Tire Repair Checklist
Whatever type of riding you do, it’s a good idea to take along a tire repair kit in case you get a flat tire. Every rider should learn how to fix a flat; it’s not terribly difficult, but I recommend watching a YouTube video on the subject, and practice once or twice.
Here is a list of what you need:
Spare tube or a “patch kit”
Schrader Valve Tube
Presta Valve Tubes
Be sure you purchase a spare tube of the right size, as marked on your tire, and with the right type of valve. There are two types of valves: presta (has a knurled brass tightener you unscrew until it stops to put air in the tube) and schrader (standard American tire valve).
If you don’t want to carry a spare tube, at least carry a patch kit to repair a tire (I carry both just for the off chance I get multiple flats on a ride).
Patch Kit wit pre-glued patches (no glue required)
The patch kit shown uses pre-glued patches; the other type of kit available comes with a little tube of glue that you apply when putting the patch on. I’ve used both types of kits, and prefer the pre-glued patches because once the glue tube is used, the glue will dry out over time.
Another item you need to fix a flat, is tire irons. These are either metal or plastic flat irons (three required) used to get the tire off the rim as demonstrated in the videos.
Tire Irons (or Tire Levers)
These are sometimes included in a patch kit, such as the Zefel kit shown below.
Hand Pump or CO2 Pump
You need to carry some type of pump; either an air pump you work manually, or a CO2 pump that uses CO2 cartridges.
The Lezyne pump shown is small enough to fit in an under the seat bag, and works really well in my opinion. I haven’t personally tried the CO2 type, but people I know who have really seem to like it. It inflates a lot faster, but of course you need to carry spare cartridges.
Carry some rubber gloves or lightweight gardening gloves. Changing a flat is a dirty job!
Wrench (If your wheels bolt on)
If your wheels are the type without quick release levers, and bolt to the front fork and rear dropouts, you need to carry either a wrench of the appropriate size, or a small adjustable wrench.
Before You Leave Home:
Floor pumps. It’s much faster to inflate a tire at home with a floor pump. The other advantage, is it has a pressure guage, so you won’t over inflate your tires. Check your tire inflation before going any ride, especially if you have lightweight rims. An under inflated tire gets a flat much easier, not to mention making it harder to ride.