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The Hutchinson Plugs Kit For Tubeless Tyres is a slim tool with two sections that makes it possible to repair punctures in tubeless tyres where sealant fails. The tool is well made and easy to store, with two sizes of plug provided to suit different size holes. It works well, but as standard there is no option to store spare plugs, unless you think outside the box.
The double-ended tool is made of aluminium, with screw-on covers that conceal a sharp, rough point on one end that is designed to pierce the tyre and ensure correct size, and then a metal prong on the opposite end that holds the tubeless plug, sometimes known as a sticky worm because of the texture and size.
The tool itself is light at 22g, 25g if you include all 10 plugs, and its slim design is perfect for storing in a back pocket, and it's short enough to place within even a small saddlebag.
The slim design does mean there is no provision as standard to store spare plugs, which is a shame as, realistically, you will want to carry at least one of each plug. Having one 'loaded' in the prong is also wise, to allow for quicker repair.
I did find a workaround – cutting off two plugs while leaving them within the plastic covering that they arrive in, then storing both on the rough needle. It isn't perfect, and they can be a little tricky to remove after unscrewing, but they are at least with you should you need them.
The fork prong end can be loaded with the size of worm that best suits the hole to be fixed, the 1.5mm plugs for smaller holes, obvs, and the 3.5mm plugs for more serious damage.
The plugs are similar to those in other repair kits, consisting of a strong thread covered in a sticky substance, which is where the nickname 'sticky worm' comes from.
Once you've determined what size plug is required, this is inserted between the fork prongs. The 1.5mm plugs fit in very easily, but I had to widen the fork section slightly to fit the 3.5mm plug, which I did using whatever flat surface was to hand – while out riding it could be a stone, fence post or anything you can find. While this may not sound ideal, I've had to do exactly the same with other similar tools I've used.
Plugging the hole is simple: push the tool with loaded plug into the hole and then remove, with the sticky coating on the plug enabling it to stick to the tyre while the tool comes out.
In the event of a puncture, you might need to use the reamer – the rough-coated spike on the other section of the tool – to prepare the hole; it isn't always needed, but it's useful to have.
Depending on the type and size of the puncture, you might need to use some pressure to push the tool through the tyre. On larger tyres, such as mountain bike ones with thick carcasses, I found it was quite hard to put the needed pressure on the slim tool – although it is far easier than the Genuine Innovations tool, which has a very small plastic handle.
You pay a lot more for the Hutchinson, though – £19.95 as opposed to £5.99 for the Genuine Innovations one. That puts the Hutchinson in a similar price bracket to several excellent tubeless plug tool kits, such as the Birzman at £19.99 and the Ruzer at £18, both of which have provision for storing extra plugs (though no reamer).
Overall, the Hutchinson plug kit is easy to use and works well, giving a perfect seal when tested on both a road tyre and mountain bike tyre, but it would be even better if the design included somewhere to carry spare plugs.
Small and effective tool, but it could do with somewhere to store spare plugs
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Hutchinson Plugs Kit For Tubeless Tyres
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?
Hutchinson Tubeless Tyre Repair Kit for mountain bike, gravel or road bikes
Tool For Repairing Larger Tubeless Tyre Holes
Includes 5x 1.5mm & 5x 3mm Repair Strips & Tool
Compatible With Most Brands of Tubeless
My only complaint is no space to hold spare plugs within the tool.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The tool is effective at piercing the tyre and installing a plug. The tool would be better if it held the spare plugs, though.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Slim design makes it easy to put in a back pocket or compact saddle bag.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No provision to hold spare plugs.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Similar to alternatives, although it lacks the storage space for spare plugs that some – the Birzman tubeless repair kit, for example – have.
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
An effective tool that is small and ideal for putting in a back pocket or smaller saddle bag. While it's not designed to hold spare plugs, it is still possible, but the price puts it among other very well-reviewed tools that have that ability.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding
Matt is an endurance nut who loves big rides and big events. He's a former full-time racer and 24hr event specialist, but now is also happy riding off-road on gravel bikes or XC mountain bikes and exploring the mountains and hills of Mid Wales.