Excuses, Excuses! Flat Tires

Fatti-o tires are much less likely to flat than a narrow racing tire.


If you’re riding to work and don’t want to have a flat, you can take precautions by using the appropriate tire and tube, along with other inserts. A bus driver, for example, who can’t be late for work, would be wise to have tires that won’t go flat. Believe it or not, a U.S. company, Legacy, makes “solid” or “tubeless” tires. Another website that sells tubeless tires is Bikemania. There are probably more.

Other precautions you can take include heavy tubes, Kevlar tires, liquid sealants, and plastic liners.

As a commuter, you better learn how to fix a flat, because it’s inevitable. Most cyclists don’t know how to fix a flat. Even when you can fix a flat, it’s a chore for bikes without a quick release, three-speeds, and bikes with fenders: All the more reason to use solid tires, if you’re a commuter who wants hassle-free riding.

Most flats happen on the rear tire, because debris kicked up by the front tire winds up under the rear tire. I do not subscribe to wire scrapers that glide over the tire and supposedly catch debris before it can embed itself.

If you do flat and you have absolutely no other option, you can ride. I’ve ridden a flat tire up to four miles with no serious damage to rim or tire. Your results may vary.

Here’s a matrix that will help you determine your tire and tube needs.

  No Flats Occasional Flats Flats a Way of Life
Tube Heavy* Standard or heavy Standard
Tire Legacy solid Kevlar reinforced or Mtn bike Standard
Other Plastic liner Sealant  —-

* None if Legacy airless tire

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