Tuesday, 01 May, 2001

Emergency Tire Repair

I got a flat this morning, about 10 minutes into my ride to work.  As I was putting the new tube into the tire, my riding partner suggested that I take a better look at my tire, because the hole in the old tube was in the same relative spot as a previous patch.  Closer inspection of the tire revealed a fairly nice sized hole in the tire--big enough that the tube under pressure could get pinched, which is what caused the flat.  Just as I was getting ready to walk home (no way I was going to put a new tube in the tire), I remembered  a trick one of my mountain biking friends told me about.  A dollar bill folded in half once or twice makes an excellent temporary tire patch.  Put the dollar bill over the hole, insert the tube, add air, and go.  It's supposed to be temporary--just to get you home--but I figured what the heck and rode to work.  I also rode home with it.  I've considered leaving it there, but that's just asking for trouble.  I'll have to replace the tire.

A better (and less expensive) temporary patch is Tyvek.  Find an old diskette sleeve or FedEx envelope, cut off a piece about the size of a dollar bill, and put it in your seat bag or backpack.  It weighs almost nothing, is stronger than the dollar bill, and it'll save you from a very long walk, especially if you're way back in the woods on your mountain bike when you damage your tire.