Do you often find yourself with a flat bike tire? I know exactly how repeatedly fixing a flat tire can be annoying and a hassle. F
Here are the top 10 possible reasons why your bike tire keeps going flat:
- Pointy or sharp objects
- Tire wear out
- Low Pressure in the tire
- Damaged air valves
- Air leaks
- Prominent holes
- Tire blowout
- Worn-down rim
- Pinched tire
- High pressure in the tire
Fixing a problem, again and again, makes us think about why it’s occurring in the first place.
So before you directly just jump to fixing the tire, let me tell you why your bike tire keeps going flat. Once you figure that out, you will be able to assess the problem and take steps accordingly.
So, read on as I tell you how each of these reasons makes your tire go flat.
After that, I’ll also be sharing some flecks of gold guiding you about preventing your tire from going flat!
10 Reasons Your Bike Tire Keeps Going Flat
If you are able to find out the main reason that your tire keeps going flat, you will be able to remove that stimulus, and your bike tire will just work fine.
I have made a list of the top 10 reasons your bike tire keeps going flat in the order of decreasing frequency:
#1 Sharp Object
Whenever you take your bike out for a ride, it is exposed to various rough surfaces. In such circumstances, sharp objects such as a pebble, a shard of glass, nails, or a thorn could get stuck on the tire.
These objects pierce through the tire and eventually puncture the inner tube. Tiny pieces of these sharp objects can get lodged in your tire and damage the inner tube to a considerable extent, leaving your bike with flat tires.
To examine your tire for a sharp object, you should first wear gloves and then examine the interior and exterior of the tire.
You should do this before you plan on installing a new tube because the sharp object may even damage the new tube.
Thus, you should carefully examine and remove any sharp objects in the tire and then give it a final shake for any other objects, like pebbles, to fall out if they are stuck in the tire.
#2 Tire Retirement
If you find that your tire keeps getting punctured, one reason could simply be that the tire has aged and worn out.
The tubing of the old tires expands beyond its average size, and the wheel fibers become more exposed and prone to damage. If you continue to use these retired tires, you are more susceptible to getting flats and a punctured tube.
Some main signs of tire damage are crowned rubber, exposed threads, worn-out surface, and a loss of its proper round structure. If you have detected any of these signs in your tires, it is high time to change them.
Even if only one of the tires has retired, you should simultaneously change both of them to avoid any future hassles for you.
One good rule of thumb is to change both tires every six months. This way, your bike doesn’t have to bear extra stress because of your worn-out tires, and your riding experience doesn’t have to falter either.
#3 Damaged Rim
If the rim of your tire is deformed, it makes the tire more susceptible to getting flat. Before you understand the issue, let’s figure out what exactly is the role of the rim.
A rim sits outside the wheel, holds your tire in position, and supports it. It also provides a good braking surface for your bike.
If your rim is deformed or damaged for any reason, there will be a gap between the rim and the tire. This gap would expose the inner tube of the tire, and it could easily get poked at and get punctured.
You should thoroughly examine your bike tires to see if the rim is deformed, bent, or cracked in any way. If that is the case, you should immediately take it to the bike repair shop and ask them to fix it.
» You can also read my post: What Is A Folding Bike Tire?
Sometimes, the defect cannot be fixed, and in that situation, you will have no other option but to replace this rim with a new one.
#4 Pinched Tire
A pinched tire is problematic. It occurs if your tire becomes stuck between the rim and the braking system. An entangled tire pinches the tube and causes a cut in it, and flattens your tire. It can also occur
If you are changing the tire and the lever pokes the tube and damages it.
No matter the reason, a pinched tire will go flat after inflation and become a hassle for you. Thankfully there is something you can do about it.
A pinched tire usually occurs because of your own irresponsibility. You should always slightly inflate the tube before you insert it into the tire.
A firm, slightly inflated tube is much less likely to get pinched or entangled between the rim and the braking system.
Another great way to handle this problem is just to use your hands while changing the tube. If you use any tools, such as the lever, the tube may get poked and cause a flat.
#5 Low Pressure In Tire
A low-pressure tire means that the tube is not inflated enough. If the tire has low pressure, it can get snakebite flats.
Snakebite flats usually occur when you are riding on rough terrain with low pressure in the tire. The pebbles or any other sharp objects can easily penetrate your tire and the tube and cause them to flatten.
To confront this problem, you can do two things.
One is to ensure that the tire pressure is optimal and you don’t feel it pressed down while riding. The other solution is to use broad tubeless tires.
These tubeless tires need only low pressure to operate, and they can withstand greater stress too.
If you are not interested in getting tubeless tires, the only other thing you can do is take preventative measures.
Whenever you are riding in rough terrain or approaching obstacles, you should lower your bike’s speed and try to avoid them if possible.
#6 High Pressure In Tire
If you thought that a tire with low pressure was the only problem, then you were wrong. High pressure in tires is equally concerning. I’ll explain why.
Your tire has a limited capacity to expand and stretch. When you inflate it with a higher than normal pressure, the tire expands and stretches to its limits.
This excessive stretching thins out the tire wall and adds excessive stress to it when you are riding the bike. Thus, even a small poke or bump would cause the bloated tire to puncture and flatten.
The only solution is that you read up on the guidelines mentioned in the manual. They usually mention the optimal pressure for the tires to function ideally.
Ensure that your tires are inflated according to those guidelines.
Moreover, you should also be vigilant while riding the bike. If you feel that the tire isn’t pressing down at all or you have to add extra pressure while riding fast, that may indicate that the tire is overinflated.
» Read my blog post: How to Use a Bike Pump?
#7 Damaged Air Valves
If you have ever inflated your bike tires by yourself, you would have seen those tiny holes where you attach the gas pipe and inflate it. Those are the air valves of your bike.
The valve system of your bike is attached to the bike’s inner tube with glue.
When this glue loses its strength, the valve system may just slightly come off from the inner tube’s inner surface.
Since the valve system has lost its ability to prevent the air from moving out, the air starts leaking out. This air leak makes your tire go flat.
If you have figured out that the valve system of your bike is compromised, there are two things you can do about it.
One is that you simply fix the valve yourself with the help of an adhesive. The other is that you can just entirely replace the valve.
#8 Invisible Air Leaks
Sometimes, the tube itself may get worn out or constantly exposed to rough surfaces that cause it to lose shape and structure. It can even occur if the dust particles rub against the tube for long periods of time.
These stress conditions cause invisible, micro leaks in the tube that you may not be aware of. These small air leaks would take days to flatten your tire.
These tiny air leaks are not really spottable, but they do just the right damage for your tires to go flat.
To solve this problem, you just need to replace the inner tube of your bike.
You should check this tube for leaks by inflating it and moving your hand around it to feel any air leaking.
» This could also be something for you: How to Fix Bike Gears That Won’t Shift?
#9 Prominent Spoke Holes
The rim of your bike tire contains spoke holes that allow the spokes to insert and attach to it. These spoke holes attach the spokes and provide support and stability to the tire.
The spoke holes have rim tape on their back. This rim tape is solely present to prevent the spokes from damaging the inner tube when they penetrate the tire.
Over time, this rim tape may get detached or lose its integrity and move inside the spokes, creating sharp edges around the rim.
Since this protective covering is no longer functional, the spokes can easily access the inner tube of your bike and poke holes through it. These holes eventually cause the tire to deflate and flatten.
The solution to this problem is just simply to buy a new rim tape. You can attach the new rim tape around the tire bed. You do not even need to remove the old tape first, you can just add this on top of it.
#10 Tire Blowout
You were happily riding your bike, and you suddenly heard a whoosh sound. It’s official, you have a tire blowout.
There can be various reasons for a tire blowout, such as overinflating your tire or hitting a sharp object, or jumping through an obstacle.
There were probably already many punctures in your bike’s inner tube, and this small inconvenience may have been the last straw. Your tire couldn’t stand the next poke, and it blew out.
In such situations, you cannot really do anything if your bike tire just blew out. The only solution is to replace this tire with a new healthy tire.
Remember that a tire does not explode out of the blue; it exhibits various other signs that you should be vigilant about.
To prevent any future blowouts, check your tire’s health and replace it if it has worn out.
Preventative Measures — Keep Your Tires From Going Flat
If your tires keep going flat and you have identified the cause, you can now surely fix it. However, to prevent any future flats, you can take the following preventative measures.
#1 Maintain Tire Pressure
As discussed above, overinflating or underinflating your tires can be a problem. If your tires do not maintain adequate pressure, they are susceptible to flats on low impacts.
By maintaining tire pressure, you can also prevent pinch flats that usually occur due to underinflation compression of the tire tube between the wheel and the rim.
You should take these preventative measures and keep the tire pressure within the normal range. You can find out the correct pressure range on your bike manual and then maintain the tire pressure.
#2 Get Better Quality Tires
Good quality tires are a one-time investment that is totally worth it. If you encounter frequent flats, then that may just be because your tires are not sturdy enough.
If you get durable tires, they would have a better thread quality and would be better adapted to stressful terrains and debris-laden roads.
These high-quality tires would be much less susceptible to flats, and you won’t have to worry about them wearing out anytime soon.
#3 Go Tubeless
Half your tire problems will be solved if you decide to go tubeless. Even though it is a relatively expensive option, it can save you money in the long run by lessening the frequency of flats.
Since these tubeless tires do not function with any tube, the pinched or punctured tube won’t be a problem for you anymore.
Moreover, these tires require low pressure to inflate and have better shock absorption, allowing you to ride on rough terrains without any problem.
#4 Extra Protection
When it comes to your bike tires, some extra protection doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all. Rim strips and tire liners are extra protective features that you can add to your bike.
Rim strips guard the tube and protect it from any holes in the rim, while the tire liners protect the tire from any outside sharp objects that may penetrate and cause damage to the inner tube.
#5 Replace Your Tires Regularly
As discussed before, the tires wear out after a certain period of time and need replacing. If you do not replace these tires, you will get frequent flats, contributing to an overall bad riding experience.
Replacing your tires regularly can prevent frequent flats and tire blowouts, both of which are problematic. Ideally, you should replace both of your tires every six months.
» Read my blog post: How to Fix Flat Bike Tire With No Tools?
When you bike frequently, you get acquainted with flat tires. However, frequent flats can be a cause of discomfort and should be dealt with appropriately.
While it is easy to correct a flat tire, knowing the root cause behind it is important, too, because then you can take appropriate actions and prevent it from happening in the future.
In this article, I discussed all the possible reasons your bike tire keeps going flat and different measures you can take to prevent flats.
It is now time to put this knowledge to use and take up preventative measures to avoid any flat tires in the future!