This post also appeared on my blog - but I figured the audience there is a little more broad and it's a good topic; so I'm sharing it here as well.
This time of year I seem to more commonly be addressing common causes of flat tires and how to prevent them. A frequently overlooked cause worth talking about is worn-out tires.
As your tires wear their flat protection is reduced because there is less rubber on them to resist sharp objects as you roll over them.
Additionally, tires do age: and not very well at that! Cracking in the tread and side-wall of the tire is a good indicator of a worn and weakened tire that is ready to be replaced.
Finally, tires also get cuts in them which weaken the tire and make it more prone to flatting. Anything bigger than 3/16" (4 mm) really ought to be addressed.
All of these symptoms are exceedingly common. How common? All 5 of the flat and worn tires pictured below came into the store on one Saturday last year!
|Good, round tire|
|Worn, "flat-top" tire|
|Vanished tread or wear indicators|
|Large cuts through tread and casing|
|Cracking/"cross hatch" in sidewalls|
|Tire worn through to casing|
|More worn tread through to casing|