Owning a dirt bike is an interesting and fun experience but taking care of it is a whole different ordeal. In this article, I will tackle one of the most important areas on the dirt bike, the tires, and talk about anything and everything about them. Enjoy!
How To Tell You Have A Burst Tube?
This should be easy to do. All you have to do is to check if the air pressure on your dirt bike is going down. If checking the tire pressure is an issue, you can immerse the inflated tube in water and look for bubbles to rise if it’s not obvious — it’s most likely simply a tiny pinhole puncture. Mark the hole with a large cross using a ballpoint pen once you’ve found it. Make sure the cross is centered on the hole and larger than the patch you’ll be applying.
What are The Causes of Inner Tube Puncture?
- Riding on sharp objects – A small, sharp object (flint, glass, thorns) pushing through the rubber and piercing the inner tube is the most common cause of punctures. Quite often, the item remains lodged in the tire, and if you don’t identify and remove it, the inner tube will be swiftly deflated by the same tiny blighter when you replace it.
- Wearing out – Tires are a consumable component that do not last indefinitely and must be replaced every six months to a year on average (though it does depend on the tire and usage). A tire should be replaced if there are little tears in the surface, if there is one large tear that is clearly going to expose the tube, or if there are cracks or obvious signs of wear along the tube.
- Pinch flats – Pinch flats are extremely inconvenient. They occur when the tube is forced against the wheel rim, ripping or ‘exploding’ with a loud bang as soon as you begin pumping. This is frequently the result of the rider being in a hurry and haphazardly inserting the tube. To avoid this, always partially inflate the tube before fitting it; this will reduce the chances of it becoming caught.
- Incorrect air pressure- A tire that is under-inflated will bend in response to every bump or obstruction in the road, making it vulnerable to pinch flats as the tube becomes trapped between the rim and the tire. Not only that, but lowering the pressure reduces your efficiency — it takes more effort to move oneself ahead, so unless you’re looking for a high-resistance workout, riding will be less enjoyable. If your tire is under too much pressure, it will struggle to deform against any object and will remain rigid, making it more likely to ‘bang’ when you strike a pothole or other barrier.
- Incorrect brake setting – Brake pads for rim brakes are designed to sit over the braking surface, which is the wheel rim. It’s possible that they’ll be put up wrong and end up sitting on the tire. This will cause the tire to wear out over time, making it more prone to be damaged.
This won’t cause you to crash right away, but it will limit your braking efficiency and could result in the tube ‘blowing out’ with a loud noise and a rapid deflation, so it’s best avoided.
How Do I Fix a Popped Tube?
STEP 1: If the leak is visible (like a huge nail sticking out ), you may not need to remove the entire tube—just lever off the damaged area of the tire with the wheel on the bike. Otherwise, look for the hole, listen for air, or get it wet and see where the bubbles are coming from to find the leak.
STEP 2: Wipe the area around the hole clean and dry. Roughen the area with sandpaper, a patch kit’s grater-like tool, a metal file, or even a rock.
STEP 3: Apply adhesive to the hole. The patch should be somewhat larger than the overall glue coverage.
STEP 4: Allow the adhesive to cure until it becomes sticky. Setting the glue on fire for a few seconds in extremely frigid temperatures may help speed up the process.
STEP 5: Smooth and evenly apply the patch, then hold it in place for a minute. Cover the patch with a handkerchief and burnish it down with a smooth stone or stick.
NOTE: But what can you do if there’s a massive hole or tear? It is feasible to close the hole with a needle and thread. Apply a generous amount of adhesive to a spare piece of old tube and use it to build an extra-large patch.
Are Tubeless Tires Better than Tube?
It’s a difficult question. Riding over rocky terrain is difficult on tires with tubes. If you pinch a flat one, you can carry a tube and a patch kit. You can’t possibly carry a brand new tire. If you ride your dirt bike on the street, tubeless tires are preferable because you can carry a plug kit with you. Low air pressure is fantastic for dirt traction, but it also allows the tire to slide around on the rim and go flat. Tubes won’t do that, but rim locks will keep them safe and secure. Rim locks, on the other hand, are extremely difficult to operate on the side of the trail.
I suppose the answer is dependent on where you ride and how you ride. Tubeless or tube, sand, dirt, rocky, clay, desert, mountains, alone or with friends, they all play a role.
WhatHappens if you Overinflate a Tire?
The proper tire pressure varies depending on the terrain, but it should be between 8 and 18 psi in general. The majority of riders will like 12 psi because it is a good all-around pressure for dirt bike riding. While this is a wide range, it also encompasses the extremes. Depending on the terrain, 95 % of dirt bike riders will be carrying between 11 and 14 pounds.
Lower your air pressure to roughly 11 psi if you’re riding on soft or sandy terrain, and raise it to 14 psi if you’re running on a hard-packed trail or track.
If you put too much pressure on your tire, it will resist deforming against any object and will remain rigid, making it more likely to pop when you hit a pothole or other obstacle.
Tips of Recognizing a Tubeless Tire
Look for the model/name on the tire sidewall; tubeless tires normally have TL, UST, TR, or Tubeless in the name; some tires don’t (like the Schwalbe Pro One), so check the model online to discover if it’s tubeless or not. Keep in mind that, regardless of what the manufacturer claims, some MTB tires can be mounted tubeless; in this instance, dislodge some tire bead and inspect for tube or sealant residue inside.
However, tubeless tires may come standard on a bike, but that doesn’t imply they’re set up tubeless. The tires may still have a tube inside, therefore you should also determine whether or not there is one. The simplest way to tell is to look at the valve stem, because a tubeless valve is nearly always secured with a large lockring, whereas a presta valve tube may have a small silver lockring or nothing at all.
Tubeless Schrader setups are extremely rare, thus any wheel with a Schrader valve is nearly certain to have a tube in it. Because some people will put a large lockring on a tube and a small one on a tubeless valve, this isn’t perfect, but I’m convinced that it will be true over 95% of the time.
Which Tire Lasts Longer (Tube or Tubeless)?
The ideal bike tire is light, puncture-proof, and grips well while providing low rolling resistance and lots of comfort for the rider. It also has a long life and is reasonably priced. Some of these features are mutually exclusive in practice (for example, light tires aren’t puncture-proof).
It’s easy to think of a tire as a static construction with only one purpose: to hold and prevent air from leaving, but there’s a lot more going on out on the road. A tire is indeed quite dynamic, changing form constantly to match changes in the road surface, the angle of the wheel, and the rider’s weight.
Tubeless tires, on the other hand, are the most durable of the three systems (tubed, tubeless, and clincher-type), as the system is particularly resistant to pinch-flats and the sealant automatically repairs minor breaches. Large holes and cuts in the sidewalls, however, will negate the sealant’s ability to deflate the tire.
However, keep in mind that a tire’s durability is significantly influenced by the conditions under which it is used.
Are Tubeless Tires Worth Buying?
Many dirt bike manufacturers still go with the option of using tubed-type tires because of the pressure from the spokes and reduced damage to the wheel. However, there are still benefits to purchasing a tubeless tire.
1) Less flat tires – Every rider’s worst enemy is flat tires. Tubeless tires, on the other hand, greatly reduce the risks of a flat tire mid-ride. If a puncture occurs, the tire’s sealant will close the hole in a matter of seconds. And, if the hole is too large for the sealant to close, you can use a tube to travel home, just like in the old days.
2) Lower tire pressures provide more comfort – Lower tire pressures equate to a more pleasant ride. Road vibration is efficiently conveyed up through the bike when going at 90-100 psi on the road, and may be a genuine annoyance. Tubeless tires allow you to use slightly lower pressures, resulting in a smoother, more comfortable ride.
3) Less Resistance to Rolling – The reduction in rolling resistance associated with tubeless tires will benefit those riding them on off-road situations substantially. When a tire meets a bump on the trail, the wheel is thrown up or to one side. This causes riders to slow down by impeding forward momentum, which is compounded by increased tire pressures. When tubeless tires are used at lower pressures, the tire absorbs stress more quickly by deforming slightly upon impact.
As you can tell, there is a lot to learn about the tires of your dirt bike. In the above article I’ve gone over the important issues that you would want to know about as a rider. Hope you’ve learnt a lot and remember to enjoy the time with your bike.