It no fun when you are all pumped up to take a spin on your bike but then find out that you have a flat tire. Similarly, it’s never a convenient time when you keep get a flat tire on a bike. You could be in traffic, riding the trails or riding to work. Of course, you do know the feeling you get when this happens right?
So why do bicycle tires go flat? It’s important you know the causes of a puncture bike tire so you can avoid them down the road.
In this article we will look at 6 common reasons why you get a flat tire, what can you do to prevent it and how to fix bicycle flat tire in case it happens.
6 Common Causes of a Flat Bicycle Tire
When someone asks you “why does my bike tire keep going flat?” or “Why do I Keep Getting Flat Tires on My Bike?” These are the six most common reasons.
The number one cause of you getting a flat bicycle tire is sharp objects. These objects come in the form of nails, screws, industrial staples, small pieces of metal and glass. To limit your chance of picking up these objects in your tire ride around debris and avoid riding parking lots. If you do be on the lookout for anything that could potentially give you a leak.
Leaking or Faulty Valve Stem
The valve stem is the second most likely cause or reason why bicycle tires keep going flat. The valve stem is that part of the tire that sticks out so you can get the air into the tube. Its inner core has a spring plunger that shuts the valve off after you put the air in.
Overtime the stem will get corroded, clogged, or breakdown. This will lead to a slow leak where you keep having the tire flat and not seeing a puncture. To avoid getting a faulty valve stem, always remember to screw back on the seal cap after you inflate your tire. If you replace your tire, it’s also a good idea to replace the stem as well.
Potholes, bumps, uneven pavement and manholes all put you at risk of getting a flat bike tire. When riding in such conditions slow down and be more cautious to safely avoid these road hazards.
Incorrect Tire Pressure
To be safe on the road it’s important that you inflate your tire at the correct pressure. An over inflation tires can lead to a blowout wheel, damage tire or cause you serious injury.
How can you avoid this?
Never rely on compressing the tire with your thumb to check if you have enough air in it. Right after you pump the air in, check to see if you have the right amount of air in the tire with a gauge. If you don’t know how much air is need. You can look for the recommended tire pressure which is listed on the side of the tire. So always use the required amount.
Wear And Tear of Your Tire or Tube
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Another reason why bike tires go flat is because of normal wear and tear of the tube and tire. As you ride the tubing in the tire will wear down over time. Also the tread on the tire will wear gradually, eventually setting you up for a surprising puncture.
While it’s natural for your tire and tube to wear, here are 3 things you can to reduce wear and a flat tire.
Avoid sudden braking. Hard braking will cause the tire to lockup, this increases the friction between the tire and the road surface, causing it to rub down too fast.
Always maintain the recommended tire air pressure and check your tires and tubes for wear of any kind. A hot road surface will speed you the wear and tear of your rubber tires and tubing
Incorrect Repair Procedures
Quite often a bicycle tire repair procedures are overlooked. You end up miss a step, use the wrong part or the wrong tool for the job. That could leave you with an unexpected flat tire in the future.
When taking off or putting on a tire make sure that you use the correct tool to avoid pinching the tube. Use a tire lever to pry off the tire and avoid using sharp tools to do this. Make sure to deflate the tire completely before removing it from the rim.
When you’re putting back everything together make sure the tube is sitting perfectly between the rim and tire. Inflating the tube slightly before installing it will prevent it from getting twisted or folded.
Want to do you own bike repairs? For beginners or advance get step by step videos on how to do repairs on any bicycle.
How Much to Inflate Bike Tires
Having the proper pressure in your bike tire makes it roll quick, smooth and lets you avoid getting excess flats.
According to this article over at Bicycling, road bike tires must be between 80 to 130psi. Mountain bike pressure should be between 25 to 35psi and hybrid tires between 40 to 70 psi. It’s also important to note that you should never go above or below the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure for your bike.