One of the most common repairs that we do is fix flat tires. A flat tire is sure to take some of the fun out of your ride. There are a few simple things you can do to prevent the likely hood of getting a flat.
1.) Proper tire pressure is the first key. Proper tire pressure reduces the likely hood of a pinch flat which occurs when the tube gets pinched between an object and the rim. A pinch flat looks like a snake bite on the tube, two holes next to each other. You should properly inflate your tires before every ride. It doesn’t matter if you finished riding late one evening and are heading out early the next morning you need to check your tire pressure. Most of us keep our bikes in a non climate controlled area so the changes in temperature will cause your tires to lose air. A little loss of tire pressure can make a big difference
TIP: If you aren’t a morning person like me inflate your tires the night before with an extra five pounds of pressure.
How do I find the proper tire pressure? All tires have the proper tire pressure printed on the sidewall of the tire. Most of them have a range but at the least they have a max pressure printed on them. You should run near the max pressure if you are riding on pavement. For off road riding you’ll want to ride a little less for comfort.
2.) Check your tires for debris. After every ride take a few moments and inspect your tires for debris. Sometimes you may not have a flat but you have picked up some pieces of glass or metal pieces that are just waiting to be pressed into your tire on the next ride. Also check for any cuts or other damage to the tires such as bulges or inconsistency in the tire shape. If you see any of these replace your tire.
TIP: I like to place the bike in a stand and simply spin the tire using a metal pick to remove anything I find lodge in the tire. If you are out on a ride and run over glass or something else pull over and run your glove over the tire to dislodge any debris.
3.) Sometimes it is just time to replace your tires. Tires do wear out and then it is just time to replace them. If you are starting to get a lot of flats your tire may simply be worn out. If there are any signs of dry rot or threads showing on the tire and it is time to replace it. For knobby tires if there are any tire blocks missing it is time to replace the tire. If your tire is worn flat on the top this is generally a sign of wear. Replacing the tire will reduce the likely hood of flats and increase your ride quality especially in cornering. You are probably wondering how many miles you will get out of your tires. That all depends. A high end race tire may only yield 700 miles or so, while most tires you should get 2000 miles or more out of. I’ve seen tires that have lasted for much more than that.
Following these simple practices will greatly reduce your likely hood of getting a flat tire. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to stop by and we will be happy to help. Want to learn to fix a flat please visit here or stop by the store and we will show you how. We’ll talk in the future about tires that offer extra flat prevention.