After returning home from my last ride, I noticed a medium sized nail right in the tread of my newish Dunlop Q3+ rear tire. I have no idea how long it was there, only that it wasn’t flat and I made it home. I check tire pressures frequently, so I knew it was recent.
My first thought was “shit!”, followed by a half-witted thought that maybe I could just plug it instead of having to spend my hard-earned money on a new one. But once my logic kicked in and slapped that silly idea out of my head, I jumped on RevZilla and ordered a new tire.
Plugging the tire would be a definite necessity if I was far from home and just needed to get it back safely. It’s even possible to ride a long way on a plugged tire, but understand that once punctured, a tire’s integrity and speed rating are compromised to some degree. If you do plug a puncture, ride home at a safe speed and get it replaced as soon as possible.
That said, I recommend watching FortNine’s excellent video comparing the different types of plugs. And if you’re looking for a decent kit to carry, here’s what I recommend. If you absolutely can’t afford a new tire, a permanent plug is best, not the rope plug kit I just linked. A permanent plug requires the tire to be removed from the wheel so the patch can be applied from the inside.