Whether it is your own bicycle or a mountain bike for kids, knowing how to fix a puncture is important, especially if you have taken your bike out for a long ride and inadvertently cycled over something sharp. The last thing you need is to be far from home with a burst tire.
What to Remember
Learning how to repair a bicycle puncture then is particularly important. Moreover, once you have learned how to do it, you should teach your child(ren) too. You should also make a point of having a puncture repair kit with youwhenever you are out with your bike.
Puncture repair kits will either have a self-adhesive patch or will come with glue. Although glue is designed to offer a permanent fix, a self-adhesive patch is quicker and more convenient, especially if you are repairing a puncture when out and about.
Finding the Hole
The first thing you need to do is find where the puncture is. But firstlook to see if there is anything in the tire that caused the puncture, such as a nailor piece of glass.
You will need to remove the tire from the wheel with a tire lever. The tire lever should be inserted between the edge of the tire and the rim of the wheel. Lift the edge of the tire out of the wheel rim and continue the entire way around.
Once the tire is off, you can lift the inner tube out. You need to inspect the tube to see where the hole is. It may not be immediately obvious, especially if it is a tiny hole. It is easier to locate the hole if the tube is inflated,so pump it up and look all around. If you cannot see it, listen for a hissing sound as you squeeze the tube. If you still cannot find the hole, put the tube in some water if you can access someand move the tube around until you see bubbles. Once the hole is found, mark it with chalk or a marker.
Repairing the Hole
You are now ready to repair the damage to the tube. You will probably find some sand paper in the repair kit. Use this to roughen up the area around the hole as this will make it easier for the glue or self-adhesive patch to stick. If using glue, you should leave it to get tacky for about a minute before placing the patch on top as this will ensure a better bond.
Check the Repair
Once you have patched up the hole, you need to check that the puncture has been repaired and that there are no other holes. Do this by inflating the tube and giving it a gentle squeeze to make sure that air is not being released. When you are happy that there is no air leaving the tube, you can then place it back inside the tire, making sure that the valve plug is inserted into the hole in the wheel and that you have followed the direction of any arrows on the tube.
The tire can then be tucked back inside the rim of the wheel with the tire lever. Make sure you have tucked the wheel in, all the way around. Once the tire is fitted back onto the wheel, you should reinflate the tire.
To ensure there is nothing stuck on the outside of the tire, give it a quick brush to get rid of any sharp stones or small pieces of glass that could cause another puncture once you start riding again.