Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

How to: Make a tyre boot

Posted by Matt | May 15, 2007 | 11 comments so far

Yesterday I phoned Cycleworks and it seems that my new Orange Five is on its way. Well, its due to be painted this week anyway so I hope that’s the case. A combination of a custom colour and unprecedented demand for the Five after MBR‘s 10 out of 10 review (PDF file) has left Orange struggling to keep up with demand.

Since I’ve specced the new bike with Mavic 819 UST (tubeless) rims I’ve realised that the biggest risk I face is cuts to the tyre sidewalls, especially with our flinty Surrey singletrack. Taking the unusual step of planning ahead, I’ve made myself a tyre boot that I can press into service in an emergency. Cycleworks recommend that you carry a spare inner tube anyway so this really is a contingency for extreme tyre damage.

How to make a tyre boot

What you will need

Feeling a bit like a Blue Peter presenter, here’s what you need:

  • An empty toothpaste tube
  • A sharp knife
  • A chopping board
  • A straight edge (I’ve used a metal ruler)

You could conceivably dispense with any of the items above, with the exception of the toothpaste tube but it would make the process a lot slower and considerably more interesting.

How to make a tyre boot: Step 1

Anyway, first, cut both ends off the toothpaste tube. I’m using Aquafresh Extreme Clean, figuring the word ‘extreme’ in the title lends a suitably rugged air to my tyre boot.

How to make a tyre boot: Step 1

How to make a tyre boot: Step 2

Next, you need to cut the toothpaste tube down its length and open it out.

How to make a tyre boot: Step 2

How to make a tyre boot: Step 3

After that, its just a question of cleaning it up and stashing it in your Camelbak for when you need it. I was particularly pleased that I managed to complete my tyre boot without removing any of my fingers, as you can imagine. I know bike testers like to talk in terms of one finger braking but I’m not keen to put the theory into practice.

How to make a tyre boot: Step 3

To use, just pop inside your tyre between the inner tube and carcass. The pressure of the inner tube should hold it in place although you can always carry a tube of SupaGlue if you want to be sure.

That’s it. You now have a tyre boot which will effect a pretty good trailside repair to get you out of a fix, as well as giving you plenty of opportunity for quiet smugness to help mitigate the fact that you’ve just trashed a £30 UST tyre!

Original photos are available in my How to make a Tyre Boot set on Flickr.

Filed under Tips in May 2007


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 11 comments on ‘How to: Make a tyre boot’

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  1. Muddymoles says:

    Mavic 819 UST Tubeless (and proud of it)

    Matt gives his thoughts on his UST tubeless experience so far…

  2. Muddymoles says:

    How to: repair a tubeless (UST) tyre

    Just how do you effect a repair on a UST tubeless tyre, if you’re new to them and maybe a little unsure?

  3. Nigel says:

    Been reading up on ust as im gonna take the plunge and your information has been very useful.Many thanks.

  4. Muddymoles says:

    Ride report: Sunday 3 January – Holmbury and Pitch Hill

    A New Year ride over Holmbury and Pitch Hills for a 14 strong group of moles with perfect frosty conditions

  5. Awesome! never thought such a simple thing can fix such a “terminal” failure. Last weekend I was saved by a passing biker, who had a patch. It it is not for him, I’d be walking 20 miles to the car.

    I’ll make a paste repair for myself 🙂

  6. Malaconotus says:

    Hmmmm… Toothpaste tube tyre boot is an excellent idea and well worth carrying but wouldn’t a good pair of scissors do the same job rather more straightforwardly?

  7. PIJ says:

    No need – just carry an energy bar and save the wrapper. Works the same, especially the foil ones. No cutting to fit, just eat the bar, shove the wrapper in. Got me 20 miles home.


  8. Related: Bicycle Tyre Repair Tip – Use A Tyre Boot

  9. Related: Ride report: Sunday 3 January - Holmbury and Pitch Hill | Rides | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

  10. Gordo says:

    Planning Ahead you say? Did you mean circa 16 years when you wrote this? My old toothpaste tube is ridiculously well travelled and, finally, was needed to get me home at the weekend.

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