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Old 10-26-10, 07:36 PM   #1
FloridaSurveyor
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Tire fixing skills rusty

My wife and I are getting back into cycling after a hiatus of probably 35 years...I thought the simple skill of changing out a tube would be easy to remember...no such luck.

Trying to put a new tube in a 26" tire. Popped the first one...using an electric air pump and monitoring the pressure with a simple stick guage. The second one never made it past 25 lbs before the area around the stem started to leak.

Should I use a manual floor pump to fill the tire more slowly? Is there something I might be doing to damage the stem?

Any advice for someone whose skills are a bit rusty? Thanks!
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Old 10-26-10, 07:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by FloridaSurveyor View Post
My wife and I are getting back into cycling after a hiatus of probably 35 years...I thought the simple skill of changing out a tube would be easy to remember...no such luck.

Trying to put a new tube in a 26" tire. Popped the first one...using an electric air pump and monitoring the pressure with a simple stick guage. The second one never made it past 25 lbs before the area around the stem started to leak.

Should I use a manual floor pump to fill the tire more slowly? Is there something I might be doing to damage the stem?

Any advice for someone whose skills are a bit rusty? Thanks!
It sounds like you did OK- did you check the edges of the hole in the rim for burrs or sharp edges? Did you use tools to mount the tire?
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Old 10-26-10, 09:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by FloridaSurveyor View Post
My wife and I are getting back into cycling after a hiatus of probably 35 years...I thought the simple skill of changing out a tube would be easy to remember...no such luck.

Trying to put a new tube in a 26" tire. Popped the first one...using an electric air pump and monitoring the pressure with a simple stick guage. The second one never made it past 25 lbs before the area around the stem started to leak.

Should I use a manual floor pump to fill the tire more slowly? Is there something I might be doing to damage the stem?

Any advice for someone whose skills are a bit rusty? Thanks!

It's a bad idea to use an electric pump intended for car tires/swim floats/etc. on bike tires. The bike tire has a much, much smaller volume, and you can go from underinflated to overinflated in the blink of an eye.
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Old 10-26-10, 09:57 PM   #4
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Get a good floor pump that has a guage on it.
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Old 10-27-10, 06:58 AM   #5
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Thanks Folks - I think I will check the stem hole for burrs and take a file to it. I had thought about a good floor pump...the electric pump did seem to inflate too fast and I got past 40 lbs in just an instant...the boom woke me up.

I did use my tire tools, so I think it is all in the way I handled the inflation...and maybe a rough spot on the rim around the stem.

Thanks again...I am really enjoying this forum...glad I found it!
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Old 10-27-10, 08:02 AM   #6
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Basic stuff... Use the tire tool as little as possible. I only use it to dismount the tire, and then only to get it started. I can wrestle most any tire on without tools.
Try to find the leak before removing the tire. Look for that piece of glass, tack, nail, wire, etc. in the tire.
Once the tube is out and you find the leak or hole, mark it with a pen.
If you're repairing, use good quality rubber-cement patches. Properly applied, they are nearly as strong as the original tube.
Before putting the tube back in, go over the interior of the tire thoroughly. Sometimes, the tiny wire piece or thorn or whatever will be invisible from the outside. An old trick is to run a fuzzy cloth (an old towel works well) around the inside of the tire to see if it catches anywhere.
Before putting the tube back in, re-inflate it just enough to get the wrinkles out and let it hold a bit of shape.
This also prevents "pinching' the tube between tire and rim.
Not a bad idea to check your rim as well to see if any spokes are poking through the rim strip.
Re-inflate carefully, making sure that the tire's bead is seated properly.
Use a good floor pump with a pressure gauge.

An annoying flat-causer I've been encountering more and more is tiny bits of steel-belt tire material. Short, tiny pieces of wire that are very hard to spot.
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Old 10-27-10, 09:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
It's a bad idea to use an electric pump intended for car tires/swim floats/etc. on bike tires. The bike tire has a much, much smaller volume, and you can go from underinflated to overinflated in the blink of an eye.
Maybe it depends on the compressor but I've been using a 12V compressor on bike tires for well over 3 years now and am airing up a minimum of 6 tires a week with it. Have yet to have an issue with overinflating or blowing a tube.
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