Nothing kills a beautiful ride quite like a flat tire. Imagine being 50 miles away from home, catching a flat, and having no way to fix it? I hope you brought walking shoes because it’s going to be a long stroll home. You could be cruising along, humming your favorite Bieber song one moment and cursing your bike the next if you catch a flat. Of course flat tires are always going to be part of cycling, but there are many ways in which to prepare for them so that they don’t ruin your day. Below are Bike and Brain’s tips to ensure you can keep singing Bieber without any interruption.
The best way to avoid the hassle of a flat tire is to prevent them. You can do this by investing in your tires. Most people overlook this component of their bicycle. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to tires. You can get tires for $15 or you can get some for $75. If I have learned anything it is not to skimp out on a good tire. You will regret purchasing cheap tires when you catch a flat on your way to work or an important event.
The nicer tires usually have thicker rubber and multiple layers that prevent debris from causing flats.
The three tires we have used and highly recommend are below.
Tubes are what hold air inside your tire. Flat tires occur because the tubes become punctured. You can purchase self sealing tubes which are great because they seal holes before they deflate the tire. However, what is most important is to always carry extra tubes A patch kit does not always work, especially if the hole is large. You don’t want to be stranded without tubes. Buy tubes in bulk on Amazon and keep them handy. They can be stored under your seat, in a bag, or in your pocket.
3. Mini pump
Mini pumps are certainly not the most ideal way to inflate tires. However, they work well when you catch a flat in the middle of no-where. They don’t require anything other than good-ol-muscle to operate. You can check out some reviews here .
As mentioned above, a patch kit does not always work. However, it’s important to carry one at all times. A patch kit can be as small as a quarter and weigh almost nothing. Patch kits come in handy when you catch a flat and have no extra tubes. They can be bought really cheap at any bikes shop.
5. CO2 Pump
With a pump head and CO2 cartridge you can easily inflate your tire without much effort. They are a great alternative to mini pumps. Check out this video to see how it works. The downside to this method is having to purchase and carry CO2 tanks. However, this is not so bad considering the pay off.
6. Double check
Don’t forget to check tire pressure before each ride. Tires are always losing air. It doesn’t hurt to top them off between rides. Also, run your fingers over your tires to ensure there is no glass or other debris wedged in the rubber. Sometimes the tires will pick something up that doesn’t puncture right away, but will after it is pushed in far enough. This can be avoided by removing any excess debris prior to your ride.