I’ve been cycling to work for a month now and I’ve enjoyed every moment. So much so, that I am going to continue doing it through the Hyderabad summer. However, for those who plan to commute to work by cycle, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Punctures are bound to happen. Nails and shards of glass strewn on the roads will eventually make it through your tires and rip into your tubes. Instead of being frustrated by it, learn to fix your own punctures. It’s not too difficult and once you get the hang of it, it takes about 5-10 minutes to fix one. Of course, you need the tools. Here is a list of things you will need:
Puncture kit: This consists of a set of stickers and a bit of sandpaper. If you have ever been to a puncture shop and seen them use a glue from a tube, do NOT use them with these stickers. These do not need the glue and will not stick if you use them on the glue.
Portable air pump: No use fixing a puncture without being able to inflate the tire again. So get yourself a portable air pump. Again, Btwin has a nice pump that comes with a holder to stick it your bike.
Tire valve screwdriver: You need this to remove all the air from your tube so that you can insert the tube back into the tire.
Spare tubes: Always keep a spare tube with you. There is always the chance of the puncture being so bad that you can’t fix it. Finding the right tube, if you are riding a non-standard (BSA, Hercules or Hero) bike can be difficult.
Wet wipes: Your hands are going to be dirty after you are done. A pack of wet wipes helps you get them clean without having to look for a water tap.
Once you have all the items, I suggest you do some dry runs at home so that you are not figuring out the process when you are on the road and, most probably, in a hurry.
Tip: Turn your bike upside down so it is resting on the seat and the handlebars. This saves you the headache of bending over or finding a place to sit while you are fixing the puncture.
As for the process of how to fix the puncture. There are many videos on YouTube that will tell you how to do it far better than me wasting a thousand words to explain the process here. So go check them out.