Flat tires seem all too common. But they don’t have to be.

Here are five crucial tips to keep flat tires at bay:

1. Use Talcum Powder

Sprinkling talcum powder on the tire and tube decreases friction between the tire and tube, resulting in fewer pinch flats. That’s because the tube is less likely to get stuck somewhere between the rim and tire when it is free to move slightly.

To get the most from your powder, make sure the tube gets a thin coating all around, and get some talc inside the tire and in the rim bed on the rim strip.

2. Use New Tires and Tubes

Old tires with cord showing or tubes that have been getting pounded for years are a bad idea. Thin rubber, UV rays, dry rot, and other problems commonly found with old tires make it easier to get flats.

Make sure your tires are nice and supple and not worn the whole way out. If there are rips and cracks in the tire, and scuffs on the tube, replace them. If necessary, get tough tires with a kevlar layer for extra protection.

3. Keep Your Bike Adjusted Properly

This helps in so many ways, one of which is preventing flat tires. For example, make sure your brake pads don’t drag on tire, which could eat a hole in the rubber and cause a blowout. Another thing to do is keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure (which is usually written on the sidewall.)

4. Keep Your Eyes Peeled

When riding, look far enough ahead that you can spot road hazards well in advance and avoid them. If you look down at your front tire while riding, you won’t have a chance to swerve around pot holes and piles of broken glass.

5. Ride Smoothly

Easily the best, most important tip here – ride smoothly. While riding, just concentrate on keeping your body loose. Don’t tense your upper body or lock out your elbows. The simple act of riding smoothly will prevent the majority of flat tires!

To learn the art of riding smoothly, get a rigid mountain bike and ride some rough, rocky singletrack. After some practice, you will be able to use your arms and legs as shock absorbers so you glide over obstacles instead of smacking into them!

Take those five tips to heart and flat tires will become a rarity!

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