Riding a bike is a fantastic pleasure that the whole family can enjoy for most of the year round. Whether the hobby is a serious one or more of a pleasant pastime when the weather is good, flat tyres and injuries can put the end to a day out. Sadly there are many problems that can occur when enjoying the outdoors, a bike tyre may suffer a puncture and need changing.
Changing a bike tyre can be tricky without the right tools at hand and can leave people frustrated, and even stranded in an isolated location. To ensure that a flat tyre will never catch any one out, this guide will instruct the buyer how to search for and buy the right repair kit and other accessories on eBay.
Types of Repair Kits Available on eBay
There are a wide range of repair kits to suit different needs and budgets. The typical basic kits are slim white boxes that fit a few essential items, these are ideal as they are light to carry and store easily in a backpack etc. There are also slender carry cases that attach to the bike with Velcro that ensure that if a flat tyre needs changing when out and about everything needed is at hand.
Basic kits come with the following:
- Rubber glue
- Patches in various sizes
- Sandpaper/ abrasive card.
Advanced repair kits come with more tools such as:
- Bike Pump
- Multi tool kits with different Allen/hex keys and screwdriver parts.
- Plastic/ metal tire leavers.
An advanced repair kit may appear to cost more than the basic repair kits, but these are more useful as all the tools are at hand if the tyre puncture is more severe than first thought. Advanced repair kits are ideal for a bike that has parts which may be difficult to remove without the use of specific tools.
Which kit is suitable?
The selection of the kit depends on personal want and experience. A more experienced cyclist who enjoys mountain biking may require a kit with more tools in, as their bike may not be standard or have customised parts. A cyclist who is simply taking the family out for weekend bike rides will only need a basic repair kit but may require one kit for each member of the family.
Customising a Repair Kit Depending on Need
Many of the pieces of a tyre repair kit can be bought individually on eBay. This is helpful as this can save money replacing the whole kit each time a piece is used up. It is advisable to have a few spares in case there are multiply punctures to the tyre or if another bike tyre has a puncture.
It is best to buy the repair kit new and sealed where possible as previously owned repair kits may be missing vital pieces. There are however many sports specialist sellers on eBay selling specific bike repair kits and parts at competitive prices. If unsure which repair kit is suitable for the bike, it is advisable to contact the seller, as they can help select the right repair kit depending on the type of bike and the activity it is used for.
Getting Acquainted with the Parts of the Repair Kit
Description and Use
A long piece of plastic/metal with a slight curve. This is to carefully remove the outer tyre and prevent anymore holes or cuts to the rubber.
Small patches of rubber which come circle or square shapes. These patch the puncture and allow the cyclist to carry on as if the inner tube is new.
Small tube of adhesive. This is used to bind the rubber patch to the
This is used to smooth down and prepare the area of the puncture before apply the rubber patch.
A long thin tube made of rubber. This is what holds the air and cushions the bike as it is ridden.
A black cylinder with a handle that pumps air. This is used to pump air into the inner tube with more ease than blowing up the tube by other means.
Normally a piece of yellow crayon. Use it to mark out the area of the puncture.
Multi Tool Kit
Multi tool kits are compact with many small tool parts that fold inwards and are protected with a outer plastic casing. Depending on the contents they can be used to tighten/loosen nuts
The size and material will vary depending on the type of repair kit but most are sturdy and compact to store.
Tip: It is often the inner tube that can be damaged by sharp objects such as glass. It is advisable to carry a spare inner tube. These can be purchased on eBay but it is important to ensure the right size is bought as one that is too small can stretch and one that is too big will not fit snuggly around the wheel. Inner tubes when deflated fold up neatly and can be stored in a small pocket.
How to Change the Tyre with a Repair Kit
It is important to become accustomed with a tyre repair kit before use. It would be advisable to become acquainted with the following steps when it comes to changing a tyre. Before starting any work it is best to have a clear space around the bike and ensure there are no hazards to trip over.
If located outside, take the bike to a level spot and away from the road/track. Before starting anything, check the rest of the bike and ensure the breaks are working and that the chain is moving freely between the gears. On a level surface take the bike and place it upside down so the handlebars and seat are resting on the ground. This allows the wheel to be changed without the bike falling over and causing any further damage to the bike.
1. Remove wheel from the frame by loosening the bolt or releasing the quick release handle on the wheel. Remove the black cap on the valve and allow the inner tube to deflate.
2. Using a tyre leaver, carefully insert it under the now deflated tyre and gently remove the wheel from the frame. Remove inner tube and put aside for repair.
3. Take the outer tyre of and carefully check for any pieces of glass or sharp objects by running fingers under the inner edge.
4. Take the inner tube and inflate a little to help find the site of the puncture. Take the crayon and mark where the puncture is. Take a patch and see which one fits over the area best.
5. Take the abrasive card and rub it over the area of the puncture to rough up the surface. This gives the glue a better surface to bond to.
6. Take the glue and apply some to the area, spreading out evenly.
7. Remove backing from the patch and apply to the puncture area, smoothing out any edges and ensuring it covers the puncture.
8. Pump the tube up with more air to check that the patch has covered the puncture. Then deflate it and place it back on the wheel, aligning the valves.
9. Place the outer tyre back on the frame and ensure it fits well and no edges are loose. Using the pump add more air until satisfied. Put the cap back on the valve and tighten. Place the wheel back on the frame and tighten nuts/quick release handle.
Tip: If there is a spare inner tube in the kit it is advisable to use that instead, simply swapping it for the punctured inner tube. Follow steps 4-8 at home with the punctured inner tube and fold up for storage for the next time an inner tube is punctured. The life span of an inner tube can be extended with applying patches and help save money in the long run rather than replacing the inner tube every time a puncture occurs.
Good Bike Maintenance
It is difficult to predict and prevent a flat tyre when cycling outdoors but here are some helpful tips that ensure good bike maintenance. Basic maintenance kits can be purchased on eBay which contain everything needed for fixing a bike. Some kits are available with cleaners and pumps, to find a wide range simply search ‘Basic Bike Maintenance Kit’ under the ‘Sporting Goods’ Category.
· Check the wheel every month to make sure the tread on the tyre is still reasonably straight. If the tread is uneven try refitting the tyre to the wheel, if it is still not straight then it may be a fault of the manufacturer. Replacement tyres can be bought on eBay easily with knowing the size and brand of the tyre. It would not be advisable to by a pre-owned tyre due to the unknown condition of the item, and on this case it is best to buy from a reputable Sports Goods seller on eBay. Don’t hesitate to contact the seller for advice on what tyre is best for the activity intended.
· Clean the wheels if they have been exposed to mud. A basic washing up liquid and a rough sponge are ideal for cleaning a tyre. Use warm water and ensure to get between the treads whilst washing. Getting rid of excess mud will ensure that no sharp object hiding in the mud that could impale the tyre on its next use.
· Keep the bike clean and store in cool, dry conditions to prevent rust occurring.
Enjoying the Day out Worry Free
It is advisable to carry the following when out on a long cycle trip. If doing a long route on new roads, it is best to become familiar with the routes and check for any possible delays or route changes on the day.
- Mobile phone with full battery and credit
- Some money
- Small first aid kit (basic kits are easy to purchase on eBay, simply look under ‘Health & Beauty’ to find various travel first aid kits.)
- Always wear the recommended head protection and visible clothing if cycling in the dark.
With this guide everything that is needed to change a tyre whether at home or by the roadside can be purchased and used with confidence. Buying cycling goods on eBay is easy and convenient for those new to cycling or those who are more experienced, and now will never have to be caught off guard with a flat tyre.
Changing a tyre is simply a matter of the right repair kit and application of basic knowledge. Knowing the specifications of the bike and what tools will fit the bike beforehand and no cyclist who has bought a repair kit on eBay will ever have to worry about losing any time on their cycling day out.