While falling off your bike is a way bigger problem than getting a flat tire, I mention these in tandem because they're the two unpleasant aspects of cycling we try not to think about. For now, I'll focus on being prepared for the inevitable flat tire.
Naturally, staying aware and clear of road debris such as glass will stave off flats. But it's important to always be prepared for the worst. I've always found a patch kit, in addition to an extra tube and tire boot, will pretty much guarantee you won't be calling a friend for a ride home from the middle of nowhereville.
Genuine Innovations, a leading manufacturer of CO2 inflation products, has just released a Tire Repair & Inflation Wallet Kit that comes with everything you need to get you up and rolling again. The Kit comes in a convenient padded nylon pouch that can be carried in a jersey pocket, hydration pack or under the seat bag.
While I found it easier to just transfer the contents to my seat bag, others may prefer strapping the Wallet to their existing bag or, since the stuff you want in your bag already comes with this puppy, you could strap it directly to the seat rails.The Wallet Kit contains:
- 1 Microflate CO2 instant tire inflator
- 2 Innovations nylon tire levers
- 1 Innovations small patch kit
- 2- 16 gram threaded CO2 cartridges
- Padded nylon carrying case
Nice thing about the Microflate inflator, which only accommodates threaded CO2 cylinders, is its lightweight and controllable mini inflator. The Microflate inflator is made of tough glass reinforced nylon and brass inner valve parts.
For my presta valves, all I have to do is screw the C02 cartridge onto the inflator and then place the inflator on the valve. To inflate, it's simply a matter of backing out (untwisting counter clockwise) the C02 cartridge till air gets released into my tire. Conversely, a clockwise turn slows or stops the inflation.
For those with Schrader valves, the Microflate head can be screwed onto the valve. And mountain bikers will get plenty of air out of the hefty 16 gram C02 cartridges. In fact, as a roadie, I find that 12 grams is plenty to get me roughly 90 psi and home safely.
If you're unsure of whether to ditch your trusty pump and make the jump to C02, it all comes down to how often you get flats and your desire for convenient inflation in seconds rather than minutes. I find that for as rarely as I get flats, I'd rather spend an extra buck or two on a cartridge for the convenience of not having to carry a pump.
As for the other Kit components, I found the nylon tire irons to be light, sturdy and easily snapped into each other for more convenient storage. And the standard patch kit will ensure you get home in case your spare tube flats. If you're unlucky enough to get a third flat on the same ride, you may have to bum a pump or another C02 cartridge off a buddy or passing cyclist.But at least you won't have to also bum a tube. Patch kits are a definite must for making emergency road repairs and Innovations is wise to include one in this handy Tire Repair and Inflation Kit.
For weight freaks, the entire kit, including both 16 gram C02 cartridges, will only set you back 263 grams.
Genuine Innovations has definitely got the right idea in packaging this kind of kit. This is definitely the stuff you want with you. Of course, you could buy all the parts separately and create your own ad hoc kit but at a suggested retail of $17.49, this kit's certainly priced reasonably.
For complete details, visit www.innovationsaz.com or call toll free (800) 340-1050.