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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 04-24-14, 12:58 PM   #1
tjkris
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Bad quality tubes?

I'm a newbie here, but when I lived in Colorado for about 10yrs, I was a serious rider. Couple of century rides, trips into the mountains, that sort of thing. Pretty much, I did my own servicing. Now, I'm old and fat for lack of activity, and my bike is just old, so I donated it to Goodwill. Yeah, it kinda hurt.

My wife and I decided to be less fat, though not less old, by getting a couple of bikes again. We went to a big box store (yes, I know, but it's all we could do) a couple of months back and got what to me looked like the best option for us.

So, here's the issue. I have a feeling I know what's going on, but feedback is always nice. We've been able to get out several times for rides. My wife likes short slow rides, when I'm alone, I can't stop myself from riding like I used to, so mine has more miles on it. As soon as we got the bikes I noticed that the tire would only hold an acceptable pressure in the tires for a couple of weeks. I did the usual: test the stems, inflate and check for bubbles, run the liners, run the insides of the tires. Nada. All 4 tubes are CST, which, from all the 'five star' opinions, seems to have a good rep for their tires, but when I went to search for the tubes, I couldn't find any info. I suspect that CST tubes blow, or leak, as is the case here -- particularly I suspect this because of where we got the bikes. I'm thinking there's a quality problem with these tubes, and I need to get all new tubes. Can any one give me feedback on CST tubes? Am I on the right track?

I'd be grateful for any direction. I don't mine reinflating the tires each time we use the bikes, but I sure don't enjoy it!

Thanks all,
Tim
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Old 04-24-14, 01:05 PM   #2
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If I get corrected on this we'll both learn something, but no tire holds air forever. Rubber is somewhat porous, and the thinner it is, the more so. Nobody expects a balloon to hold air forever. Car tires do better because they're thick, but they need to have air added every so often. If you get two weeks without having to pump up a bike tire you're doing better than me; I add a couple of strokes every few days. Because the hills are hard enough already.
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Old 04-24-14, 01:10 PM   #3
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What you are experiencing is normal. Road bike tires need to be pumped up before each ride, or every day whichever comes first. Larger tires not that often, more like every third day.
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Old 04-24-14, 01:16 PM   #4
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I top off my tires every time I ride.
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Old 04-24-14, 01:50 PM   #5
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What size tires do you have?
My high pressure road tires 622-25mm I top off ever 2nd or 3rd day, cuz I'm lazy. (100/110 psi) (down to about 85-90)
My 26x1.25" tires on my grocery getter get topped off about every 7-10 days (or down to about 70-75 PSI cuz I'm lazy) (90ish PSI)

IF I plan on doing a lot of miles on my hybrid on a specific day, I top off no matter what and add an extra 10 PSI.
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Old 04-24-14, 01:54 PM   #6
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I top off my tires every time I ride.
+1
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Old 04-24-14, 02:23 PM   #7
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Thorn resistant tubes hold air longer because they are WAY thicker than standard ones , so weigh more and cost more .

rubber is a porous material , more of it will take longer for the air molecules to seep through ..
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Old 04-24-14, 02:57 PM   #8
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You don't need new tubes; you need a better pump. Get a floor pump with a gauge and pumping up the tires will be a breeze. I have Joe Blow Sport, and it has been working fine for about 10 years now. I think I spent $20 on it, but it's probably more now
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Old 04-24-14, 03:04 PM   #9
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the narrower the tire, the more the pressure, the faster it loses air. probably some guy by the name of bernoulli or venturi (not Ken) proved the principle a couple of hundred years ago. i don't remember, even though i may have been there.

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Old 04-24-14, 04:27 PM   #10
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You didn't state what tires/pressures you are using, BUT-
A decent floor pump makes it a less disgusting task.
Trying to pump a MB tire to 50-60 PSI with a pump that starts to strain at 40 is a total PITA.

I still keep my "cheap" pump. It provides a lot more air when initially inflating larger size tires. Once it starts to "fight me", I switch over to the "good" pump.
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Old 04-24-14, 05:21 PM   #11
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You folks are EXCELLENT! I didn't notice it with my racing bike, but I'm just using a touring bike that's a lot lower pressure. It feels like riding through sand when the pressure starts to fall. So, if I get what y'all are saying, relax, it's normal!

FYI, I do use a floor foot pump that I dug out. I don't remember anything about it, except that it could handle the 110PSI back when, it was built like an engine block, and it was small enough to fit in a waterproofed bag behind the seat -- there was no way I was going to pump up to that kind of pressure by hand. And the tires are 26 x 1.95.

My girls remember my old bike. Now, apparently, I ride an old man's bike -- and, my wife's has a bell. If only I was kidding.

I'm grateful to all.

Tim
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Old 04-24-14, 05:30 PM   #12
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Now, apparently, I ride an old man's bike -- and, my wife's has a bell. If only I was kidding.
As few strokes w/ a floor pump every couple of days is a good pre-ride warm up, and prevents pinch flats.

You should get a bell, I have them on all of my bikes.
Nothing like a nice "Ding!" to remind one that riding bicycles is a childish activity, not penance or work.

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Last edited by Bandera; 04-24-14 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 04-24-14, 06:51 PM   #13
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.........
FYI, I do use a floor foot pump that I dug out. I don't remember anything about it, except that it could handle the 110PSI back when, it was built like an engine block, and it was small enough to fit in a waterproofed bag behind the seat -- there was no way I was going to pump up to that kind of pressure by hand. And the tires are 26 x 1.95......
A FLOOR pump that fits in the bag behind your seat?
You must have very small floors?
Get a "real" floor pump for that size tire.
Foot pump just delivers too small of a volume.

Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 04-24-14 at 06:54 PM.
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