You've had one or you're going to have one - punctures! Learning to deal with these and reducing the likelihood of getting them is an important part of enjoying cycling.

Punctures are caused in a number of ways but most often it's a foreign object puncturing through the tyre and then the innertube, which is like a balloon inflated inside the tyre. The tyre will be ok to reuse but the innertube will need repairing or replacing.

Learn how to replace innertubes and deal with punctures on a maintenance course here.

Ways you can reduce the chances of getting a puncture are as follows:

🚴Changing tyres when they're worn will save you the hassle of getting punctures. When tyres get worn they are thinner and weaker meaning things like glass or thorns will more easily penetrate the tyre and innertube.

Consider buying more expensive puncture resistant tyres, which have thicker heavier walls. You can also buy tyre sealant which acts like a glue to plug the hole when a puncture forms like a blood clot. Other reasons for punctures include:

🚴You put a new innertube in but didn't remove the foreign object, so it re-punctures.

🚴It's possible to puncture the innertube as you put it back in the tyre. It's best to have some air in the innertube when replacing and ideally use your hands rather than tyre levers as much as possible.

🚴Wet conditions can make the tyres more permeable and you may get more punctures.

🚴You could get a 'pinch flat' if you're tyre is low pressure and gets pinched between the wheel rim and road. Otherwise called a snakebite puncture. Ensure your tyres are pumped up to the pressure on the side! Track pumps help get more pressure in than small hand pumps.

Watch maintenance videos here.