Whether a novice rider enjoying the occasional scenic ride or a professional rider, cyclists should know how to handle and repair a bike puncture. Knowing how to make this simple repair can be the difference between finding alternate transportation or getting the bike right back on the road. Consumers can save time and money if they can perform the necessary replacement steps for fixing a punctured tyre. With the proper tools and replacement pieces, consumers can confidently repair and replace their punctured bike tyre with confidence and ease. Consumers can find the necessary parts at bike stores, sporting goods stores, and from sellers on eBay.
The first step in repairing a bike tyre puncture is to examine the tyre to locate the puncture. If consumers cannot find an object, such as a nail, a piece of glass, or other debris, sticking out of the tyre, they should look carefully for the puncture itself. If consumers cannot find a puncture, they can submerge the tyre in water to see where air bubbles flow out to indicate the location of the puncture. Consumers can then mark the location of the puncture with a piece of masking tape or other clear indicator to prevent needing to find it again later.
To gain access to the tyre, cyclists must then remove the wheel. For rear tyres on a multi-speed bike, shifting the gears to the lowest setting makes it easier to remove the wheel. Consumers should first push as much of the remaining air out of the tyre as possible before moving the tyre beads. Using the tyre lever, consumers can move a tyre bead over the rim by hooking the lever into a spoke to hold it while continuing to move the beads around the rim with additional tyre levers. Consumers should take care not to pinch or additionally puncture the inner tube.
If consumers do not have a spare inner tube and/or tyre handy, repairing the puncture on the spot is necessary. Upon taking out the inner tube, consumers should inspect it for any additional punctures or debris, using the same methods as with evaluating the tyre. With a small piece of sandpaper, consumers should gently sand the puncture to help hold the glue to the area. Applying the glue to an area larger than the patch can help hold the patch more securely. After letting the glue dry completely, consumers should apply chalk to the area to prevent the inner tube from sticking to the inside of the tyre.
To reattach the tyre, cyclists start by feeding the valve back through the rim's valve hold. Consumers should then carefully feed the inner tube back inside the tyre, careful not to pinch the tube against the rim while doing so. Once the tube lies securely inside the tyre, the next step is to work the tyre back into rim, giving careful attention to the tyre valve. Consumers should return the deflated inner tube to the tyre beads without using the tyre levers, to ensure a proper fit and avoid pinching and puncturing the inner tube with the levers. Next, consumers should partially inflate the tyre with a bike pump, checking for a secure seal along the rim and making adjustments as necessary before fully inflating the tyre again. Opening the brakes all the way may aid consumers in fitting the tyre back to its place.
For very slight punctures, a repair patch may prolong use of the tube for quite a while before necessitating a replacement. However, for larger punctures, consumers should completely replace the tube and tyre as soon as possible. Consumers who bike regularly should keep a spare tyre and spare bike tube, as well as a tyre repair kit and/or levers, sandpaper, and other repair items in their inventory to ensure a fast replacement and return to regular bike use.