Punctures on Sportive?


Well-Known Member
This may sound stupid but I'm taking part in my first Sportive on Saturday 80 mile! (very hilly) and I am only now starting to think about punctures and what to do!
When I go out training I don't bother carrying any spares or repair kits with me to save on weight, as I just assume if I have a problem I will call home for a lift!

I have been lucky to not suffer the fate of a single puncture yet but I am now starting to panic thinking it will come at the most unluckiest time, especially now I have written this post.

So I am after some advice as to what I should carry with me on the day if anything at all.

If anyone has any tips on changing tyres also as I tend to find it extremely difficult.

I will be riding a Specialised Allez Sport Double with quick release wheels.

Any advice will be help for a newbie, thanks!


What to carry depends on how paranoid you are. My advice is at the very least carry one spare inner tube, a pair of tyre levers and a mini pump - on ALL your rides. The sportive will probably recommend you carry two spare inners.

Learn how to swap inner tubes in the comfort of your home/garage/garden or whatever. Use only the tools you wll carry on your ride. Assume that you will fix the punctured inner when you get home.

In terms of how to do this, google is certainly your friend...
At the recent Etape Caledonia I had the misfortune of a puncture. I had a spare tube and it took me about 15 minutes to change it (took time to work out where the original problem was).

You really should at the very least take two spare tubes with you, a pump and a mini tool kit. Some also take patches as well. I'm sure it would be pretty rotten being forced to quit your first sportive because of a puncture.

Get some practice in changing tubes before the sportive. The more practice the easier it will get.

Oh and most importantly, don't worry about punctures. If they happen, they happen. Deal with it then and there. Just enjoy the sportive!! ;)


Smutmaster General
Take a couple of spare tubes (with the correct valve on ;):wacko:) and also a repair kit to be ready for the worst case scenario of more than 2 flats)... and practice changing tubes a few times between now and then...

or practice your 'can you help me, please?' face xx(:smile:

When riding, watch out carefully for potholes, and avoid riding too near the edge, where all the thorns/etc accumulate


I'm not sure what assistance they provide on Sportives but you should be carrying sufficient to repair a tube yourself. On longer rides I typically carry for possible punctures and tyre problems:-

Pump (good quality mini pump) or gas cartidge pump
Tyre levers x 2 (metal)
VAR lever for tricky tyres
2 x spare inner tubes (pre talced and mighty as dellzeqq would say)
Spare length of cut inner tube & tyre (for blow outs, padding, etc.)
Puncture repair kit
Self adhesive patches (in addition to the usual patches)
Medical gloves to keep hands clean
Small bladed screw driver to dig out stones, shrapnel, etc.
Torch (or bike light) to inspect inside of tyres.


Active Member
And if you are unlucky enough to get a flat then for gods sake check the inside of the tye itsels before throwing a new tube in and getting back underway.

You can use up both your spares really quickly if you forget! :becool:


The gloves are a real must, riding for 50 miles with grimy hands is no fun.


On a normal ride, I will just take one tube and some patches. On a sportive, I always take 3 tubes. Because I generally have my pockets loaded with arm warmers, rain jacket, gels and bars, I typically strap the 2nd tube to the bike with a bit of duct tape as my little under seat bag is too small for 2 tubes.
Of the sportives I've done, touch wood, I've only had 1 p'ture and that was on last years etape caledonia but that couldn't be avoided! I still carry a spare tube and a pump and a small repair kit (tyre levers are on my multi tool). FWIW IMO the weight savings of not carrying these is minimal and nothing a little more training couldn't mitigate.


Senior Member
Get a bag - like the Specialized wedgies here for instance, to carry all the stuff described above. You should also carry a multi-tool thing like these here and learn how to use it - otherwise one of these days, you'll regret it. Usually when its raining.. :becool:


Fuelled with Jelly Babies
South Wales
I am doing my first sportive in July and intend carrying pump,tools one spare tube and repair patches just as i normally do.

Your idea of carrying less stuff on training rides seems a bit flawed to me as it means your bike will be heavier on the event than normal, ideally it should be the other way round. I have a seatpost bar rack and bag on for training rides with tools food etc etc but hope to lighten the bike on the sportive by swapping for an underseat wedge bag on the day.


Well-Known Member
Some good information & advice from all thanks. I will be purchasing a saddle bag tomorrow, for puncture repair kit & spare inner tube. Would you go small pump or CO2 gas or both?
I will also be practicing the next 2 nights changing tubes to make sure I'm happy for the day.


Well-Known Member
Check your kit before you go.

Took four spare tubes on the Etape. Just as well. I punctured twice and wrecked one tube in my haste to inflate. Another tube I found I couldn't use as it wasn't didn't have a long valve. Still had 40 miles to go having used the last tube but fortunately got round with no need to use the stick on patches that I wasn't going to bring but took at the last minute.
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