It's The Flintstones!

Flints are probably one of the most annoying type of puncture (other than an un-reparable blow-out). Only a tiny tiny part of the flint needs to puncture the tube to make it slowly deflate. Sometimes you cannot even feel the point of the flint by running your finger on the inside of the tyre, leaving it there to slowly puncture the replacement tube.

But did you know that (unless your tyres are worn right down) a flint that penetrates the tyre on any particular ride will probably not actually puncture the tube on that same ride. Flints tend to work their way through the tread, then the casing and then into the tube over a period; unlike small crystals of glass which tend to penetrate the tube quickly. This is especially the case in the winter, and who likes changing tubes in the winter?

As usual, preventative maintenance is the key to reducing punctures. Take a look at your tyres after each ride: are there any cuts in them (both small and not so small). Deflate the tyre and then go around the tyre, pushing open the slit or nick, if you cannot actually see anything in the slit, probe gently with a very small screwdriver (I use the smallest precision screwdriver that I have) . A needle or pin can be used but be careful not to push it through the casing! Cheap sets of precision screwdrivers can be found in some pound-stores. If the cut is empty you will feel nothing. If the cut has a flint (or glass) in it you will feel a sort of scrape. Remove the object from the tyre (sometimes it is best to take the tyre off the rim and work from the inside of the tyre). I removed four flints from my back tyre and two from the front yesterday. If I had not they would have gradually worked their way through to the tube over the next couple of rides.

If any of the cuts look on the large side, superglue can be used to fill the hole. It works.

Comments 1

  1. Agree, agree, all sound advice, I have been doing most of these tips for almost ever, I usually go over both wheels as the last job of cleaning the bike after every ride, I know boring ! but really you can keep abreast of all bits loose, worn, and flinty, I should think I get at least one or two objects from the tyres every time. Well done Ev, keep em’ coming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *