Puncture repair in Japan

If you have a puncture on your bike there are plenty of guides out there explaining how to fix the puncture. If using Google is beyond you try this guide from the BBC, or this YouTube video.

Here are some extra notes which are specific to repairing a puncture in Japan. The situation is slightly different over there as most of the bikes have a different type of valve. It is known as a Dunlop, English, or Woods valve. You can read a bit about them here, and there is a photo of one here. Here’s a photo of the English valve with the plastic cap on.

dunlop bicycle valve japan

And one of the English valve with the cap off.

english bike value japan

And here is one with the valve removed.

woods bike valve japan

Here are the parts of the valve disassembled.

english bike valve in pieces

You can buy a spanner (to unlock the nut which holds the valve in place), and a puncture repair kit from most 100 yen shops. The puncture repair kits work fine despite being very cheap.

puncture repair and spanner from 100 yen shop

What I wouldn’t recommend is a bike pump from the 100 yen shop. They are really, really bad. And will make it much harder for you to pump up the tyre. Buy a proper pump from a bike shop.

bike pumps from 100 yen shop

Here is the 100 yen bike pump attached to the wheel. Both the bike pumps I got from the 100 yen shop sprung leaks after a few minutes of use. And the plastic of the red one cracked after attempting to blow up the tyre. It is technically possible to inflate a tyre with one of these pumps – I just wouldn’t recommend it!

japan bike pump from 100 yen shop

This is what happened to that cheap bike pump after attempting to inflate the tyre for about 10 minutes.

broken 100 yen bike pump

I came to my senses and bought a better bike pump. This time costing me ¥2940 from a sports shop in a local Youme Town shopping centre. The photo on the left shows the pump and the clip. The one on the right shows how the clip for the English/Dunlop/Woods value attaches to the pump.

2940 yen bike pump

This is a bit of an odd system for attaching a pump. Instead of screwing onto the valve, the clip squeezes the pump onto the valve. It works though. You get an airtight connection as long as you don’t alter the angle of the pump too much.

bike pump with clip on japan wheel

And using one of these you’ll find the tyre much, much easier to inflate. I’ve estimate that you’ll be able to inflate the tyre 20-30 times faster than with the 100 yen pump.

One Comment on “Puncture repair in Japan”

  1. thankyou very much for the information.
    i recently bought a bridgestone sprinter bicycle which is of course is japanese but very well made, maybe 20 years old now. there is the old english valves on the wheels and recently i had a puncture and so here i am researching but very happy now that i know the name of the valves.
    i remember as a child these valves on our bicycles in england. i live in thailand now. today i will fix my puncture and put new rubber valve stem seals on the plungers. your information is on this site is great . thanks again.
    tom van gat

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