The question ‘Why did I get a flat?’ is asked near every day in our workshop. So here I am to answer: What are the three main reasons for flats, and how do I avoid them …
Last week a lady bought her deflated tyre to the shop. As I replaced the tube she discussed her normal method to avoid flats. ‘I ride in the middle of the road. Its safer because thats where car tyres push glass to the sides of the road.’ Now, its not a crazy idea, but the fact her ‘good’ tyre was below 4o of the recommended PSI suggests other things were at play…
Absolutely and easily the biggest reason for flats is not glass.
Its having too little air pressure. Glass, wire, metal, staples and even thorns love floppy pliable rubber. They love piercing, slicing and severing not only the tyre, but your adventurous plans. And if its not glass, you’ll get a pinch flat.
Pinch flats are nasty, and they can happen suddenly. You might go round a corner and blah! flat. With no air to seperate them, the tube is chewed between rim and tyre ..
How to avoid it? Simple…
- Use your quality floor pump, and use it at least once a week. We always have one at the Chainsmith and you are welcome to use it. If you’re at the store looking for a great floor pump, we advise our Topeak pumps.
- Read the recommended pressure on your tyre and follow it.
- Practice pushing on the tyre before you ride. You’ll soon get the feel to understand the difference between low pressure and the right pressure.
Second Reason for flats? … Worn Rim Tape.
Ever gone over a pothole or jumped a curb and BANG! popped tube? Its probable that the rim tape either moved or perished.
Rim tape is plastic, cloth or rubber. It sits inside the rim and prevents the spokes poking through the tube.
Like most plastics, rim tape has a shelf life!
How to avoid it? Replace the rim tape… It costs $5!
The third reason you get a flat?
Worn or sliced tyres. Check the tread on your tyres. Even if your bike has been sitting around hardly used the last 12 months, rubber is privy to its own problems …
Over time, and when exposed to variable temperatures, cracklines, holes and balding develop which become unpredictable when riding.
If you have any of these issues we say don’t trust those treads. Don’t ride them. Look after yourself and buy some fresh tyres. We’ve plenty to suggest at Chainsmith, no matter budget or use. You’ll love the renewed confidence when cornering and braking!
We have puncture resistant quality tyres for the commuters who rely on constant safety during their ride. We have basic tyres for those who ride infrequently alongside a great range for race bikes.
This may not highlight every single reasons for a flat, but the experience in our workshop dictates these as the biggest.
Stay pumped, keep your tyres healthy and over time watch that rim tape!
Ali at Chainsmith