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Cycle Europe - serving bicycle travellers since 1972

How to avoid punctures and flat tires

December 21, 2023

Important tips and tricks

A few simple yet crucial steps will go a long way in preventing flat tires. With over 50 years experience cycling around Europe and the world, our team of experts lays out some crucial, yet often overlooked tips and tricks that will help you have an enjoyable and flat-free ride every day of your tour.

Click on each section below to open and read our useful tips:

A lot of the debris and thorns that are causing flat tires are mostly found on the edge of the road, especially the portion that is not paved. If you have to go off road for any reason, or if you decide to take a detour on a gravel road, or simply after riding a route that has substantial debris… try to stay on the beaten track!

Cycling over potholes, obstacles, or debris on the road (such as broken glass, nails, thorns) are usually the main cause for flat tires. Staying on the beaten path, and keeping your eyes on the surface to avoide the afore-mentioned culprits, will go a long way in helping avoid flats.

This might be an obvious tip, but many don’t take the time to do it.

If you think you’ve ridden over a patch of glass, grit, or any other sharp objects that litter the road, just stop and inspect your tires for foreign objects. These small embedded items may not cause an immediate flat but can slowly work their way through a tire to eventually cause a puncture. If you see anything embedded in the tire, gently pry it out.
Please note: if you have a handkerchief, bandana, or glove, use it to protect your hand while you gently spin the wheel, and see if anything gets caught on the cloth.

This step can prevent an embedded object to cause a puncture later if it hasn’t already pierced the tire’s casing. It’s good practice to inspect your tires after each ride, too.

It’s not absolutely necessary to check tire pressure every morning. However if the pressure does get low enough, be sure to pump the tire back to the correct pressure, as soon as possible (either using a proper floor pump provided by your hotel or local bike shop, or the mini-pump attached to your bike)

What do we do to help from our end?

We also want to help you prevent flats on tour as much as possible. Each bike that departs our shop is meticulously checked and maintaned by our professional mechanics. When checking bike tires, we inspect the sidewalls and thread for excessive wear, damage, dryness or cracking, and replace when necessary.
In addition, we choose tire models of high quality brands, such as Vittoria, Continental, and Schwalbe, equipped with anti-puncture layers and/or raceguard protection.

We hope this information has been useful, and we wish you a stress-free bike tour!