The question ‘Why did I get a flat?’ is asked daily in our workshop. So here I am to briefly answer: What are the main reasons for flats, and how do I avoid them …
Absolutely and easily the biggest reason for flats is not glass.
Its having too little air pressure. When your tyre is soft and pliable it means its low in pressure. Thats why glass, wire, metal, staples and even thorns pierce right through the rubber. Sharp objects love slicing and severing not only the tyre and tube, but your adventurous plans.
With low pressure if its not glass, you’ll likely get a pinch flat.
Pinch flats are just as nasty, and can happen suddenly. You might go round a corner or over a bump and blah! flat.
How? With low to no air seperating the tyre from the rim the tube is literally caught and pinched 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 Chainsmith and you're welcome to use it. If you’re at the store looking for a great floor pump, we've several priced pumps in store. For hand pump we like the Silca.
- Read the recommended pressure on your tyre and follow it.
- Practice pushing on the tyre before you ride. You’ll soon get the feel for how hard the rubber should be.
Second Reason for flats? … Worn Rim Tape.
Gone over a pothole or jumped a curb and BANG! Popped tube? Its probable the rim tape moved or it perished.
Rim tape is plastic, cloth or rubber and sits inside the rim to prevent spokes poking through tubes.
Like all plastics, rim tape has a shelf life!
How to avoid it? Replace the rim tape… It costs $5!
The third likely reason to 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've 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've 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