Friday, 7 June 2013

Pucture repair time

My daughter got a puncture on her bike a few days ago.
She has a very pretty bike, and won't let me fit boring, unstylish, puncture resistant tyres to it.
But, seeing as it is her first puncture since she got the bike, it is not too bad - she has had the bike for about a year.
The puncture, was of course caused by a sharp stone chip, and would have been avoided with puncture-resistant tyres ...

As usual with annoying punctures, the puncture was right near the "seam" line down the middle of the tyre.
So I applied extra rubber glue to biuld it up a bit, then used one of those super-sticky patches on top of that.

When I refitted the tyre, I put an extra "sticky" repair patch under where the tip of the stone had come through the tyre - just to give a little bit of rubber between the tyre and the tube at the bottom of the stone cut on the tyre.

I moved the tyre round a bit, too, so the patch on the inside of the tyre and the patch on the inside of the tube are on different parts.

Then pumped it up a bit, then put the wheel back in.
I adjusted the brakes while I was at it, using the adjuster by the handle to take up a bit of slack that had developed since I last did it. Then I span the wheel to check if the wheel was still reasonably straight - it was. so no further work required there! (if the wheel had been out of "true", that is to say it rubs at one point on the tyre/wheel agaist the frame or brakes, but not on the rest, I would have quickly adjusted the tension in a couple of spokes using one of my two "spoke keys")

Job done - until the next time.
I took the precaution of ordering an extra spare inner tube too (which arrived a couple of days later from Edinburgh Cycle Co-operative) - it is good to have a spare tube available, to save time, it if there is an "unfixable" puncture ... (my wife came home one with 5 (!) holes in her tyre - a main puncture, and a set of four more fainter holes in a line from it. I'm guessing that the tyre deflated, then rotated a bit, allowing the pucturing object to damage the tube in different places with some of the subsequent rotations!)
Just read the tyre size of your tyre, and ordwer a tube for that size. Some of the tubes cover quite a range of sizes and widths - the one we ordered covers 1.5 to 2.125 inch tyre widths (my daughter's bike has 20 x 1.75 marked on the tyre wall, so that is a 20 inch (406mm metric) tyre size, with a 1.75 inch tyre width (that is somewhere around 44mm metric, but some manufacturers sell a 47mm tyre to cover this range instead.)
Note: 20x1.75 is not the same as 20 x 1 3/4 or similar - "fractions" tyres use a different sizing system, so such a size is likely to be a 451mm tyre, not a 406mm tyre, and will not fit on my daughter's bike!)

The best way to make tyres more puncture-proof if you really have to keep the original "look" of the tyres is to fit a Tyre Liner. This is a puncture resistant strip that goes in the bottom of the tyre all the way round the inside of the tyre, between the tube and the tyre itself. It should reduce the number of punctures due to small, sharp, stone fragments or bits of glass.

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