FLAT TIRE REMEDIES

It's a nightmare: You're cruising down the road when, bam, you realize your tire has blown out and you are about to get to a flat tire. What's the best advice for handling a blow-out?

Try to remain calm, and immediately let off the throttle (as you would with a car). Next, apply your brake, but not on the tire that's going flat; apply it to the unharmed wheel and slowly bring your bike to a stop somewhere safe. Some bikes have a linked brake set-up: anytime you brake one wheel, the other automatically brakes. If that's the case, you need to be extra cautious when braking.

Once you have stopped safely, examine the tire closely. Try to ascertain what caused the tire to blow out. If you can see a puncture from a nail or other object in the tread of a tubeless tire, you're in luck, as you can usually repair or patch it up relatively easily. However, sidewall damage by a nail or any other object is a different story on a tubeless tire, and you wi ll need to get the bike trailer to haul it to a dealer.

If you have tubed tires, the situation is somewhat trickier. In this case, you have to remove the tire from the rim, which means removing the wheel from the bike entirely. Unless you have a buddy or two to help you support the bike while you do this, chances are you're going to have to call for help.

The good news is that if you need to patch a tubeless tire, a simple repair kit you can purchase at most bike shops is sufficient. Such kits usually include an auger, tire-patching cement, plugs, and some tire patches in case the puncture is not a neat hole. It also helps to have some carbon dioxide cartridges in case your tire has lost its air. You should be carry such supplies with you at all times.

Once you've sealed the tire with a plug or patch, make sure that you get to a gas station safely and as quickly as possible. You should have the tire professionally examined as plug s are only a temporary fix. Be sure you're riding on a safe tire before continuing your journey