Patchnride: Permanently fix a bike tire flat in 60 seconds
The long, involved process of fixing a bike flat gets a simple solution with a gadget that patches punctures in a fraction of the time.
There are these things where I live called goatheads. They're spreading plants with pretty little flowers and spiky seeds that were no doubt invented by Satan in his spare time. Those seeds stick right into my bike tires and puncture them. Squeezing goo inside the tires and using puncture-resistant tubes only goes so far. Eventually, one of those devil seeds will rip a tiny hole in the tire and I will have to take the wheel off, locate the puncture, remove the tire, scuff and patch the tube, and put it all back together. Yippee.
It turns out I'm not the only one who hates the process of patching a bike tire. The people behind Patchnride also can't stand it. Patchnride is a gadget that lets you repair a flat in about a minute without having to remove the wheel from your bike.
You locate the hole on the tire, pinch the spot, and insert the tool's tip into the puncture with a twist. Push a slider back and then forward to deploy the patch and adhesive between the inner-tube and tire, and then pump the tire back up and go on your merry way. The tool can handle holes up to 3mm in size. It uses replaceable patch pods to seal the wound. You'll need a new one for every puncture.
Patchnride isn't nearly as cheap as a regular patch kit, but that should come as no surprise. The device is currently available for preorder for $25 with two patch pods and two leak detectors (essentially a cloth and liquid solution used to induce bubbles at the puncture site) included. The eventual retail price is expected to be $50 with patch pod refills going for $12. The device is due out this fall.
So what we have here is a pretty pricey alternative to the usual patching process. A lot of bikers will just tell you to man up and patch it like normal, but riders looking for a quick and easy solution to the occasional puncture may well be enticed to add a Patchnride to their kit. The cost issue is probably the biggest challenge here. If you live in goathead heaven like I do, your Patchnride bill could easily get out of control. It's just that the convenience is so darn enticing...