There is nothing more frustrating than a flat tire on your bicycle, especially if you are far from home and have no way of repairing or pumping up your tire right away. However, a flat tire is a common issue that many cyclists have to deal with on a regular basis.
First things first – it is impossible to prevent getting a flat tire on your bike with 100 percent effectiveness. However, you do have several different options that can reduce the likelihood of getting a flat tire. Follow these tips, and you might not have to worry about patch kits or tube punctures again.
# 1 – Check Tires After Riding
If you want to avoid flats in the future, thoroughly check your tires after you complete your rides. This only takes a few minutes each time and it is going to help you avoid trouble (or a flat tire) later. Make sure that you have good lighting and spin each wheel slowly. Look for damage to your tire or embedded objects. Things to look for include punctures, cuts, or cracks on the sides and top.
# 2 – Use Tire Liners
Granted, you could cut up tires, but why not use something that was designed specifically for this purpose? Tire liners are going to work by providing an extra layer of protection and thickness against cuts and punctures. This is going to help you reduce flat tires drastically.
# 3 – Check Tire Pressure
Make sure that you have the proper tire pressure when riding your bike. There is a preferred air-pressure range for each tire. These are measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). You should check the sidewall of your tire for the recommended pressure, but as a general rule:
Urban and casual bike tires – between 60 and 80 PSI
Mountain bike tires – between 30 to 50 PSI
Road tires – between 100 to 140 PSI
Especially under-inflation can lead to issues with “pinch flats.” Your under-inflated tire compresses all the way to the rim if you hit a bump, this is going to leave two small puncture holes.
# 4 – Change Better Tires
Granted, this is not going to help you if you are on a budget, but buying better tires often means fewer flats. There are many puncture resistant tires on the market today, specifically advertised as such. These are especially resistant to cuts and punctures because they are either Kevlar reinforced or extra thick.
# 5 – Watch Out for the ‘shiny’ stuff
You want to avoid riding where the debris collects on the road as much as you can help it. The sweeping action of the car tires leads to small sharp rocks, wire, nails, and glass to be pushed to the shoulder of the road. Cars do not want to drive in it, and neither should cyclists. Be especially mindful of shiny things such as small shards of broken glass. Especially if you see it coming, it may be beneficial to get off your bike and walk around the glass.
# 6 – Minor cuts? Patch them
If you are inspecting your tire (as previously suggested) and you come across a cut or puncture, dig out the debris that might be there and seal the hole with shoe goo or super glue. If you can, place the adhesive all the way down the hole. Make sure that you let the air out of your tire, and then pump it up again. This will protect against further problems because it helps the sealant set in the gouge.
# 7 – Rubbing away your problems
If you notice that you have hit small sharp rocks or a patch of glass, spin your tire around a few times and rub the thick padded part of your glove against your tire. This prevent things that have embedded themselves in your tire from going deeper, it helps dislodge anything that you might have picked up. The safest way of doing this is by spinning the tire by hand, meaning that you have to dismount briefly.
# 8 – Avoid Sidewall contact with rough or sharp objects
Whereas the tread of a tire is very durable, the sidewall of your tires is not meant to hit anything. This might happen when you lean your bike again something (a wall, bench, curb) or if you load your bike onto a vehicle. The sidewall is traditionally kept thin to ensure that the tire is supple and light, this allows you to ride faster.
# 9 – Use Tube Sealant
Not only does sealant help you repair an existing flat tire, but you can use it to avoid future flats by using it as a preventive measure. Quality sealant is going to give your tires a second chance if you already have a flat, or prevent flats from occurring altogether. The only drawback is that it can be a little messy to apply and it does not offer protection against large gashes or cuts.
# 10 – Examine Your Rim Strip
If you ever do have another flat (or see someone who does) inspect the rim strip. You will find a strip of cloth or tape that encircles the entire inner rim. This protects the tube of your tires from objects, for example, the ends of your spoke. If you run your finger against the rim strip, it can help alert you to sharp spots that you are otherwise unable to see.
Again, there is no such thing as a guarantee that is going to safeguard that you never have to deal with a flat tire again. However, should help you avoid flat tires in the immediate future.
EXTRA! Tools that required to replaced a inner tube or bicycle tire:
- 2 x Tire Levers (cost RM 15)
- Bicycle Pump (cost RM 35-259)
- Bicycle Tubes (make sure get a right size!) (cost RM 10 – 25)
* Make sure you replace the same size tubes as specified on tire’s sidewall.
ADVICE: Cyclist is encourage to know how to replace change a tires & tubes as its easy as 1 2 3 as long as your tools are ready. Following is useful video for changing a new tubes.
Click here to find out more bicycle tires at our store.