How to Avoid Bike Tire Punctures

Two Methods:Obtaining Puncture-Resistant TiresAvoiding Punctures With Normal Tires

Punctures are common in urban cycling due to very small shards of glass and other debris on the road that works its way through the tire and eventually punctures the tube. If riding frequently around cities you can't avoid punctures just by riding carefully and staying on-road.

Unfortunately, the tires most bikes come with have very poor puncture protection because most new bicycles save money on the tires or focus on speed. This is because few consumers ask about puncture-resistant tires when buying a bike.

Investing in puncture-proof tires allows utility cyclists to avoid the inconvenience of regular punctures. By eliminating punctures you can have completely reliable transport and this dependability will induce you to use a bike for many more trips around town.

Method 1
Obtaining Puncture-Resistant Tires

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    Find out about puncture-resistant tires. These tires use additional protective layers under the rubber or stronger material like kevlar to prevent sharp objects penetrating through to the tube. The most puncture-proof tyres are significantly heavier and stiffer than normal tyres. So they will mean your starts and cruising speed are a bit slower and the ride can be a little firmer too. For most utility cyclists these minor issues are tolerable given the benefits of not wasting time and hassles fixing punctures.
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    Choose among the puncture-resistant tire brands.
    • Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires are considered by many to be the standout and are virtually puncture-proof (available for 25mm tire width and up).[1][2][3]
    • Schwalbe Durano Plus tires have a slightly thinner inner protection belt but are best for tires of 23mm width or less.
    • Other puncture-resistant brands exist such as Continental Gatorskins, Specialized Armadillos and Maxxis Re-Fuse. Check their reviews.
    • The best puncture-resistant tyres are usually expensive in bike shops and are significantly cheaper online. So you are often best off buying them yourself rather then trying to get your bike's tyres upgraded when buying a new bike in store. However, you can try to use the online price to get a best offer in-store if the tire is available.
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    Fit the puncture-proof tires by referring to video guides. Fitting the toughest tires can be difficult as they are stiff and are difficult to keep on the rim. Use straps to tie the tire in place as you move around the rim. Check YouTube for tips The Schwalbe Marathon Plus is especially hard to fit, but watching a guide on how can help you get started.[4]
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    Consider additional advice specific to your priorities. Those who depend on cycling for transport will likely prioritise reliability and should review further tips on choosing, buying and using puncture-resistant tires. Puncture-proof tyres are the key to reliable transport.[5]

Method 2
Avoiding Punctures With Normal Tires

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    Check the surface of both bike tires after every ride. If you have the chance to remove any debris or sharp pieces, this is the ideal time to do so before anything starts working its way into the tire.
    • Also check the sidewalls of the tires. If you see cuts, splits or tears, these indicate areas where the tire may break under pressure.
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    Replace worn tires. When the tread has worn off, it's far easier for puncturing items to work their way through the tire.
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    Take care where you ride. Stay alert for things that might harm your bike tires, such as broken bottles and smashed glass. Stay out of the gutters where broken things tend to accumulate. Be careful when riding through areas where there are thorns and other spiky parts of plants; some seasons may be worse than others depending on the life cycles of the plants.
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    Do not ride the bicycle when the tires aren't properly filled with air as it increases the chance of a puncture.This may happen due to unbalanced pressure exerted on the tyres. So, always check that your cycle tires are filled properly before riding it.


  • If you do get a puncture, check the inside of the tire to make sure that whatever punctured your tire is no longer there.
  • Utility cyclists are virtually always better off by finding the most puncture-resistant tyre that fits their bike and they find suitable. Sports cyclists are likely to wish to trade off some puncture-resistance for speed, handling and "feel".


  • If maneuvering to avoid broken glass or similar items, don't forget that there may be traffic around you.
  • Be careful when running your hand through tire checking, as the puncture item could cut you.

Things You'll Need

  • Puncture-resistant tires

Article Info

Categories: Bicycle Tire Maintenance