Can I really prevent a puncture?

There’s nothing worse than getting a flat whilst out on a ride. The question is, is it really possible to avoid getting punctures or is it just down to luck? There is no real way to entirely prevent them, but there are some ways to really help avoid them.

Use puncture resistant tyres
Some tyres are designed to be light and fast, some are designed to be more hard wearing and therefore resist punctures. Fitting a pair of tyres with greater protection can minimise your chances of getting a flat.

Light weight puncture resistant tyres are made with a layer of Kevlar (a lightweight super tough material) that sits underneath the tread. These tend to be more expensive than the standard tyre, which uses a thicker layer of rubber to keep out the thorns etc. They weigh a bit more than your standard tyres but probably worth it.
 

conti-gp-4-season-cut.jpg
Continental Grand Prix 4 Season Folding Road Tyre
Top level racing clincher with exceptional winter and wet condition performance with a Duraskin® cut-resistant layer from bead to bead and 2 extra Vectran Breakers help increase puncture protection.

Invest in tubeless tyres
Tubeless tyres do exactly what you’d expect, there are no inner tubes. Add some sealant to the inside of the tyre and you’ll be virtually puncture free. These  type of tyres require a dedicated rim to fit, so involves changing your wheel set up but are becoming more popular.

Change your inner tubes
Inner tubes are not all the same, some are super light latex inner tubes others are the more standard chunky butyl inner tubes. They vary in thickness from 1mm to 0.6mm. Obviously the thinner the inner tube the easier it’ll puncture.

Continental Quality Road Inner Tube
The Continental quality road inner tube is a must have cycling essential for 700c bike wheels.


Check your tyre pressure
Always pump up your tyres. A very soft tyre is more likely to puncture when riding over rough ground, plus you risk pinching the inner tube between the tyre and rim as your ride along. Look along your tyre wall for guidance on the air pressure. As a guide, you won’t be going wrong if you pump up your tyres to around 100psi on your road bike.
 

Topeak Smarthead Digital Gauge D2
A precision digital gauge that reads to 250psi

Check for worn tyres
Look for any debris embedded in your tyre. Remove it when you see it, don’t think you’ll get away with it if you leave it in. Your just playing a waiting game.

Don’t ride in the rain
Tricky to avoid but you are likely get more punctures when you ride in wet weather. The theory is that the water acts as a lubricant and helps the foreign objects find a way through the tyre. Also in wet weather the roads tend to have more debris on them, having been washed off from the side of the road

And finally…
Always make sure you take a spare inner tube or at least some patches

Tip Top Puncture Repair Patches