Keeping the puncture fairy at bay

Searching for the holes after the
dreaded puncture fairy has struck
It's now autumn and with more debris on the road it's inevitable that you will get a puncture, even with the best tyre/tube combo. It's worth being prepared. Here's my suggestion;

1. Practice your puncture repair skills at home in the dry so you are familiar with how easy or hard your particular tyres are to get off and on.

2. Carry a spare tube or two and don't fix your puncture at the roadside unless you have to.

3. Carry glue less patches for quick fixes.

4. Carry a CO2 pump. They're small to carry and they inflate tyres in a second. They also stop you wasting time at the roadside in the cold and wet.

5. Check your tyres once a month for cuts and debris. Turn you bike upside down. Take the air out of the tyres and squeeze them gently to look for cuts and embedded objects. Use a tweezer or small flat bladed screwdriver to get bits of flint and glass out and glue and open cuts with super glue.

6. Buy a track pump and inflate your tyres to the correct pressure once a week.


  1. If its a rear wheel puncture its handy to fix it without removing the wheel when possible.

  2. Useful post, Toby. I certainly dread the puncture fairy. I think I can just about cope with a front wheel puncture on my own but I am still defeated by the back wheel. I have met some extremely helpful riders though, when I have been wrestling with the tyres on empty country roads and they have immediately hopped off their own bikes and helped me. I have now got ETA bicycle breakdown cover and carry the card with me every time I go out. They guarantee to reach you anywhere in Britain, within 40 minutes. I intended to write a blog about it but ever since I joined, I have been puncture-free. Perhaps that's the secret!

  3. Our Saturday ride had two punctures with in 100 yards, (1 front & 1 rear) the guy who had punctured hadn't mended one before so it was down to me both times. CO2 is a life saver. Great tips.
    For anyone interested we run the CTC road and trail side maintenance courses throught out the year.

  4. Trevor - Cheers

    Anonymous - Unless I'm riding my hub geared bike, I always prefer to take the back wheel out and swap the tube out.

    There She Rides - I'd be interested to hear about ETA once ou've had your first call out. However, 40 minutes is a long time, especially if it's cold, wet and dark. I can do a back wheel in under 10 minutes.

    Peter - Everyone should learn if they are going to ride a bike. A number of people think it won't happen to them and some don't even carry the necessary equipment to fix it if it did. Do you have details about the maintenance courses?

  5. That belly shot is horrendous and I'm slightly mortified by it. Perhaps you should send me the original to act as a reminder to lose weight ;) Was that last year?

  6. Rafe - Yes, that was last year. You can get the original by clicking on it.


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