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Tire Blowout Prevention Tips

Prevent your next tire blowout

The last thing you want is a tire blowout the morning of your first triathlon!

Culprit: old tires

There are times when people use bike tires that are not very well maintained. The tire may have dry or weak spots. Mechanics/helpers/friends helping others get ready in transition during bike check-in will normally pump tires up to the maximum tire pressure. This exposes already weak, drily rotted, or damaged areas of the tire. This is the main culprit of tires blowing out.

Not a culprit: temperature change

A severe temperature change the night before will only cause a very slight change in tire pressure overnight. A swing of 50 degrees will be a shift of fewer than 10 lbs. of air pressure in your tire. Most wheel manufacturers’ rims can withstand more than twice the recommended tire pressure before the tire would pop off of the rim. So if your tire is supposed to be aired up to 120 lbs., chances are your rim can hold twice that amount of force or more.

Culprit: too little pressure

Begin the bike portion of your triathlon knowing your tires are completely aired up.  Too little pressure will slow your ride down and make you work harder than necessary.

Rubber is a porous material. Tubes and tires will lose pressure over a short amount of time. Some tires will lose as much as 25 to 40 percent of their air in a week. If you air your tires up the day before you will probably have a little less air in your tires by race start. This would be a reason why you should air them up race day.

You can learn more about proper air pressure from this Jack’s Generic Triathlon blog post.

Want to learn more about flat tire prevention?  Follow the advice in an earlier blog of ours.

Preventing Flat Tires

Use these tips to prevent flat tires

Tired of monkeying around with flat tires? Then check out these prevention tips:
What’s the number one cause of tire problems? If you guessed too little air pressure, then you’re right. Having a good floor pump is essential in helping to prevent flats. The pumps usually include gauges. A good floor pump will inflate tires faster and easier than the pump you carry on your bike for emergencies.

Monitor your tires for wear and tear. Road tires generally last about 1,500 miles when used on the rear and about twice that on the front. If you go any longer than that, flat tires are more likely to occur. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer a flat tire, you must choose your impact wrench accordingly.

Regularly check your tread for cuts and debris. Outside objects aren’t always the culprit for flat tires. Sometimes the culprit is something sharp inside the rim. If the hole is on the “belly” of the tube (the same surface the valve is on), something inside the rim popped the tube. If the hole is on the outer surface, it was caused by something that penetrated the tire and tube.

For punctures on the tube’s belly, make sure that the rim strip is fully covering the nipple holes and that it can’t move out of position. If you find anything sharp on the rim, sand it smooth with a file or sandpaper.

Dealing with flats

If you follow all these steps and still suffer more than your share of flat tires, there are several additional options available, such as flat-resistant tires, tubes, and tire liners.
These tips are meant to prevent flats and help extend the life of your tires. All cyclists now flat tires are going to happen. If you’re on a ride and you have a flat, memorize these 10 steps for repairing your flat!