Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Extreme heat vs bicycle tire

(ABOVE: Eric's bike ride ended suddenly when his tube exploded through his tire! )

Science 101 teaches us that air expands when heated. Some cyclists, myself included, will lower their tire pressure accordingly to account for possible heat expansion.

Narrow tires on road bikes are designed to withstand high air pressure. You can inflate them to 100 to 150psi. By comparison, the tires on your car are likely near 30-35 psi.

And sometimes, tires go "boom!"

That's what happened last month to Eric Gomez of Tulsa. While riding his bike on a 100 degree plus day, his tube exploded. The tube burst through the tire creating a large hole.

In the picture you can see the outward explosion through the tread.

I've seen tires explode due to hitting curbs and such, but this is the first time I've seen a tire fail, a tube exploding and piercing the tire, when heat is the likely culprit.


  1. I remember when I was biking on the streets and suddenly my tire exploded lucky for me i only got some bruises. Better check your wheels before hitting the road...

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  2. This happens all the time. This is the reason why it is very important to check on your bike before going somewhere.

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