Q&A: Thorny Issue

Do lightweight tyres really puncture more easily than heavier ones?

Q: I’ve heard that lighter tyres can make your bike feel a lot faster and more lively, but I hate stopping to change flats. Do lightweight tyres really puncture more easily than heavier ones?

Rose Ramblin

A: We can say unequivocally that a lighter tyre is generally far more likely to puncture in a given situation than a heavier one. Thickness of carcass, sidewall and depth of rubber on the tread are all reduced on a lightweight. This makes it easier for thorns to get through, or for the tyre to be ‘pinched’ against the rim and puncture the inner tube that way.

If you’re still keen on a lighter setup, then we’d recommend using a tubeless system, such as Stan’s No Tubes, which uses a sealant rather than an inner tube to keep air in the tyre. This sealant will also plug any small punctures in the tyre, so you can keep going even after a hawthorn hedge attack.

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