Commuting: Fix those flats!

From the top going clockwise: Tyre Levers from Park Tool, Schrader and Presta valves and a valve converter.

I was inspired to write this article because I had two flat tyres in three days this week. Getting a flat is eventual and it’s nothing to be afraid of. Once you have these two items with you, you are ready for every circumstance.

  1. A bicycle pump (like the one we spoke about yesterday)
  2. A spare inner tube or a tube repair kit, available from your local bike shop for about 5 to 10 euros

That’s it. If you want to make your life even easier, spending a few bucks on tyre levers (which are used to remove the tyre from the rim) and if you have a Presta (or a French) valve in your wheels, you might like to own a Presta to Schrader (or an American) valve converter which allows you to use those compressors in garages.

Carrying these tools is also good to have along for people who do not have these along and have a flat. Repairing a tyre only takes about 10 minutes when you know what you are doing, and half of that time goes to waiting for the rubber cement to set. There are patches that already have the cement in them, so applying them is even easier.

There are many tutorials and videos in the web already on how to change a tyre, like for example Park Tool’s repair site.

To prevent flats, it’s good to invest in puncture-proof tyres – which are a bit more expensive, but they will pay themselves back quickly as you will not have to buy spare tubes or repair kits.

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By Markus Sandelin

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.