This hidden tubeless repair kit is a get-out-of-jail-free card.
Strapping a spare tube to your frame or hiding it inside your down tube storage is common practice for many of us, but most of us would we be better served with one of the best tubeless repair kits, consisting of some tyre plugs (aka bacon strips) and the tool to poke them in with. After all, tyre plugs are usually capable of fixing modest holes in a tyre, they’re a fraction of the weight and take up far less real estate too.
The Syncros tool is cleverly hidden inside the ends of your bars, but it’s certainly not the only company doing this conjuring trick – Lezyne, Granite and Muc-Off to name just three do just the same. With the Syncros version, pull out the plug from the end of your bar and you’ll find a 3in plastic canister. Inside one is a little fork to insert the bacon strip, and five 1.5mm diametre plugs. On the other side the canister holds a little knife to saw off the excess plug when it’s in place, and five 3.5mm plugs for bigger tyre tears.
I recently had the misfortune to ride some XC tyres on a rocky, enduro trails, and it proved the perfect place to try out the IS Tubeless Handlebar Tool. It’s easy to get the canisters out thanks to the solid, lipped bar plug, but it’s also held snugly in place when inserted with a helix of grippy rubber. Poking in the bacon strip also proved foolproof, and I found the trick is to leave as little protruding on the outside as possible. What little remained I tried to trim off with the blade, but it’s as useful as a butter knife – far too blunt to do anything but wiggle the plug and ruin its seal.
The Syncros IS Tubeless Handlebar Tool is neatly packaged and securely held in place, the plugs work as well as any out there, and there are generous 10 strips included. Those plugs are effective on small cuts but are flummoxed by anything more than about 5mm. There are cheaper tools out there though, and the butter knife isn’t any good.