Introduction- Can You Ride a Bike With A Flat Tire?
Everyone knows that the tire is one of the components that propels the bike in a particular direction.
Most bikes have tubes, which contain air. The pressure from the air moves the bike. If the tire deflates and it does not have the necessary pressure, it may not move, and when this happens, you have a flat tire.
When your tire is flat, it doesn’t mean that the bike will not move, but it may be a bit slower. Besides, your tire may not be totally flat, especially if the inner tube is not leaking.
It is not advisable to ride on a flat tire because you may be concerned that your wheel will fail if it drags on the ground. Depending on the bike rim quality and the terrain you are riding in, you can ride on a flat tire over a distance.
If the topography is flat and very smooth, you can ride through a mile or more. The type of rim also determines how far you can go with your tire. Rims made of carbon will deform and collapse faster than an aluminum rim.
To know the extent you can go with a flat tire, you must consider the tire’s degree of flatness. If your tire shows no considerable change in pressure, it will go a long distance before it halts.
When you are riding on a flat tire, you need to put more of your weight forward. Tubulars can move while flat, but it is not good to ride flat clinchers. If you ride a flat clincher, your rim will spoil since it does not have bead hooks.
You can decide whether you should ride on a flat tire or not based on the distance between where you had a flat tire and your house or local bike shop.
What Should I Do When I Get a Flat Tire?
Your goal for buying your bicycle is to ride it. However, circumstances such as a flat tire will make cycling nearly impossible. If you have a flat tire, the best thing is to fix it using your repair kit.
When you have a flat tire, you should try not to ride on it because if you attempt to ride on a completely flat bike, it will not move. But if your tire is not completely flat, you can still ride it, but it may come with some resistance.
You can know if your tire is completely flat by examining the inner tube. If the inner tube is punctured, the tire will not hold air.
How to Fix a Tire
The following steps describe how you can fix a flat tire:
Remove the bike wheel: You need to keep the bike upright before you remove the wheel. Shift the drivetrain if you want to remove the rear wheel. Remove the wheel by opening the quick release or un-threading the thru-axle. When you remove the wheel, you can now remove the tire. You don’t need to remove the tire completely.
Locate the source of the flat: You can run your fingers along the inside of the rim and tire to find where the tire loses air. To make this process easier, you can pump air into the tube to find the source of the leak.
Patch the tube: You can patch the tube using a glue-free patch or glue with a patch. With both patches, you will put the patch where the tube is leaking and press until the patch sticks to the tube.
Install your tube: Once you inflate the tube, you can insert the tube back inside the tire. You will place the tire on the rim by rolling the bead farther away from yourself. When the tube fits into the tire, you are ready to inflate the tire to the appropriate pressure.
Insert the wheel: You should attach the wheel after inflating the tire. Make sure that the drivetrain is opposite to the quick release or thru-axle lever. Close the release and thread the thru-axle closely.
Finally, raise the rear wheel and roll the wheel to know if your tire is good again.
This video shows you how you can fix a flat tire (Credit to Michael’s Bicycles):
What You Should Do If You Have No Repair Kit on Hand
Suppose you don’t have your repair kit with you, and you are far from your home or local bike shop. You can ride your bike if it is not totally flat. However, if there are any means by which you can fix the tire, you should use those means to save your rim.
If you are in doubt about riding your flat bicycle tire, then you should find another alternative.