Natty Newbie episode seven: how to fix a puncture

Join Natty Newbie as she tries mountain biking for the first time. With just three weeks to go till the Ride Crater Cruise Mountain Bike Challenge, Natty is starting to gather self-help skills. Puncture repair on the trail is her first. Enter our fabulous competition to win your own start-up mountain-bike kit worth R19 000.

Tyres and I don’t seem too well matched. Three days into owning the Merida, I tried to let a little air out. In the tubeless conversion process, CycleLab pumps them firm to about three bars to ensure they seat themselves properly. Steve Bowman had advised me to let them down after a couple of rides. I unscrewed the whole valve and the tyre farted out air and slime like a balloon. Tail between my legs, I returned to CycleLab where Steve very congenially reseated the tyre.

A few weeks on, I now know how to pump the tyres and let just a little air out. The next step is to fix a puncture in the field by inserting a tube. Bear in mind, you put a tube in only if, firstly, the slime already in your tubeless tyres won’t self-seal the hole, or secondly, if a plug doesn’t close the hole. Follow the pics to see how it’s done…


















1. Remove flat tyre (in a race or even training situation, if the tyre doesn’t self-seal, you’ll put a tube in it to get home).



















2. Pop tyre bead off rim using tyre levers (get the levers under the edge and then slide around).


















3. Remove tubeless valve by unscrewing (stash the valve safely somewhere for future use).



















4. Insert tube, starting with valve.


















5. Work tube in under tyre, putting tyre back onto bead as you go. Work in a circle. You might need tyre levers to finish off.

6. Make sure tube and tyre is properly in place.


















7. Screw bomb onto applicator.

8. Bomb valve.

Good to go!


While you’re perfecting your puncture repair technique – the seasoned cyclists do it in less than a minute ­– don’t forget to send in your entries to win a replica of my full kit worth around R22 000, compliments of CycleLab, Ride magazine and Sanlam Reality.

Till next time, pedal on …

Natty Newbie

Contact CycleLab for a great selection of products in the online store, advice, tours, online race entries and details of the stores round the country.


Natty Newbie gets into mountain biking

Natty Newbie starts mountain biking episode two: Bike set-up

Natty Newbie episode three: Six things Natty learned about mountain biking   

Natty Newbie episode four: Mountain biking first spills 

Natty Newbie episode five: Weight watching techniques

Natty Newbie episode six: Stretching her limits in a yoga class for cyclists

WIN Ride, Sanlam Reality and CycleLab are giving one lucky reader the chance to win the full starter kit as described in this blog. All you have to do is follow the series and answer the question below.

Click here to enter the competition. Closing Date is 31 October 2012. The items on the prize equipment list may be exchanged for similar goods of the same or lesser value to cater for individual fit. Click here for the full equipment list for the prize.


  • Karlheinz

    Also, don’t forget to check for and remove any thorns etc that might have previously punctured the tyre and been sealed already by the sealant to avoid puncturing your new tube immediately