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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 10-24-08, 11:29 AM   #1
Jeff Leites
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Can a tube reseal itself?

This morning I topped up my 23x700 tires to about 100 pounds and set off on a 10 mile ride. Within the first mile, something didn't feel or sound right. Then my back wheel started fish tailing. My rear tire had become deflated... not entirely flat, just way low. I pumped it back up with the frame pump and headed back home (1 mile). When I got home, the tire was still inflated. I rode another 3 miles in the neighborhood, and the tire was still has hard as it was when I pumped it up 4 miles ago. Could the tube have fixed itself??

My left brain tells me to change the tube, but that is just such a pain in the butt for me; I always have a very difficult time getting even one side of the tire on and off the rim.
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Old 10-24-08, 11:36 AM   #2
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I think it's just a matter of time before the leak comes back. Maybe it is in the tire valve, and when you pumped up it made the valve seal better or put less stress on the valve's stem?
It wouldn't hurt to carry a tube, JIC.
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Old 10-24-08, 11:42 AM   #3
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I'm thinking that you probably had something stuck in the poppet valve. Reinflating the tire dislodged whatever it was and allowed the valve to seal again.

I'm 90% that you'll be OK but the other 10% says you should be prepared to replace the inner tube if you decide to ride farther away from home than you're willing to walk back.
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Old 10-24-08, 11:54 AM   #4
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Agreed ^^^. Carry a new tube and a tire-kit with you. This way your current tube will last for years. But the day you forget to bring it...Ssssssssssssssso~___
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Old 10-24-08, 02:59 PM   #5
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Thanks. I always carry a spare tube, basic tools, and these days, a cell phone
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Old 10-24-08, 06:03 PM   #6
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Better to carry TWO spare tubes, some instant patches and a tire boot. When things go to hell, they go to hell all at once. Just yesterday I got two flats in a row, and not due to improper flat repair. If I didn't have that tyre boot or second tube, I would've been walking home.
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Old 10-24-08, 11:21 PM   #7
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I'm inclined to say no even though I've had tubes that have seemed to resealed themselves. Even with those I don't take chances and bike with 4 spare tubes - this is off-road.

Never had a road tube reseal so I wouldn't risk it.
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Old 10-25-08, 01:05 PM   #8
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Actually had something similar to this happen, and rode for more than a year on the magically "fixed" tube. What happened is that a small pinch puncture shifted position when I reinflated the tire after the initial flat and I think pressed up against the rubber rim strip that was in this wheel. As long as the tire was kept inflated to a certain point, the tube sealed the hole against the rim tape. The tire would lose air over the week, but not to the point that it seemed out of the ordinary.

I found this out when I replaced the tire and found the tube puncture when inflating the dismounted tube. I don't recommend this "fix", I would have replaced the tube immediately but I thought perhaps a valve stick had caused the initial flat, as mentioned by a previous poster, so assumed that I was proven right when the tire stayed inflated.
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Old 10-25-08, 01:55 PM   #9
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Schrader or Presta valve on the tube? If presta, maybe it was not screwed all the way in.
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Old 10-25-08, 02:41 PM   #10
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sure there wasn't slime or other tire sealant in the tube? if its still holding air, i say that you are ok, just carry spare tube(s), tire levers and minipump to be safe.
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Old 10-25-08, 03:41 PM   #11
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I'm liking the "mostly sealed valve" theory. A little debris makes its way into the valve causing the initial deflation. Pumping dislodged the offending particle and all is good.
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Old 10-26-08, 03:48 AM   #12
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On the valve theory, assuming it was Presta: you may have accidentally left the valve nut slightly loose when you left home. Bumps will cause the valve core to move if it's loose, of course, and then you're losing air each time you hit one.

edited to say: bring a spare tube and a pump regardless of how well the current one is holding up. Better to be safe and not stranded.
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Old 10-26-08, 07:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator View Post
Better to carry TWO spare tubes, some instant patches and a tire boot. When things go to hell, they go to hell all at once. Just yesterday I got two flats in a row, and not due to improper flat repair. If I didn't have that tyre boot or second tube, I would've been walking home.
And don't forget a spare battery for your cell phone. Wait, make that two...
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