A bike trainer is the best companion indoors to help you achieve a lot without necessarily riding outside.
It saves you from unnecessary occurrences from rough/bad roads, like having a flat tire or traffic on the road.
However, if these indoor bike trainer tires don’t go through these harsh conditions, why do they keep going flat?.
One common reason why most bike trainer tires go flat is due to low tire pressure or high pressure. A bad rim can cause the tire spokes to puncture the tire tube through some holes on the rim. A rough and scratches on the rim will also contribute to the tire going flat.
Do Bike Trainers Damage Tires?
A bike trainer is capable of damaging your bike tire. The damage is mostly tire wear due to friction which causes tire wear.
Also, the damage level depends on the type of trainers you use, whether a roller trainer or resistance trainer.
Roller trainers will cause more damage to the tire than resistance trainers. For a resistance trainer, the rear wheel suffers tire wear the most since most resistance takes place there.
And for the roller trainers, you are likely to have the trainer damage both tires.
However, both trainers have damaging effects on a tire. On the other hand, a trainer isn’t necessarily the only factor here.
Improper installation/setup can also cause damage to the tire, even faster and more severe than the friction the trainer will cause.
When tightening the wheel hub to the trainer, avoid over-tightening and ensure the tires spins freely.
If the rear wheel trainer is over tight, the trainer compresses the tire’s hub bearing, which will damage the tire severely. Always check the tire’s flexibility.
Why Does My Trainer Tire Keep Going Flat?
Your bike trainer tire keeps flat because of a bad rim or low tire pressure. When the rim tape on the rim wears out, it will tend to damage the tube and cause a flat tire.
Aside from indoors, a flat tire can be from outside. If this tire on your trainer is the same one you’ve been using outdoors, the problem is probably from there.
When riding outside, the tire can pick up small items like small nails or sharp pebbles capable of puncturing the tube.
Age also contributes to it; a tire is a rubber material. And when rubber material stays around for some time, it loses its quality with time.
When tires get old, it hardens and starts to wear off; this repeats and leaves the tube vulnerable to punctures.
So if you have been using your tire for more than a year or two, it’s time for a replacement.
However, using your bike tire on a trainer will damage the tires more than on the road.
Since the tire keeps cycling on the same spot, it causes the center line on the rear wheel trainer to wear out.
The trainer tire will get hot than a tire on the road, which increases the pressure and will get the tire flat.
What Psi Should a Trainer Tire Be At?
Generally, a bike’s tire should be at 100psi (a standard pressure), be it a trainer tire or a mountain bike tire, etcetera.
But a trainer tire should be within 95-100psi to avoid overpressure. A tire’s psi depends on what type it is and where you use it.
Some tires may have a rating of more than 100psi, so you can have more than 100 psi.
Sometimes one uses a trainer due to cold weather conditions when it’s not conducive to riding outside.
Also, when riding outside, you need the pressure at max for better performance And a little reduction of about 5-10 psi when it is a tire designed indoors.
How Do You Inflate a Trainer Tyre?
To inflate your tire, you have to remove it from the trainer. You can use a different method of inflating a tire, either with Co2, which releases quicker, or a valve type.
You will have to lose the dust cap of the tire, and you will hear a sound; indicating air releasing.
Now you use your valve to inflate it; if it’s a pump with an indicator, always set the psi to a recommended pressure.
Or you can use a gauge to check after inflating and ensure you screw the cap to keep the air intact.
Here is a safety tip to inflate your tire, inflate it halfway, pull it away from the rim, and reinflate.
If inflating to about 100psi, slowly inflate it to about 50psi before removing it from the rim, then reinflate it to your 100psi.
This action will make your tire last longer and not cause it to get flat (pinch flat) quicker.
Equally important, always have the correct tire installation tools intact. If you don’t have a tire wheel lever, don’t use another alternative tool if you are not a professional.
Common Reasons for a Flat Trainer Tire and Solutions
A tire can get flat due to many reasons; it can be a fault from you by ignorance or the trainer itself. However, there are many reasons why your bike trainer tire gets flat.
But we’ll be looking at some of the common reasons below.
- Bad tire rim
- Low tire pressure
- Tire wear.
#1. Bad Tire Rim
A tire’s rim is important when it comes to the issue of flatting tires. If your rim is the same one you use outdoors during the summer, it’s likely to have a fault.
If you don’t identify a fault on the rim early, the wheel spokes might puncture the tire’s tube.
Another issue with the rim is the stripe on it. When the stripes/rim tape works out and does not protect the tube from the spokes, the spokes will again cause a flat tire.
And when your rim gets some irregularities like scratches and damages, it can affect the tire.
You can always use gorilla tape to cover up those tiny holes on the rim if it’s a bad rim tape or stripe. And blend out the rough parts of the rim to keep it from injuring the tube.
#2. Low Tire Pressure
Likewise, trying not to get a low tire pressure, getting the pressure too high is also dangerous. Refilling a tire’s pressure is ideal after every long riding section.
However, if you keep riding the bike with low tire pressure, then you are gradually making the tires weak, which will cause a flat tire.
And avoiding over-inflation is also a problem here. Although it can give you a good performance, it can also flatten the tire or even damage the tube.
Use a pressure gauge to avoid you don’t inflate it with low pressure or overinflate it. Make sure you check the pressure level regularly to ensure the tire is ok.
And keep the level at the right pressure to avoid overinflation. But if you fail to detect the low-pressure problem on time, then replacing it is the best option.
#3. Tire wear
When your tire wears out, it is easy for any damage to take place that will cause a flat tire. How you use the tire on your trainer at home determines how quickly it wears out.
The tire can last up to six years or more if you properly maintain it. Nevertheless, tire wears are the most common cause of flat tire.
When you keep getting these tires flat always, you might get a recommendation to get a tubeless tire, being a better remedy.
But I don’t recommend it, and a tubeless is a better option for a road bike tire. But not a good option for a tire designed indoors.
The tubeless has a lot of advantages and benefits that other tires lack, like good rolling resistance, puncture protection, and so on.
It eliminates the era of tires that depends on air/gas under pressure, an era of technology.
But a trainer tire meant for indoors depends on air pressure, but a tubless one is more expensive to afford and fix properly.
The best solution here is getting a new tire replacement. If you decide to fix it, it won’t last you longer.
Also, you can always visit any local bike shop to get a tire replacement for your trainer.
Naturally, every tire is prone to go flat someday, whether the road bike tire or the indoor bike trainer tire.
However, a trainer bike tire should last longer than going flat since it doesn’t experience road conditions.
But remember that the trainer bike also carries out the same action as the road bike tire.
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