One of the biggest things you can suffer on a mountain bike ride is a flat tire. It’s not serious, but if you’re not well prepared to remedy it, it can ruin your day. The best thing a cyclist can do is to know how to avoid punctures on a mountain bike, and to be prepared in case, after all, he suffers a mishap of this type.
As the popular saying goes, prevention is better than suffering. And although we will never be able to enjoy 100% of the security of not getting a flat tire, especially when we move through complicated terrain, the truth is that there are a series of measures that we can take to minimize the risk of suffering a flat tire. It is also important to know the systems that we may be interested in using for the same purpose.
Keep the tires well inflated
It is something basic that is learned almost at the same time as riding a bicycle, but precisely because of this we sometimes do not pay enough attention to it. This should be the first step to check before any ride; that the tire pressure is correct and, if it is not, adjust it. If you use a guide to calculate the pressure based on your weight, don’t forget that on a mountain bike it should be a little lower than on a road bike. And that the rear wheel may have less pressure than the front wheel. It is important to keep this in mind.
Tubing the wheel
This system is very practical for mountain bike rides. We often go through difficult terrain where the probability of getting a puncture is high. Being able to convert a normal tire into a tubeless tire is an interesting option. To do so, the inner tube between the rim and the tire must be removed. Then you have to place a tape in the place where the rim tape goes. It is that simple and effective.
Using Wheels With Tubeless Clincher Tires
You can also choose to use tubeless tires directly. They have no inner tube, are lighter and harder than normal tires. In addition, they minimize the risk of a blowout. They cost a little more, but if you always ride your mountain bike on difficult terrain and use it frequently, you will get a return on your investment in a short time. And most importantly, you’ll save yourself the hassle of getting a flat in the middle of a ride, race or training session.
Use a Puncture Protection Fluid
It is a very basic system, simple to use and economically very interesting. You can prepare the tires of your MTB before the outing or, if you are going to combine routes and camping, always carry a bottle in your backpack for safety. Choose a small canister that does not weigh too much but in case of need it will solve the day. It is a very practical and economical system, very interesting.
Use an anti-puncture inner tube
The name says it all. They are tubes specially manufactured to minimize the risk of punctures. These tubes are very economical and although you have to mount them yourself, doing so is really simple: it is inserted into the wheel as you would do with any other normal tube. The key to this system is that this type of inner tube has a repair fluid inside that, in case of a puncture, is released, sealing the puncture. Practical, isn’t it?
Using anti-puncture strips
It is a very simple system that gives very good results to avoid punctures on a mountain bike. The bands must be placed between the tire and the tube. They act as a protection system that makes punctures more difficult. And even in the event of a puncture, they will protect the tube from the puncturing object. For greater safety, you can combine this system with the previous one, thus minimizing the risk of punctures.
Go Well Equipped
All of the above points will help you reduce the possibility of a puncture, but they do not eliminate it 100%. So being properly equipped is essential for mountain biking outings. And even more so if you go alone, in a group without a support car, or ride through areas that are difficult to access if you are not on a mountain bike or on foot. It is therefore recommended that you always carry a pump and a spare inner tube in your saddle bag or handlebar. It would also not hurt to carry a wide mouth adapter and a suitable patch kit (e.g. emergency stickers or an emergency repair kit).
This will ensure that, in the event of an incident, you will be able to fix it easily. They are very basic items, and with the new transport systems or in your backpack, they are very convenient to carry, since they take up little space and hardly add any weight, so it is always worth including them in your luggage.
Check Your Wheels After Every Ride
When you return home with your mountain bike, there’s one thing you should do before you jump in the shower; check the condition of the wheels. Carefully run your hands over each wheel to detect small fragments of stone, glass or metal that may end up embedded in the material. If you detect an abnormal bulge or damaged area, you will also need to remedy this.
It is important that the wheels are well washed even if it is a bit lazy to do it when returning from a training session or an outing, but this way you will ensure their good condition for the next excursion or outing.
You can see that there are different systems and options to choose from to avoid punctures on a mountain bike. You can even combine several for greater safety and protection. Although you will never have a total guarantee of not getting a puncture, the risks are greatly reduced. Additionally, you will be able to enjoy your ride with peace of mind.