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We don’t all have the fortune of a team car, roof rack full of spare wheels and a mechanic on hand when we go riding which means you need to be prepared for the worst.

At this time of year the wet roads combined with grit and salt make for some tough conditions for tyres and componentry. One of the most common reasons for breakdown is a puncture. While at home and in the warmth of your living room this isnt’ a huge problem in the middle of no where with it can mean the difference between a nice ride home or a long walk.

Mr Boonen

A basic puncture repair package isn’t expensive, doesn’t take up much room and will keep for many months if untouched.

So the basics:

  • A spare tube (maybe two if you’re heading out alone).
  • Tyre levers.
  • Puncture patches (what if you have more punctures than tubes?!).
  • And of course a pump.

All of which can easily be put into a back pocket if packed properly.

There are various ways of inflating a new tube but the most reliable and re-usable is a mini-pump. With the range we have available at PBK there’s bound to be one for you and your wallet. Given the (hopefully) little use it will get £25 is the most I’d want to be spending on a pump and for that there is a large choice:

First up is one for the perfectionists out there, the Lezyne Alloy drive pump. All of Lezyne’s products are beautifully made from aluminium and carbon fibre, and would look the part in anyone’s back pocket.

Finally, and a favourite here at PBK is the Blackburn AirStik SL pump. It is shorter and lighter than the others weighing just 58g, and the sleek looks make it a winner.
The head is presta only, though this shouldn’t really be a problem. Again it will happily pump up to 160psi and although it has a smaller barrel in in fact has two chambers which push out a claimed 37% more air per stroke compared to a single chambered pump of the same size.
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So grab yourself one of these, a couple of tubes, patches and tyre levers. If you pack it properly it can easily be put into your back pocket and it’ll sit nicely until you require it. Another choice, and which is nice at this time of the year is to use a small saddle bag to house your tubes levers and patches and then just pop the pump into a back pocket as you’re getting ready. This way you haven’t got to worry about putting bits in your pockets, especially when you might have a jacket and gilet over the top, just make sure the bag has a waterproof zip! Sitting above the rear tyre makes it prone to getting soaked in the wet even with guards on. Another tip – have a go at inflating a tube at home to see just how the pump head works and if there’s a knack to getting it to work properly.

You can then ride around with the knowledge that should the p*nct8re fairy visit you’ll be on your way in no time.

Merry Christmas from all at PBK

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