How to fix a puncture

Punctures are a pain, but they’re part of cycling, and very easy to fix with a little practice. Here’s how:

Remove your wheel

First, you need to remove the wheel; the way you do this will vary depending upon your bike. If you have a hub gear bike, check our tutorial on how to remove a hub gear rear wheel, if you have a quick release wheel, just release the skewer to slide the wheel out.

Remove the punctured tyre and tube

Release any air still in the tube, and use tyre levers to separate the tyre from the rim. Remove both the inner tube and the tyre.

If you’re using a patch…

If you’re using a puncture repair kit, inflate the tube and look to for the hole – you can do this by working your way around the tube, and feeling for escaping air.

Once you’ve found the hole in the tube, use the small patch of sandpaper that comes with the patch kit to rough the area, this will help the patch to stick. If you are using an adhesive patch, remove the backing and stick it to the tube firmly. If you’re using a patch that needs glue, apply a thin layer ,wait for it to become tacky, then apply the patch.

Re-inflate the tube, and ensure there are no more punctures. Check the tyre for any pieces of glass, thorns or damaging sharp objects.

If you’re using a new tube…

Find the hole in the old tube, first, and look for any sharp objects in the tyre where the hole is – if you find anything, remove it. Check the rest of the tyre, too.

Replace the tyre and tube

Refit the tyre on one side, then the inner tube, putting the valve through the rim. Put a tiny bit of air into the tube, this will reduce the likelihood of it twisting, or getting caught on the rim, causing a further pinch puncture. Tuck the inner tube under the tyre, and then use tyre levers to work the other half of the tyre into the wheel, before returning the wheel to the bike.


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