Emergency Tyre Boots are a must have for trailside tyre repairs. Here is a simple tip to make some for free.
Riding in the Peak District National Park has taught us a few tricks over the years….and they have mostly been about ways to patch up broken bikes! It is a fantastic place to ride and yet it is tough on bikes. From the gritty muddy water that hammers your bearings to the sharp edges of gritstone blocks that hammer everything. We love the riding here but there is a price to pay.
Tyre sidewall are particularly vulnerable. Those pieces of rock just lie in wait to slash through them as you blast that trail. Surely you’ll be riding tubeless? If so, the first you’ll know is when a jet of sealant sprays towards you. Soon you’ll notice an instantly flat tyre. Hopefully you’ll have a spare tube with you. Unfortunately, if your sidewall is ripped, you have an additional problem. Once you blow the tube up it will start to squeeze, hernia like, through the damaged sidewall.
You need a tyre boot. This is a slice of hard material placed over the rip between the tyre and tube. The inflated tube will press it in place and it should at least get you home. We would consider carrying a boot to be an essential bit of trail maintenance kit.
You can buy tyre boots and ones like the Park Tool TB-2 work well. But there is a free way to make emergency tyre boots that also works a treat. Simply cut a patch out of a plastic milk bottle and you have a tyre boot par excellence. It is hard wearing and flexible to mould to the shape of the tyre. Did we also mention (and I know we did!) that it is free (apart from having to buy the milk of course). Perfect!
If you’ve found this useful please do check out our bike repair service. Full details about Double Black Bike Repairs is here. You might also find this cable tie top tip useful. We always carry some on off road rides.