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Puncture Repair
 
 
 
 
Whenever you go out on your bike you should have with you the means to fix a puncture.

The quickest and easiest way is to carry a spare inner tube so you can simply replace the punctured one but in the event of a second puncture you will still need to carry an additional puncture repair kit.

A traditional patch kit will have small rubber patches, a bit of emery paper to scuff up the tube and some vulcanizing rubber glue to secure the patch. These can be a bit fiddly and messy, especially if it's cold and wet, but they are light to carry, cheap and effective. Ready glued patches are also available, these are easier to use but not always as reliable.

Once you've fixed a puncture you will need to inflate your tube. Pumps are available in a variety of styles. The traditional frame pump is used on road bikes and fits onto the frame. Light weight mini pumps can be carried in the back pocket or trail pack. Some are geared towards the high volume needed for mountain bike tyres and others the high pressure needed for road tyres so make sure you get the right one for you.

A quick and easy way to inflate the tyre is with a gas cartridge, this fits on over the valve and the compressed air when released rapidly inflates the tyre to very high pressures. Just watch out for your hands as it gets very cold as the gas is expelled. A dual inflator and puncture repair method is a foam gas inflator. Compressed gas is used to inflate the tyre and also force in puncture sealing foam. These are best left for race days when you need to inflate your tyre and get back on as quickly as possible.

Don't forget the other essential – tyre levers. Most tyres can be removed and replaced by hand alone but a good tyre lever will make life easier and save a lot of frustration.
 
This story was last updated on 17/01/2012