DEALING WITH FLATS
– While this may sound ridiculous,
proper suspension setup is one of the
most important keys to flat control.
Soft and wallowy units bottom out
easily, and then the remaining suspension runs directly through the tire and
tube resulting in pinch flats.
–Keep good rubber on your
machine. Old, stiff carcasses cut
easier. Fresh tires have give and work
with the terrain.
–Don’t run junk tubes! Not only do
they rot easily, they cannot take a
decent punch under full tire compression. We always baby-powder our
tubes (inner tire) so that the tubes
don’t overheat and stick to the inside
of the carcass.
– We prefer a good thick tube and
Getting a flat tire on the trail usually puts an end to the ride. There are few of us who are prepared to deal
with flats, and even fewer who can perform the fix on the
trail or even have the proper tools and spares back at the
truck. Yet, every off-roader—unless he is sponsored by
Michelin or Dunlop and has his rubber fitted with foam
inserts—has to deal with the fact that the inflated balloon
that resides under his knobbies can pinch flat, get nailed
or suffer a fatal cut courtesy of a nice wet rock.
We will look at three distinct ways to handle flats: preventive medicine, fixing a rupture at the track/trail (
meaning your truck and toolbox are in tow) and, the worst-case scenario, the on-the-trail flat fix.
a normal air pressure, even for desert
riding. We never run more than 15 psi
and run 12 psi about 98 percent of the
time. Remember, you want the tire to
hook up, not bounce off of the terrain.
Proper air pressure increases traction,
which increases control. More control
means that you can navigate obstacles
and not slam-dance through them.
– For the majority of our off-road
riding, we “Slime” our tubes. Not only
does this fix a nail hit, severe thorns
and cactus blows are self-mended as
you ride. Slime will not help a sidewall
cut, however, and exacerbates the
dilemma when the bead gets lubed up
with green goo. It simply means that
you must fix it immediately.
– Get off of your rear and stand up!
Sit-down riding creates dead weight
in the saddle. This taxes the suspension, eliminates your body
as additional suspension and
pushes the load directly to
your tires. When we asked
10 top pros how the
average guy could not
only improve but also
save his equipment,
they all said, “Get off the
Slime up, especially if
your riding area is thorny,
heavily adorned with cacti
or runs through old torn-down villages with pockets
of nails! Slime works.
Getting a flat is
one of those ugly
deals that every
face. While making
it back to the truck
is nice, there are
times when you
have to fix it on
Don’t run junk tubes! STI makes a heavy-duty tube that is
superb for guys looking to put in miles and not worry about
pinch flatting because their tubes are gum-wrapper thin.