havebike advice… Punctures

havebike advice… Punctures

I really can’t face another puncture at eight in the morning. I’ve heard of puncture resistant tyres, but is any tyre actually puncture resistant, or should I just leave cycling to weekends and get back on the tube?

Oh dear. Why is that some cyclists can smugly say “but I never get punctures!” while others can’t seem to nip to the supermarket without a box of patches and a pump?

Before we look at the solutions, let’s look at the problem. There are two types of puncture; penetration and impact.

Penetration punctures can vary from those tiny holes that cause your tyre to slowly, sneakily lose air until it is unrideable (a moment that will always occur in the least convenient place to put on a patch), to whopping great gashes caused by a rock or broken bottle in the road (also known as time to call a taxi).

Then there’s the impact puncture, also delightfully known as a snakebite. Caused by your wheel hitting a sharp edge, the inner tube pinches against the rim, leaving two parallel slits either side of the tube. Like a snakebite. Try fixing one of those in a damp grass verge at rush hour.

All of the above are equally irritating, and all seem to be equally unavoidable with pneumatic tyres. There are a few precautions you can take to avoid punctures, but if you really want to say goodbye to your pump and patch repair kit for good, you might want to invest in puncture resistant tyres.

You asked whether any tyre is actually puncture resistant. The answer is yes. Puncture resistant tyres are solid; no inner tube, nothing to puncture.

That said, the first wave of puncture resistant tyres arguably weren’t as brilliant as many people had hoped. However, with the launch of Aither Puncture Resistant Tyres, the team at Korean manufacturer Tannus have really turned a corner in puncture resistant tyre design.

Made from nanofoam polymer, they are much lighter than previous models, with just 2% more rolling resistance than a normal tyre. They also fit most regular rims, so there shouldn’t be any need to make major alterations to your frame. They cost £120 a pair and are available in a range of colours. If you’re not sure about switching, we’re now able to fit Tannus Aither tyres as part of our servicing, so call us on 020 3397 0888 for advice or to book a service.

If you’re not ready to invest in a pair of solid tyres, here are a few basic tips for avoiding punctures:

Pressure gauge

It’s not only under inflated tubes that are more prone to punctures. Overinflating your wheels makes them more susceptible to piercing by small, sharp objects. Try to keep pressure at the right level for your tyre.

Get your patch game on point

Don’t waste your money on flimsy repair kits. They won’t do as good a job as more durable patches, such as Park Tool or Lezyne’s, and they can peel or crack under pressure.

Take care with tubes

When replacing inner tubes, take care to fit them properly. If you’re not a dab hand at replacing inner tubes, or simply don’t have the time to mess around, we can always take care of it for you as part of our Collect & Return service.

Replace worn out tyres

Sadly, they don’t last forever. Replace your tyres before they get too tatty and you’ll have less problems with punctures; it’ll also be better for your bike frame.

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