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I am as new as they come. Somewhere I remember seeing that someone said wiping down tires after every ride would help them. Maybe even prevent a flat? What if there is just a little dirt, should you still wipe them?

I know its a dumb question but I already ruined an inner tube with a hand held pump. I just want to keep my tires up and running (rolling).

Thanks.
 

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It depends

Jstaylor said:
I am as new as they come. Somewhere I remember seeing that someone said wiping down tires after every ride would help them. Maybe even prevent a flat? What if there is just a little dirt, should you still wipe them?
It's not about dirt, but about bits of glass, shards of rock (like quartz), pieces of wire, etc. It depends hugely on your local riding conditions. In the great state of Michigan, we have a $0.10 bottle deposit law, and so there is very little glass on the roads in most rural (bike) areas of the state. The result is that about the only time you feel the need to wipe is when you have just ridden through some glass (wipe while you're still rolling). In some states/areas, it seems like they go out to the recycle facility, get all the glass they can find, grind it up, and put it on the highway. Daily wiping may be a lot more productive in places like that.

The reality is that if you pick up a bit of glass, etc. it will likely cause a flat before you get home, so the after-ride wipe down is of marginal value. However, as Dave said, it does "keep you in touch" with the condition of your tires, so that's a good thing.
 

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I usually only wipe my tires down when there is a lot of sand and dirt stuck on the tires.. Rather have it on the porch than raining down on my mountain bike when I put it up on the rack.

When I'm cleaning my bike I usually throw some rubbing alcohol on a towel and wipe the braking surface. After that I'll spin the wheels in the towel to take the grime off the tires too.. Doesn't do much but a clean bike is a happy bike.
 

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Jstaylor said:
Alright thanks for the tips.
If you're going to wipe while rolling you should be wearing gloves or that little piece of glass in the tire might end up in your hand. It's not always the safest thing to do because you're a bit distracted, but if the road's empty and I hear something stuck to the tire I will often wipe my front while riding, but usually stop to wipe the back. If you reach around the front of your fork and wipe your front, if your hand catches it's no big deal. It just pulls your hand down a bit. If you're wiping your rear tire while riding (almost neglected to put the word 'tire' there but don't need the comments) by reaching down behind the seat post, if your finger catches it can pull it so it pinches between the spinning tire and seat post- major ouch, possible crash, and you really didn't need ten fingernails when you've only got eight fingers, right ? :)
 

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I wipe the tires with my fingers while riding if I hear something stuck to them. I do it with my fingertips. I've done that for years and nothing's cut them. I think it's safer than trying to get my glove on the tire. I also wipe the back tire by sliding my hand along the seatstay and sticking my fingers in between the tire and seat tube. If you check it with the bike stationary first and practice you can do it so you won't jam your fingers between the tire and frame. But you have to be careful. One mistake and you'll be on the ground and missing body parts.

I wouldn't recommend either of these to beginners for obvious reasons. When you can drink from your bottle and put it back in the cage without looking or interrupting a conversation with the rider next to you then you're ready to wipe your tires while riding.

When working on the bike I'll use a rag to wipe a section of tire clean and then inspect it for cuts. Takes only a minute but can save you much more time on the road.
 
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