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Thread: Bike tires

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    Bike tires

    Warning - this is a really stupid newbie question!

    I popped my back tire today. Since it wasn't just a small puncture, and the tire itself has a 1/4 inch slit in it, do I have to replace the tire as well as the tube? I'd much rather not replace both, but will do so if I need to.

    My fellow cycling co-worker already went home today, and I need an answer before I leave tonight.

    Thanks!

    Teresa

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    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    With a 1/4 inch slit you may be able to get home by lining the tire with some sturdy material like duct tape, a piece of fabric, a dollar bill, a mylar snack bag from the vending machine. I'm assuming you have already patched the tire. Don't inflate to full pressure. About 1/2 to 2/3 of the tire's nominal pressure. Ride slow, avoid pot-holes and skip the curb drops; and you should be able to get home. Some LBS will help you patch a tire from the inside, but in my experience that is just a stop-gap. I'd recommend replacing the tire as soon as possible.

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    Thanks!

    Not the answer I was hoping for, but oh well.

    I popped it on my ride at work today, and since I'm not commuting by bike yet, I'll be driving home. I'll definitely remember those tips for when I start bike commuting in the spring.

    Teresa

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    A tyre with a 1/4" slit in the carcass may be OK, but only if you patch the inside. It's borderline, so if you really need to depend on the tyre, toss it.
    A 1/4" slit in a tube makes it junk. Toss it
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    I currently only use my bike during lunch time, and I am always near houses (and phones). However, I don't want to get stranded anywhere. If I patch the tire and replace the tube, what will happen to the tire? Could it blow my tube again?

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    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    1/4" slit is not too big of deal.

    First, be sure that the damaged tire is on your rear tire. You need to make sure your front tire is always in premium shape for your safety.

    Second, go to the auto supply store and get a tire repair kit ($3.50). This is different from a tube repair kit. A tire repair kit is a heavy-duty patch that goes on the inside of your tire.

    Keep your eye on it to make sure it doesn't get worse after you patch it.
    Mike

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    Senior Member ahuman's Avatar
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    remember murphys law!
    if it can happen it will happen.
    that said I would replace both and have a spare tube.

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    Originally posted by Teresa
    I currently only use my bike during lunch time, and I am always near houses (and phones). However, I don't want to get stranded anywhere. If I patch the tire and replace the tube, what will happen to the tire? Could it blow my tube again?
    A repaired tire and tube will always be weaker and more prone to failre than a new, undamaged and never repaired tire and tube. My attitude is that tubes are cheap [though after seven flats last year, I may revise that] and are easier to replace than repair. Tires are not cheap, but they are a very important element in your bikes control.

    So... repair if necessary [can't afford a new tube/tire, or you're 100 km from home without a spare] but preferrably replace.
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    Senior Member Bobsled's Avatar
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    Teresa,

    As Jean as previously stated use some wrapper from something like clif bars, power bars, etc and cut into a square big enough to cover the slash and then some. Pop your tube in and mount the tire back and inflate and you're back in business. If the tire separates too much at the slash when inflated you're better off with a new tire. Which tire was it BTW (front or back)?
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    I don't know how it would work on a road tire, but I've put patches on the outside of the tire also on my MTB. (In addition to the inside of course). Some have been on for months of hard riding. Haven't yet had one come off. The texture of the outside being what it is the patch sticks very well. It would at least be good for a temporary fix.
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    Thanks, everyone!

    I ended up going to the bike shop anyway last night and I bought a tire (it's supposed to be over 50 degrees F today and I really wanted to ride). I figured I would eventually need one anyway, and they promised they would look at my tire if I brought it in and tell me if it was usable.

    It was the back tire. I didn't realize the front tire was so important.

    One more thing.... I have the hardest time getting the tires back on the rim. I always end up with about a foot of the second bead just not wanting to get back on the rim. Last night I was very upset as every time I pushed one part of the bead on, more came off. Do you have any hints on the best way to replace the tire??? Or will I just get better at replacing them the more often I have to?

    Thanks!

    Teresa

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    Teresa,

    Whenever I've had to replace tires (and I've done it a few times),
    when I get to that 1 foot situation, I use my levers to pry the bead over the rim. Start from the outside of that last gap and work your way in. A good LBS should be more than willing to show you how to do this.
    A cut section of your old blown tube is really good for patching in a pinch (no pun intended). Carry a 2 inch piece in your seatbag.
    For small cuts in tire (no more than say 1/2 inch) Shoe Goo (or similar product) does nicely to hold things together, just don't overdo it.

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    Originally posted by Teresa

    It was the back tire. I didn't realize the front tire was so important.

    One more thing.... I have the hardest time getting the tires back on the rim. I always end up with about a foot of the second bead just not wanting to get back on the rim. Last night I was very upset as every time I pushed one part of the bead on, more came off.
    1) A front-tyre blowout can throw you over the handlebars or at least make the bike very hard to control. (This is the opposite of the situation with a 4-wheeled vehicle, particularly an SUV, where a rear blowout is more likely to cause loss of control or rollover than a front.) As Sheldon advises in his website, always put your best tyre forward. I absolutely will not put a booted or repaired tyre on the front. Of course, the fallacy of this position is that the rear tyre carries significantly more load than the front, in turn putting more stress on the boot or patch.

    2) You may want to experiment with various brands of tyres. When seating a particularly tight-fitting tyre, I also find that a third tyre lever can make the job alot easier.
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    Okay, one last question...

    Is there any way to recycle old tires or tubes? I asked the bike shop and they said they just throw them out. I'd be willing to take my old tires somewhere, but the shop claimed they'd never heard of any place to do this. Has anyone else tried to recycle them?

    Teresa

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    Tyre wisdom gained from hard experience:

    Ive had a front wheel blowout due to a burst tyre, very scary.
    The weakness was caused by the tight fit, which required a lot of tyre-lever activity to replace the tyre.

    Some tyre/rim combinations are better than others, there is quite a wide variation in size. Try and fit in the shop to test.

    When fitting a tyre, work from the non-drive side (cogs down). Fit one edge on completely, fit the inner, with the stem pointing to the hub, and no twisting. Fix in place with dorknut, then fit the other tyre edge.
    With tight tyres, hold the 1ft part away from you. Stating at the opposite sideclose to you, squeeze the tyre together with both hands. Continue squeezing as you run your hands around the tyre, squeezing the tyre, and tugging it out. his will give you a little more slack, so you can pop the 1 ft section on. You may need tyre levers to do this. NB use plastic ones to avoid damaging the tyre. You may snap them, so carry 3 , not 2.

    Once the tyre is on, losen the valve retaining nut, push the valve in and reseat the inner ON TOP of the tyre beads. I usually put some air in before tightening the nut again.

    I have no problem with repairing inner tubes. I use traditional rubber solution and high quality patches, and the repairs last for years. For repairs on the road, I carry a spare inner, and some self-adhesive patches, but I try and do all my patching back home.

    I replace my inners when the puncture is close to the valve, or particularly long, or the valve gets damaged.

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    Senior Member Bobsled's Avatar
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    I absolutely will not put a booted or repaired tyre on the front. Of course, the fallacy of this position is that the rear tyre carries significantly more load than the front, in turn putting more stress on the boot or patch.
    You're absolutely right that's why I asked. I too had a blow-out in the front coming down hill around a turn. Managed to stay up but not a good feeling.

    You should be able to get a tire back on using nothing more than your hands. What I do is put talic inside the tire and spread it around so everything slides/glides easily. I don't know, works for me. Of course it helps if you have big hands.
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    All good advice, as far as recycling tubes, Pedro's has a program where if you send them some spare tubes, they'll send you a mini-wedge made out of an old tube. The shop where I work on Sats. sent them a whole bike box full of old tubes and they sent us three or four of these wedges. Shipping costs about as much as the wedges, but at least we were environmentally considerate!

    Oh yeah, the wedge looks cool too!
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    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bobsled

    You should be able to get a tire back on using nothing more than your hands. What I do is put talic inside the tire and spread it around so everything slides/glides easily. I don't know, works for me. Of course it helps if you have big hands.
    "Big Hand Bob" has been lucky thus far getting tires on with his hand as his only tools. I hope luck keeps shining on him.

    Some tires are tricky to get on, though. Use soapy water on the rims and a tire iron to help get these uncooperative tires on.


    Bob gives good advise to use talc powder (baby powder) on the inside of the tire. I think the talc is actually used to keep the tube from sticking to the inside of the tire. It also helps coat the excess adhesive on the tube after you fix a flat. It probably won't help you get a tire onto a rim, though.
    Mike

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