This is an excerpt from my Introduction to Cycling Booklet Punctures can be a minor or major inconvenience depending on how well prepared you are to deal with them. If you do happen to get a puncture while cycling, being properly prepared can minimise the inconvenience and have you back cycling within a few minutes of the puncture.
Fix the puncture at home
The best place to fix a punctured tube is at home when you have lots of time rather than out on the road. It is easier to simply replace the punctured tube with a new one while out on a cycle.
Care for your Tyres
The following simple tips will help to greatly reduce the number of punctures that you get over time.
- Have good tyres suitable for whatever type of cycling that you participate in.
- Keep the tyres at the manufacurer’s recommended pressures and they will wear better and puncture less.
- Check the tyres regularly for cuts, wear and pieces of glass etc, that might be embedded in them.
- Replace the tyres before they become very worn
- What you need (keep in same place for easy access)
- Spare tube/s
- Tyre levers
- Puncture repair outfit
You feel the tyre pressure reducing and or hear the dreaded Hissing sound. Hopefully you have brought all the gear required to change the tube.
Steps to getting back moving.
- Slow down and stop safely. Find a place where you are safe from passing traffic to change the tube.
- Take the spare tube, tyre levers and pump and have them ready for use.
- If it is a back-wheel puncture, put the chain on to the smallest sprocket to facilitate removal of the wheel
- Release the punctured wheels brake quick release so that the wheel can be removed easily.
- Remove the wheel.
- Using the tyre levers, remove the tyre from one side of the wheel rim and remove the punctured tube. Fold the tube and put it away.
- Carefully and gently (there may be glass or tacks) check for pieces of glass etc on the outside and inside of the tyre and be sure that all glass etc, is removed.
- Pump a small amount of air into the replacement tube before fitting it, this will help it fit inside the tyre and stop it getting pinched between the tyre and wheel rim as you replace it.
- Insert the tube beginning at the valve and working back to the valve.
- Refit the tyre, beginning at the valve and working either side of the valve, pushing the tyre on by hand. You most likely will need to put the final section of tyre on with the tyre levers.
- Tip: If the tyre is very tight, slightly wet inside the last part of the tyre to be inserted to help complete the tyre fitting
- When the tyre is fitted push the valve upwards into the tyre then pull it back down. This ensures that the tube is completely and safely inserted into the tyre.
- Pump the wheel.
- Insert the wheel. Check that the wheel is centred in the frame and lock the quick release.
- Tighten the brake quick release.
- Check that the wheel is spinning freely and that your brakes are working.
- Gather up your tools /pump and punctured tube and safely resume cycling
- Repair the punctured tube when you go home.