How to buy a puncture repair kit
Never let a flat tyre leave you stranded at the road or trailside again. Here’s how to buy a puncture repair kit - and some steps that might even stop you needing to use it.
Perhaps it happened quickly and was preceded with a big bang. Perhaps it started with a slight feeling that something wasn’t right and eventually got worse. Whatever your experiences, any regular cyclist will recognise the – literally – deflating feeling when you realise one of your tyres is starting to lose air and roll a lot less efficiently against the road surface.
But a flat tyre is not the end of the world, or even the end of your ride. With the right kit you can repair that puncture and be back spinning serenely within minutes.
The modern alternative
Although we are going to examine what you’ll need in a typical puncture repair kit, thanks to the wonders of modern technology there is now a simpler alternative. For punctures smaller than 1mm, instant puncture repair products such as our B’Twin spray can be used to fix and inflate without even needing to remove the tyre. Just make sure you find whatever caused the puncture and take it out if it is still lodged in your tread!
Puncture repair kits
When it comes to more traditional multi-use puncture repair approaches, everything starts with taking your tyre off so that you can access your inner tube. The first thing on the list, then, is a set of tyre levers. Avoid metal levers, which might damage your wheel rims, and go for strong plastic versions, such as our pack of three yellow B’Twin tyre levers .
Now that you can get to your inner tube, remove it, then find the hole. Now it’s time to start patching the puncture. There are two types of products that do this. One is an inner tube repair kit with patches, vulcanising rubber cement and sand paper, such as our B’Twin inner tube repair kit. Alternatively, for slighter quicker and cleaner repairs, you can use self-adhesive rubber patches.
Of course, there are times such as when your inner tube fails spectacularly that there’s no way you can repair it, so it’s always best to carry at least one replacement inner tube with you. Make sure you get the right size tube for your wheels and tyres, and check whether your wheels use inner tubes with Shrader valves (fatter like a car tyre, with an inner pin) or Presta valves (thinner with knurled screw tops). For our complete selection of inner tubes, click here.
Mini pumps and track pumps
Before we go on to inflate the newly fixed inner tube, one quick tip. Whether you’re repairing your inner tube or replacing it with an entirely new tube, it’s important to check that whatever caused the puncture isn’t still sticking through your tyre. Otherwise you’ll probably have to go through the repair process all over again. Run your fingers alongside the inside of the tyre, find the offending danger, and remove.
Now that you’ve got a working inner tube back in place and the tyre is safely seated inside the rim, you must pump it back up to something like a useable pressure. Out on the road, the easiest way to do this is with a hand or mini-pump - like the one that comes with tyre levers and a multi-tool in our B’Twin Bike Repair kit – or a CO2 cartridge system, such as our B’Twin CO2 Compact Road Pump.
However, these are both really just make do options to get you home. Before you go on your next big ride, you’ll want to inflate to the correct tyre pressure with a floor or track pump. Pumps such as the B’Twin 900 Floor Pump allow you to inflate to higher pressures more easily than a hand pump, while the in-built pressure gauge will tell you exactly when you’ve reached the required inflation.
Puncture proof tyres and tubeless
As any medical professional will tell you, prevention is preferable to cure, and that’s no less true for issues affecting the health of your tyres. So there are things you can do to prepare for the unexpected. Products such as our B’Twin Puncture Protection Sealant can be injected into a Schrader valve inner tube and will instantly seal any holes less than 3mm.
If you have compatible ‘tubeless ready’ wheels, you could even convert to using tubeless tyres. This has a number of benefits, not least that you can do away with those delicate inner tubes completely, reducing the likelihood of flat tyres.
Why is that? Firstly, because you can run the tyres at reduced pressures, which makes them less susceptible to punctures and ‘pinch flats’, where the inner tube is damaged by getting trapped between the tyre and the wheel. Then, you can also the use a tubeless ready treatment – such as our B’Twin preventative liquid - which helps seal the tyre to the rim and instantly fills punctures up to 3mm wide.
We know that punctures are one of the things that many cyclists fear most, but with the right kit, they don’t have to be anything more than a momentary nuisance. Be fully prepared and you’ll be back on the road or trail in no time!