Bicycle Mechanics - New Cyclist needs advice on tubes
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I began cycling last summer. I bought a Trek 1.5 2 months ago. I've replaced the tube 2-3 times in each tire. Question 1: if I buy tubes online, should I care about weight or wall thickness? Question 2: are the tube liners I see online worth the money ($10 for gel - $45 for kevlar type stuff?) ?
I typically ride popular routes, so I don't think the environment is contributing to excessive wear. I assumed this is just a part of the fun.
Thanks for the help. I hope to be a regular.
05-11-08, 09:54 PM
There is very little variation in puncture resistance of tubes. Lighter ones will deflate faster when something goes into them. For puncture resistance look for tires with kevlar belts. Specialized Armadillos are prctically bullet proof and gave me good puncture resistance at the expense of a lousy ride. I then switched to Bontrager Rece-Lite silica foldables, which gave reasonable puncture protection. I now ride on Panaracer Pasela TG. Foldable tires are lighter which give better handling.
05-11-08, 10:21 PM
Liners suck. They shift out of the way and even cause flats themselves by pinching the tubes. Get good tires with flat protection as mentioned above.
05-12-08, 06:43 AM
Two months and you've replaced each tube a couple of times? Where are you riding, through a construction zone? Other than running over glass, nails, metal, etc it should be rare to flat. Figure out why you are flatting. A common cause is too little pressure which creates pinch flats. Check the inside of your tire and also the rim. Could be some debris in there being the culprit. Don't worry about weight, it's minimal.
Are the holes in your rims properly covered by rim strips or tape or plugs? Are you having valve stem issues? Is that hole rough or sharp?
05-12-08, 08:12 PM
Did you ever get two flats in a row? Another cause of repeated flats is not getting the sharp thing out of the tire that caused the flat in the first place.
First you need to analyze for what is causing the flats. Are the holes in the tubes on the tread side or the rim side. Tire liners and special puncture resistant tires are a big weight penalty to pay for a little puncture protection.
Here are a couple of suggestions for avoiding flats:
Pump your tires up before each ride, or once a day.
Replace factory rim strips with Velox rim tape (in the correct size).
05-13-08, 10:54 AM
+100. I haven't replaced that many tubes in the lifetime of most of my bikes. Do you inflate your tires each time you ride? If so, are you using a stand pump or a mini? A mini will often tweak the valve stem and you will find your tubes will die there. Buy a stand pump, pump your tires up each time you ride, and inspect the tire and tube for cause of puncture when you replace. No need to go through that many tubes.
05-12-09, 12:36 PM
I keep getting punctures near the stem base in the tube... I've checked the inside of the rim, I have also felt the tape, and it seemed kind of rough but nothing too bad.
Is there anything else I can do to help prevent problems around the tube stem besides changing out the tape (which I am going to do this evening)
I've already gone through 3 tubes.. 2 in the front and 1 in the back... I've only put 160 miles on it on the bike, and the only time I have had problems is when I inflate the tube before a ride. I have never had a problem during a ride.
05-14-09, 08:34 PM
Make sure you're not tightening the retaining nut on your valve stem before the tube is fully inflated. Then only slightly finger tight. It's best to just toss it entirely. Better yet, get tubes with unthreaded stems in the first place.
05-15-09, 12:52 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again:
Regards tire gels and other forms of goo for the tubes, do you really think that something nasty enough to get through Kevlar will be stopped by the inner-tube? Regardless?
My point - put your money into getting protection from your tire. Not the tube.
05-15-09, 07:13 AM
It sounds like you (Post #9, way to dig up an old thread) are cutting the tube when you inflate it. If you are using a hand pump to inflate your tires, this is the issue. You need a pump with a hose (even if it is short), otherwise you will cut the stem as you wiggle it back and forth while pumping.
05-19-09, 09:52 AM
Both my hand pump and regular pump have hoses... more than likely I was tightening the retaining nut too tightly before I inflated the tube. I also started using baby powder on the tube and around stem when I changed the last ones out.
So far I have had any more problems, hopefully these tubes will last me a while. If I need to go further I will replace the tape, or hell use KY jelly near the stem... haha
05-19-09, 11:19 AM
Slime tire liners work great and are not that heavy, I use them on road and mountain.They sell those liners for a reason. You will flat less often if you run into goat heads. Leave goat heads in tire until you get home. Leave retaining nuts loose in case you flat, so valve will have room to move. Make sure your rim tape is covering all spokes. When you flat make sure you lo check around inside of tire with your hands on all sides for thorns,cactus before installing new tube.Match leaking hole on tube with location on tire. Add a little air to new tube before installing.Adjust tire liner so it is in middle of tube. Always check your tires for damage and inflate to high pressure before riding. Use a floor pump.
If you are cutting into valve you can thread second retaining nut onto valve before putting into rim; you will have two retaining nuts,one on top and one under rim. Hope this helps..let us know.
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