How To Repair a Bicycle Puncture

Don’t you just hate it when you set off for a bike ride to discover you have a flat tyre? What’s worse, is after pumping the tyre up, it’s flat again in minutes. Chances are, your inner tube has a puncture!

How do I repair a bicycle puncture?

When faced with a puncture you have two options.
1. Patch up the puncture.
2. Replace the inner tube.

Before deciding that you want to patch up the puncture, you should first verify that it is indeed a puncture and not a faulty valve. To do this, place the tyre’s valve in a cup of water. If you see bubbles, the valve is the problem and you will need to replace the inner tube. If there are no bubbles, you can use your puncture repair kit.

Patching up the puncture should only really be used as a short term solution – we recommend replacing the inner tube where possible. Never the less, if you don’t have an inner tube to hand but you have a puncture repair kit, read on. If you want to replace the inner tube, you can skip the next section.

How to repair an inner tube using a puncture repair kit

For a great YouTube video, try this:

What you’ll need:
  • Tyre levers – usually included in your repair kit.
  • A spanner
  • An air pump
  • A puncture repair kit
  • A bucket/bowl of water

If you need a puncture repair kit, take a look at these reviews.

Step-by-step guide
  1. First release the brakes and remove the wheel.
  2. Ensure there is no air left in the tyre.
  3. Insert the tyre levers between the tyre and rim and push down.
  4. Slide one of the levers right around the rim to pop off one half of the tyre.
  5. You can now either:
    Pull out the inner tube (this is the quickest easiest option).
    Pull the tyre over the rim and push down to remove the tyre before removing the inner tube (this is the least likely to damage the inner tube).
  6. Use the pump to pump some air into the tube.
  7. Place the tube in the bucket/bowl of water a section at a time and look for bubbles.
  8. Once you see bubbles, mark that spot as you have found the puncture.
  9. Rub the inner tube with sand paper from the puncture repair kit.
  10. Apply the rubber solution.
  11. Blow on the solution to speed up the drying process.
  12. Place the patch over the solution.
  13. Inspect the tyre to make sure what ever caused the puncture is gone.
  14. Inflate the inner tube slightly and place back into the tyre.
  15. Line the valve up in the rim so that it is straight and not on an angle.
  16. Push the tyre wall up and back over the rim.
  17. Inflate the tyre to be firm but not over inflated.
  18. Re-attach the wheel.
  19. Re-attach the brakes.
  20. Check brakes work.
  21. Go for your ride!

How to replace an inner tube

This is pretty similar to the steps above, but instead of repairing the inner tube, you are replacing it.

What you’ll need:
  • A Set of tyre levers
  • A spanner
  • An air pump
  • A new inner tube
Step-by-step instructions
  1. Undo the brakes first and then take off the wheel.
  2. Make sure there is no air in the tyre.
  3. Place the tyre levers in-between the tyre and the rim and push down.
  4. Move one of the levers right around the rim to release one half of the tyre.
  5. You have two options now:
    Remove the inner tube straight away (the quickest easiest option).
    Pull the tyre over the rim and push down in order to remove the tyre prior to removing the inner tube (the least likely option to damage the inner tube).
  6. Check the tyre to ensure what ever caused the puncture is no longer present.
  7. Inflate the new inner tube slightly and place into the tyre.
  8. Line the valve up inside the rim so that it is parallel to the rim and not on an angle.
  9. Now push the tyre wall up and back over the rim.
  10. Inflate the tyre fully ensuring it is firm but not over inflated.
  11. Next, re-attach the wheel to the bike.
  12. Now attach the brakes.
  13. Before riding off, check brakes work.
  14. Continue with your bike ride!

There you have it – it’s that easy to repair your puncture. Now you’re good to go and ready to ride on!

This entry was posted in Bikes.

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