How many flat tyres do you get?

Leard91 Forumite Posts: 30
Eighth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
edited 16 November at 1:05PM in Public transport & cycling
I cycle 3-4 miles to work, 2-3 days a week. That's it.

Since April, I have had at least 5 flat tyres, between my back and front wheels. I've had 3 in the last 2 months. I've just had 2 flat tyres 3 days apart. One of them was on the way to get my bike serviced, and I asked them to sort out why I was getting flat tyres. Then today, cycling to work, I literally get another flat tyre on my front wheel where they supposedly sorted the issue out by replacing the outer tyre.

I'm sure nobody gets as many flat tyres as I do. I need some sort of measure to know if I have an extraordinary amount of flat tyres for the amount of cycling I do.

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  • jlfrs01
    jlfrs01 Forumite Posts: 239
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    That does seem a very high number of punctures indeed unless your route takes you off the beaten track and onto scrubland/gravel.

    There are 3 things you can do IMHO:

    1: Fit reinforced tyres (these usually have a thin layer of nylon under the tread), a brand to consider is "Gatorskin" for example. The penalty for the extra protection is weight and rolling resistance but unless you plan on using your bike competitively, these should be of limited concern.

    2: Go tubeless. Going tubeless won't prevent punctures but they work in the same way as run-flat tyres on cars. The inner tube is dispensed with and the tyre filled with a foam which will plug any holes well enough for you to continue your journey. The downside is you may need new wheels if your current ones don't accept them. 

    3: A combination of the above. I have 2 road bikes, both tubeless and both with Pirelli Cinturato tyres which are a good all-round tyre with good puncture resistance, though not as tough as Gatorskins for example

    Hope this helps
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Forumite Posts: 15,313
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    edited 15 November at 8:46AM
    Some tyres have more puncture protection than others. It sounds like your route has a lot of sharp debris on it. I recommend fitting Schwalbe Marathon Plus. They are not cheap but they do offer a lot of protection.

    The other option is a tubeless set up but that requires rims capable of running tubeless tyres. 
  • MacPingu1986
    MacPingu1986 Forumite Posts: 82
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    OP - That sounds like an incredibly high number of flats and I'd say unless the route is literally covered in glass you've been *incredibly* unlucky.

    For comparison, I commute a round trip on my road bike of 17 miles per day in London, 4-5 days a week and  average about 1-2 flats a year - using a durable puncture resistant tyre. Now I think I've probably been a *little* luckier than average - but that's still a flat rate about 50 times better than yours!

    If not already definitely ensure you're using a puncture resistant tyre- gatorskins, or swalbe maraton/citizen tyres are good choices.

    When you get the flat are you checking the tyre to ensure the bit of glass/metal etc... is removed from the outer tyre? (Common cause of a second "immediate" flat is that the debris which punctured the inner tube is still in the outer tyre)
  • Leard91
    Leard91 Forumite Posts: 30
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    The route in the Taff Trail in Cardiff. A commonly used route by many cyclists. In fact, 6-7 cyclists passed me after I got my flat tyre and had no issues.
  • MacPingu1986
    MacPingu1986 Forumite Posts: 82
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper
    Trying to think what else might be causing them... when you get the flat can you see what's caused it stuck in the outer tyre? If not the cause could be that the inner tube is getting pinched between the wheel and tyre, or the rim of the wheel is rough and causing the flats. I'd have expected the bike shop to have picked this up and sorted if it was a problem though. Ditto post bike service the tyres should be at a sensible pressure (too low can cause problems).
  • Wyndham
    Wyndham Forumite Posts: 2,390
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Another vote for puncture resistant tyres here. They do make a difference.

    As does checking that you've got rid of whatever caused the puncture - I found that one out the hard way!
  • bouicca21
    bouicca21 Forumite Posts: 6,435
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    A friend had similar problems - changed the tires to a different brand, no more flats!  
  • Nebulous2
    Nebulous2 Forumite Posts: 4,977
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    edited 16 November at 4:56PM
    I cycled a short 2 mile commute every day for years, with some occasional longer trips to other sites, without a single puncture. I used marathon tyres.

    Schwalbe Marathon Tyre | Marathon | The Bike Tyre Shop

    They don't have the grip that other tyres have in the wet, and they give a harder ride, but they were well nigh bombproof for me. 

    Even more resilient are marathon plus ones. 

    I use fancier, more expensive tyres on my road bike, and have more punctures there, but still nothing like you are describing. 

    It's important to regularly check tyre pressures, and have the pressure matched for your weight and for the tyre width.  When commuting I blew up my tyres every Monday morning. On my road bike the tyres are checked every time its out. 

    It's also good to do some detective work, identify if punctures are all coming from the same wheel, same place - you can get small imperfections in the rim that can rub and cause a puncture.  Most punctures will be on the rear if yours are all on the front then that could be telling. 

  • Username03725
    Username03725 Forumite Posts: 486
    100 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited 17 November at 1:23PM
    Pinch flats are common and can be caused by under-inflated tyres when you hit the edge of a pothole or a stone in the road. Keep your tyres inflated to the recommended pressure shown on the sidewall. My road bike is at 90psi, the 29incher is lower but both are firmly inflated.

    This is pretty basic so apologies, but look where you're going and try to avoid stuff like gravel, hedge cuttings, broken glass etc that finds its way onto the road surface.

    Riding in the recommended place - secondary, or sharing as it's now being rebranded - will help by avoiding the debris & detritus that ends up at the side of the road. Secondary is about an arm's length from the kerb, roughly where motor vehicles' tyres go and where the surface is not only a bit smoother but also clean and more likely to be free of the stuff that can give you punctures. 

    I don't get as many miles in as I used to but punctures were a once in a blue moon thing, even when doing 3-5000 miles a year.
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