How to be Prepared for a Flat Tire
Posted by Lloyd on Jan 18, 2011 | Bike Maintenance
Whenever you go out riding your bike, there are certain things that you should have with you. The easiest way to be ready to fix a flat is to carry a small repair kit with you whenever you ride:
- 2 spare inner tubes
- 2 tire levers
- Patch kit
- Mini pump
With these things you will be ready to quickly fix the flat no matter where the ride takes you. For those who get stuck without all the essentials there are some crazy ideas out there on quick fixes to make it home. And although we have never tried these methods, they list some 'Do-it-yourself' ideas in this months Momentum Magazine.
Shoelace and Bubblegum: Squish some bubblegum, pine sap or other tarry goo over the hole. This isn't even needed for small holes, but will help with a large hole. Fold the inner tube one or two times on top of the spot with the hole, keeping the hole facing inwards and squashed against another fold of the tube. Wrap the area tightly with your shoelace. When you replace the tube, you must fold over the patched area so the inflatable portions touch. If you don't, the ends will blow out as soon as you inflate.
Dirt and Grass: Remove the tube and pack your tire as tight as possible with dirt, grass or rolled-up newspaper. The idea here is to give enough padding to protect your rim and also keep the tire from falling off. If you have tape, tape all around the tire and rim to help hold the tire onto the rim.
Secret Source: The identical material used by the brand name stick-on patches is available in bulk rolls at Tear-aid.com. It's also great for fixing tires, panniers, rain jackets, backpacks and other waterproof gear.
So if you do end up stranded with a flat tire, if you have your handy repair kit you can fix it quick and get back on the road, or if not you can try some of these quick fixes.