Fixing a puncture on your Child’s Bike

Date: 2021-12-08 Posted by: Yogesh Chauhan, Co-Founder & CEO, Beetle Bikes

Imagine pushing your child to drop the Laptop/Mobile Phone and get them to ride their bike, only to realise that the cycle has a flat! The child happily goes back to her/his mobile phone and you stare frustratingly at the flat tyre!


In most cases, this would also lead to the cycle not getting used for many weeks, as the parents would just not be able to find the time to go out and get the puncture fixed. We know of cases where the cycle was eventually abandoned completely after just one puncture!


While punctures are a very common occurrence in cycling, they need not create such major problems for you. A puncture should not stop you or your child from cycling. Knowing how to fix a puncture can go a long way in ensuring that your child maintains the healthy habit of cycling consistently.


For long distance cyclists or for trail riders, like myself, knowing how to fix a puncture is an absolute basic skill that needs to be known. Without that, you wont be able to ride out farther without the anxiety of going too far away from a bike technician shop.


Lets see how to fix a puncture:


Easiest way to learn it: Just watch a YouTube video on this. It will be far easier than reading it here. However, I will share the high points and tips given my experience of fixing punctures over the past 6 years.


What you would need to fix a puncture:

  • Tyre levers: These are needed to pry open the tyre and get access to the inner tube.
  • Rubber tube solution: This solution acts as an adhesive.
  • Puncture patches
  • Pliers: To take out the nail/thorn that might still be stuck in the tyre
  • Air Pump
  • A tub with water for locating the puncture. 

All the above are easily available on platforms like Amazon. In most cases, the first 3 are available as a kit and can be bought together.


Tip: Get a set of 3 tyre levers instead of the standard 2 that are normally available. Having 3 levers makes prying open the tyre a bit easier.


Fixing a puncture:

Step 1: Pry open the tyre with the tyre levers. You will need to watch a YT video for doing this. Best way to learn this is by trying it out. There is no other way of learning this skill.


Step 2: Take out the tube carefully. Fill it up with air, and insert it in the water tub to trace the air bubbles from the punctured area.

Tip: Fill in a decent amount of air. This will ensure that the flow of bubbles is visible even for small leak sized punctures.

Tip: If you do not have a wide enough tub, the other option is to fill in more pressure in the tube and feel the leak with your fingers. In most cases, this process works. If you are fixing a puncture out of home or on a ride, this is really the only option available. 


Step 3: Once you locate the puncture area, mark it with a chalk or a pen and deflate the tyre. Ensure that the tyre is deflated completely before the next step. If air continues to flow from the puncture, the patch will not seal at all.


Step 4: Apply a thin layer of the puncture solution over the marked area. Ensure that the layer is wider than the puncture patch that you are about to paste on top of it.


Tip: Most people tend to paste the patch immediately after applying the solution. This is not correct. You need to allow the solution to dry out almost completely before the patch is applied. The bond will be created only then.


Once the solution is almost dry, carefully apply the patch over the hole. Ensure that all edges of the patch are properly stuck to the tube. You can use the pliers to lightly hammer into the patch to ensure that the patch sticks to the tube.


Step 5: While the patch sticks, check the area on the tyre where the tube was punctured. It is highly likely that the nail/thorn is still there. Remove it with pliers.


Step 6: You can now re-inflate the tube and check in the water tub again. Alternatively, if you are sure that the patch is fixed properly, carefully insert the tube back into the tyre/wheel slot. Again, you will need to watch a YT video to see this process.


Tip: Fill in a little amount of air in the tube before you start fixing the tyre back. This will ensure that the tube does not roll or fold while the tyre is getting fitted.


Step 7: Use the tyre levers to fix the tyre back. Re-inflate the tube, and you are ready to go!


The entire process, once you are used to it, takes less than 15 minutes. It saves a trip to the roadside mechanic/bike shop and usually costs under 10 rs to fix a puncture at home!


Read our blog on how to avoid punctures as well!


Write to us at support@beetlebikes.in to know more on this.