Puncture repair hacks for bike commuters

Monday 18th March 2024, by Mark McKee.

There is nothing that gets in your way quite like a puncture on your cycle ride to work, and nine times out of ten it is the rear wheel! Here, I intend to show my proven method to stay on the road and either get to work on time or home before the rain really sets in. Firstly you can forget repairing the inner-tube. The fastest way to get going after a blow-out is to always carry a spare one. You’ll also need to have two tyre levers and I like to make sure they are heavy-duty like these red Gorilla Force ones I have. If you don’t have quick-release wheels (like most of us on CX bikes) then an Allen-key set is essential. You’ll also need a pump, and finally, to keep the chain oil off your hands, carry a plastic or latex glove to put on your chain-removing hand if it is the rear wheel.

Tip: always look for anything like a nail or piece of glass sticking into the tyre while you have the inner-tube removed. There is nothing more frustrating than putting a nice new inner-tube and fitting the tyre back on for it to burst again.

I also find it handy to put all of this into a sandwich or freezer bag so it rolls up together neatly in your bag. Always make sure that when you get home to add a new inner-tube to your kit to replace the one you have just used.

Here it is wrapped up in an old sandwich bag (no expense spared!):

With the right tools you should be back on the road in less than 10 minutes.

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