Punctures can be inevitable for cyclists but there are things that you can do to try and stay flat free. Here’s some top tips you can take to help you banish flat tyres with the right equipment and riding techniques.
Change your tyres
Whether you’re a racer, commuter or mountain biker, fitting a pair of tyres with some sort of puncture protection is the first step to reduce your chances of getting a flat.
We all want the fastest, lightest and grippiest tyres for our bikes but they can sometimes be more likely to attract flints, glass and other objects, risking a puncture. Not all bike tyres are created the same so choosing the correct ones depending on the type of ride is key.
Most durable tyres on the market will come with a dense puncture resistant layer that will help stop sharp objects penetrating the tyre but it's always best to choose your tyres wisely depending on your bike and the type of cycling you do. Some cyclists will be put off buying puncture resistant tyres due to the extra weight but if you want to avoid getting flats we think it's only a small price to pay.
Check your tyres regularly
Do you remember the last time you checked your tyres? Probably not.
A tyre that is worn down is more likely to puncture as there is less rubber tread on the tyre. It’s easy to forget to look when you’re in a rush but regularly checking your tyres after a ride will prevent small sharp objects lodging their way in and pushing through to the inner tube, saving you time and money further down the road.
If you do find any small pieces stuck in your tyre we suggest removing them with tweezers unless the hole has already made its way through the tyre, which instead it will need to be replaced.
Watch the route
This might seem like an obvious tip “Don’t ride in glass” “Watch where you’re cycling” but it is astonishing how many cyclists ride through flint and glass – without realising too.
A lot of the bits that will puncture your tyre are likely to be lurking at the edge of the road, in the gutter and even sometimes in the centre on a single track road. Try to avoid these areas and look out for clear paths set by cars and other cyclists.
As well as keeping clear from the gutter, looking ahead for potholes, hedge cut trimmings and other hazards as they approach will give you the chance to react in enough time and avoid getting the unexpected flat mid ride.
Use Sealants and Tape
Sealants and tapes can be used as a convenient solution for a lot of bikers. Liquid sealants can be used to fill inside the tyre or inner tube and seal punctures up to a certain size when they occur but for most tubeless tyres using a sealant is just part of setting the tyres up which means the punctures will be sealed straight away.
You can also invest in resistant tape and strips that sit between the tyre and the inner tube for an extra level of protection against punctures.
Our Dr Sludge range provides a selection of products for those who find themselves hampered by flats. Check it out here.
Be prepared for when it happens
Whilst you can try to prepare your bike against a flat tyre, you can also prepare yourself. A small saddle bag can be easily filled with puncture tools and spares whilst not adding a lot of weight to your bike.
We suggest always keeping one or two spare inner tubers as a back up and a Jetvalve CO2 inflator in your bag as well as a couple of spare patches if you’re heading out on a long ride. Our variety of puncture repair kits are the perfect size for a saddle bag and contain all the essentials to meet the needs of every type of cyclist. Check them out here.
Do you have any tips you follow to avoid punctures? Let us know below!