If you want to know how to avoid flats on a bicycle, there are several tips you can follow. Just an ounce of prevention is worth 100 psi of cure when it comes to the lifespan of your tires. Flats are almost bound to happen at some point, but again, there are certain precautions you can take to reduce the chances of them occurring.
Preventing Bicycle Tire Flats
Preventing pinch flats or various other flats on your bicycle is important if you take a few precautions.
Use Talcum Powder
Just a bit of powder goes a long way. Before installing a new inner tube, try dusting it a little bit. It will reduce chafing on the tube’s rubbing surface. This will keep the tire and tube from sticking to one another and reduces friction that can potentially wear a hole in the tub.
It is important that you keep your tires inflated within the correct psi range. This is especially good for pinch flats, which happen when the tire compresses and pinches the tube against the wheel rim. It is caused by an under-inflated tire or a hard impact against something such as the curb or a pothole. You can easily identify a pinch flat by the two side-by-side holes it creates in the tube.
You can look on the sidewall if you are unsure what the recommended psi range is for your tires. This is a good starting point.
Install Sturdier Tires
All tires are not created equal. If you become a victim of frequent punctures due to debris-laden roads, you can try installing a more durable tire such as Schwalbe Marathon Plus or Continental Gatorskin.
This can be more costly than other options, and you can only do this depending on your bike and rims. However, purchasing a tubeless conversion kit or switching to Universal System Tubeless tires altogether can be extremely effective in reducing the number of flats and improving the overall control of your bike. Pinch flats are not going to be an issue with no tubes. Also, less air pressure is required to inflate your tire, allowing better shock absorption on rough terrain. The sealant used in tubeless tires will also prevent flats from minor punctures.
Add Additional Protection
Both tire liners and rim strips guard the sides of the tube against its neighbors, the tire and rim. Rim strips help protect the tube from the holes in the rim and the spokes’ ends. These are as simple as a rubber strip or cloth tape. They both easily fit inside the rim bid. These are also inexpensive to buy and a cheap way to prevent flats.
Even though you may want to get the most mileage out of your tires, pushing the limits will end in a flat. Mileage can range from 1,000 to 5,000 miles and varies by the type of tires you have. Even if you don’t keep track of your mileage, you should replace your tires if they have dry rot or visible threads.
Categorised in: Bicycle Maintenance
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