Puncture Prevention - Through Maintenance
On the road again: It sounds elementary, but while riding, watch where you're going. Don't ride through obvious patches of debris, and don't Evel-Knievel the curbs unless keeping your honor on a double dare is more important than buying a new tire. Stand on the pedals to ease the bike over particularly sharp bumps and dips.
Maintain your equipment: Keep tires properly inflated, check for thorns, nails, or glass in the tire, and be aware of any cracks or bubbles in sidewalls. Occasionally brush the rotating tire (wear gloves) to remove objects before they work into the tire and tube.
The Life-Liner: Make sure your tires are outfitted with a tire liner (Mr. Tuffy is the industry leader) . The liner is a belt that provides an extra barrier between the tire and tube, and helps guard against puncture wounds. Liners come in all regular tire sizes and can be transferred from bike to bike. Install a tire liner - a protective strip between the tire and inner tube. Tire liners provide the best, most affordable way to prevent flats.
The pressure's on: Keep tires pumped to the proper PSI; tires lose between five and ten pounds of pressure a week, and under-inflated tires are easier to puncture. To ensure proper seating when inflating a completely flat tire, lift the tire off the floor until it is partially inflated.
Stay clean and on the right track: Clean valves regularly; dirty valves may stay open, causing a slow, hard-to-detect leak. Also, make sure brake pads are properly adjusted to prevent grinding against the tire sidewall.
Watch the Tube: Replace old tubes; endless patching creates loss of tensile strength and leads to faster flats.
Keep Your Powder Dry - Sprinkle new tubes with baby powder - Provide a solid lubricant to protect the tube from chafing inside of the tire.
Check the Inner Rim: Also, file spokes down on the outside of the rim, and cover the inner rim with duct tape or a rim strip to ensure a smooth foundation for your inner tube before replacing the tube and tire.
Stop It! - Adjust brake pads-Align your brakes periodically to evenly distribute pressure and reduce the brake pads wear on the side of the tire.
Grease Away - Install rear tire inner tubes from the left - Protect tires from sprocket and chain oil and grease by mounting tires from the opposite side. Petroleum products decompose rubber.
10 Tips to Protect Your Tires - Whether just an occasional rider or gung-ho competitor, bicyclists can take several practical, inexpensive precautions to avoid tire punctures and flats. Faced with today’s road hazards, a flat tire may be inevitable, but at least there are ways of postponing the inevitable. Prevention - which boils down to riding smart and making sure your equipment is equipped to do battle--goes a long way.