The Park Tool Emergency Tire Boot is probably the least expensive, yet most useful, item I will ever review on this blog. At one time or another nearly every cyclist has had to patch a tube, but what happens when your tire gets a nasty cut? You could try to cover up the cut by placing a dollar bill or a Cliff Bar wrapper inside the tire and hope that it stays put as you inflate the tube (sometimes this actually works). A far better solution is to use an Emergency Tire Boot.
The Emergency Tire Boot is a small (3″ X 1.75″) adhesive patch that you place over the cut in the tire (it goes on the inside of the tire). This patch is made of a strong, waterproof vinyl membrane with fiber weave reinforcement. The adhesive is not very strong, but it does not need to be—the patch is locked in place as you inflate the tube. This patch is suitable for both road and mountain bike tires, but you might have to cut the patch down to a smaller size for use on narrow road bike tires. It is recommended that you replace your tire as soon as possible after using this product, though I know some people ride on the patch until the tire itself wears out.
I live in an area where there is a lot of broken glass on the road and it is sometimes impossible to avoid because of traffic. If you hit broken glass just right it will slice right through a hard case Kevlar belted tire and the tube as well. In fact, I’ve had this happen several times (and never in a nice neighborhood). I never go for a ride anymore without an Emergency Tire Boot in my saddle bag.
The Park Tool Emergency Tire Boot comes in a three-pack and sells for around $6 on Amazon.com.
The Park Tool Company is one of my favorite companies because they offer dependable cycling products at reasonable prices and most of their products are actually manufactured in the United States. A few weeks ago on their Facebook page they gave a link to a video tour of their St. Paul, Minnesota factory and I hope you will enjoy watching it as much as I did.