Birzman's Tubeless Repair Kit is a handy, simple-to-use option for plugging a tubeless tyre puncture when you're out on a ride and your sealant doesn't do the job. It's made in the shape of a 16g CO2 cartridge so can be stored easily anywhere you'd usually carry one of those.
The repair kit is neatly made from CNC machined aluminium and stainless steel and fits in a pocket, saddle pack, or on a mount designed to take a CO2 cartridge, such as the one you get with Birzman's own Uncage Repair Kit or Infinite Apogee Road + CO2 pump. The top is threaded so you could choose to carry a CO2 inflator head on there with no danger that you'll pierce the seal.
The bottom of the canister screws off to reveal a combined insertion tool and file, and 50mm tyre plugs. You get 10 plugs included in the pack, and you can just about squash them all inside, although there's no real point. If you get anywhere close to 10 punctures that your sealant can't handle on a single ride, it's probably time to pack it in for the day! I've been carrying three plugs inside along with a quick link for my chain and a spare valve extender.
Some similar kits from other brands offer plugs in a couple of different diameters, but all of these are 3.5mm (Birzman offers 25 replacement tyre plugs for £9.99; you can use plugs from other brands equally well).
The Tubeless Repair Kit comes into play if you get a puncture up to 3mm across – from something like a nail or a rock, say – and the sealant inside your tyre fails to plug it for any reason.
You unscrew the insertion tool/file from its position inside the canister and screw it to the top of the canister instead. The canister doubles as the handle for the tool so replacing the bottom section will protect your hand when you go to work on the puncture, making life that bit more comfortable.
The fine-toothed file section of the tool (some people would call it a reamer) works well to scour the puncture hole, and the two-pronged insertion tool does a good job too.
You feed a gummy tyre plug halfway into the gap between the prongs and push the insertion tool into the puncture. One thing you'll soon realise is that you need to avoid turning the tool anticlockwise or the insertion tool/file can unscrew from the top of the canister. It's pretty obvious if you think about it.
You then need to extract the insertion tool while leaving the plug in the hole. It's usually straightforward, but don't try it for the first time when you're in a mid-ride pickle – practise on an old tyre at home first. I always cut off the ends of the plug that are extending out of the tyre with a little knife on my multi-tool to help it stay in place. I've used this system to repair both gravel and road tyres; it works equally well either way.
Birzman has a video of how to use it, here.
Birzman says that the Tubeless Repair Kit is intended for emergency repairs only. You might be lucky and find that the plug lasts for the rest of your tyre's life. When Mike Stead reviewed the Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tire Repair Kit he said that he'd ridden thousands of miles with plugs fixing quite large punctures. Personally, I prefer to patch the inside with a tyre boot when I get home, but you can make up your own mind on that.
The Genuine Innovations kit I just mentioned only gives you five plugs and it's what you might call a utilitarian design, but it's a whole lot cheaper than the Birzman Tubeless Repair Kit at just £5.99.
At the other end of the scale, the Dynaplug Racer Tubeless Repair Kit is £34.99, although that's quite a different design.
Lezyne's Tubeless Kit is a similar proposition to Birzman's, and it has an RRP of £20. These are both neat designs that have the pointy insertion tool safely hidden away until it's needed, which I consider a valuable feature.
The Birzman Tubeless Repair Kit is a self-contained package for fixing holes that tyre sealant can't handle. It does the job well and the fact that it's shaped like a CO2 cartridge means it's simple to carry on your rides.
Handy repair kit for tubeless tyre punctures, disguised as a CO2 cartridge and as easy to carry
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Birzman Tubeless Repair Kit
Size tested: One size
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?
Birzman says, "A tubeless puncture repair kit in the shape of a CO2 cartridge (including threads) with enhanced portability.
"The contents include an insertion tool and a cleaning file hybrid, plus 5 pcs x 2 sets of 3.5mm (diameter) x 50mm tyre plugs.
"The insertion tool / cleaning file is attached at the top, and the cartridge body then becomes a handle, with the rounded end providing a comfortable grip. Because the Repair Kit looks exactly like a CO2 cartridge, including the threads, it can be carried anywhere you would usually carry a CO2 cartridge.
"Assemble in place of a standard cartridge for a puncture repair and CO2 inflation solution; the thread also carries a CO2 valve head in transit."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Birzman gives these tech specs:
Material: CNC machined aluminium / Stainless steel
Size 23mm (diameter) x 87.5mm
5 pcs x 2 sets of 3.5 x 50mm tyre plugs
- This product is intended for emergency repairs only.
- For use with punctures no larger than 3mm on tubeless bicycle tyres.
- The effectiveness of each repair depends on the nature of puncture and condition of the tyre.
- Spare tyre plugs available.
The all-metal construction doesn't get damaged easily.
The rounded end to the canister is comfortable in the hand even when pushing a plug into a tough tyre casing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a really effective solution for holes up to about 3mm in diameter.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It works well and the fact that it's shaped like a CO2 cartridge means it's easy to carry.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I didn't dislike anything in particular.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tire Repair Kit only gives you five plugs and it's a utilitarian design – it's not especially pretty – but it's a lot cheaper than the Birzman Tubeless Repair Kit at just £5.99.
At the other end of the scale, the Dynaplug Racer tubeless repair kit is £34.99, although that's quite a different design.
Lezyne's Tubeless Kit is a similar proposition to Birzman's, and it has an RRP of £20. These are both neat designs that have the pointy insertion tool hidden away until it's needed, which is a valuable safety feature.
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 overall score
The overall score should clearly be an 8 or a 9. I reckon a 9 based on the fact that it's so easy to carry in a pack or on any kind of CO2 cartridge mount.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.