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Best tire plug kit 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated May 1, 2018
Best tire plug kit of 2018
So, what exactly would anyone want to know about tire plug kit? I know most of us don’t really care much about the history and the origin, all we want to know is which of them is the best. Of course, I will spare you the history and go straight on to the best tire plug kit. Like choosing clothes or cosmetics, choosing tire plug kit should be based on your purpose, favorite style, and financial condition.
Not all tire plug kit are created equal though. There’s a product for every kind of user on the list of affordable options below.
Test Results and Ratings
№1 – 67 Piece Heavy Duty Flat Tire Repair Kit with Auto Changing & Insertion Tools|Onroad/Offroad Tubeless Puncture Set|Vulcanizing Plugs Fix Tire without Glue|Truck
Why did this tire plug kit win the first place?
I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!
Why did this tire plug kit come in second place?
This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery.
Why did this tire plug kit take third place?
The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new.
tire plug kit Buyer’s Guide
How to repair a puncture
Just how do you go about testing a patch kit? Rather than wait for the inevitable, we took a brand-new inner tube and stuck it a couple of times with a bradawl, then slit it with a knife.
Two puncture wounds plus a centimetre- long slash, which we felt represented the most common leaks – a hole brought about by broken glass or a thorn and the pinch puncture, typically caused by a pothole.
On one hole we just slapped on a patch to see how it fared, on the other two we prepared as per the instructions, then headed out on the road to see what happened…
ParkTool GP-Super Patch
Bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Flat Boy (above), out of the box the two kits look identical although this one is slightly pricier.
ParkTool’s instructions state that you need to lightly scuff the tube, peel the patch from the backing and press firmly into place (what could be easier?) although it’s worth mentioning that the surface also needs to be clean and dry (not so easy on a wet ride).
Although the sandpaper again proved awkwardly small, we had great success with the Super Patch. The patches themselves are extremely sticky, which is where their transparency again comes in useful, helping make sure you patch the right spot.
Nutrak Puncture Repair Kit
Forget your six pack, Nutrak generously give you a pack in this repair kit. Mounted on foil, the ten patches are identical, measuring 25mm round.
Thin and flexible, with tapered edges, the patches aim to work with the shape of the tube and prevent the edges peeling while providing excellent protection.
Being a vulcanising patch there is a rubber solution and preparatory sandpaper included, too.
Again supplied with more than ample glue, Nutrak’s repair kit did a great job of sealing our three holes, Nutrak’s patches also proved more flexible than some others so despite coming in one size, they covered our self-inflicted rubber wounds just beautifully.
Birzman Feextube Patch Kit
Birzman has taken a slightly different approach to other brands, not only in its patches but its packaging, too. A rather stylish, mid-sized plastic box contains three square patches of the glueless variety, each measuring 30mm square, along with a short-term tyre boot (34mm by 42mm) plus a metal stainless steel scuffer built into the lid.
By giving the aggressive metal scuffer a holder, it’s much easier to use than some of the others on test.
The patches, meanwhile, were soft and flexible enough to conform well to the tube, although interestingly it was possible to see the 10mm cut bulging and lifting the patch slightly, meaning we had to reapply the first patch we attempted to apply.
Parktool VP-Vulcanising Patch Kit
Packing three pairs of patches, the VP-will cover most of your hole-sealing options as standard thanks to the 20mm and 25mm round options, plus an oval one measuring 25mm by 35mm.
Being a vulcanising kit, it includes sandpaper for priming the tube prior to applying the glue and the patch.
These were the thickest patches on test, and though they adhere well enough in the centre they did struggle to wrap around the inner tube’s diameter. The result? We had to glue them on twice.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of glue in that small tube. Different patch sizes are a helpful inclusion, too.
Schrader: The most common valve type, found on mountain bikes and hybrid bikes as well as cars. The value tends to be used on tyres that run at a lower pressure.
Presta: Most commonly found on road bikes, the presta valve is designed for higher pressure tyres that are more common on narrower tyre/wheel sizes.
Many of the floor pumps come with a pressure gauge for you to be able to see what the current pressure of your tyre is, this makes it much easier to determine how much more air you need to inflate.
While floor pumps are fantastic around the home they are too bulky to carry around with you when you’re actually out on the bike, this is where manual pumps are perfectly suited. These lightweight pumps easily fit in to a bag, jersey pocket and can even be attached to your bike frame. Due to their compact size they will take longer to pump up a tyre to the recommended pressure than a floor pump. Most pumps take around 150-200 strokes to inflate a road bike tyre from flat.
One of the key considerations of a manual pump is the build quality, Lezyne pumps are made of aluminium construction and ooze quality and offer long term durability.
COpumps offer an alternative to the traditional manual pump for riders who want a portable pump that gets the job done quickly. By using mini canisters of COthese pumps are designed to inflate a tyre in a few seconds to a suitable riding pressure to get you home. They are perfect for use in a racing situation where every second is critical. Using a COinflator takes a couple of seconds rather than a couple of minutes and this could well be the difference between winning and losing.
Puncture Repair Kits
Removing the tube
The first part is getting the punctured tube out of the tyre. The easiest way to do this is with tyre levers although you can occasionally get some tyres off just by using your hands if the fit is particularly good, or you happen to have the grip of a powerlifter, of course.
Levering the first bit of the tyre off the rim is the hardest part. Let all of the air out of the inner tube (if there’s any left, that is) and push the lever end of the tyre lever under the bead of the tyre. Then push down hard on the end of the lever and lift the tyre up.
Some tyre levers will have hooks on the end so you can attach them to the spokes to hold them in place at this point, but remember that the more you stretch the tyre, the harder it’ll be to get the second level under the bead.
With many tyres, this likely wont be a problem, but if it’s a particularly tight tyre, it might make it damn near impossible to get the tyre off.
Anyway, the next step is performing the same action with the second lever while making sure the first one stays in place. Once you’ve lifted that second part of the bead, it should sit outside the rim, leaving you free to lift the rest off the tyre off the rim, or do the same thing for a third time, if it needs a bit more persuasion.
Once you have half of the tyre completely out of the rim, you can remove the tube. After the tube’s out, check it over to see where the hole is.
There are various methods to do this. One if the hole is obvious enough, is to just look. Another, easier, way to do it is to pump air through the tube and listen/look/feel for air escaping.
Yet another way (and this one only generally works for fixing punctures when back at home, for obvious reasons) is to submerge sections of the tube in a tub of water while pumping air through the tube. That way you can see the air bubbling out of the hole when you reach the damaged section.
Something that’s easy to forget in the haste of fixing a tube is to check the tyre.
If your puncture’s been caused by something piercing the tyre, the last thing you want is to fix the tube, stick it back in the tyre only to puncture again five minutes down the road because the piece of glass or offending item is still stuck in the tyre.
So check the tyre thoroughly – use where the hole is in the tube to clue you in to where the tyre may be punctured – and make sure any debris is cleared.
In the case of bad punctures, where there’s a hole in the tyre, you may need a tyre boot to cover that hole until you get home.
Repairing the tube
In your puncture repair kit, there should be a small piece of sandpaper. Use it to lightly rub around the damaged tube in the area of the hole to provide a better surface for the rubber solution to grip.
Once applied – and this part is vital – leave it for around 30-60 seconds. You want the solution to go tacky, runny is no good at all, and you don’t want to apply the patch until the solution is just the right consistency.
While you’re waiting, get the patch ready by pulling the silver foil or similar off the back, but don’t touch the side you’ll be applying to the tube as you don’t want to get dirt on it.
I usually hold the patch against the tube for a good 30-60 seconds to make sure the whole thing is securely stuck down.
After that, either pump some air into the tube to check that the patch has been installed correctly or, once you’re confident enough in your ability to do it first time, stick the tube back in the tyre, inflate and you’re good to go.
Fixing a puncture is really a very simple task. But, like everything, you’ll probably have to muddle through the first few times before you get the technique dialled and it becomes second nature.
I’ve had tubes with multiple patches on that have lasted for hundreds more kilometres after the original puncture, so learning how to do this properly will genuinely save you money, especially as repair kits are usually a few pounds and can fix multiple tubes, whereas new tubes are anything between £3-each, or even more if you want something very fancy.
The sahmurai sword nearly stores away as a barplug
The plugs will work with any handlebar with an inside diameter of 17mm and up, but won’t fit bars with reinforced rings for bar ends.
We weren’t able to weigh these ourselves, but Sahm says the pair weighs roughly 40g – the mostly injection-moulded plastic construction keeps the weight to a minimum.
How we picked and tested
There are a ton of details here that may or may not be useful to you, depending on how familiar you are with all this kit. If you want to know how we narrowed down the field, and how we tested each item, read on. Otherwise, feel free to skip to the next section.
How we chose what to include in the kit
But even all of the internet was still just a tiny smattering of advice, so I talked with a broad spectrum of real-world experts, including Ramona Marks, a former mechanic at Bicycle Kitchen in LA, who has logged thousands of miles touring the world on her bike since 20I spoke to resident mechanic Cari Z at Bay Area Bikes in Oakland, CA, a former messenger who had more sneaky tricks for changing tires, carrying tools, and preventing flats than I could write down. And I spoke with Alison Tetrick, pro cyclist for team Twenty16, a pro female athlete rep for USA Cycling and board member of the Women’s Cycling Association. She routinely gets flats two or three times in a day of riding. And she’s out every day.
Once I had a list of solid recommendations from both editorial sources and expert interviews, I called in or bought all of them and put them to good use, changing about 50 tubes on a variety of wheel sizes over the course of a week.
Your tire lever needs to do two things: not break, and not slip out from under the tire bead, which is the edge of the tire that sits inside the wheel. If it slips, you can end up repeatedly scraping your knuckles on the spokes of the wheel, which is annoying (and painful).
If you do, you’re just asking for a bent rim, which means buying a new wheel. We also eliminated metal-core levers, metal levers with a plastic outside coating. I didn’t find any models where the metal extended into the tip of the lever, which is the part that is going to break, negating the durability feature.
I eliminated anything and everything that looked potentially cheap, bendable, or breakable. I eliminated long, large single levers that would be more comfortable sitting on your at-home tool bench instead of inside your seat bag. I looked specifically for levers that had spoke hooks, because if you have a rim/tire combination that is particularly tight, it can be difficult to change a tube without them. However, I did test two levers that don’t have this feature, because you don’t always need them.
The little plastic case is also useful because you’ll want to tuck this in your seat bag and it keeps everything in one place.
There’s another type of patch out there, the peel and stick kind, but they’re not as reliable. Cari explains that, “Vulcanization is the chemical bonding process that takes place between patches that require glue… it forms a bond so that it doesn’t just peel off” whereas stick-ons are basically just stickers. One brand, the Park Tool GP-2, had some genuinely enthusiastic endorsements that were hard to ignore, so I brought it in. If peel and sticks did work, it would be hard to argue with that level of convenience.
I ran two tests on our patches. First, I patched an identical tube with each, inflated them all to a very high psi of 120, and let them sit overnight to see if they held. In my second test, I applied one of each patch to identical tubes, only I skipped the crucial step of sanding the surface of the tube first. The goal was to see if one fluid bonded more tightly than another.
Bicycle hand pumps are specifically for flat repair in the field and are poor substitutes for floor pumps (which we have a full guide for here).
There are so many different models because the situations in which they’re used can be highly specific. Broadly speaking, the type of pump you’ll have the most success with is one designed for your bike, and they fall into two categories: pumps that inflate tires with very low psi ratings (40-60), but that push a lot of air so that you’re not sitting trailside all day, and pumps that push very small amounts of air, but can inflate tires to pressures upwards of 100 psi.
One of the ways they differ from floor models is that not all of them can accommodate both presta and Schrader valves; a good hand pump should do both. You shouldn’t have to buy a new pump if you buy a new bike, get your bike stolen, or feel obliged to help a fellow stranded cyclist. And toggling between a presta and Schrader attachment shouldn’t require an advanced degree.
Schrader vs. presta.
A decent pump also has to be able to inflate your tire, which sounds obvious, but with a hand pump, you don’t have the advantage of using the ground for leverage. Because of this, there comes a point, no matter what pump you have, when inflation gets extremely difficult. That’s normal. What shouldn’t happen is reaching a point where it’s physically impossible to fill a tire that still requires more air.
Unlike floor pumps, most hand pumps do not have gauges. To get readings during testing, I built a special rig to record pressure from presta valves. But the experts I spoke to seem divided on the usefulness of gauges. Half thought they were unnecessary, added bulk, and drove up cost. Why do you need a gauge if you know 100 pumps inflates your tire? But the other half liked having them, since the “thumb test” (pressing on the tire with your fingers to see if it’s inflated) is notoriously inaccurate—I noticed during testing that to the touch, tires felt fully inflated around 30 psi. Whether or not a gauge is important seems to be a personal decision, and we considered this when we chose our models for testing.
Having rubber tubing that connects your pump to the tire is vital, though you wouldn’t know it because there are still so many hand pumps that don’t offer this feature. A rubber tube will prevent you from inadvertently breaking the valve off.
Riders who buy carbon accessories are concerned with weight, because carbon is lighter than aluminum or steel, but weight concerns are largely irrelevant for most commuters.
Carbon isn’t important either. Riders who buy carbon accessories are concerned with weight, because carbon is lighter than aluminum or steel, but weight concerns are largely irrelevant for most commuters. Sure, you don’t want to lug around a lead weight, but none of the currently available portable pumps will add noticeable heaviness to your setup.
We also skipped COcartridge inflators and hybrid pumps (which combine manual and COinflation methods) for similar reasons. These are a specific tool for a specific situation, and appeal to racers on training rides, weekend warriors covering large distances, road support mechanics, and frankly, anyone who doesn’t want to be bothered using a pump, which runs the whole spectrum of riders.
But they’re simply not the best tool for a once-in-a-while repair on a regular commute. Without practice (even with it) you can accidentally discharge the air, and then you’re stranded. And while the pumps themselves are reusable, the cartridges they rely on for inflation are disposable, which means more trash, plus a trip to the shop every time you run out. To top it off, they’re not a permanent fix. Carbon dioxide leaks out of your tube very quickly, and you will have to pump up again with a real pump in a few hours.
To test, I pumped up three different tires with three different pressure ratings (40, 60, and 90), then compared how many pumps it took for each to get there and what kind of difficulties were found along the way.
A seat bag is extra storage on your bike, meant to strap to your seatpost and tuck underneath your seat. You can put anything you want in it, but most of the time its primary function is to store your tire repair kit and road tools.
How to fix a flat
If you already know how to change a tube and patch it, feel free to skip to the next section. Though changing out a busted tube seems like a daunting task for those who are unfamiliar with the process, it’s actually quite simple. It might take a few tries to get the hang of it, but once you do, just like riding a bike, it’s a skill you’ll keep for the rest of your life. There are a number of great tutorials on the web, but we’ll break down the basics for you here in order to explain how all these tools come into play.
Scott Karoly, sales associate at Alameda Bikes, commutes daily. His repair essentials.
Wheels are most commonly secured with a quick release lever (left) or a bolt (right).
Step 2: Remove the tire from the rim. Once your wheel is off, you use the tire levers to remove the tire from the rim. To do this, make sure all the air is out of the tube, then stick the flat side of the lever between the tire of the rim, and pry up. Try to get only the part of the tire stuck in the rim (called the bead) and avoid catching the tube. Otherwise you could cause what’s called a pinch flat and end up making things worse.
Step 3: Remove the damaged tube and any puncturing items. Once you get the initial part of the bead off, it’s just a matter of working your way through the circumference with one or both levers until the entire bead comes off the rim. At this point, the tire is “unseated” and you have access to the tube inside. Remove the damaged tube and stick it in your bag so you can repair it once you get home.
Do a quick inspection of your tire for debris. If you ran over a thorn, for example, and it’s still stuck in your tire, it has to be removed so you don’t puncture the brand new tube you’re about to put in.
Step 4: Insert the new tube. Self explanatory. Stick the new tube in there where the old one was. It’s helpful to inflate it just a bit before doing so—just a few pumps so that it somewhat keeps its shape, but not so much that it starts to balloon.
Step 5: Put the tire back on using your levers. Start at the valve stem. The tire gets tighter and harder to put back on the closer you get to the end, but if you start at the valve stem the most difficult section will be behind you. It should make getting that last 25% or so of the wheel back on easier. If at any point you feel or see the tube getting pinched between the tire and rim (or by your levers) stop and reevaluate your approach. Otherwise you’ll wind up with two busted tubes.
Step 6: Inflate the new tube. Once the tire is fully back on, use your hand pump to inflate the tube. It might take a few minutes; they’re not as efficient or easy to use as floor pumps. And that’s it. Put your wheel back on your bike and you’re ready to hit the road.
Great tutorials on changing a tire are hard to find, because many skip important steps that aren’t intuitive and many are done by experts that make the process look extremely easy. So before you get a flat, practice at least once on your own bike. Here’s a pretty great guide on how to change a road tire. And this mountain bike tutorial is helpful because it covers the crucial step of looking for debris in your tire after you get a flat.
How to apply patches
The reason you’re carrying the patches in your kit is for when something goes wrong: your spare tube has a leaky valve; you accidentally break the tube when you’re reinstalling it; your tube has been in your repair kit so long, something rubbed a hole in it. There are a lot of things that can ruin a tube; patches are your insurance policy when they do.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Seat bags also typically do not fit hand pumps. You can definitely get a tiny pump into a larger bag, but the tradeoff is that you’ve got a lot of bag (which costs more, and takes up a lot of space) and a little pump (so when your tire goes flat you’ll be pumping for an eternity) for the sake of something that might not add as much convenience as you think.
On a typical work day, I don’t attach my seat bag to my bike, because then I have to take it right back off if I lock my bike outside. Instead, I carry both my seat bag and pump in my commuter bag. They live there permanently, forgotten about, and I never take them out unless I have to fix a tire. That’s what makes choosing the smallest seat bag for your needs so valuable. If you want to go for a long ride, attach your seat bag and pump to your bike frame and you’re off. The Pressure Drive comes with a mount specifically for this purpose.
Carry it for your commute; attach it to your bike for a weekend ride.
The other issue, of course, is that if you get a puncture in a run-flat, you will have to replace it. Just as you’ll need to replace your space-saver spare if you’re forced to drive it more than 40 or 50km.
The company has long made a point of the safety advantage of run flats, which it thinks will eventually see them take over the motoring world. “People don’t have to endanger themselves by exiting the vehicle and trying to effect repairs,” as a spokeswoman put it.
How to Plug a Tire
If you have never plugged a tire before, you probably are skeptical if you can pull it off by yourself. You are after all not very handy. Well, the process is easy, and a quick tutorial on how to do it is more than you need. That said, the below video by EricTheCarGuy will take you through the steps involved.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your tire plug kit wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of tire plug kit
- №1 — 67 Piece Heavy Duty Flat Tire Repair Kit with Auto Changing & Insertion Tools|Onroad/Offroad Tubeless Puncture Set|Vulcanizing Plugs Fix Tire without Glue|Truck
- №2 — Boulder Tools – 56 Pc Heavy Duty Tire Repair Kit For Car
- №3 — Slime 1034-A T-Handle Tire Plug Kit