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Old 08-29-02, 08:42 AM   #1
LegalIce
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OK, another dumb*** newbie question...

I was riding the other day on my road bike when I hit a coat hanger or other piece of wire, not sure exactly what... Anyway, I hear this pop and swoosh...front tire goes flat. My first flat tire...

When I took the wheel and tire off I looked hard for a puncture but couldn't find one... How do I know if the tire is still OK? Are punctures usually visible in the tire? Or was this just a tiny prick that happened to nail the tire/tube just right?

I replaced the tube, reinflated, and things appear to be fine, but curious about not finding the puncture point...:confused:
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Old 08-29-02, 08:52 AM   #2
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It happens sometimes that you run over a sharp object, it punctures your tire, but does not stay in the tread. In such a case, the puncture may be tiny and you may never find it. If your new tube is holding air, there is nothing to worry about. If the new tube is losing air slowly, you'll need to double check that the pointy thing is not still in your tread. Run your finger...gingerly...around the inside of the tire.

It's also possible to flat without a puncture. If you are running low air pressure...or if you hit a pothole hard enough...the tube can get pinched in the rim and blow out. To diagnose, take a look at the punctured tube. Are there two little "snake-bite" holes? If so, it was a pinch flat. Be sure to keep your tires fully inflated.

In my experience, punctures are more common on the rear wheel and snake bites on the front, but either can happen on either wheel.
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Old 08-29-02, 09:21 AM   #3
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Possible scenario is:

Wire or nail or whatever pierces the tire & tube and cause the puncture but because its a long piece of wire it gets pulled out before you stop.

The hole might be small. The pressure of the tube against the inside of the tire might be holding it closed.

I'd be surprised if it doesn't slowly deflate


Did you do the hold "inflate tube and submerse it in water" trick to look for tiny bubbles bleeding out anywhere?

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Old 08-29-02, 09:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by LegalIce

I replaced the tube....
Do you mean you replaced the tube with a new one?
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Old 08-29-02, 11:12 AM   #5
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Punctures may not always be visible. On the road I only worry about whether the cause of the puncture - glass, bit of metal, nail - is still embedded in the tire. Just stick a new tube in and hit the road. I patch at home. If you pump some air in the tube then run it past your ear you can often find it by sound/feel. If that doesn't work go to the dunk in water/look for bubbles method that will find even the tiniest puncture.
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Old 08-29-02, 06:58 PM   #6
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The answers are:

I put in a new tube expecting that to correct the problem because I could not find any obvious damage to the tire. Tire/tube had about 300 miles on them.

I did not get to fully inflate the new tube until this afternoon. A few minutes later while I was cleaning my chain POP...new, fully inflated tube blew. Scared the crap out of me...

Anyway, this time I scoured the tire. Something either had to be embedded in it or some other thing was wrong. Turns out there was a split in the side wall close to the wire reenforcement. Back to the LBS tomorrow to get a new tire and tube...DANG!

Thanks for all of the advice...and I was so proud that I could change the tube without help...
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Old 08-29-02, 10:12 PM   #7
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Sidewall cuts suck. I've gone thru as many as 3 tubes on a sidewall cut.

You can still be proud about changing the tube.
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Old 08-30-02, 09:14 PM   #8
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[COLOR=crimson][B]I've got a couple of online articles that you may find helpful:

http://sheldonbrown.com/flats.html

http://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html

Sheldon "Rubber Doughnuts" Brown
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Old 08-31-02, 12:04 AM   #9
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WATER? BUBBLES? THERE IS AN EASIER WAY!!
Just OVER-INFLATE the tube, any "tiny " hole will be far easier to find, because the hole gets oversized too!!!
And no finding/getting water or waiting for it to dry, before you can start patching.
After you patch the tube, over-inflate it again and hang it somewhere, ( overnight), to check for "success", and those*$#@ slow leaks.

It's even good to patch the tube with a little air in it, so the patch, ( Hmm, how do I say this), lets the tube inflate uniformly or is mounted on the tire at the size the tube will be when it's in the tube. I can't remember if someone showed me this or if there is a GOOD reason for doing this extra step, it just seems (logical) that the patch will last longer/work better it it isn't deforming the tube.

It's also good to always put talc ( talcum/baby powder) on the patch when you're done, to keep it from sticking to the tire. I KNOW this is a very good idea. It's also smart to put talc on a fresh tube when mounting it as it the tube/tire tends to run cooler, lasts longer and are easier to work with, because the talc keeps the friction from rubbing agianst each other at a minimum an prevents the tube and tire from sticking to each other and even cuts down on flats.

I used to know a guy who stored the Silk Sew-Ups, (Tubulars), he bought in bulk, covered with talc in a "donut" shaped tub to preserve them, but that 's another story.....

Ride Patched Up
Pat

Last edited by pat5319; 08-31-02 at 12:48 AM.
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