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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.


  • 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.
  • TIP: It's possible to fix a flat without removing the wheel, but much more difficult.
  • Step 2: Take out tube Take out the deflated tube and determine the location of the hole.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Make sure to fill the tire completely and evenly with the leaves or grass.
  • Step 5: Replace wheel Put the tire back onto the rim and replace the wheel.
  • 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.
  • FACT: Cycling has been an Olympic sport since 1896.

You Will Need

  • A sunglass strap
  • Leaves or grass

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