With more and more Americans becoming concerned about their environmental footprint, bicycle usage has increased. Estimates show that as of 2009, four billion people relied on bicycles to commute to and from work. If you are planning to start riding your bike to work, it is important that you are prepared to tackle a flat tire.
Here are 3 types of flat tires your bicycle might get, and tips to help you fix these flats in the future.
1. Slow Leaks
If you notice that your bicycle’s tire is losing air pressure slowly, then you are likely dealing with a slow leak. These types of flats can be quite bothersome since you must remember to add air on a regular basis in order to prevent the tire from going completely flat during your commute.
The type of bicycle you ride will determine how often you should be adding air to your tires. High-pressure road bikes generally require air once a week, while hybrid bike tires should be filled every two weeks. If you are filling your tires more often than called for, you should fix your slow leak by investing in a can of tire sealant. The sealant can be sprayed directly into the tire, and it will help to seal any cracks or holes that are allowing air to slowly seep out.
2. Puncture Flats
Navigating today’s roadways on a bicycle can be dangerous, and you will likely run over something sharp as you commute to and from work on your bicycle. When a sharp object slashes a hole in your tire’s inner tube, the flat is known as a puncture flat.
The easiest way to fix a puncture flat is to patch the inner tube to prevent air from escaping. You can often find portable patch kits that you can purchase at a bike repair shop. If you have one on hand, you can repair your flat tire while commuting.
When you hear a loud popping sound accompanying your flat tire, you have likely experienced a blowout. These types of flat tires occur when the inner tube becomes separated from the outer wall of the tire. Since the inner tube is like a balloon, it cannot handle much pressure by itself.
A tire blowout typically requires the replacement of the tire, rendering the bicycle useless until the blown tire has been replaced. You can plan on investing anywhere from $15 to $50 to purchase a replacement tire.
Commuting to work on your bicycle is a great way to help reduce your environmental impact, but riding a bicycle is not without its potential problems. Becoming familiar with the types of flat tires your bike could experience will help you be better prepared to address these problems as they arise in the future.