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Best tire plug kits 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated November 1, 2018
Best tire plug kits of 2018
After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made. Here are my top picks with detailed reviews, comparison charts and buying guides to help you purchase the perfect item for your needs. Simply review and buy them. So this is not only going to give you an insight to the best tire plug kits of the 2018 but also those which are user friendly and easy to work with.
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 kits win the first place?
I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.
Why did this tire plug kits come in second place?
I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. 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 kits take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.
tire plug kits Buyer’s Guide
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.
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.
In testing, we wanted to address a source of mass confusion: what size should it be? I read review after review stating that the bag is much smaller than the purchaser originally thought, so we laid out or top choices, from Topeak, Lezyne, Serfas, Avenir and BV, and figured out exactly what fits in what.
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.
Removing the tube
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.
Puncture repair kit
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.
The spare tire, jack, and lug wrench are vital and should all come with your vehicle. If any of these three are missing, replace them immediately. Always keep your vehicle owner’s manual in your car, as it will include details on where you can find your spare and steps for changing your tire.
Find a Safe Spot
In the event that your tire blew out while you were on the road, slow down, put your hazard lights on, and find a safe place to change your tire. If you are driving on a freeway or busy city street, it’s best to get as far away from traffic as possible.
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 kits wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of tire plug kits
- №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