Friday, 24 September 2010

First Puncture

Yesterday morning I set off earlier than usual and was planning to get into work and have a relaxed breakfast. However it wasn't meant to be. About half way into my journey as the Emirates Stadium came into view I heard that dreaded sound of deflated rubber on tarmac and lo and behold there it was my first flat.

First thing I thought was "Sh!t", I knew I should have been carrying a spare tube or a at least puncture repair kit, but I didn't have either in my bag.

Also it was so early in the morning no cycle shops were open, even though there were about 2-3 shops within a 10 minute walk from where I was.

There was a Texaco petrol station close by,  and it did sell puncture repair kits. I spent about 20 mins trying to work out how to get my front wheel off and then I was trying to pull the tyre off  to release the inner tube. By this time I was getting frustrated and I realised one of the close by bike shops were about to open. So I got myself there and the guy in the shop replaced the inner tube straight away for a tenner.

So here are my recommendations to avoid the trouble I had yesterday:

1. Read up on how to change an inner tube. See the following links:

2. Carry a spare inner tube, tyre levers and a pump with you at all times.

3. Find out where cycle shops are located near your route and keep a note of there opening hours. If you are travelling somewhere that's unfamiliar to you, check google maps or call 118 118 who can tell you where the closest shop is and their timings.

4. Reduce the risk of getting a puncture. Keep your tyres well inflated and remove small stones and other things that get stuck in the tyres.  Also avoid riding through a glass on the road :-P

5.Go through a trial run of changing the inner tube in the warmth of your home, instead of a cold rainy morning for the first time - tip from Paul in comment.s


  1. 5. Alternatively, ride a Brompton. If you get a puncture (or cramp, or if it rains) just get on a bus with it instead.

  2. Not sure if I could do 9 miles on a Brompton :-)

  3. Good advice. However changing a puncture on a cold wet morning when you've never done it before can be daunting, so to save yourself from forever ending up at the bike shop and giving them another tenner by doing a trial run at home in the comfort of your warm kitchen.

    Also, don't say the "p" word, it's bad luck!

  4. Trial run is a definitely the way to go Paul. Will add it to the list.

  5. Should I admit that even though I've been commuting by bike for 3 years now I still don't know how to mend a puncture? I really must learn!!

  6. Stop a black cab & ask nicely!

  7. Wonder if there is a breakdown service for cycles like the AA or RAC? Or whether in fact these car breakdown guys would be able to help you out?

  8. Or could try out "puncture proof" tyres:

  9. You can by tyre liners that sit between tube and tyre. They are not cheap, but I found they reduced the number of punctures by around 90%.