What do you do if your tire has a flat?
Unfortunately, flats are an unavoidable part of cycling. Understanding the cause of the flat is just as important as knowing how to repair one and not all flats are cause for worry.
All Butyl-Rubber tubes will lose air over time (think party balloon going flat the day after the party). It can take anywhere between 24 hours to a week to notice your tire is low. A few shots of air from a pump and you should be good as new. There is seldom a reason to repair or replace a tube that loses some air pressure over the course of a few days to a week.
Let's take a look at the type of flats you may encounter on your bike that causes your tire to suddenly lose air pressure:
1. Slow leaks: they take a awhile to go flat (noticeably). You may actually ride the bike, but will probably need to pump up the tire after your ride.
Slow leaks that take more than an hour or so to go down can often only be repaired by replacing the inner tube, since it may be impossible to find the hole.
2. Punctures: Punctures are caused by running over something sharp which penetrates the tire and into the tube. Punctures may be caused by glass, thorns, nails, bits of wire or other small, sharp objects.
Patching or replacing the inner tube is the fix for punctures.
Don't forget to remove the pointy thing from the tire before you put it back on!
3. Pinch Flats: Pinch flats can be caused by hitting a larger stone or rock, curbs, or sharp edges of a pothole in the road surface. When the tire hits a sharp edge hard enough, it compresses so that it bottoms out. The inner tube can get pinched between the rock and the rim. Pinch cuts usually put two small holes in the tube. This type of damage is sometimes called a "snake bite" because the two holes look like the wound made by the fangs of a snake.
Pinch flats can sometimes ruin tires as well as tubes, but usually the tire will not be damaged.
The impact that causes a pinch cut can also make a dent or "blip" in your rim.
4. Blowouts: Blowouts are sudden losses of air, usually accompanied by a loud BANG! A blow out can be caused by the tire not "seating" correctly on the rim and inflating the tube will "force" the tube to push out on that weak spot, blowing out the tube and tire. Other causes for blowouts can be old/dried out tires. Since the older tire is no longer "elastic" the tire pressure can force the tube out of the tire at a weak spot (usually the sidewall of the tire).
To repair a flat, take a look at this video:
If you feel the flat is a result of a manufacturer's defect or other warranty item, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org