Sometimes it feels like deja-vu, watching gravel cycling’s skyrocketing popularity. Heck, I even wrote a story about how it reminds me of mountain biking in the go-go ‘90s. And sure enough, just like mountain biking, gravel is evolving into niches and sub-niches and sub-sub-niches. (Gravel bikepacking triathlon anyone?)
This is the way of the biking world. We specialize. It’s just what we do. But no matter if you’re attracted to gravel racing — as I am — or if you’re just in it for big adventures, camping, and chilling — like my colleague John Watson of The Radavist is — we all gotta keep air in our tires. Fortunately, The Radavist has a beautiful custom Dynaplug Racer Pro tire plug.
Dynaplug is not the cheapest tire plug. (We have other options, FWIW.) But Dynaplug is the best. So take it from me and Mr. Watson, this is the perfect gift for a gravel cyclist.
Why is Dynaplug the best? If you haven’t experienced the panicked plugging frenzy that is a tubeless tire flat, allow me to explain.
You’re mid-race at, say, Unbound Gravel or Belgian Waffle Ride, or you’re in the middle of nowhere on a multi-day voyage. You hear a hiss feel the spray of sealant on your leg. Time is of the essence. The tire is losing air fast. Grab the plugs! In this situation, Dynaplug’s Racer is a quick-drawing Clint Eastwood, compared to a basic “bacon strip” setup, which is still drunk at the saloon while your tire’s air is dwindling.
My personal setup for big days like Unbound or SBT GRVL: I strap the Dynaplug and a CO2 to my frame for easy access. The Dynaplug Racer Pro has two plug thicknesses pre-loaded. Get a good look at the puncture to gauge its size. Maybe put your finger over the hole to keep the tire firm. Pop off the Dynaplug’s cap, poke the tipped plug into the hole, and you’ve got a good chance of only needing to top-up the PSI, at worst, after plugging it. If things really go haywire, the Racer Pro holds four plugs total in its slender body, locked and loaded.
Along with its idiot-proof functionality, the Dynaplug Racer Pro is an elegant little CNC’d aluminum tube that’s made in the USA. It fits easily into your pocket, which is kind of a pity then you can’t see the little Radavist jackal that’s laser-printed on it.
Need a little primer on how to plug a tubeless tire? No problemo, Bruce has you covered. Although he doesn’t use a Dynaplug in this demo, the concept works the same for all types of tubeless plugs. It’s just a hell of a lot faster and easier with a Dynaplug Racer Pro. And yes, it works just as well on tubeless mountain bike and road tires.
Now, there is one thing that John and I might disagree on when it comes to gravel. Which Dynaplug color is best? Obsidian black or Pyrite bronze? Maybe, in the spirit of the holidays, we’ll all be able to find common ground, somehow.