Types of Bicycle Flats

Types of Bicycle Flats
Bike riding gets you outside, it gets your heart pumping and you see things you don't notice from a car. It is an activity that can be enjoyed with others or on your own. One major drawback to riding is when you hear, feel or see a tire going flat. Flats are caused differently, but with some insight, most can be avoided.

Slow Leak

Slow leaks are generally experienced when your bike has been sitting for some time without being ridden. When you are riding consistently, you need to add some air from time to time, as air will seep out of tubes very slowly. If you haven't been riding in quite a while, this will cause the tire to be low when you begin to ride again.


Pinch Flat

Pinch flats are generally caused by underinflation and hitting something such as a curb or large debris. When the tire is underinflated, it causes the tire to pinch against the rim, causing a cut. Pinch flats may also be caused by rim liners being uneven or from a new tube being used that is not seated properly.

Valve Leaks

Valves can leak from overpumping when you are filling them with air. Presta valves (the type of valves most commonly found on road and racing bikes) can be very sensitive to being pumped up. Care needs to be taken once you have loosened the valve and seat the pump on it.

Blow Out

This is the one that is always a surprise and gets the heart pumping. Most of the time, a blow out is caused by running over a sharp object. It can also be caused by a tube being old and dry.


Article Written By Andy McVeigh

Andy McVeigh lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys paddling, biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, scuba diving and photography. McVeigh is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and is currently working on his MBA.

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