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Thread: Rear Flats

  1. #1
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    Rear Flats

    I read this forum daily, but this is my first post!

    Every time I go on a ride, I get a flat on my rear tire. I start off on the ride and about a half hour into it, I get the flat. It's like clockwork. I either patch it or throw on a new tube, and then head back home. This has happened on my last 5 or 6 rides. I've checked the rim, checked the valve (the puncture's never near the valve), checked the tire...I can't figure it out. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Marathon Cyclist MediaCreations's Avatar
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    What side of the tube punctures? Against the tyre or against the rim? How close to the valve is it? Are the punctures just small holes or another shape?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MediaCreations
    What side of the tube punctures? Against the tyre or against the rim? How close to the valve is it? Are the punctures just small holes or another shape?
    It's always a tiny hole and its always against the tire. Now that I think about it, I haven't checked to see if it's the same location every time (which seems like an obvious thing to do in retrospect).

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    Maybe there's something embedded in your tire, like a piece of glass. If you can't find it, you could try switching front => rear tires and see if the problem moves to the front wheel.

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    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crooow
    I read this forum daily, but this is my first post!

    Every time I go on a ride, I get a flat on my rear tire. I start off on the ride and about a half hour into it, I get the flat. It's like clockwork. I either patch it or throw on a new tube, and then head back home. This has happened on my last 5 or 6 rides. I've checked the rim, checked the valve (the puncture's never near the valve), checked the tire...I can't figure it out. Any suggestions?
    It does sound like you have something embedded in your tire. I often find little shards of glass (one day, I found four of them) embedded in my tire. I check my tires after every ride, and by removing the little bits of glass, I save myself a flat. I have had one flat in many months. Prior to putting on the new tube, you must carefully check the inside of the tire to see if there is anything that has gotten through that will damage the new/repaired tube.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

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    Just drag a rag around the inside of the tire to see if something snags it, if that doesn't find anything then use your hand. It can be glass but it can also be a tiny piece of metal wire (wire comes from steel belted tires that have worn down to the steel belt and now that steel belt is shredding bits of wire all over the street), or if could be a thorn. Typically if there is something in the tire it would flat before you even started riding it. Whenever you get a flat you need to make a mental of note of where the hole is before removing the tire and tube for repair so you can check that area for something stuck in the tread so you can find it quicker and remove it.

    How worn is the tire? I also have heard of reports that cheaper kevlar belted tires were causing flats due to the fiber sticking up in parts and poking tubes.

    You could try using a more flat resistent tire for the rear such as Specialize Armadillo Crossroads if you want a knobby tire or the Hemisphere if you want less of a knobby tire or the Nimbus is you want a street knob free tire.

  7. #7
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    "...half hour into the ride..."

    This is classic "something embedded in the tire", and it can make you nuts (or more nuts...). If you still have a patched tube from this tire check the location (I assume you line up the label on the tire w/ the stem). Look real carefully inside the tire for small cuts or holes. Odds are good that there is a real small piece of glass in there; you might have to actually dig it out a bit.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

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    Senior Member midgie's Avatar
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    You'd be suprised how a tiny thorn, that you can't even see, can puncture your tire just enough.
    I will usually run my fingers around while bending the tire almost inside out, then I finally feel it.
    We're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny ****ing Kaye.~Clark Griswold

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    Thanks for the help everyone. I'm going to implement your suggestions and see how I do when i go out riding tommorrow!

  10. #10
    Ride it, don't fondle it! Wheel Doctor's Avatar
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    You have an evil shard of something lurking in your tire banish it, exorcise it and all will be well.

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    Try running a cotton ball around the inside of the tire: you may catch a thread of cotton on a tiny shard that you might miss with a finger or rage. As rmfnla said, if you line up the tire label with the valve hole, imagine the puncture as a spot on an imaginary clockface, then check most closely in the corresponding "time" in the tire.

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    You can also check the tire from the outside, looking to places where something dug into it (cut, holes). A piece of glass may still be at the bottom. Dig it out. Even it it didn't cause THIS flat, it might cause a future flat.
    Mike Sakarias
    Juneau Alaska

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    Senior Member LordOpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crooow
    I read this forum daily, but this is my first post!

    Every time I go on a ride, I get a flat on my rear tire. I start off on the ride and about a half hour into it, I get the flat. It's like clockwork. I either patch it or throw on a new tube, and then head back home. This has happened on my last 5 or 6 rides. I've checked the rim, checked the valve (the puncture's never near the valve), checked the tire...I can't figure it out. Any suggestions?
    I asked a third grader and he said, "Maybe he's riding the same route and there are thorns or glass in the same place each time?"

  14. #14
    pacifist-vegetarian biker
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    I had a frustrating experience like this on a new set of wheels, and it wasn't untill I saved three tubes and lined them all up that I realized the metal on the inside of my rim wasn't perfect. A little bit of filing and I haven't had one since.

    On my old road bike I was getting a ton of flats on the old soft rubber tires that were on it, but after a switch to some sharkskin type tires i never got a flat again.

    So keep your tubes and try to figure out if its the wheel or the tire (or maybe you have those magic 3o minute self destruct tubes).

    It is a good idea to alway mount the tire with the label centered over the valve stem so that you can trace a spot in the tube to a spot in ther tire. (stolen from sheldon browne)

  15. #15
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=UCSDbikeAnarchy]I had a frustrating experience like this on a new set of wheels, and it wasn't untill I saved three tubes and lined them all up that I realized the metal on the inside of my rim wasn't perfect. A little bit of filing and I haven't had one since.
    QUOTE]
    This is a good point; factories rarely make perfect stuff. I always inspect new rims; I've seen twisted rim strips, spokes sticking into the tube area, sharp edges on nipples, sharp areas on seams, etc. I also chamfer the edge around the valve stem hole; helps to eliminate failures where the stem meets the tube.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

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