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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 02-22-10, 06:26 PM   #1
closetbiker
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Snakebitten!

The good Karma of last year has caught up with me in a most unusual way.

I was fortunate enough in the 08/09 winter to not get a single flat. This year, that's not the case.

I got a couple of slow leaks (you know, get up in the morning to check the bike before you go and find the tire is soft) but about 10 days ago, I had one of those blowouts on the road where you feel the surface of the road most distinctly.

No big deal. Took the wheel and tire off, check for anything sharp in the casing, put in my spare tube, pump it up, wheel back on, and back on the road.

I usually patch the tube at work on a break, but when I pump it up to look for the puncture, the tube won't inflate - at all. Didn't have much time, so I take the risk to ride home without a serviceable spare tube. Made it home OK.

I always have a couple of spare tubes at home so I don't have to patch a tube right away, so I just grab one of those and put it in my bag in case of another flat.

About 3 days ago, same story. Now I have 2 spare tubes that are flat so I take the time to patch them.

The most recent flatted tube I patch and see it wasn't a puncture but a snake bite. Bummer, particularly because I'm very careful about having proper pressure in my tires. I've had an old Silca floor pump I've used for years and it's been great.

The first tube that I couldn't inflate at work, I look at carefully and see a few snakebites. I don't think I've ever had more than one snakebite at a time. I saw 3!

Patch 'em up, pump up the tube and it won't inflate! I see 2 more snake bites! Geez! Patch it, pump it, and it still isn't inflating! In the sink with water and I find 1 more snakebite!

Patched and it's finally holding air.

Has anyone had 6 or more snakebites in 1 flatting?
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Old 02-22-10, 06:34 PM   #2
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Depends on where the snakebites are located. Are they pretty close together? you may have just bottomed out a little longer than you thought. If they are all over then maybe you bottomed out after you already had the flat.

Another scenario- Maybe you had some pinchflats from fixing the first holes and they look like snakebites. I've had tire levers catch a tube on installation and it looks like a snakebite.

Anyway, try inflating the tube a bit after a repair before you put it back on the bike to save yourself having to remove the tire again to fix one you missed.

Good luck with that.

EDIT: 6 snakebites in 1 tube. I know you were able to patch them all up but seriously...Time to get a new tube dude!
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Old 02-22-10, 06:46 PM   #3
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EDIT: 6 snakebites in 1 tube. I know you were able to patch them all up but seriously...Time to get a new tube dude!

Madness! patch until you can patch no more! (well thats what I do)

"I usually patch the tube at work on a break, but when I pump it up to look for the puncture, the tube won't inflate - at all. Didn't have much time, so I take the risk to ride home without a serviceable spare tube. Made it home OK."

Are you saying you rode home on a flat tire?

if its that tube your talking about I would not be surprised at all if you had 6 holes
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Old 02-22-10, 06:50 PM   #4
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Depends on where the snakebites are located. Are they pretty close together? you may have just bottomed out a little longer than you thought. If they are all over then maybe you bottomed out after you already had the flat.

Another scenario- Maybe you had some pinchflats from fixing the first holes and they look like snakebites. I've had tire levers catch a tube on installation and it looks like a snakebite.

Anyway, try inflating the tube a bit after a repair before you put it back on the bike to save yourself having to remove the tire again to fix one you missed.

Good luck with that.

EDIT: 6 snakebites in 1 tube. I know you were able to patch them all up but seriously...Time to get a new tube dude!


Doing the first 3, I wondered if it was worth simply getting a new tube. It already had 5 patches on it, but I'm cheap and I had the patches.

Finding the next two was a bummer, but I've already invested 3 new patches, so what was I going to do?

The last one was just funny. I now have 11 patches on the tube.

They were all spread out so I probably did extra damage going over the rough patch on the road before I got off. I'm sure they weren't pinch flats, but now I'm thinking I better take a close look at my rim tape, but so far, so good. If I get another snakebite, I'll have to take a better look.
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Old 02-22-10, 06:51 PM   #5
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Doing the first 3, I wondered if it was worth simply getting a new tube. It already had 5 patches on it, but I'm cheap and I had the patches.

Finding the next two was a bummer, but I've already invested 3 new patches, so what was I going to do?

The last one was just funny. I now have 11 patches on the tube.

They were all spread out so I probably did extra damage going over the rough patch on the road before I got off. I'm sure they weren't pinch flats, but now I'm thinking I better take a close look at my rim tape, but so far, so good. If I get another snakebite, I'll have to take a better look.

Well at the very worst it sounds like you've made up for all the flats you should have gotten last year and made some good headway into this year.
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Old 02-22-10, 06:53 PM   #6
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... Are you saying you rode home on a flat tire?
No no. I posted I "took the wheel and tire off, checked for anything sharp in the casing, put in my spare tube, pump it up, wheel back on, and was back on the road."
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Old 02-22-10, 06:54 PM   #7
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Well at the very worst it sounds like you've made up for all the flats you should have gotten last year and made some good headway into this year.
Yup. The flat Gods got me. Karma.
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