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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 11-10-07, 05:55 PM   #1
MikeLD
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Strange Blowout

I had a very strange blowout today. Brand new wheelset, brand new tires and tubes ... all of high quality, built and installed by a top wheel guy (most of you would recognize the name).

First ride on the new wheels / tires /tubes. 45 miles ... started out at about 32 degrees F ... and warmed to upper 40's by the time I was done. About an hour after the ride we heard a fairly loud pop from the garage and went to investigate. The rear tube was totally blown ... a gash about 8 inches long and wide open ... and the force was enough to blow about 12 inches of the tire off the rim. On investigation, the tire looks fine, the rim is fine ... nothing that I can see that punctured it.

I've had plenty of flats, but nothing this dramatic.

Stats ... phil wood hubs, velocity dyad rims, schwalbe marathon racer 700 x 35c tires and schwalbe tubes. Tires rated at 55-95lbs, they had 80 lbs in them at the start of the ride (I'm pretty good about checking pressure ... with the pump gauge when I fill and a tire gauge to check)

Anyone ever had a flat like that ? Any idea what might cause it an hour after riding ?
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Old 11-10-07, 06:04 PM   #2
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Two possibilities come to mind. First being that the tire was not fully seated and finally just blew the tube out. Second that you may have overheated the rim causing the pressure to increase and blow the tube. I have had both situations and seen the overheating on a number of occasions.
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Old 11-10-07, 07:08 PM   #3
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My guess would be the tire not fully seated, but I am surprised you made it through a ride that way.
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Old 11-10-07, 07:17 PM   #4
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You said there was an 8" gash, wide open? In the side wall? Not a common poorly seated tire then. I have had tires slashed and have had really old tires just blow through the sidewalls. That cut? Are the cords smoothly cut or a little frayed? Were you away from the bike at any time during the ride?
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Old 11-10-07, 08:47 PM   #5
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You said there was an 8" gash, wide open? In the side wall? Not a common poorly seated tire then. I have had tires slashed and have had really old tires just blow through the sidewalls. That cut? Are the cords smoothly cut or a little frayed? Were you away from the bike at any time during the ride?
8 inch gash in the TUBE.
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Old 11-10-07, 09:01 PM   #6
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My daughter rode her new bike a few times around home this summer before setting for a longer ride with me. On that ride, after about 10 miles, her rear tire blew out. Like yours, the tube had a big gash in it. Probably, it had been pinched during mounting at the shop or the factory. What is peculiar in your case, is the fact that the blowout happened while the bike was standing still in the garage. Maybe your garage is over-heated ???
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Old 11-10-07, 09:08 PM   #7
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My daughter rode her new bike a few times around home this summer before setting for a longer ride with me. On that ride, after about 10 miles, her rear tire blew out. Like yours, the tube had a big gash in it. Probably, it had been pinched during mounting at the shop or the factory. What is peculiar in your case, is the fact that the blowout happened while the bike was standing still in the garage. Maybe your garage is over-heated ???
Blowouts are funny that way. The OP's tale is a classic description of a poorly seated tire bead where the tube ruptured along a skinny line of least resistance where it eventually poked out between the tire and rim.
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Old 11-10-07, 09:11 PM   #8
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Yea.. did you pump up your tires outside when it was in the 30's? was probably fine for the 40's but then if you brought it back into where it was 70 or whatever in the garage it just expanded and blew. I had similar to that happen in the back of my jeep in college when driving in the sun.. POP pshhhhhhh ahh crap.
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Old 11-10-07, 09:39 PM   #9
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I had that happen before, but it wasn't for a common reason. I drilled out a double wall rim to accept a Schrader valve, and I thought I got all the shavings out. Some of them got stuck in between the inner and outer wall, and worked into the tube, causing a pretty spectacular blowout after a ride. It's a stretch but it could be a possibility some of the shavings from the manufacturing process are still in the rim.

I also had rim that would blow out tubes shortly after beginning a ride. It took a couple of tubes to realize there was a small ding in the rim that wouldn't contact the tube until it was inflated. Add the pressure of a rider, a few revolutions, and blam.,,,,BD
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Old 11-10-07, 09:42 PM   #10
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Yea.. did you pump up your tires outside when it was in the 30's? was probably fine for the 40's but then if you brought it back into where it was 70 or whatever in the garage it just expanded and blew. I had similar to that happen in the back of my jeep in college when driving in the sun.. POP pshhhhhhh ahh crap.
The pressure in your tire is proportional to the temperature in Kelvin, which is degrees Celsius + 273. If you do the math, the pressure difference in going from 30F to 70F is not significant (at least for exploding a tire). His problem was something else.
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Old 11-10-07, 09:50 PM   #11
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I filled the tire first on Friday night in my basement shop ... 70'ish degrees. I topped it up this morning in my heated garage (60 degrees). It blew in my parent's unheated garage with the door open ... not much difference vs outside temp.

I put in a new tube and I'm going to give it another 30 miles Sunday if it doesn't rain.

The strange thing was that it didn't happen while riding ... but an hour later. Maybe it was aliens ...
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Old 11-10-07, 10:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kenhill3 View Post
8 inch gash in the TUBE.
I'm going to go with, not seated properly and finally blew out.
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Old 11-10-07, 10:18 PM   #13
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"I suspect the Nargles are behind it...."
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Old 11-11-07, 01:37 PM   #14
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Not Again

I'm the OP ... and you are not going to believe this. I replaced the rear tube this morning (Sunday) ... I was very careful to look for a pinch, tire seating, etc. The bike is back together ... leaning against my truck. I come in the house and have lunch. About two hours after I replaced the rear tube ... the front one does exactly what happened to the rear yesterday. A 4-6 inch gash in the tube, blew about 12 inches of tire off the rim.

So, I replaced the front tube and was particularly careful in every respect ... we'll see how it goes after the next ride (probably not today due to rain).

One thing I did notice is that the original tubes looked smaller than the ones I installed. More like the tubes for a 23-25c tire. The blown tube is about 2/3 the width of the new tube (with both tubes flattened like they come out of the box). I looked for marking on the blown tubes to check size ... and there weren't any. I wonder if the wheel builder somehow put tubes too small on it ... and if he did maybe that could be causing the problem. Really strange.
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