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Old 07-20-10, 07:01 PM   #1
andycj7
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Constant Flats- I'm stumped and need help!

Hi all-
I own a 2005 Felt F65 with Shimano WR-550 wheels.
I was having flats every time i rode out, but i recently switched the stock tires to Continental Gatorskins.
Even with these tires, i am having flats every couple days. I use different manufactures tubes each time usually. The rim tape covering the spokes is flawless, and there isn't anything poking around in the tires.
I ride through pretty "dirty" surroundings, but that's why i have Continental Gators!

I use an electric air compressor- is this the source of my issues? Maybe an electric air compressor cannot get the psi up high enough or brings in air too quickly?
Is it possible that my installation is wrong? I had another friend do one side, and i haven't had a flat there, yet atleast. Any other things that could be giving me flats?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 07-20-10, 07:05 PM   #2
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What is the PSI rating listed on your tires?
How do you know how much air pressure is in the tires after you pump them up?
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Old 07-20-10, 07:17 PM   #3
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when you mount a new tube- do you put in a little air before you install the tube? i find it helps prevent pinch flats when I install the tire.
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Old 07-20-10, 07:27 PM   #4
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The tires ask for 120 PSI. My compressor puts out probably around 100 max i guess(weak!)...I've always just filled the tire up as much as possible to be honest.
I haven't done that before- i usually just put the tube in the tire and then work both sides inside the wheel and work in the beads.
Then i inflate it up,deflate all the air, and inflate again.
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Old 07-20-10, 07:57 PM   #5
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1. Go to LBS
2. Purchase floor pump with gauge
3. Inflate tires to 110-120 psi before every ride
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Old 07-20-10, 08:47 PM   #6
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its your compressor. I highly doubt any electric model gets over 75psi when full on gas motor powered ones don't always even get 100 psi out of them. Invest in a good foot pump, unless your like me and you live 1 block from a bike shop and can go borrow theres. Gauge is key too, the old feel test isn't that good, especially if your a bigger rider (I'm 230lbs)
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Old 07-20-10, 09:00 PM   #7
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this just started happening to a friend of mine on tour. she got multiple flats in different spots on the outer part of the tube. we figured it out on her last flat. there were tiny bits of glass embedded in the tire you could not feel or see until we spread the rubber around some areas with really small nicks in the tire. there were two or three areas we picked really little bits of glass out of with tweezers that probably kept digging into the tube that we couldn't detect by running our fingers around the tire but would probably stick the tube after being brought up to pressure and ridden for awhile. drove her nuts until she figured it out...
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Old 07-20-10, 09:35 PM   #8
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My compressor goes over 100psi, but I don't use it to inflate my tires, I don't have a chuck. But you do need to inflate the tires before every ride to the rated pressure, or at least 120 if they are rated higher. I ride in NYC on Conti GP4000s and I don't get flats.
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Old 07-20-10, 10:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklyn_bike View Post
this just started happening to a friend of mine on tour. she got multiple flats in different spots on the outer part of the tube. we figured it out on her last flat. there were tiny bits of glass embedded in the tire you could not feel or see until we spread the rubber around some areas with really small nicks in the tire. there were two or three areas we picked really little bits of glass out of with tweezers that probably kept digging into the tube that we couldn't detect by running our fingers around the tire but would probably stick the tube after being brought up to pressure and ridden for awhile. drove her nuts until she figured it out...
I used to work near a glass recycling plant and would get that ALL the time! That's when I started running Mr. Tuffies in my road tires. Even with that I'd sit down with my bike upside down after work and slowly spin the tires around and pick bits o' glass out with a compass point every other day if I had the time.
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Old 07-20-10, 10:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacster View Post
My compressor goes over 100psi, but I don't use it to inflate my tires, I don't have a chuck. But you do need to inflate the tires before every ride to the rated pressure, or at least 120 if they are rated higher. I ride in NYC on Conti GP4000s and I don't get flats.
Low pressure is typically only an invitation to snake bites. Hard telling if that's what the OP is experiencing. OP, if it almost feels like you're hitting your rim on bumps, this may be the case. Optimal PSI will be dependent on tire width and rider weight. I weigh 145 and like 100 front, 110 rear in my 25s usually, but I only air up every couple or 3 days.
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Old 07-20-10, 10:34 PM   #11
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I think Lenkearney might have something. If you do NOT inflate the tube a little, you stand a good chance of pinching it between the bead and rim while trying to get the bead on. With my floor pump, I put just enough air in the tube to 'round it out' before inserting it. Have had little problem with flats. Of course, I'm running Ultragatorskins!
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Old 07-20-10, 11:13 PM   #12
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http://www.klickitat-trail.org/images/goathead.jpg
I've gotten a good number of flats from these, a broken point can be hidden within the tire. I rub talcum powder on the inside of my tires, I often feel something hiding there.
Pay attention when changing your next flat to the tube and tire relationship it will narrow the search if the problem is the tire or rim.
As others have mentioned the likely culprit is not enough pressure.
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Old 07-20-10, 11:37 PM   #13
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Yes, that is crucial as well. After installing the tire, run all the way around it a couple times pinching the tire and check to make sure there's no tube underneath the bead. If there is, give the tube a little toot of air and massage the tire a bit in that area, then deflate again. if there's no tube under the bead at that point, go ahead and air her up!
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Old 07-20-10, 11:50 PM   #14
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I suggest you get a pocket magnifying glass

besides broken glass and goatheads

city street sweeper trucks use metal wire brushes and i've heard of a case where they shed tiny pieces of steel bits while they do their sweep

but tiny steel bits can also come from steel belted automobile or truck tires when they shatter they also shed tiny pieces
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Old 07-21-10, 06:33 AM   #15
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one last tip. When you install the tire on the rim match up the tire logo with the valve stem on the tube. Then when you find the puncture, you can specifically check that part of the tire to see if anything is lodged in there.
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Old 07-21-10, 06:43 AM   #16
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So are you collecting a pile of punctured tubes or have you fixed them and identified where the leakage/puncture is occuring?

get a floor pump with gauge
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Old 07-21-10, 07:35 AM   #17
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check your tubes. If you are getting "snake bites" it is 99.9% likely your tire pressure. At the rate that you are going through tubes, it's cheaper to get a proper floor pump with a guage. Then check and inflate your tires before every ride.

If you are not getting "snake bites", check/replace your rim-tape.

2nd on aligning the valve stem w/ tire logo tip above. That's the real reason people harp on logo alignment (it's not about aesthetics). After a flat, you can find the hole on the tube and corresponding spot on the tire b/c you aligned them both up.
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Old 07-21-10, 08:04 AM   #18
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I don't know many people who have had experiences nearly as positive with Gatorskins as the Bontrager's Hardcase tires. They have a Kevlar lining, pinchflat-protecting ridges, and a coarse weaving on the sidewall to ward off the random sidewall puncture. I ride them on all my road bikes and almost NEVER get a flat. My commuter has at least a couple thousand miles on roads littered with broken glass and those accursed wire pieces from steel-belted radial tires with no flats to date. Both tires even have chunks of rubber missing from the tread and even have the Kevlar exposed and I've foolishly been riding them without issue for quite a while.
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Old 07-21-10, 09:35 AM   #19
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hockeyteeth: good tip on the Hardcase tires.

Reading cmolway's post reminded me of an incident with a tire liner. I had put some 700-20 Grand Prix 160psi tires on a bike to take to Texas for a 4 week training class, and on one ride, I got a flat about 10mi from the end. I put in a new tube, checked for anything in the tire, and finding nothing, aired up and took off. About 1/4mi from the end, it flatted again, so I just walked it back to my car, loaded it up, and drove back to my hotel room. Once there, I took the tire off, and carefully inspected it. Still nothing! Then I checked the rim, and found a split in the rim tape (Plastic Michelin) which had allowed the tube to go through and contact the spoke end. On a trip home the next weekend, I got a pair of high pressure Continental rim strips (220psi), and put them on when I got back to Arlington. No more problems.
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Old 07-21-10, 09:46 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by CPFITNESS View Post
one last tip. When you install the tire on the rim match up the tire logo with the valve stem on the tube. Then when you find the puncture, you can specifically check that part of the tire to see if anything is lodged in there.
This is a good idea.
If you don't want to get a floor pump at least get a tire gauge made for presta valves. The side wall pressure is simply 0ne half the pressure that it takes to blow the tire off of the rim. Here is a chart to use for tire pressure. https://www.adventurecycling.org/res...SIRX_Heine.pdf
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