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How To Avoid Getting Flat Tires
How To Avoid Getting Flat Tires
For both conventional and electric bikes, one of the most common inconveniences for the everyday rider is a flat tire, and if you own a heavier e-bike, a tire change can become even more of a challenge.
On average, a flat tire on an e-bike is more common than on a conventional bike. The primary reason is the weight, causing extra pressure on the tires which are usually built with a lighter bike in mind. Rear hub motors and rear rack-mounted batteries can also cause extra stress on tires. Cheap rims, tires and inner tubes can also cause flat tires to happen more often.
Luckily, there are numerous ways to eliminate punctures. Below are a few tips for avoiding flat tires on an e-bike.
Keep your tires properly inflated
Maintaining proper air pressure in your tires is a great way to lessen your chance of getting flats. To figure out what to fill your tires to, check the sidewall of your tires. The recommended pressure can be anywhere from 30-35 PSI for fat tires, to 40-65 PSI for hybrid and gravel bike tires. To quickly check if everything’s OK regarding the pressure, just squeeze your tires with your hand. A properly inflated tire should feel firm, but not rock hard.
Inspect your tires regularly and don’t delay changing them
If you let your tires get worn down past the tread, it’s almost certain that you’ll get flat tires. Any cracks between the tread or other signs of dry rot also mean you'll need to change your tires as soon as possible. If you notice your tires need to be changed, you should do so immediately. Procrastinating on a tire change isn't just a gamble with the inconvenience of an unscheduled stop, it's also a gamble with your own safety.
Careful where you ride on the road
The sides of the road can be full of dirt and pointy debris such as thorns, staples, broken glass, and screws which will puncture your tires before you even have time to react. Try to avoid shoulders and ride as far into the lane as possible while still following traffic laws and general safety guidelines.
Consider using anti-flat tire material
Anti-flat tire materials such as slime tire sealants are great solutions for preventing flat tires when installed in your inner tubes. Small objects that would normally cause a puncture to your tube will no longer be a problem, as the tire sealant will act as a glue and seal small holes as they occur.
Consider using quality tire liners
Tire liners are best when they’re high quality, and also come in soft and pliable rubber types. If you’re considering compromising quality over price just keep in mind that cheap tire liners may also result in flat tires.
Upgrade your tires
There is an inverted correlation between the quality of tires and the chances of getting flat tires. The tires are where your e-bike meets the pavement, so choose wisely. Good rubber makes a big difference in ride quality and puncture resistance, but nothing is 100% puncture proof.
In any case, flat tires are inevitable, so be prepared by keeping a patch kit on your e-bike to repair any punctures you might get.