You never know when bad luck will strike in the form of a nail, broken glass, thorn, or other sharp object that’s out to get your tire! The first time I had a flat on my road bike I was partially prepared – I had a patch kit, a frame pump, and my cell phone. I knew how to use my cell phone. Later that day, after my rescue by motor vehicle, I learned how to fix a flat and made my way to Proteus (I was a customer at the time) to get the rest of the emergency supplies I needed to keep riding when the next tack attacked my tire.
Check our events page on the website and Facebook for our next free fix-a-flat clinic. Stop by the shop to get the supplies you need to be prepared for flats and other mechanical problems, so you can keep riding!
Recommended basic supplies:
- UNDER SEAT BAG. Keep your emergency supplies on your bike in this bag that tucks under your saddle.
- SPARE INNER TUBE. Check the sidewall of your tire for the size. Make sure you choose the correct valve (Shrader or Presta). Take a picture of the sidewall so you always have the size handy.
- TIRE LEVERS. Use tire lever (not a knife, not a screwdriver) to lever the tire bead off the rim.
- FRAME PUMP OR CO2. You will need to get air in your tires after the flat. But how? ( Check out this video to see how Greg LeMonde does it)
- CO2 cartridges are small and fit easily into your jersey pocket or under seat bag. You’ll need an adapter to get the air from the cartridge into your tire.
- Frame pumps can attach to the bottle cage mounts on your seat tube, be ziptied or velcroed to the top tube, or fit in a bag or jersey pocket depending on size.
- DOLLAR BILL. If you have really bad luck, a big gash in the tire can ruin your day. You can boot the inside of the tire to prevent the tube from bulging out with a $5 tire boot, or just use a $1 bill. Then when you replace your tire, you can give yourself a reward!
- PATCH KIT. Patch kits are great if you know how to use them or have time to wait for the patch to set. Always have a spare inner tube as your number one go-to for flat repair, and use your patch kit for back up or for when you have time to patch the tire later.
- MULTI TOOL. A compact multi-tool has the allen keys you need to tighten most of the bolts on your bike. Some have torx keys, chain tools, spoke wrenches, and screwdrivers. We can help you choose the best one for your bike (and your skills).
Other items to consider: Spare cash for emergencies (hunger, tipping the person who helps you fix your flat, buying an extra tube, etc), first aid supplies (at least a band aid and an alcohol wipe).
Even if you’re not an expert flat fixer, you can often flag down someone who can help. Be prepared! And happy riding!