If you think punctures are a pain in the proverbial, then read on for some practical tips on how to prevent them the best ways we know how.
Punctures are probably the most common inconvenience of riding a bike. If your bike has tyres filled with air, chances are that you’ll experience a puncture at some point. However, it is definitely possible to minimise the chance of getting a puncture.Whilst there are a number of ways that you can get a puncture, these three preventative measures will address many of the causes.
1. Pressure Pressure Pressure
Running your tyre pressure too low or too high can lead a tube puncture. The sidewall of your tyre detail the recommended minimum and a maximum pressure range for that particular tyre. We advise sticking to the higher number to prevent the tube getting “pinched” between the tyre and wheel rim upon any impact your tyre has with obstacles whilst you ride. Just keep in mind that the air pressure may increase with temperature - i.e. if you pump your tyres up in an air-conditioned room, the air pressure will expand a bit once taken outside in the heat of the day and can then blow out. Using quality pump with air pressure gauge can assist greatly with this by taking out the guesswork.
2. Tyre choice and tyre condition
Choose a tyre appropriate for the terrain you ride on. Riding a road tyre on a downhill trail is obviously going to cause some issues. Likewise, a soft rubber compound on a cross country racing tyre will not hold up well on bike paths littered with glass. The first thing we ask customers when recommending an appropriate tyre is where and on what types of terrain you most often ride your bike. Specialized’s Armadillo tyres are a fantastic choice for commuting on roads and paths which often are strewn with glass and rubbish. These tyres have thick protection to minimise the chance of sharp objects penetrating. If you are more of a trail mountain biker than a roady, consider not only a good tread pattern for grip, also go for something with extra sidewall protection minimise the likelihood of a side-wall cut in rocky terrain such as those featuring Specialized’s GRID sidewall casing technology.
The condition of your tyres is also a critical factor in preventing tube punctures. Here are 5 tell-tale signs it’s high time to replace your tyres.
- Repeated tube punctures - frequent flats is an indication your tyre tread is wearing thin, allowing small stones and pieces of glass to puncture your tube
- Damaged / worn tyre sidewalls - sidewalls of a tyre can get damaged through impact with obstacles such as potholes and rocks and if tyre pressure is not maintained within its recommended range
- Tread wear indicators - many tyres come with tread wear indicators, small hole indents located in the central area of the tread, which disappear as the tyre wears signalling the end of their life
- Tyre bead problems - tyres with a damaged bead can blow off your wheel rim as the inner tube gets inflated
- Tread pattern wear - uneven tread pattern wear and shallowing of tread pattern are signs your tyre is wearing thin and needs replacement
Adding sealant into your tyres or tubes doesn’t actually prevent a tube puncture, but it is a fantastic solution to addressing a puncture if it does happen. There are a variety of types, but all have the same purpose, that is to plug the puncture before too much air escapes. It can easily be added to a tubeless system, or directly into a tube that has a removable valve core. Drop us a line via the ‘Contact’ button in the menu bar.
The Short and Sweet of It
To minimise pain, patching up punctures, keep your pressure pumped up, use the right tyre for the right terrain and if you can, use tube sealant.