Bicycle Mechanics - Rant about sodding flat tyres...
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Hey, just letting off steam so please don't be offended!
Grrr - I've just had another flat tyre on my back wheel with an average frequency of almost once a week, and four times in the last two! I'm getting pretty pissed off with it...
After reading through this forum I figured I wasn't pumping the tyre enough because I got a lot of snake bite flats. So now I've been pumping it up so that it's almost rock hard (my cheapo track pump doesn't have a pressure gauge). However, I've still been getting flats and they're almost always in the same area (farthest away from the valve) and facing the tyre. I've checked the rim, tape, and tyre (Continental UltraSport) loads of times and can't find anything wrong. Also, I replace the inner tube so that there's no apparent pinching. I normally use the cheapo Bontrager inner tubes, but have also tried several Continental inner tubes with no joy.
I've tried taking a different route that is almost twice as far but mostly flat road, but still got flats! Months ago I had no problems taking my normal route through mostly pot-holed roads and dirt track with a couple of cattle grids, but now it's almost impossible...
So now I've ordered a wider tyre (700x25c) and a Slime inner tube and will give that a go. In the mean time, I think I'll start re-patching (rather than replacing) the inner tube and hope those patches will do the trick...
07-11-10, 11:40 AM
If the flat is in the same place every time, you aren't getting the debris out of the tire. Take a cotton ball swab and run it on the inside of the tire where the puncture occurs. The cotton will snag on even the tiniest piece. Remove the debris, and that should solve that particular problem. Replacing the tire would also solve the issue, but that's much more expensive than a bit of time to find the debris causing the flats.
I would also pick up a pump that has a gauge. I could pinch flat my tires if I went by how hard the tire seems to feel. A gauge makes sure you are inflating it to the correct pressure for the tire, your weight, and terrain conditions.
07-11-10, 06:47 PM
Using a pump without a gauge is like cooking in an oven without a thermostat. Get a new pump!
If you're pumping 700x23c tires until they're "almost" rock hard, you're probably under inflating.
It would be very weird to get snake bites in the same spot every time. Multiple flats in the same spot are typically from a small piece of debris you're not finding.
07-11-10, 07:38 PM
Yeah, I don't think I could tell the difference between 60 psi and 90 psi if I just went by squeezing the tire.
I'm in the camp for patching tubes, I've got the time to do it and I like the idea of using $4-$5 for something else. Once you get the technique down its no big deal ( I use the patch kits from department stores that cost around $2, the ones with the patches plus the tube of glue and a metal "scraper"...I cut most of patches down to around 1 cm hexagons that work on 90% of the punctures I get ). There are long threads about tire patching on BF that you can do a search on.
There is also a lot of threads on preventing flats and using flat-resistant tires. I haven't used slime in my tires, it seems to get mixed reviews here when it is discussed on BF (some love it, but some say it is messy, has a tendency to clog the valve, and if it does fail and one tries to use a conventional patch on a slime-filled tube, the slime will make it harder to patch the tube). I have used a Marathon Plus tire (700 X 25) on my back wheel (where I get most of my flats) and I'm a believer that it is one of the most effective weapons against flats, but it is also very heavy for a tire (the 700 x 25 is around 580 grams) if rolling-weight is a concern to you. I'll add also that the Marathon Plus was initially much harder to mount than other tires that I've used (there is a thread on that also) but with proper technique and time (for the tire to "stretch" I guess) it gets easier to mount/dismount.
07-11-10, 10:33 PM
Off topic, but this may be a permanent solution:
But that guy has gotten some seriously bad press about delivery times and customer care in general, an mixed reviews regarding the actual performance of the tires. If you're in the US you're probably better off buying directly off the manufacturere instead, nu-teck something.
I'm going to give it a go one of these days. 1-2 MPH off the top isn't going to hurt my commute half as much as having to stop for a flat.
07-12-10, 03:15 AM
Hi Uplah, By "sodding" I thought you meant,stuffing the tires with bark mulch & pine needles. Like the other guy said,glass & metal, ie Wire. Will migrate thru the tire to the tube. Like Sheldon said,"only the tube needs to be airtight,but check everything,and a least a floor pump with a presure gauge will calm some of your madnness.
I carry a Mini-Vice-Grip,,for pulling stuff out of my tires.You can take a cotton ball & wipe the inside,might work on the rimstrip too. Every time I get a flat,I run my fingers around the inside,outside,rimstrip & feel,inspect the tire bead & sidewall.If you're on the road,with only one spare tube,I always carry a patch kit.Last sumer I opened a box,with a "new" spare that had a hole in it. Pull up a chair, & take your time Uplah. Chees Chris.
07-12-10, 07:21 AM
I put in a tube that had the Slime in it. Took it right back out because I couldn't even get a reading to see what the psi was. It clogged up the gauge on the pump and also the "Slime brand" digital gauge I use after filling. I had to take both apart and clean them out.
As far as the thorn resistant tubes, I tried them for one day and got rid of them. It was like going from riding on a SMOOTH road to riding on a dirt road.
07-12-10, 07:44 AM
Off topic, but this may be a permanent solution:
Only if you don't want to enjoy riding your bike. I tried a similar product from a UK manufacturer. Yes, they don't puncture, but they aren't just slow, they are stone dead. Using them on hills that normally give me no trouble was a nightmare - I felt as if I was towing a trailer. And the bike handles like an oil tanker with them on.
I persevered for about a week, and then gave them to a friend to use on his turbo trainer. They're pretty good for that, saves wearing out a proper tyre. Otherwise, they're junk.
07-12-10, 09:24 AM
1) Get a pump with a guage (snake bites are almost always indicative of underinflation)
2) Slime tubes don't help, don't work at high pressure. Ditch them and keep tubes you can patch
3) check tire, tube and rim (as previously stated make sure everything is working
4) If still have problems get better tires or even a city type tire for the rear. My favorite right now is a Panarace RibMo.
and tyre (Continental UltraSport)
those are crappy tire. I've had the same problem as yours last winter, at least one flat a week. And now that they have more holes than a swiss cheese, i haven't had a puncture in months...
07-12-10, 10:45 AM
A 28 tire Fit? that starts to be something Id call a larger tire , 23 to 25 is slight.
Schwalbe Marathon Plus, and a thorn resistant thick inner tube will be trouble free,
OK its not a Performance tire combination.
the puncture barrier and the added thickness of the TR tube will add rolling resistance ,
And Do Get a Tire Inflation Gage , There are those, made for bikes, High Pressure, not for cars , low pressure..
, the old pump pumps, well enough but you need to check the pressure achieved when you do , to get it right.
Yeah, I've had a look at the tyre and rim many times and they seem fine. Strangely, now that I've started patching my inner tubes and pumping as far as I can go (can't be bothered to get a new track pump just yet!) I haven't had a flat so far... So I guess it's been under-inflated all this time...
Anyway, I'll give it a few more weeks - hopefully the nightmare is over!
I can't believe the back tyre was flat last Sat morning! Had a look and found a tiny puncture at the seem on the side about 6 inches away from the last patch...
Am waiting for my new tyre to arrive and am seriously thinking of getting a new track pump with a gauge...
Just realised it's been almost 2 years now!
I ended up buying a track pump and inflating to just under 100 PSI pretty much did the trick! I did go through a short time when I had a spate of punctures, but that was because some glass managed to embed itself into the tyre at a really weird angle (only found it after running the end of a teaspoon along the tyre until I heard a faint scratch!). But since then, I have done all right!
I've now moved on to re-building my front wheels (one warped and the hub for the other quite literally fell apart!) and generally learning how to fix my bike after a visit to a bike shop told me it would cost £190 to fix! Seriously, I told the guy I'd like the front wheel fixed because the spokes were loose, and I wanted the brakes and front gear cable replaced, and he basically told me I was better off buying a new bike (from them of course) - WTH?! I was stunned; I made my excuses and left, deciding that I would do it myself. It cost me less than £40 to do it and I'm glad that I did because now I want to get hands-on and fix other things! My next goals are to replace the saddle and seat post (technically easy but the bugger has seized in there - any advice?), and then replace the chainset...
09-01-12, 09:00 AM
Sod? occupied NL had to fill their bike tires with straw when the Nazis took the rubber
to make inner tubes for the Wehrmacht.
09-01-12, 09:45 AM
Heh. Someone needs to try that, and report on the ride afterwards!
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