Thursday, January 29, 2009

Riding Tip: Preventing Flats

Tired of monkeying around with flat tires? Then check out these prevention tips:

What's the number one cause of tire problems? If you guessed too little air pressure, then you're right. Having a good floor pump is essential in helping to prevent flat tires. The pumps usually include gauges and are made to inflate tires faster and easier than the pump you carry on your bike for emergencies. Checking air pressure before every ride is a good idea.

It's also important to keep an eye on your tires for wear and tear. Road tires generally last about 1,500 miles when used on the rear and about twice that on the front. If you go any longer than that, flats are more likely to occur.

Besides watching for wear and tear, regularly check your tread for cuts and debris. Flats aren't always caused by outside objects. Sometimes the culprit is something sharp inside the rim. If the hole is on the "belly" of the tube (the same surface the valve is on), something inside the rim popped the tube. If the hole is on the outer surface, it was caused by something that penetrated the tire and tube.

For punctures on the tube's belly, make sure that the rim strip is fully covering the nipple holes and that it can't move out of position. If you find anything sharp on the rim, sand it smooth with a file or sandpaper.

If you follow all these steps and still suffer more than your share of flats, there are several additional options available, such as flat-resistant tires, tubes, and tire liners. Just ask and we'll discuss your tire trouble and recommend a solution to make flat tires things of the past.


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