How do I fix a tubeless puncture on the trail and at home?
Luckily, it can be quickly fixed with a tubeless plug kit. Depending on the size of the hole and the plugs, there are two techniques to plug the tire. For smaller punctures, push the plug into the hole until it fully disappears inside the tire. Then carefully pull the installer out, until mm of the plug is visible. 2 days ago · Just like repairing a tube, glue tire patches can work wonders on punctures to tubeless tires. This takes a bit more time, though as, depending where the puncture is, you may have to remove the tire.
Tires are — like most other bike parts — in short supply this year. Even in normal times, a fresh set of treads can be pricey. Which makes getting a hole in one on your first ride a particularly painful experience.
But wait! You can fix your tire! Tubeless tire technologies — and tubeless sealant — have come what is the largest forest fire ever recorded in history long way. You can now expect that small punctures will be solved by sealant alone, even in lightweight xc or gravel tires.
Tricks you can try to save your ride, or get home safe. Always carry a tube and some sort of valve removal tool on rides. After years of superstition, it is to the point where I bring a spare tube as much a good luck charm, warding off bad trail vibes, as a functional piece of kit. But what flowers to plant for a butterfly garden is also that.
Tire plugs are borrowed from automotive tires, just downsized for mountain bikes. They work the same in both situations. Often, this is all you need. Bacon strips can last for a long time in your tire, or they will tear out every other ride. It can be a bit of luck of the draw. Like trail bacon, a small square of loose fabric can seal holes too big for sealant alone. Push the fabric into the hole, trim excess, and off how to repair a tubeless tire puncture go.
Sometimes this takes a bit longer than plugs, so it might not be the best option mid-XC race. But, when it does seal, it tends to last longer.
The fabric absorbs sealant inside the tire and, when that hardens, seems to function like a patch and can last for a long time.
Just like repairing a tube, glue tire patches can work wonders on punctures to tubeless tires. This takes a bit more time, though as, depending where the puncture is, you may have to remove the tire.
But you can patch that same puncture on the inside. Just be sure to clean off any sealant and dry the surface around the puncture before applying the patch. Note: Only the old-school, glue patches work. Not the glueless patches that come in some tire kits. Any skateboarders — or ex-skateboarders reading this will already have a supply of Shoe Goo, and know that it can fix just about anything. For fixing a persistent puncture, paring Shoe Goo with a big of fabric tape makes a solid patch.
Sort of like a combination of the trail bacon and fabric plugs, above, but in one super patch. Not all will. Not all of these fixes will work every time. Sometimes a hole is perfectly placed to ruin your tire. If you slice too many threads in the tire casing, it will loose too much sidewall support and feel weird. The vast majority of flats can be fixed, though. Light tires feel fast, which is fun. But a heavier casing can prevent sidewall cuts or pinch flats. Some even have additional layers just for the sidewall.
These add weight, but a heavy tire is faster than a flat tire, no? After some trial and error to start how to repair a tubeless tire puncture with, there are several reliable options for tire inserts. You can get them for gravel, XC, downhill, and even fat bikes. Most help prevent flats — in part by adding a layer between the tire casing and the rim to help prevent pinch flats.
Some also have performance benefitslike letting you run lower pressures for better traction. Most are also much easier to use now than in the early days. Terry McKall April 30, Tire plugs and tool 2 Tire plugs a. Load More. Want fresh cycling content delivered to your inbox? Add your email to the Canadian Cycling newsletter mailing list:. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Newsletter Signup.
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While a tubeless setup is certainly less likely to puncture than a tubed tire, there is still a possibility for air loss. Therefore, you should be prepared with the correct knowledge and tools to fix a tubeless puncture on the trail and at home. Here are the most common tubeless issues you might encounter and how to fix them! Never heard of tubeless? In our ultimate guide to MTB tubeless , we explain everything you need to know about tubeless setup, tires and much more!
There are a host of different scenarios that lead to a puncture or air loss on the trail but in the end, you always have one goal: seal the system so it can hold air again. Depending on the severity of the problem, fixing a tubeless puncture can take less than a minute with the right tools. You will need a mini-pump or Co2 cartridge and inflator , a tubeless tire plug set click here to read our tire plug group test , a tire patch and a tube for the worst case. Luckily, it is possible to store all of these tools without needing to wear a backpack.
They will easily fit into a hip pack we tested 24 in a big hip pack group test , or even on your bike. Fixable on the trail? Yes Time needed for repair: minutes. This kind of puncture is caused by small thorns, sharp rocks or nails etc on the trail. It is probably the most common tubeless puncture, and luckily also one of the easiest to fix. In fact, you might have already punctured on the trail without realising, as the tubeless sealant in your tires often seals these small punctures immediately.
If, however, the hole is too big for the sealant to fix on its own — often caused by a pinch flat — you will need a tubeless plug kit. The first step is to find the hole or holes and wipe away any surrounding dirt.
If you are riding in a group, ask a buddy to keep their finger over it to minimise air-loss. Then, quickly thread the tire plug through the plug installer. Depending on the size of the hole and the plugs, there are two techniques to plug the tire.
For smaller punctures, push the plug into the hole until it fully disappears inside the tire. Then carefully pull the installer out, until mm of the plug is visible. Use your fingers to hold the plug in place and remove the installer. Once the plug is installed, spin the wheel to let the sealant coat the tire and re-inflate if needed. In our experience, if installed correctly, tubeless plugs can last the lifetime of the tire and do not need to be removed.
However, it is worth trimming the exposed plug to prevent it from ripping out under heavy braking. Yes Time needed for repair: mins. Your rear tire is not leaking, but it has definitely lost air… What happened?!
You have rolled the tire so hard across the rim that the tire bead has pulled away from the rim, briefly letting a lot of air escape, before popping back in place and closing the gap between the rim and tire.
In short, you have burped a tire. Either way, the fix is simple. All you have to do is re-inflate the tire and keep riding. We recommend checking out our Tire Pressure Guide to find your perfect pressure and prevent burping in the future. You should also top up your sealant before your next ride, as you most likely lost some during the burp. If you burp on a regular basis, even with high tire pressures, you are very likely running a tire that is too wide for your rim width.
No, install a tube and fix at home A cut sidewall is usually caused by long, sharp rocks which cut a long slit into the tire. These punctures are too big for tire plugs and sealant to seal. Your only option is to install a tube and ride home. If the cut is really big, try protecting the tube by sticking some tape or plastic etc in between the tire and the tube. Depending on the severity of the damage, you can try fixing the tire at home by thoroughly cleaning the tire inside and out, roughening up the inside of the tire with sandpaper and applying a tire patch with vulcanising glue.
Otherwise, the tire is a write-off. If a spoke punctures through the tubeless rim tape, you will quickly start losing air through the spoke holes. Unfortunately, there is no easy fix and you will have to install a tube to get you home make sure the spoke is not protruding into the rim bed!
In order to fix the issue at home, remove the tire and the rim tape and clean the rim thoroughly. If spoked snapped, replace it… Make sure you know why the spoke punched through the tape: check for even spoke tension and make sure your rim is an intact running true.
Re-tape the rim with new tape and set up tubeless. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Tubeless for everything you need to know! If you have dented your rim and it is losing air, the only option is to install a tube and carefully ride home. Make sure to thoroughly inspect the rim first — if the damage is too bad you will have to walk back. Likely Time needed for repair: mins. If your valve is leaking, try tightening the lock-nut that holds it in place.
Sometimes they rattle loose, causing the leak. Admittedly, we all have bent or somehow messed with our valve core trailside. When releasing air for example… If your valve core is broken, no need to panic. You often carry one around inside your spare tube without even knowing! Remove the core from the spare tube, carefully remove the one from the tubeless valve this will let all the air out of the tire and install the spare valve core.
Pump the tire back up and ride on. Are you doing everything right, yet still ending most rides in deflated disappointment? You are probably running the wrong tires! Luckily, we have put together a massive tubeless MTB tire group test , so you can find the perfect tire for your bike! With the correct setup and tire choice, tubeless punctures are very rare.
However, if you are caught off-guard and puncture, we hope the tips above will get you back onto the trail ASAP. Tubeless punctures are not scary, and definitely not a reason to stick with a tubed setup.
Remember, you can always install a tube and ride home! Finlay gets right down to business, on his bike and in his career. As the youngest member of the team, he likes riding his bike fast and hard.
As an editor, he tests, takes photos and writes reviews about bikes, all of which he does to the highest standard. Know-How Workshop. Luckily, tubeless punctures are relatively rare. However, if you do find yourself with a deflated tire this guide will help you get back on the trail ASAP! You may also like. Finlay Anderson Finlay gets right down to business, on his bike and in his career.
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