Lately I’ve been getting a shit-ton of people coming in with flat tires and thinking that their bike shouldn’t be getting flats. Really? Come on! Why do people think that just because they spent $400 on a bike that it shouldn’t get flat tires. Bikes and flats go hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly. BMX bikes are especially vulnerable to them because of the level of abuse a BMX bike sees, not to mention that most kids don’t ever pump up their tires. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had a kid come in with “something” wrong with their bike and I go to ride it and take a turn and wash out because they have like 35 psi in their tires. Simple science tells you that the harder something is the tougher it is to puncture. I tell parent after parent this same thing on literally a daily basis and yet they come back and say my son/daughter was just “riding” the bike and it “just” went flat. Tubes don’t just go flat, they have to have someone riding the bike for them to flat out. Granted that maybe 1 in a box of 100 may actually be defective, but I’d say that 99% percent of flats are because you either cased on something (it’s usually a curb) or ran over something with 40 psi in your tire or maybe a combination of both. I don’t care what kind of bike you have or what you paid for it, bikes get flats! For real, no bike is flat proof. Now there are definitely better tires that can help out with flats, ones with higher thread count and thicker rubber or higher psi rating….but make no mistake they will flat out too.
Now I also have alot of older people that come in and say “back when I was younger my bike never got a flat” well I say a few things to that. One, rubber has changed alot over the years (gotten thinner and EPA standards have changed) rubber when you were a kid was more like a thick slate material as opposed to how it is today. Second is that when you were young you probably weren’t launching yourself down 12 sets of stairs or jumping jumps with 25ft gaps. So you can not even compare the two.
Last way that people get flats is by obviously running over something sharp, and not getting the cause out of the tire. I see alot of people come in and buy tube after tube, and then finally bring their bike in and they have a thorn, piece of wire, or glass in their tire and then think that there is automatically something wrong with the wheel. I couldn’t even put a number on how many times I heard “There has to be something wrong with the wheel” and then I say no it’s just a thorn in the tire that you may have never got out. A thorn? That little thing can cause a flat? Like I’m lying, like it’s some kind of bike shop trick. Common sense people! I swear less and less people have it.
One of my most favorite things that comes in is the people who put fix-a-flat in their tires and think that’s gonna hold….really did you read the can? Or the people or buy slime tubes and think those are bomb-proof. “I bought a slime tube and still got a flat!” Idiot read the directions it says that you can still get a flat, you need to find the puncture and re-inflate. It also says that it won’t seal anything bigger than a pin hole which is about 50% of all flats. Ah consumers, they never read anything.
I have a few simple rules for anyone that rides a bike. 1 check your tires regularly for debris or wear 2 check your air pressure EVERY time you ride your bike and pump up your tire if it’s low 3 Know when you hang up or case on something you very well may get a flat and it’s not your bikes fault it’s YOUR’S!
With all my rambling I hope you get what I’m saying, for most of you…your probably like DUH. Good for those that said that. It’s the ones that went ahhhh, that I’m addressing! Now get out there and pedal (and pump up your tires)