Can You Ride A Bike With A Flat Tire? Explaining the Risks

From this article you will learn if you can ride a bike with a flat tire - from learning about cases it can work in to fixing wheel right on spot
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Last updatedLast updated: February 28, 2022
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Flat tires are a cyclist’s worst nightmare. They’re equivalent to a car breaking down just as you are in the middle of your recreational drive. Getting a flat tire is not only a major inconvenience but could also be dangerous depending on where you are. For instance, if you’re in the middle of a secluded terrain and far from home, your transportation options could be limited.

In such a situation, you’re left wondering, ‘Can you ride a bike with a flat tire?’ How difficult is it? In this guide, we’ll answer your most pressing questions, including what you should do when you experience a flat tire. Let’s dive right in!

In Which Cases You Can Ride a Flat-Tire Bike

According to a PubMed study Trusted Source Health benefits of cycling: a systematic review The purpose of this study was to update the evidence on the health benefits of cycling. A systematic review of the literature resulted in 16 cycling-specific studies. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov , cycling on your commute to work has been linked with increased cardiovascular fitness. Cycling also has additional benefits such as improved joint mobility, increased flexibility & muscle strength as well as improved posture. Most importantly, regularly riding your bike can help you reduce your stress levels.

Technically, it is possible to ride a bike with a flat tire, but this is a short-lived solution. So, just don’t ride it. There are, however, 2 main circumstances under which you can ride a bike with a flat tire:

Slight tear

There are instances where the tire has only experienced a slight tear or simply has a minor leak. In such a case, you can ride your bike, but you’ll have a hard time pedaling, and you’ll experience poor tire performance. In some cases, you may even cause a serious accident.

No choice

There are situations where you have no option but to protect your safety. For instance, let’s assume you’re in the middle of dangerous terrains when your tire gets flattened. It’s getting late, and the trail you’re on is regularly frequented by wild animals, and there’s a low chance that you’ll get any help. In such a situation, you can ride your bike. You should, however, remember that you have the option of walking your bike.

If you’re interested in getting a reliable and high-quality bike suitable for heavy riders, we have compiled two comprehensive guides for you; the best bikes for overweight females and the best bikes for heavy riders.

What Happens while Riding a Bike with a Flat Tire

Can You Ride A Bike With A Flat Tire? Explaining the Risks

Riding a bike with a flat tire is not only uncomfortable but also very dangerous. You risk damaging your bike and also sustaining injuries.

Bike damage

Most people have a hard time differentiating between the tires, wheels, rims, and tubes, so here’s a quick refresher course. The bike has 2 wheels, each of which has a rim and multiple spokes. The rim has a tire that is on the outside and an inner tube that holds air.

Now that you already know that, irrespective of the extent of the flat tire, you will certainly cause more damage on your bike if you insist on riding it in that condition. Keep in mind that the wheels and tires are different. So if the tires are not properly inflated, the rims and wheels are left unprotected and more vulnerable to damage. Sitting on the bike will also cause more strain and pressure, causing some parts to break or the bike to bend.

Injuries

Contrary to popular belief, bike injuries can be fatal. In fact, a study by the NCBI Trusted Source Injuries related to bicycle accidents: an epidemiological study in The Netherlands Bicycle accidents resulting in hospitalization have a high mortality rate. Furthermore, a high incidence of multitrauma, fractures and cerebral haemorrhages were found. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov revealed that bike accidents that result in hospitalization have a very high mortality rate. They conducted a study among 1986 patients, all admitted as a result of biking accidents and realized that 41% of them had suffered multi-traumas.

If you ride a bike with a flat tire, then you’re putting yourself in harm’s way. For starters, the flat tire can worsen, making the bike unstable and causing you to fall off it. There’s a high chance that when this happens, it will be unexpected, which will make the fall fatal.

You may also sustain injuries due to a bad form. This is because your body will overcompensate for the flat tire, ultimately straining your tendons and muscles and causing significant damage. And, admit it; riding under the threat of fall can induce anxiety and is stressful.

If you’re in the market for affordable bikes, we have compiled a guide on the best bikes under $1,000 just for you.

What to Do When Tire’s Flatted

The best way to handle a flat tire is to always be prepared. You need to be ready to perform quick repairs should you get into an accident. Some of the things you should always carry include:

Patching kit

If you regularly cycle far from your residence, then a patching kit is a must-have. It comes in handy when your tube has a small leak, and patching is significantly cheaper than tube replacement. You should, however, note that if the tube is extensively damaged, e.g., the tear is liner or the hole is located near the valve stem, you will have to replace the tubes.

According to expert reviews, the PRO BIKE TOOL 14 PC Bicycle Inner Tube Patch is the best model. You can use it to repair different tire types & sizes, and is a quick, simple, and reliable kit. This kit also comes with rubber solutions compared to other manufacturers that only include one.

Portable pump

You can use a pump to inflate the tires. The beauty of bike pumps is that they are small and compact, therefore portable. Based on multiple recommendations, the BV Bicycle Ergonomic Bike Floor Pump should be part of your cling arsenal. It comes with a smart valve head and a durable steel barrel. It also has 160 psi and is ergonomically designed.

Call help

If you’re taking a cycling road trip, you might want to learn emergency numbers for the area to be able to call for help.

Final Thoughts

So, Can you ride a bike with a flat tire? The quick answer is yes, but you really shouldn’t. Riding a bike with a flat tire not only causes extensive damage to it but also puts you at risk of sustaining injuries. You should only ride such a bike if the tires only have a slight tire or you have no option, and your safety is compromised. The best thing to do would be to repair it, call for help or simply walk your bike back home.

References

1.
Health benefits of cycling: a systematic review
The purpose of this study was to update the evidence on the health benefits of cycling. A systematic review of the literature resulted in 16 cycling-specific studies.
2.
Injuries related to bicycle accidents: an epidemiological study in The Netherlands
Bicycle accidents resulting in hospitalization have a high mortality rate. Furthermore, a high incidence of multitrauma, fractures and cerebral haemorrhages were found.
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