5 Hacks For Fewer Flat Tyres On Your Road Bike | GCN Tech’s Guide To Road Bike Maintenance

5 Hacks For Fewer Flat Tyres On Your Road Bike | GCN Tech’s Guide To Road Bike Maintenance


– Flat tires can be a bit
of a pain, can’t they? But maybe you can suffer
from fewer of them, because coming up are five
hacks for no more flats, or for less flats, I suppose. Less of them. We know from our videos
about road tubeless, some of you don’t really like that system, and one of the reasons that you give is having to faff around
with liquid latex sealant. If that’s you, then you might
not like this next hack. But at least in this case,
it would all be contained inside your inner tube. You hear that? That’s right, just
because you’re not running road tubeless doesn’t
mean that you can’t get the benefits of latex sealant. All you got to do is remove the valve core in your inner tube, which
is the little threaded bit that sits just underneath
the locknut of the valve, and then inject, using
something like this, 40 ml of sealant inside the tube. Now here is an old school
hack, if ever there was one. The flint catcher, and this, very much, is a hack because I actually knocked it up about five minutes ago
out of an old spoke, which is probably actually why it looks like a bit of a bodge. Anyway, these things have
gone out of fashion a bit, but if you suffer from
a lot of sharp objects related punctures, then you
could perhaps be interested in bringing this back. So it works by bolting on
to your brake calipers. Disc brake users, I’m
afraid, you’re not invited to this particular party. And then, that little bit of wire there sits just over the top of the tire. I mean, if any objects are picked up, they will get brushed off by that thing before they’re then have a chance to work their way through the carcass of the tire and into your inner tube. So as I said, you can hack
one of these together. This is literally made
out of an old spoke. You could do a much better job, I’m sure, with a little bit more
time, and a little bit more patience, or you can
actually buy a cheeky little vintage number off eBay for
just a handful of loose change. It’s not just sharp
objects from the outside of the tire coming in
that cause punctures, but on old knackered wheels, generally, you might find that actually
the bed of the rim, itself, it will cause punctures. And that’s because unless
you’ve got a really nice smooth rim tape inside, like
this one we’ve got here, then you could find that
some sharp edges end up protruding through, so that
could be at the valve hole, or it could be at the spoke holes. So if you’re super serious
about trying to minimize the risk of punctures,
you might want to add an extra couple of layers of rim tape. Now, electrical tape does
not cut the mustard here. It stretches under pressure,
so when the tube is inflated. If you’ve got something like
Gorilla Tape knocking around, then that would do the job, but rather than going out
and buying Gorilla Tape, you may well spend a couple of pounds, a couple of dollars,
Euros, on actually some specific rim tape. Velox is probably the
thickest, most luxurious rim tape that you can buy. Tires with reinforcement. Now, I know a lot of you
would say that something isn’t a hack if you’ve
actually got to spend proper money on it, but
considering that we all have to replace our
tires from time to time, this one seems like a sensible suggestion, even if it’s not technically a hack. Basically, if you buy a
tire that is a little bit tougher, it’s got harder casing on it, it’s going to be much more
impervious to sharp objects penetrating through it. So something like this
Continental Grand Prix Four Seasons is something of a classic. I have actually bought several
pairs myself in the past. But most manufacturers will
have something similar. Basically, although it’s
not going to guard against all punctures, you will still
suffer them from time to time, it is going to cut down on
them because that casing is much, much tougher. What do you do with your
old, worn out tire, then? Well, before throwing it in the bin, or indeed, making yourself a hipster belt. Yeah, hipster belt. Why not take the drastic
step of cutting off the bead of the tire,
something you’d probably have to do if you were making
your hipster belt, anyway. But then line the inside of your new tire with your old one. Now, granted, this is
probably going to feel monumentally slow, possibly
even a bit horrible to ride. But on your town bike
or maybe a touring bike that’s already going to be heavily laden, and therefore relatively slow anyway, not a bad shout. Double the tire, double the protection. Now, I do have a confession to make here. I don’t do any of this stuff. None of this. I run standard Continental GP4000 II tires, and I’m perfectly happy with that, with, of course, standard
inner tubes, as well. Because as well as all those hacks, there are actually other,
perhaps, easier things that you can do that may
well reduce your risk of punctures. Firstly, wider tires, so 25s, 28s, perhaps even bigger than that. Especially if you are a bigger rider. And then, it’s also about where you ride. So firstly, looking where you’re going. So avoiding things like
pot holes where you can. Or patches of broken glass. But then not riding in the gutter of the roads, that’s where
debris tends to collect. You shouldn’t ride there anyway, for lots of different reasons, but reducing your risk of
punctures is also one of them. And then I guess the
other thing that’s worth mentioning is actually
try not to worry too much about when you get punctures. They are, of course, a pain. We’ve already mentioned that. But actually being able to
change an inner tube easily is a very important skill
for a cyclist to have. There you go, I’ll leave that with you. Do make sure you subscribe to GCN before leaving this video, and if you
want to watch a couple more that are related to this, firstly, it’s How to Change an
Inner Tube in Record Time, that one is just down there, or for another video about
how to reduce your risk of punctures, with some
other helpful tips, click just down there.