We have all been there, there is nothing more infuriating than a puncture to interrupt your ride. It is even worse when you don’t know how to repair it. I’ve seen many a cyclist staring at their bike in dismay.
However, this blog should give you the knowledge to repair your flat and get on back on the road (Clincher tyre type).
Prevention is better than Cure!
I firmly believe this and the number of punctures you have can be greatly reduced by ensuring you have good quality tyres fitted to your bike, and that they are kept in good condition.
Many of the quality tyres nowadays provide wear indicators on the tyres so you know when to replace them. You will also notice that the rear tyre always wears quicker than the front, so to extend the life of the tyres you can rotate them after a few months of wear. I always say this is a good idea but I never actually practice it…. I just end up getting a new rear tyre (I’d like to say there is a reason for this but really, it’s just plain old laziness). It is also worth investing in some good quality inner tubes.
So despite all the above at some point, you are still likely to get a puncture.
So now what?
First of all, make sure you are in a safe position away from the side of the road.
Remove your wheel from your bike and grab your kit from your saddle bag (see our blog post on what your saddle bag should contain).
Examine the tyre and try to see where the tyre is punctured. You may not be able to see but sometimes you can.
Use tyre levers to remove one side of the tyre from the wheel rim. Once removed you can remove the damaged inner tube and take away the thorn, glass, stone from the tyre that has caused the puncture in the first place. Now the important bit and do take a bit of time doing it… Run your thumb on the inside of your tyre to ensure you have removed anything else that could have caused the puncture. Once satisfied, you are ready to put the new tube in.
First, you put a little air into the new tube, and to do this the inner tube valve needs to be unscrewed to allow air into it. By putting air into it at this stage, you can check the new tube is not damaged and it makes it easier to put back into the tyre. Start at where the valve goes into the rim and feed the inner tube into the tyre on the rim. Work all the way round, then push the wall of the tyre back onto the rim of wheel working round. You may need to use the tyre levers to ease the last bit of the tyre onto the rim.
Now with your hands, work your way around the tyre on both sides from the valve checking the tyre has not nipped the inner tube between the wall of the tyre and the rim.
Get pumping and inflate your tyre. Once inflated, screw the valve back in before putting the dust cap on the valve.
Collect all your rubbish and old tyre tube and pack away.
Ride to a café … You deserve it!