Muc-Off recently shared the results of a tire puncture survey completed by 5,000+ riders in 46 countries, and we found some of the results pretty interesting.
Australians get more flat tires
According to Muc-Off, 18% of respondents in Australia reported experiencing ten or more punctures over the past three years, the most of any country in the survey. Not only that, Australian riders were also the most likely to have a ride ended because of a flat tire, with 45% saying it happened to them at least once in the past three years.
Are the roads and trails in Australia particularly janky? Possibly, though it’s also interesting to note that less than 60% of riders Down Under are running tubeless tires according to the survey results. Compare that to France, Belgium, and the US where 70%+ of riders ride without tubes and fewer report ride-ending flats or getting ten or more flats in a three year period.
Italian riders were the least likely to have experienced ten or more flats over a three year period. Eccellente!
Gravel riders get more flats. They’re also more likely to be tubeless
It comes as little surprise to learn that gravel riders get more punctures than both road and mountain bikers. And yet, more gravel riders report running tubeless tires (~74%) than either mountain (71%) or road bikers (49%). The vast majority of survey respondents (78.5%) also report getting more flats with tubes than tubeless, but it seems going tubeless alone isn’t enough to compensate for lighter-weight and skinnier gravel tires ridden in rough terrain.
Mountain bikers reported the fewest punctures over a 3-year period, with 15% saying they didn’t get a single flat tire in that time.
Surveyed riders average one puncture every 8 months
Overall bike riders report getting a flat tire about once every eight months which doesn’t sound too bad all things considered.
More details from the survey are available here.
I ride in 2 geographical areas in Australia.
On the West Coast there are “prickles” in the desert 🌵 that go straight through tires, tube protectors and HD tubes (lots of gnarly sharp rocks as well) . Going tubless has changed my life.
While conditions on the East Coast can vary widely, I can’t remember my last flat tire.
There are places in the states that can decimate tires with or without tubes stuffed in em.
Fortunately, I live and ride in an area that is fairly easy on tires. There are places with those nasty goatheads but they can be easily avoided.