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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 09-16-10, 08:49 PM   #1
randomjoy
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is it possible to get a better inner tube, or something?

I pop my tires a LOT, this week alone I can recall 5 flats. So today I go into the store, get a new inner tube and let them replace it (even though I can change a flat in my sleep at this point) but i figured maybe they could do it better and i would get an extra day or 2 out of my tire before patching it up. So after i bike the 10 blocks or so to class, being extra careful, like slowing down when i see a crack in the sidewalk or whatever. get to class, lock it up, and come back an hour later to find it flat... i don't know what to do any more, i love biking, i bike about 100 miles a week, but i cant handle this anymore.

Is there a such thing as a heavy duty inner tube? or can anyone make any other suggestions? I'm pretty sure I'm changing them right, and its just my weight/amount of use I put on it (although who knows..)
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Old 09-16-10, 09:29 PM   #2
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Need more info, Type/age of tire, your weight, did you examine the inside of tire? Drag some cotton wool round it?

Have you even checked if the punctures are happening at the same spot?

Come on, give us something to work with here!
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Old 09-16-10, 09:32 PM   #3
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Have you checked the inside of your tire, to see if anything is poking through?
Once I had a tiny tiny piece of metal wire stuck through the tire, pushing through just a couple millimeters, and it would give me slow flats every time I put a new tube in, or patched one.
Or any burrs on the inside of the rim, or if your rim tape has moved to the side.

Are your tubes always getting punctures in the same spots, or are you getting pinch flats/blowouts?
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Old 09-16-10, 09:44 PM   #4
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Yes, there are heavy walled inner tubes, and slime filled innertubes and tire liners that will most likely help, but as stated before, it's best to know or determine the cause of the flats.

For example:

1) if the hole in the tube occurs at the same location on the outer diameter of the tube, then it is likely that a foreign object is poking your tube. A wire, staple, thorn are common causes.
2) if the hole in the tube occurs at the same location on the inside diameter of the tube, then it is likely that a spoke end is poking your tube.
3) if the tube exhibits "snake eyes", two small holes a few millimeters apart, then it is possible a "pinch" flat, caused by under inflated tires.

It will take some detective work, and a tub of water, but it's worth the investigation.
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Old 09-16-10, 10:01 PM   #5
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Tubes go flat because something punctured them. That's where the detective work starts; figuring out what caused the puncture. Simply replacing the tube does nothing to remove the actual cause of the flats. In addition to the others' questions, we need more info:

1. your weight
2. size of tyres
3. pressure used in tyres

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 09-18-10 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 09-16-10, 10:09 PM   #6
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Tires have a lot to do with it but I agree with the others above that it sounds like you have something in the tire causing the recurring flat.

Look into Gator Hardshells and Armadillo tires if you want some puncture resistance. Thicker tubes are nice but do nothing in regards to preventing something penetrating the tire. All it means is you have an extra .2mm before it goes flat.
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Old 09-16-10, 10:39 PM   #7
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Once you've determined and rectified the cause of the flats (pretty well covered above) see how you go.
Frankly, if your rim strips are in good condition and you don't have any burrs/spoke heads to contend with, cough up a little bit of cash for good quality tires. Do a search on "commuter tire" or "commuting tire" in these forums, where the types, brands, etc have been discussed at length.

It is difficult to help without knowing your body size, bicycle type, wheel/tire size, riding conditions, terrain, etc etc.
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Old 09-16-10, 11:15 PM   #8
randomjoy
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I weigh about 200 lbs, bike is a hybrid, most of my riding is on the road/sidewalk/paths. the tire its self says "700 x 35c, 120 tpi casing folding bead" not sure what any of that means. also normally ride with about 20lbs on the back rack
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Old 09-16-10, 11:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomjoy View Post
I weigh about 200 lbs, bike is a hybrid, most of my riding is on the road/sidewalk/paths. the tire its self says "700 x 35c, 120 tpi casing folding bead" not sure what any of that means. also normally ride with about 20lbs on the back rack
Your weight and 20 lbs on the rack is largely irrelevant unless you're under-inflating your tires. What PSI are you inflating your tires to?

There could be debris left in the tire which is puncturing your tubes over and over again.

Or you need to buy tires with better puncture protection.

What brand and which tire from said brand are on your bike?
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Old 09-17-10, 07:37 PM   #10
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The number one piece of information needed has not been noted above, other than the "snake eye" reference (two punctures near each other, usually small slits). You first need to see what the punctures look like, as well as where they occur on the tire, both in respect to the circumference and whether road, sidewall or rim side. t\There are many more causes than those listed above, but knowing what the puncture looks like narrows it down quickly and tells you whether the same cause is repeating.
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Old 09-18-10, 07:35 AM   #11
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Five flats in a week?

Check your rim tape, possible flaws on your tires, and your installation technique. Do you always mount tires in the same position? Do you inspect the area around the flat every time?

Slits in tubes often means poor technique (you are pinching the tubes).

I use the cheapest tubes I can get ($2 each), and don't have problems with them, unless I install them poorly, or have rim tape issues.
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