Modern tubeless tyres offer a number of benefits over traditional clinchers and inner tubes, not least their increased puncture resistance. But although they are strong and tubeless sealant does a great job, on occasion you can run over something so nasty that even the tyre/sealant combo can't do the trick. That's where the Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tire Repair Kit comes into play...
It's a simple idea: if your tyre is leaking air, ram a rubberised 'rope plug' in the hole from the outside. Job done. It's so simple the 'instructions' on the packet consist of two drawings.
The kit consists of the 'needle' (or fork, to be more accurate) plus five 'rope plugs', also known as 'anchovies' in mountain biking circles. These are made from butyl rubber coating a super-strong fibre wick, and come stuck between two clear plastic sheets. Removed from the packaging, they are best popped into a wee ziplock bag, but can be stuffed anywhere inside a tool roll or pocket pack. Weighing only 3g in total, the kit is hardly going to be to blame for you losing that KOM.
My first experience needing to use the kit was while testing the Slime Tubeless Conversion Kit on a Schwalbe One tyre. A loud hissing along with a fine fountain of green liquid indicated something was amiss, so I rolled to a stop to check. The hole was right in the centre of the tread, and a quick spin to the bottom of the tyre to let the sealant try to do its job told me this was too large to seal at the 45psi running in the front tyre.
I fished the GI kit out of my tool roll, threaded up an anchovy on the fork and stabbed it into the hole, using quite a bit of force to get through the tough tread area. I then removed the fork, and the hole sealed. That's it. The amount of air lost was so minimal I didn't bother getting the pump out – just carried on riding.
On returning home I trimmed the exposed ends of the anchovy flush with the tread using sidecutters. The cut measured 3.61mm – so fairly hefty.
After 1,250 autumn/winter miles, the repair is holding up fine. Removing the tyre to swap between rims for other road.cc testing purposes gave me a chance to inspect the anchovy from the inside and it hasn't changed, despite using several other sealants in the meantime. It now takes a fair bit of looking to find the spot where the repair was done.
Somewhat spookily, midway through writing this review I nipped out for a cheeky midday 50k, on what had to be the filthiest roads Hampshire has ever proffered for cycling enjoyment. In the last 5k I thought things were getting a bit wriggly out the back, and on returning home found I had about 10psi left in the rear tyre (28mm Schwalbe One tubeless). This further displays the amazing performance of tubeless tyres, that they can still be quite rideable having lost 55psi of pressure.
A quick check revealed a sizeable (3.5mm) flint chip embedded in the centre of the tread, still letting air out. Again, a quick whip out of the kit, anchovy on, plug in, job done. I have every reason to believe this new repair will last thousands of miles as well.
It's possible that you may have a cut larger than what one anchovy can seal – the practice in mountain biking circles is just to keep ramming in the anchovies until the air stops falling out. I can't comment on this for road use because every time I've used the kit one has done the job.
I've only had to resort to a tube once in a year of tubeless use, when an 8mm-long slice in a sidewall let all the air out in one explosive go. No quantity of sealant/anchovies was going to work, particularly on the part of the tyre subject to maximum flex every revolution. (A cut this large would have destroyed a traditional clincher/tube setup as well.)
I reckon the Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tire Repair Kit is a must-carry if you are running tubeless tyres. It's so small and light you won't even know it's there until you need it. Any solution that gets you back on the road in a minute or so, without having to remove a wheel or tubeless tyre, get covered in sealant, break tyre levers unmounting what could be a very tight-fitting tyre bead, or indeed without having to even put more air in, has to be worth every penny of the £4.99 outlay.
The Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tire Repair Kit does what it says on the tin. If you run tubeless tyres, you really should carry this
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tire Repair Kit
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The GI tubeless Repair Kit is for anyone running tubeless. Anyone. Whatever the sealant.
Genuine Innovations says: "Stranded? Let us throw you a rope! Our Tubeless Tyre Repair kit is the top selling rope plug kit of its kind on the market. Finally, a flat solution for your tubeless tyres! Quick and easy flat repairs now can be made on the trail. Insertion tool and plugs repair the hole in seconds!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Tubeless Tyre Repair Kit * #G2650
Mini screwdriver plug threaded
Size: Handle length 1.38" Handle diameter 0.46"
Threader length 1" Threader Diameter 0.078"
5 rope plugs
Construction: Tough butyl rubber
Can't fault it.
They work, immediately, and (apparently) for ever.
They work (apparently) for ever. I have three plugs that must be well over six months old, holding just fine.
IT'S THREE GRAMS.
For £1 a shot it will save your ride and your tyre.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Incredibly well, Can't fault it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The satisfaction of stabbing your tyre to stop the air falling out cannot be overestimated.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It worked, perfectly, every time, forever (well, as long as the test period, with no sign of change). It weighs nothing, and is tiny. And it's a quid a shot. And delivers immense satisfaction.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking and Dutch bike pootling