Can you relate to these common puncture repair mistakes?

How to fix a bicycle puncture
How to fix a bicycle puncture repair classes
How to fix a bicycle puncture repair classes
Anna Glowinski's picture

Can you relate to these common puncture repair mistakes?

Cycling UK's Women's Festival of Cycling live 'How to fix a puncture' classes for beginners create a welcoming and light-hearted environment, where all questions, challenges and struggles are embraced. Through running the classes last year we've seen the common mistakes. Here is a selection of some of our favourite errors so you can avoid them, or at the very least, know that you are not alone.

Why don't you join one of our beginner How to fix a puncture classes?

Know the basic set-up

While alternative set-ups are becoming increasingly popular, the main thing you need to know about your own set-up as a beginner is that you don't puncture your wheel, you actually puncture your innertube (or simply tube) which sits inside the tyre. In order to get going again, you need to access the innertube, put a patch on the hole, put the tube back inside the tyre and pump air back into it.

These steps to fix a puncture can be completed very quickly with a bit of practice, so give it a go in the comfort of your own home in order so you'll be prepared when it happens in real life.


How to fix a bicycle puncture repair classes
Wheel, inner-tube and puncture repair kit

Get the right size for the hole

The valve of the innertube sticks out through a hole in your rim (wheel), from where you can connect your pump and inflate the tube. There are two main valve types: Schraeder and Presta. One is short and fat (schraeder), the other is long and skinny (presta).

If you don´t have the correct one for your wheel it won´t be going through the hole. Be sure you buy the correct valve type before you head out on a ride. 


Presta and Schraeder innertube valves
Presta and Schraeder innertube valves

Subscribe to our newsletter for regular top tips, advice, events and stories.

Keep it simple

There are two ways of getting on with repairing your flat tyre. One is replacing the innertube, the other is putting a patch on the hole in the tube. If you go for the latter option, remember that you don´t actually have to take your wheel off the bike. You can just slide the innertube to the side and slap on a patch, saving yourself time and hassle. 


How to fix a bicycle puncture repair classes
Keep your wheel in your bike frame when patching an innertube

Repeat business

One of the most frustrating common mistakes when fixing punctures or replacing tubes is to finish the job and then, ten seconds later, find yourself once again with a flat tyre.

The most common reason for this is that you were so happy to have your tube ready and to get back on with your ride you forgot to check the inside of the tyre for the original cause.

Thorns, shards of glass or sharp grit often get stuck in the tyre itself, piercing a hole in the tube inside.

If you don´t take out the culprit, it will just sit there waiting to strike all over again. Always check your tyre before replacing the tube.


How to fix a bicycle puncture repair classes
Check your tyre for thorns before replacing the innertube

There is such a thing as too much pumping

On the side of your tyre it will tell you how much you should pump it up. In the UK this is most commonly explained as PSI.

If your pump has a gauge on it, you will watch the needle and keep pumping until it hits the same number PSI as stated on your tyre.

You will be given a lower (min) and higher (max) limit (what number you want to pump to within those limits is up to you).

Do not make the mistake of one of our students in thinking that “30 min” means 30 minutes of pumping...unless you want to explode your tyre or have a serious arm work out.


How to fix a bicycle puncture repair classes
Check the side of your tyre for how much air to pump in

Free: Join our live online puncture repair classes

As part of the Women´s Festival of Cycling, we are inviting women to join Cycling UK's free online beginner bicycle mechanic clinics.

They will take place in our "virtual classroom" where you can follow along in the comfort of your own home, learn how to fix your bike yourself, and have your questions answered.

In all of our classes, you will enter a patient environment in which you will follow along with the tutor, who will make sure that everyone has completed each stage before moving onto the next step. Nobody gets left behind. 

Monday 19 July How to fix a puncture (rim brakes)

Monday How to fix a puncture (disk brakes)

Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Get great stories and advice with our monthly enews, tailored for women Sign up today
Cycling UK continues to support the UK to cycle
This remains true during this difficult period with the ongoing threat of coronavirus Covid-19