Hey Big Sis: I’ve had four flat tires this month. Same tire. I change the tubes, but they keep failing. What’s going on?
– Flat-bottomed girl
Dear Flat-bottomed girl: I can think of several reasons for this:
- It’s possible that you’re just having a string of bad luck and the flats are unrelated, but with that many flats in a short time, there may be something else going on.
- Multiple flats in a short time can be an indication that there’s something sharp still inside the tire continuing to jab your tube. Tiny sharp things can be very, very sneaky! When you have the tire off of the rim, very carefully look and feel around the entire inside of the tire, taking care not to cut or jab yourself on whatever you find.
- It’s also possible that your tire is worn out and it’s time for a new one — bring it to your favourite bike mechanic for a professional evaluation.
- Or perhaps you’re profoundly bad at changing tubes, and you are causing pinch flats.
To improve your skills, be sure to attend the next hands-on Fix-a-Flat Clinic. Goathead* season is coming … best to hone your skills now!
* Goatheads are those nasty, seriously spiky seed pods from the Tribulus terrestris plant, also appropriately known as Puncturevine.