We all do rides that take us far from our starting point and most of us carry at least one spare tube with is in case we get a flat. But, what do you do if you get a flat and find that whatever you hit left a large hole in your tire? I’m not talking about the tube, but the actual tire. When you hold it up you can see through it.
A few months ago I was out on a ride with a buddy and that is exactly what happened. I never experienced this myself but I knew a rubber tube pressing on an open hole with 100+ psi wouldn’t get us home.
When you get a flat, the first thing you need to do is get your wheel off and remove the tire and tube. Inspect the tire to make sure you don’t have something stuck in it that will give you another flat.
If you find a hole in the tire that’s big enough to see through, you have a few options to temporarily repair it and may be prepared even if you didn’t plan ahead for this kind of situation. The key is to block the hole so that your new tube doesn’t expand into it and pop before you get back home.
- The Dollar Method: I always carry a few dollars on my rides in case I need a drink or a snack at a rest stop. You can take one of these, or the baggie you use to keep your money dry and fold it up to put a few layers of protection over the hole on the inside of the tire before you insert the new tube. It might be a little difficult to get in place, but it will get you home.
- The Electrical Tape Method: I use electrical tape on my bike to secure my water bottle cages and to hold my bar tape in place. If you get a hole in your tire, you can simply unwind the tape and use it to patch the hole in the tire. To give credit where it’s due, I’ve always had the extra tape on my road bike but I haven’t had to do much of this kind of maintenance to my triathlon bike yet. I was reading A Simple Cycling Tip http://bit.ly/2eMixS7 on carrying extra electrical tape and it occurred to me that this was a great idea.
3. The Trash Method: No money and no electrical tape – now what? Start checking your pockets and saddle bags. If you’re out on a long ride, chances are you have some kind of fuel with you for the ride. Do you still have any of your gel or Honey Stinger waffles in your pocket? A receipt from the gas station? Those will work too.
As you can see, there are a lot of options to try to get you home, you just have to think outside the box sometimes.
Good luck and safe riding.
Do you have any other great ideas for solving this problem? Share them in the comments below.