If you’ve never had a ;at tire, you haven’t ridden a bicycle much. It’s just something that will happen when you ride. Off-road
riders seem to get them more, from thorns
and pinch ;ats on the trails, but commuters
will have them at least occasionally.
CHECK YOUR TIRES
Before each ride, check both the condition of your tires and the air pressure. If your
tires are worn (i.e., if the tread is worn off or
if there are cracks or wear in the sidewalls),
it’s time to replace them. Without the tread,
the tires can be very slippery in many conditions and can cause you to wipe out. They
also have less protection against thorns and
other jagged objects you may run over on a
ride. If the sidewalls give out, you will have a
;at that can’t be ;xed on the road.
Check the air with a reliable gauge.
Though you can get an idea of your tire pressure from a good ;oor pump, there are some
great purpose-made digital gauges that can
give you an accurate pressure reading. Many
have both types of valve attachments—
Schrader and Presta.
If you own a bike, you need to have a few
essential items to deal with your tires. You’ll
de;nitely need a pump, but it’s better if you
have two. Go to your bike shop and get a
good ;oor pump, as it’s the fastest and easiest way to pump up your tubes. Most will
have both types of valve attachments. While
you’re there, pick up a smaller pump you can
always carry with you, and make sure it’s the
right type for your bike’s valve style. Some
can mount on bottle-cage bosses for your
frame, and others can be carried in a pack or
a seat wedge.
As an alternative, if you’d rather, you can
carry a CO2 cartridge pump with you. These
;ll tubes quickly and effortlessly, but you will
have to carry a couple of cartridges with you.
There are some leaks that can’t be
patched, so a spare tube is a must-have.
Make sure you always have spare tubes in
the right size for your bike. Have at least one
at home and one that you carry on the bike
or in a pack you always take.
A good patch kit can be a lifesaver on a
ride. The advantage is that patching a tube
means you don’t have to take the wheel
FLAT TIRE Simple tips & tricks to doing it quickly
If your pump has a gauge, it’s a starting
point, but they’re usually not completely
Before every ride, check the condition
of your tires. Is there enough tread? Are
the sidewalls in good shape, or are there
cracks or other wear?
If you have
you need a
;oor pump. A
one will last
for years, and
both types of
ride. We recommend a
A small pump can be mounted on your
bike or carried in a pack in case you get a
;at on the road.