Bike Tips: Avoiding Punctures
There’s nothing as frustrating as a puncture. But, what was once a regular occurrence can now be made a rarity. We at See Dublin by Bike can advise you.
Firstly, choice of tyres: Manufacturers like Schwalbe and Continental make a range of puncture resistant tyres. These have an internal protective layer that prevents sharp objects penetrating through to the tube. Well worth investing in, but of course no tyre is impenetrable!
Secondly, examine your tyres from time to time, especially if you suspect you have cycled through glass or other sharp material on the road. Remove any suspicious looking matter from tyres with a tweezers or pliers. Be careful not to puncture the tyre.
If you feel you have picked up something sharp from the road you can CAREFULLY put your gloved hand on the front tyre as you go, removing most unwanted material. Remember, the front wheel moves away from you so the danger of entanglement is small, but be careful!
The rear wheel is not so simple. Dismount, lift the back of your bike, spin the wheel and as with front wheel and clean off any unwanted dirt. The chance of injury is greater but with care this is very effective.
Third tip for avoiding punctures, keep your tyres well inflated, they’ll be more resistant to sharp objects and your bike will run better –it’ll be easier to cycle.
Get a decent pump and get to know your tyre pressures; this is usually indicated on the wall of the tyre in Metric or Imperial measurement.
If you use a mountain bike in the city replace the ‘nobbly’ tyres with a good set of road ones. They will pay for themselves in a few weeks plus, your commute will be much easier and more enjoyable. The downside of puncture resistant tyres is you forget how to repair a puncture.
Finally, you won’t be avoiding punctures if you persist with old worn tyres. If you find you are getting punctures again it’s probably because your tyres are worn. A new set will cost you, but who wants the misery of roadside puncture repair? Do you remember all that ritual with the basin of water tying to find the hole, then the glue, and the patch that wouldn’t stay on?
Cost saving tip: from time to time the German supermarkets sell tyres that bear a remarkable resemblance to the Schwalbes!
But if you do get a puncture and you’re nearby on of the Rothar shops, drop in and they’ll fix it for you.