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 you 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 out of recommended 80 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. They’re nasty and they can happen suddenly. You might go round a corner and blah! flat. The tube is chewed between the rim and tyre because not enough air keeps them separated..
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.
- Read the recommended pressure on your tyre and follow it.
- Practice pushing on the tyre before you ride. You’ll soon get the feel and understand the difference between low pressure and the right pressure.
Secondly… Rim Tape. It has a shelf life. Rim tape is plastic, cloth or rubber. It sits inside the rim and prevents the spokes poking through the tube. Ever gone over a pothole or jumped a curb and BANG! popped tube? Its likely the rim tape either moved or perished.
How to avoid it? Replace the rim tape…
It costs $5!
Third biggest reason for flats? Worn Tyres. Even if you’ve not used your bike for two years you need to check those tyres.
As we heard above, rubber is mortal. Cracklines, holes and balding can all contribute to really unpredictable behaviour 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. 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 also have basic tyres for those who ride infrequently.
There can be other reasons for flats, 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