Flat Tyre? 5 Easy tips to avoid getting punctures
Updated: Aug 28, 2020
It's happened to the best of us. You're just riding along, or perhaps you've just taken the bike out of the shed when all of a sudden, you realise the air in your tyre has escaped; much like your plans of riding any time soon. It's frustrating, and it does happen, but there are ways to reduce the likelihood of getting a flat tyre. The Banzai Bikes team have been polled and we're giving up our top 5 tips, including some trade secrets to help you avoid getting a puncture.
1. Keep your tyres pumped
Keeping your tyres inflated up to the recommended tyre pressure* not only makes your life easier by increasing efficiency and reducing rolling resistance, it also reduces the chances of pinch punctures or something slipping into your tyre and puncturing your tube.
Pump your tyres every two weeks as they leak air like party balloons!
2. Replace your tyres before they're fully worn
We all know tyres wear. If you're getting a string of punctures it's likely that your tyres are already worn to the point that there isn't enough material left to stop debris from working its way in and through your tyre. However, if you're prudent and budget allows, it's always worth replacing tyres before they're fully worn and bald.
3. Don't skimp on puncture protection
Following on from tip 3. When it comes to choosing tyres, it's best to invest in the better ones that offer more puncture protection and durability. Not only this, but higher quality tyres also usually offer a better rubber compound that might reduce your rolling resistance and/or increase grip!
4. Tyre manicure
Yes, we're serious! Whenever someone brings us a puncture repair, we actually inspect the tyre fully and pick out any debris and embedded glass, stones, thorns and what-have-you. You might even find it to be quite a therapeutic process to do at home. The obvious benefit to doing this is it gets rid of future troubles from the bits that might work their way through later.
5. Use a track pump
Small pumps that fit in your bag or jersey can be really useful out on the road, however they have a tendency to "rock" the valve which can make the rim hole eat into the rubber of the valve which wears over time, especially if you're enthusiastically trying to get to a higher tyre pressure. Track pumps are an essential tool to have at home for any bicycle owner. They have a pressure gauge and allow you to pump up to a high pressure with minimal effort and no rock on the valve thanks to the long hose. We have a track pump outside our shop which is free to use if you want to give it a try.
6. Bonus tip! Don't be shy
If the previous tips didn't work, do not despair! Now's when you get a chance to channel your inner Ms Marple or Hercule Poirot and look for clues. If you're not feeling up to it yourself, ask your local bike shop (hopefully us!). Start by inspecting the tyre and sidewall for damage, is the valve sitting straight? Try removing the inner tube and pumping it up - where's the leak? Line it up to the tyre and locate the cause. If the hole is on the inside of the inner tube then there may be something wrong with your rim tape or something trapped in the tyre. If you're at home and still at a loss, it's time to drop us a line - you've done well!
*The recommended tyre pressure is written on the sidewall of your tyre 😉)