How to Boot a Tire

Your riding along on a gorgeous Colorado day then somehow out of nowhere you get squirted in the face with sealant. On a road bike most wheels go flat pretty quickly once punctured. On a tubeless set up, you hop off the bike promptly and try to get the affected area of the tire to seal with the sealant you’re watching squirt out of your tire. After about a minute you realize that there’s a gaping hole in your tire the sealant is freely flowing out of like mayo on sandwich bread. 

Whether on a tire and tube set up or tubeless set up, the tire is cut but not all is lost. Just boot it!

“Booting” is when you put a piece of something in your tire so the tube does not herniate out of the gaping hole of which you lost all your sealant. A boot can be made with anything. A $100 bill, a $1 bill, a Clif Bar wrapper, you just need some material to keep your tube from escaping out the cut.

Step by step, here's how you boot a tire:

  1. Get a bad cut in your tire. No reason to boot a tire without a cut.
  2. Make $1 and have it on your ride, or eat a Clif Bar, either way, pick your boot material. It's a desperate time, get creative!
  3. Pull your tire halfway off, don’t take your whole tire off.
  4. Get out your tube, pump it up a couple pumps to hold shape, shove it in the tire like your changing a flat normally.
  5. As your tube is in and you put the bead back on the rim make sure your boot stays covering the hole and about an inch on either side of the cut.
  6. Pump us as normal making sure your boot is holding.
  7. Limp's time to replace the tire.


Zach Allison