump or co2
A: CO2 is $4 a shot, hit or miss and not very eco, If you are in a race CO2, otherwise air pump.
Q: Should I use pre-glued patches, a tube or regular patches?
A: When on the road it’s quickest to replace a tube, the next best is pre-glued patches. Save the regular patches for home when you have time to spend doing a good clean job to reuse tubes in the future.
Use the “leave tube in” technique to find the cause of the puncture. There is nothing worse than replacing a tube only for it to go flat 5mins later because you did not remove all of the puncture debris.(see below)
Carry a spare tube for speed. Repair and re-use tubes when at home.
If you are riding gravel or in rugged conditions take a tyre boot in case your tyre wall rips. Then you can fix and ride out.
Tighten your skewers properly when the bike is upright, the wheel will center better.
It’s worth paying the little extra for the good stuff, the cheap stuff doesn’t work and will only frustrate the crap out of you.
Leave Tube In Method:
- Open up the tyre all the way around
- leave the valve stem in the wheel,
- pull the tube around and out, sitting on top of the wheel.
- Inflate the tube a little , listen and feel for where the puncture is,
- align the puncture with the same area of tyre, then check that area of tyre really well for class, thorns, nails, small bits of wire strand.
- Remove as needed. Pull
- Pull tube out, replace with fresh tube.