What Every Cyclist Actually Should Know About Flat Tyres

Posted by tan xiao yan on

The flat tyre is the most common unforeseen fact in the cycling life of cyclists and it can completely ruin the cyclists' cycling at that time. Flats may disappoint the cyclists, but it is inevitable. However, if you have known something about it, you can reduce the risks the flats with the targeted strategies. Or if you know how to repair the flat tyre, you will be less disappointed.

Types of flat tyres
A tyre goes flat can due to different reasons, and these flats are different from the reasons and results of flats. The flats usually divided into four types. Here are some brief introductions about the flats.

Pinch Flats

Pinch flat also known as snakebite or pinch cut, is different with the situations that you run over sharp objects, like broken glass or nail which punctures your tyres. The pinch flats happen when the cyclist ride over a pothole or track, and the inner tube gets pinched to against the rim of the wheel, and it finally will turn to a flat tire. The pinch flats are more likely to happen when the tyre is under-inflated. To avoid them, the cyclists should check the pressure regularly.


Blow outs are sudden losses of air of the tyres. In addition, when the blowouts happen, the cyclists can also hear the sound of "Bang", and after that, the tyres get flat. The blowouts happen when the cyclists pump up too much pressure into the tube. Made of the rubber balloon, the inner tube will stretch if the cyclists pump the air into it, but it can't take too much pressure. If you pump up too much pressure, the inner tube pops, resulting in the sudden losses of air.


There are two types of punctures. The first type of punctures happens when the cyclists ride over sharp objects, like broken glass, nails and wires which will pierce through the tyre and the tube. The first one will lead to a tiny hole which will lead to slowly leak air. Another type is the impact, pinch or snakebite punctures. The punctures happen when the cyclists collide with the sharp edge like the pothole. After the hit, there will be two parallel slits in the inner tube, just like the snakebite. This is why they also called snakebite.

Slow leaks

In a slow leak, the tyres would lose the air in a long time rather than suddenly lose the all the air. The cyclists can still ride their bikes but they need to pump up the tyre more often than before. The cyclists need to check out the pressure more than once a week even though the tyre is pumped up with high pressure. The air will slowly leak out from the very small holes on the wheels. The holes are too small to be found, so the cyclists need to replace the inner tube.

How to fix the flat tyres

Repairing the tyres will be a dirty work for cyclists, because the wheels are often fill up with dust and dirt. The cyclist can ask the experts to repair the flat tires. If the cyclists need to repair the tyre by yourself, here are some introductions for you to repair the bike wheels. When repairing the tyres, you need to prepare some tools, including the bike pump, tube or patch kit and tire levers. Besides, you also need some patience because repairing can be a boring job.

Tyre removal

You need to take the tyre off if you are going to replace the inner tube for your bike. At first, you need to release the brakes because most of the brakes are very close to the wheel rims. Different styles of brakes will have different ways and detail to pay attention to when releasing the brakes.

Secondly, release the wheel. The wheel is fixed to the frame by the wheel axle, so you need to release the axle before you release the wheel. If you bikes have the quick-release lever, or a bolt-on nut, do as the following:

Quick-release axles for front wheel: open the quick-release axles, unscrew the nut and lift the by the handlebars, and the tyre will fall out.

Bolt-on axles: you should loosen the nut on every end of the axle by using the wrenches.

Remove the tube and find the cause

To find out the culprit of the flat, you should remove the tube from the wheel and pump up pressure into it. During the process, you need to release all of the air so that you can remove the tube from the wheel. To check out the cause, you should check the outside surface of the tire at first. Next to check the inner tube by pumping up air into it.

Repair or replace the inner tube

When repairing the inner tube, you need to find out the damaged place, then clean the damaged place and try to dry it. Next, use the sandpaper to round up the surface of the damaged place. Finally, use the tube patch to hold the damaged place.

But replacing the inner tube would be a better choice to ensure safety and reliability. Firstly, find the right size of the inner tube. The right size of the tube is the key to replace the tube.

Install the tube and put the tire back on

Inflate the new or repaired tube so that it has a shape and you can make sure that the tube can hold air. Lower the inner tube onto the tyre by using the valve stem. Make sure that the valve stem is straight when you lowering the tube. Then install the rest of the tube into the wheel. Finally, pump up the pressure into your wheel, and check the both sides of the rim to ensure that the bead is seated correctly. After everything is done, you can pump up the pressure and ride on the bike.

Although the flat tyre is the most common unforeseen fact in the cycling life of cyclists, the cyclists can easily deal with it if they have the knowledge about the flats: the causes, prevention, and how to repair. If they know about what actually they should know, it won't be a trouble for them to handle the flat tyres.