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Mend a torn MTB tyre    Recommended Stuff    Home

Mend Punctures Perfectly Every Time

If you already know how to mend punctures perfectly - you're on the wrong page smarty!

There are two types of punctures.

1. Thorns.

  • Sorry there is no way round these nasty little pricks.
  • OK, you can buy goo filled inner tubes, but these slow you down and can't be patched.
  • Always carry at least 1 spare tube so you can patch holes at home, which is easier.
2. Pinch punctures.
  • The tyre will go down very fast.
  • These can be repaired but they usually take at least two patches.
  • This is because you've completely bottomed out the tyre ramming both sides of the rim through the rubber producing two large holes at least.

The arrows show the two splits in the rubber of the classic pinch puncture

Pinch punctures - How to stop them happening

  • Get a track pump and always pump up your tyres to 50 psi before a rocky ride
  • Buy some proper 2.125 inch tyres (Specialised Team Control & Master are good, Kevlar beaded tyres offer better grip as well as lighter weight, get them on special offer for the same price as wire tyres!)
  • Ride very slowly on all rocky trails. Stupid suggestion isn't it?!
  • Note: Full suspension bikes make you go faster, meaning just as many flats.....

Inflate your tyres accurately

The tyre bit.

  1. Turn the bike upside down.
  2. For a rear puncture engage the smallest rear sprocket.
  3. Stretch the mech backwards and pull out the wheel.
  4. Let all of the air out of the tyre and squash the tyre beads together all the way round the circumference. This allows the beads which are stuck to the high part of the rim wall to drop in to the rim well which has a smaller circumference. This should allow enough slack to work off the tyre with your thumbs. Grab the tyre with both hands somewhere away from the valve and Pull the bead over the sidewall towards you. Once the first inch of bead is over the edge keep pulling at the bead with your thumbs to release A LITTLE MORE AT A TIME moving in an anticlockwise direction. Finally slide your finger under the section of released bead and run it right round the wheel to release one side of the tyre.
  5. Now feel carefully round the entire inner surface of the tyre for the thorn which is often waiting to pop your newly mended tube. Make sure you've removed it, best done by pushing it back out from inside to start with, then pull on the thorn from the tread side when enough is showing to grab hold of.

Pull the whole tyre up and towards you to get the first section of bead over the rim

The inner tube bit.

  1. Mark the tube with a felt tip pen in a large Union Jack style over the hole. (these lines will be sanded off in the middle, but still point to the hole).
  2. Use a small piece of medium emery paper to sand an area larger than your patch. Do this on a hard surface (or your leg in the outback) until the middle of the cross is completely erased. DON'T skip this step.
  3. Now the really important bit. apply a penny sized blob of solution to the tube and WIPE OFF all but a thin coat immediately with your finger. Cover an area you're sure is bigger than the patch.
  4. Peel off a patch foil and apply a smaller blob of solution to the contact surface of the patch. WIPE OFF all but a very thin coat immediately with your finger.
  5. Do not bring the two together for at least 1 minute - DON'T skip this step.
  6. place the patch exactly in one go, it will adhere instantly and cannot be successfully moved.
  7. Press it down as hard as you can for a minute.
  8. Wait for a couple of minutes more before carefully peeling off the backing paper/plastic. if the edge starts to lift even a little try peeling from the other end of the patch.
  9. Press a little more to seal those edges.
  10. Grate some French chalk from your stick on the emery paper and tip this on to the patch. spread with your finger to stop the patch from sticking to the inside of your tyre.
  11. Pump just enough air in to the tube to give it some shape and push the valve stem through the hole in the rim. Push the tube in to the rim all the way round, then push the second tyre edge in to the rim well starting at the valve. Using both thumbs (one going left the other going right around the wheel) work the bead over the rim until the last few inches become tight. Now apply both thumbs to one end of the un-seated tyre section and work it over the rim a little at a time until the last section pops over the edge.
  12. Don't forget to add a little more pressure if you pinch punctured - a track pump is invaluable for this and can be bought for as little as 15! (see the small adds)

The genuinely useful Union Jack

Spread a very thin layer of glue with your finger, larger than the patch size