We get that a bike tire can lose air due to constant riding on and off roads. What bothers most people is this – why do bike tires go flat when not in use?
Seriously, what is with this frustrating issue? Just because I left the bike in the garage a few months ago, it had to go flat.
I was hoping for a wonderful ride that day, already clad in gear and attired for the occasion. Then this happened, which ruined my whole weekend.
Despite knowing the reasons, I was adamant about backing away in defeat. After fixing the bike, I thought maybe there are more like me who need an explanation too.
So here is why you should keep an eye on the bike tires.
Why Bike Tires Go Flat When Not Using
While the reason is entirely logical, the part still feels strange to me. I believe I am not alone in this regard.
On the contrary, some explanations are sensible, making you say, “oh, so that is why the bike tire is flat as a map.”
First, let me tell you the primary cause behind the flat tire or a stationary bike. Then we can move on to other justifications.
- Tire Tubes Are Porous
Suppose you have not taken out your favorite bike for a month or even a year. It sits idly in a corner or a garage.
Meanwhile, you assume everything is fine since the bike is stationed correctly. No tire deflation or chain malfunction is possible.
However, this is major mistake rookies make. Many of us do not know that the rubber tire is absorbent with microscopic pores, incapable of seeing with naked eyes.
Just as skin pores release sweat when you feel hot, the tube lets out the trapped air a little at a time. You may say that the rubber is supposed to be impenetrable.
In a way, it is true, but the pores exist in rubber, and we can do nothing about it. This is why the air molecules will eventually escape even as you keep the bike stored in a safe area.
Some even leave through the rim gap.
- Worn Out
Things deteriorate after a specific time; the tires and the tubes are no exception. Over time the material weakens, and the flexibility lessens.
This impacts the air pressure, causing a tiny rip. The rip will grow more prominent the more you pump the tire unknowingly.
- Damaged Rim
Sometimes the tire bead fails to sit on the rim. It occurs when the rim has a flaw, which develops a bubble inside the tube.
As you ride the bike, the stress increases for the bubble to emerge between the bead and the rim.
A pinch is when the tube is trapped against the rim. This happens while riding over a pothole or a bump with a less inflated tire. It causes a compression that creates two holes like a snake bite.
- Inaccurate Installation
Perhaps the rider installed the tire improperly, trapping the tube between the tire bead and the rim. The action generates a bubble that can burst under pressure as well.
There are different ways a puncture can take place without you noticing. A spoke end can pierce the tube that protrudes into the rim strip. The most common event is a puncture by sharp objects already in the tire casing.
- Defect Tube
It is not unusual to find a brand new tube with manufacturing defects as in weak material to cause a quick rip.
The Bottom Line
Why do bike tires go flat when not in use? You can now share this article with others who have faced a similar problem.
But how do you resolve it? Mechanics and experienced bike riders often suggest filling the tire with Nitrogen instead of CO2. Also, stop storing the bike on its wheels.
Always make sure the air valve is closed properly. Check on the bike wheels at least once a week as the air pressure diminishes significantly within that period.