How to Fix a Bike Flat without a Patch Kit

You're miles from home with a flat and reach for your trusty patch kit, but it's not there. Don't panic. Use these in-a-pinch tricks.


Up next in Bike Repair & Equipment (32 videos)

Every avid cyclist should know how to fix his bike; learn the basics in this video series.

You Will Need

  • A sunglass strap
  • Leaves or grass


  1. Step 1

    Remove the wheel

    Turn your bike upside down and remove the wheel. Then use your hands or a bike handle to separate one side of the tire from the rim.

  2. It's possible to fix a flat without removing the wheel, but much more difficult.

  3. Step 2

    Take out tube

    Take out the deflated tube and determine the location of the hole.

  4. Step 3

    Use a sunglass strap

    Wrap the strap from your sunglasses around the hole in the tube like a tourniquet, tying several knots around and next to the hole to create an airtight seal.

  5. Step 4

    Fill with leaves

    Fill the tire with as many leaves as possible if you don't have a strap. If there are no leaves available, fill the tire with grass, molding the grass to the outer part of the tire and working inward.

  6. Make sure to fill the tire completely and evenly with the leaves or grass.

  7. Step 5

    Replace wheel

    Put the tire back onto the rim and replace the wheel.

  8. Step 6

    Ride home

    Ride directly and slowly home to avoid damaging your rim. Remove all the leaves or grass before putting in a new tube.

  9. Cycling has been an Olympic sport since 1896.