Cyclopedia: Bike Tires, Flats, and Proper Air Pressure

Maintaining proper tire pressure is critical for your bike’s efficiency and safety. Under-inflated tires are more prone to flats that can damage the tire, tube or rim. A soft tire also saps energy from your riding, and can make the bike handle poorly in turns. A Bicycle Tube is made from the same material as a helium balloon and will lose pressure naturally.

The proper inflation pressure is marked on the side of the tire. Using a quality floor pump to inflate your tires before every trip is an easy way to make your rides more enjoyable. A floor pump with a built in gauge makes the process even easier. Be very careful if you use a motorized pump such as one at a gas station – it is very easy to blow a tire off the rim!

Despite the best efforts, flat tires do happen on the road. It’s best to learn flat-fixing skills ahead of time. Ask a mechanically-inclined friend for instructions—and then practice them. Roadside repairs are often easier if you swap out a new tube instead of patching the tube on the spot. Tire levers, a replacement tube or two, a patch kit, and a frame pump or CO2 cartridge can get you going again.

« Back to Cyclopedia Articles


2 Comments

  1. Hey, be very careful if you use a motorized pump such as one at a gas station – it is very easy to blow a tire off the rim!

    Regards

  2. Knowing the size of your tire helps you determine the amount of air to pump. As you stated, you can easily read this on the side of the tire. Taking care of tires is overlooked by many bicyclists and motorists alike. Knowledge and being prepared for flat tires is important (I learned the hard way by not having the proper tools to fix my flat tire on the road).