Flat tires happen when the inner tube get damaged. And this does not mean that the tire is damaged also.
Different types of flat tires are categorized in these four groups:
1. Slow leaks.
These are called “slow” for a reason. If your bike has slow leaks, it would take some time before it gets flat. You can still even ride on it for a while, but later on, it would be harder for you to pedal because your tires need some air. Tiny holes in the inner tube which can be hard to spot, can be the cause of slow leaks. If it’s impossible to know where these tiny holes are, it is best to replace your tubes.
2. Pinch cuts.
Your tires will get pinch cuts when they hit sharp stones or edges. If your tires get strong impact from sharp curbs, they can be compressed and your inner tube can be pinched between the stone and your rim. The results are pinch cuts, which are two holes in the tube. These hole are also called “snake bite,” as they look like a snake fangs’ mark. The tire is usually not damaged. It’s the tube that would need some repair. Also, your rim can receive a dent or blip due to the impact.
Punctures are the most common types of flat tires. These happen when you ride over sharp objects that can poke holes through the tires. If a sharp item stab deeper into your inner tube, you will have a bigger problem. Nails, glass debris, thorns, pointy pieces of metal, and other small and sharp things can cause punctures.
These are sudden losses of air from the inner tube which usually happens with a loud banging sound. Too much air in the inner tube is usually the cause of blowouts. This can be compared to a balloon which popped when it reaches its maximum stretch capacity. Patching the inner tube is how flat tires caused by punctures are fixed. If patching does not fix the problem, it is best to replace the tube. And of course, the sharp object that caused the problem should be removed.
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Watch this video to learn more about different types of flat tires.