When it comes to reviewing gear, any type of gear- I always put the product through its paces in the most realistic scenario possible. The harder I can work it the better! That proved a little difficult with the Ridge Ryder 4WD Tyre Repair Kit; I needed a tyre to repair and I haven’t had a puncture in at least 5 years! So in the name of a quality review, I proceeded to smash a 6 inch nail straight through the middle of one. Relax, it wasn’t a 4WD tyre! I don’t love you that much!
The first thing I am excited about is the metal handles on the tools rather than plastic ones. Why is that so important? Well most of us are running light truck tyres on our 4WD’s. That means they are harder to puncture, but also harder to repair. Plastic tools aren’t going to last the distance being ripped through such tough rubber. Alongside the main reaming and insertion tools you will also find an EPIC quantity of repair plugs (20 plugs, probably enough for me to pass on to my great grandchildren), a pressure gauge, hex keys, lubricant, 4 way valve tool, valve cores and some shiny new valve caps too. Surely I’m not the only one who loses valve caps every time I stop to air down?
An entirely unexpected bonus was a little kit within the kit containing everything you need to repair such things and bicycle inner tubes, footballs, air beds or pool/water toys. Few things annoy me more than tools busting out of their cases and spreading out of the vehicle, luckily that is unlikely to happen with the blow mould case. Blow moulding is generally pretty tough.
Anyway, on to plugging the massive hole I’ve made in this tyre. The kit doesn’t come with a pair of pliers-if you don’t have a pair I’d recommend grabbing something like the SCA Long Nose Pliers so you can easily rip out objects lodged between your tread blocks. Once the offending object is removed, I grab the reaming tool and lather it with a bit of the supplied lubricant. Twisting this in and out of the hole creates a nice smooth passage and makes the hole large enough to accept a repair plug.
With a repair plug threaded through the insertion tool and a dab of lubricant on the end I proceed to ram the plug through the hole. There’s a fair bit of effort required to push it through, that’s only going to be tougher if you’re doing it on a 4WD tyre. The nifty little sleeve on the insertion tool holds the plug in place while the tool is pulled back out of the tyre.
Now all that’s left to do is trim off the excess level with the tyre tread, and pump it back up (see here for my review on a compressor if you don’t have one!). Speaking of tread, this tyre doesn’t seem to have any left so it’s off to the tip we go. Or maybe I’ll see what I can get for it on Gumtree. Anyone out there after a set of “racing slicks”? Haha!
Although tyre punctures aren’t terribly common on the roads, on rough trails over sharp rocks, they can happen on a much more frequent basis. Whilst anyone travelling off-road will no-doubt have at least one spare wheel with good tread ready to go, it is possible that on a particularly rough trail, one spare may simply not be enough. That’s when you need something a bit more advanced. So, if you’re looking for that extra element of confidence, keep a Ridge Ryder 4WD Tyre Repair Kit on hand!