Home Chat General Chat

Repairing a puncture

Just a quick question - does everyone know how to repair a puncture? Is this something I should learn as would be gutted to have to pull out of a tri due to a flat.

What bits will I need to attach to my bike?


  • Options
    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262

    But a replacement tube (if you have inner tubes), or a replacement tyre is what you do in practice.

    It's far easier to mend the puncture from the comfort of your own arm chair. On a long ride I carry two tubes. I have a puncture repair kit solely as a last resort which I never intend to use when out on a ride.


    A pump

    A Patch

    A Cement

    Tyre levers

    Chalk possibly.

    A washing up bowl. Water. A towel.

    possibly some detergent to make it easier to see bubbles, but I never bother.

    Tip: Only ever use tyre levers to get the tyre off - never to put it back on - or you will most likely cause another puncture. Yes, you need quite strong fingers for this.

    Don't take the tyre off completely - just one edge, so that you can get the tube out.

    Put some air in the punctured tube.

    Stick it into the bowl of water.

    Look for the bubbles.

    Carefully marking the spot, take it out and dry it.

    Stuck the patch on with the cement. Wait a bit for it to dry.

    Tip: Carefully feel both _inside_ and out of the tyre for the thing that might have caused a puncture. You will cry like a baby if you get another one as soon as you re-inflate the tyre. You bare fingers are best for this - it may hurt if it is a piece of glass.

    Feed the tube back in. Make sure it is not trapped. Put a little bit of air into it so it holds its shape. This makes it easier to avoid trapping it.

    Start from the side opposite the valve, and with a kind of massaging technique, work the tyre back onto the rim, being careful not to trap the tube.

    It will take a herculean effort to get the last bit of tyre back on if using bare hands and you've not done it before. You may wimp out and use a tyre lever for this last bit.. But only if you really must.

    One last check to make sure that the tube isn't pinched, and the tyre is properly seated.

    Then pump it back up to full pressure.

    As you can see, this is not something you want to do at the roadside in a force ten gale in the middle of nowhere (which is invariably when punctures happen - not on nice calm sunny days outside a pub/teashop). It's bad enough putting the new tube in.

    I stress: You do not mend punctures at the roadside - you carry spare tube(s).

  • Options
    MGMG Posts: 470
    You dont HAVE to know how to fix a puncture for a race, just know how to replace your innertube.

    Youll need........

    Tyre levers

    Spare tube

    A pump (I use CO2 for races as its a gazzilion times quicker!!!)

    1. Get tyre off with tyre levers, get knackered tube out (and shout at it).

    2. Check tyre and rim for any sharp protruding objects (glass, nails, screws, samuri swords etc.......).

    3. Put new tube inside tyre with a smidge of air (not too much)

    4. place tyre with tube inside onto rim and proceed to wrestle, scream and cry. Eventualy the tyre will go on.

    5. Make sure the tyre and tube are seated correctly (the tube isnt being pinched)

    6. Slap on your pump and get pumping (5hrs later youll have 50psi in your tube)

    7. Alternatively, put ur CO2 pump on the wheel press a button and hey presto 120psi, good to go

    ..............sort of..........
  • Options
    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    I am disturbed by the similarity of our responses. Not so much the technique (I forgot about the CO2 - yes - I carry a few bulbs of that - plus a spare micro pump just in case). But the many references to "Crying".
  • Options
    Thanks guys. Will have a practice at changing the tube. Haven't got the best amount of muscle in my arms so will look into a CO2 pump or I think i will be there all day!
  • Options
    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    The CO2 is quite expensive. Compared to a pump.

    Get yourself a nice track pump - one with a gauge. Practice with that. Maybe have one go with the gas to see how it works!
  • Options
    Ok. I do have a track pump which is a bit of an effort as i'm such a weakling. But will look to get CO2 for emergencies only.

    Obviously I am hoping that I never get a puncture during a race..... but now that i've just said that.....
  • Options
    MGMG Posts: 470
    I stopped on the way home last night on way home from work to help a bloke who-ed punctured (had a tube but no pump - DOH!!!!!) got the tube out new one in CO2 on and was stopped for no longer than 4 minutes and abit of that was him belaying his thanks to me.

    So getting a flat in a race is not the end of the world, I would DEFINATELY recommend some practice though, get your front wheel and practice tyre off, tube out, tube/tyre on, re-inflate. After a couple of goes time yourself..........sh*t, I need to get out more..........
  • Options
    JulesJules Posts: 987
    My LBS sells self-adhesive repair patches - avoids all that glue, patch, chalk stuff. I bought some, thankfully not had to use them yet.

    CO2 cannisters - how difficult are they to use? Do you have to use the whole cannister at once - which would mean using one up if you wanted to practice? I can see myself having a Chrissie moment (minus helpful person giving me their CO2) and not being able to get the thing to work at the crucial moment.
  • Options
    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    My answer was a bit old school. I just went back to the way my Dad taught me when I was about 8 - so the technology has moved on a bit [;)]

    There are different types of cannister - simple one shot type ones up to ones that you can control. The cheapest might be £9 from the LBS - moving up to £15 for the fancier ones.

    Your pays yer money...
  • Options
    MGMG Posts: 470
    CO2 is a cinch to use, I use 16oz cartridges and it takes about half to fill a 700/23c tyre up to 120psi, that gives you some for contigency should you mess up. However, they are ssso easy to use its very hard to screw it up.

    Wiggle sell them and the cartridges, when you get it use a cartridge to practice and that should supress any worries you have.

    The CO2 pump I have, you just hook it up to the valve and pull the trigger, feeling the tyre as you go, then just let go of trigger when youre done, if you need more air pull the trigger again.....easy.
  • Options
    jacjac Posts: 452
    I've just bought a canister of Vittoria Pit Stop. I've never used (as I don't want to waste it!) but have read a couple of reviews which gave it the thumbs up. It basically repairs your puncture and inflates your tyre to a pressure that should see you to the dismount!

    It's pretty lightweight - not sure how it compares to levers, tube and pump but i would guess there's a weight saving.

    Worth considering..
  • Options
    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Sounds like the sort of thing that will work on every puncture but the one you've got [;)]

    The last one I had (a car flicked a great piece of metal into my path) left a four inch gash in the tyre, and something similar on the tube.

    The tyre was a right off - but somehow I got home on it (luckily I was only about 5 miles away). Obviously, I replaced the tube!

    For some reason "Vittoria Pit Stop" makes me think of "Penelope Pittstop", so I have difficulty in taking it seriously - but in a race, it could well save valuable time. if it works.

  • Options
    jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    I was advised by my LBS to use plastic tyre levers not aluminimum to prevent damage to wheel rims,I was brought up to use spoons!!.

    The pitstop should be ok for some punctures,but the other day rear wheel hit something that tore the sidewall on the tyre,the inner tube had slime in it to seal punctures,this it did not and a nice flow of lime green gunk shot out behind me.The trye was ruined due to the sidewall damage,it was new,it cost about £30,the slimed inner was ruined at a fiver.....now that made me cry.
  • Options
    JulesJules Posts: 987
    The Vittoria Pit Stop looks interesting. It would save time for a small puncture as you don't need to take the wheel off. I read a review where they got a small puncture up to 80psi using it. This appears to be it's greatest benefit. A minute to repair a small puncture rather than say four minutes taking off the tyre etc.

    However with a hole bigger than 5mm the review reported only getting 40psi - as some of the gas being pumped in escapes before the gunk mends the puncture. I think once the hole was sealed you can pump the tyre up further?

    I don't think I'd want to only rely on Pit Stop. I think I'd still be looking at taking a spare tube and a mini pump in case of large tear type puncture. So for me it would replace a puncture repair kit and a CO2 cannister (if I used one of those). Other people may be prepared to risk it and lose the spare tube and mini pump too.
  • Options
    jacjac Posts: 452
    I'm going to take the pit stop and a mini pump.

    I'm also renewing my gator skins before my first race.
  • Options
    MGMG Posts: 470
    When I'm racing in the pouch under my saddle I'll carry.....

    2 x spare tubes

    2 x CO2 cartridge and pump

    Multi tool

    Crank Brothers speedlever (best tyre lever I've ever owned)

    And thats about it.......

  • Options
    Can you get pumps small enough to fit in your bag under the saddle?

  • Options
    MGMG Posts: 470
    Absolutely, I got my pump from wiggle its an Innovations one and its about 10cm.......

Sign In or Register to comment.