Does a narrow bicycle tire puncture more often, or does it requires more attention regarding its maintenance and servicing?

1 Answer 1


Thin tires do get punctured more easily. They also require that you fill them up more often, as they have a smaller volume of air, and at a much higher pressure, and therefore more quickly drop to a non-optimal pressure. Also, narrow tires will not be able to absorb as much impact as a wider mountain bike style tire, and therefore potholes and other obstacles will be more likely to warp the wheel. However, if you have good tires, along with good quality wheels, and only ride on the roads, narrow tires can be extremely maintenance free both in terms of flats, and having your wheels stay true. Just don't try to take them off any big jumps and watch out for potholes. Also, having a good quality floor/track pump can make filling the tires regularly less of a chore. As long as you're riding the tires in their designed environment (don't take road tires off-road), then maintenance and flats are more a factor due to tire and wheel quality than to the width of the tire.

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    Skinny tires have a very narrow track. Statistically, they "hit" the puncturing materials less often than wider tires. Unfortunately, since they are harder (more inflated), the puncuting objects tend to "puncture" them more... Jun 8, 2012 at 14:32
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    "other obstacles will be more likely to warp the wheel" disagree with this a bit. If the wheel is properly built and the right wheel for weight, it should hold up to lots of abuse. I have some that I built that I brutalize on the MTB trails on my cross bike.
    – Ken Hiatt
    Jun 8, 2012 at 19:17
  • Well, all other things being equal (quality etc.), a narrow wheel will hold up to less abuse than a wide tire, but as I said, quality of the wheel and tire play a much more important part in whether the wheel will warp than the width of the tire. Also, Cyclocross wheels are purpose built for offroad use. However, I wouldn't use road tires (23c, 18 spoke, and similar) for offroad use.
    – Kibbee
    Jun 8, 2012 at 20:14

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