Black­burn

Plug­ger $20

Bike (USA) - - Bike Shop -

THE PLUG­GER RUNS ON FA­MIL­IAR-LOOK­ING strips of un­vul­can­ized rub­ber, but with a twist. Lit­er­ally. Wrap two plugs to­gether, pre-load them into the ap­pli­ca­tor nee­dle, store it into the sealed case, strap it on your bike and wait for the in­evitable.

The Plug­ger works best on mid-sized punc­tures 5- or 6-mil­lime­ters wide. Smaller punc­tures barely be­yond the ca­pac­ity of your sealant can be a tight squeeze. Those might seal up fine with a sin­gle plug, but that yielded mixed re­sults on the two-plug-spe­cific Plug­ger. The Gen­uine In­no­va­tions Takle Kit can be scaled down to suit your needs, but I can ap­pre­ci­ate the se­cu­rity of al­ways dou­bling up. When it was nec­es­sary to dou­ble up again for large punc­tures 8- or 9-mil­lime­ters across, the Plug­ger was just as ready as the rest to pack ‘em in, but I couldn’t get a slice over 11 mil­lime­ters to seal overnight. To be fair, I couldn’t with any of the other sys­tems I tested ei­ther.

The frame-mounted de­sign of the Plug­ger is prac­ti­cal, but only makes sense if you some­how catch the leak soon enough not to lose much air. Most of my flats lose air quickly enough that I’m open­ing my pack for a pump or CO2 any­way.

Reload­ing the Plug­ger is a lit­tle tricky. Residue from the plugs even­tu­ally lines the in­ner walls of the ap­pli­ca­tor, and it will need to be cleaned out with al­co­hol or de­greaser oc­ca­sion­ally. Some­times af­ter just a cou­ple uses. It’s a good thing to be pre­pared for on long rides.

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