April 15, 2021

Sooner or later, every cyclist will be faced with a flat tire at least once in their life. It's never fun and it interferes with your ride, but it's also not the end of the world. In this post we would like to give you some tips on how to prevent it and what to do in case it does happen.

What is a flat?

The majority of bicycles have a tire and a tube. The tire is what we are used to seeing and it's the part of the wheel that makes contact with the ground. The tube is like a "balloon" that goes inside the tire and it is what contains the air in our wheel.

A flat happens when a part of the inner tube breaks and air is released. Some would say that you could keep riding a bit with a flat tire, but the truth is, without air, riding a bike is almost impossible and you should fix the broken tube or change it for another.

Tire and Tube

 Tire and Tube

How do you prevent a flat?

It's hard to guarantee that you won't get a flat, you could go months without it happening or you could be unlucky and it could happen twice in the same week. Even so, there are certain things that we can do to take care of our bike to decrease the probability of a flat tire:

Ground

Although it seems like common sense, looking in the direction you're riding is very helpful. The majority of flats are because of glass or anything else sharp that we could find in the street and if you look out for those things you could easily save yourself from a flat tire.

Tires

Not all objects in the street that can puncture our tires are visible and many times they might be visible but unavoidable. If this is the case, it's important to trust our tires and that they are in good shape. Signs that it's time to change your tire is if they have tears and rips from previous accidents or they're worn down and no longer have any grip.

💡Debunking the myth

It's common to say that bikes with thinner wheels get punctured more. The truth is that they have the same probability of suffering from a flat tire from objects in the street. However, having a narrower tube, a slight loss of air will easily affect the pressure and can cause a strong impact that squeezes the tube between the rim and the ground. This is known as a snakebite flat or a pinch flat. You should always maintain the recommended air pressure .

Good Air Pressure

Good Air Pressure

Bad Air Pressure

Low Air Pressure

What do I do if I puncture a tire?

The first is to stay calm and depending on the tools and time that you have, see if you can fix it or if you'll need help. In case you want to do it yourself, you'll need to have:

  1. A wrench of 15mm to take off the punctured wheel
  2. A repair kit that includes patches, sandpaper, glue, and tire levers
  3. A bike pump compatible with the valve of your bike

If you don't have these things, we advise:

  • Look on your phone for a bike shop nearby. A flat is common and they will be able to repair it quickly for $5.00-$25.00.
  • Ask other cyclists for help. If you ride on a bike path, it's probable that many people will pass by and someone is likely to have the tools we mentioned.
  • Although it doesn't sound very encouraging, walk your bike. Have in mind that although this implies that it will take you more than double than riding your bike, pedaling with a flat tire is nearly impossible and even dangerous because it isn't easy to control the bike.

If you have all the necessary tools, here are the steps to repair your tire:

  1. Take off the wheel with a 15mm wrench or with your hands if the wheel is secured with a quick release skewer.
  2. Use tire levers to take off the tire and tube.
  3. With your bike pump, inflate the flat tube until you find out where the air is leaving.
  4. Sand the tube in the area where it is punctured.
  5. In the sanded area, spread glue and wait for it to set until it's sticky.
  6. Put on the patch with enough strength and pressure that it "sticks" onto the tube.
  7. Check the inside of the tire to make sure if what caused the flat is no longer there.
  8. Remount the tube and the tire, inflate it to the recommended pressure that the tire says.
  9. Reconnect the the wheel onto the bike.
    • If you have a spare tube rather than a patch for the current tube, you can skip steps 3, 4, 5, and 6.

We hope that you never have to deal with a flat tire, but if it happens, we hope this post can help you make the moment less terrible and feel prepared to face it.

Here is a link with our available products that are necessary to repair a flat tire.


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