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.