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  1. #1
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    New bike - rear tube won't hold air after 156 miles - 220lb rider

    Hello,

    It appear my rear tube won't hold air. I have had the bike for about a week, rode 156 miles so far. It's a brand new GIANT Defy Advanced 3.

    Is losing tubes or getting slow leaks normal for a guy who is 220lbs and dropping (really 218 this morning, but I started a month ago at 228 or so)?

    I considered trying to patch/change it myself, but I think I am just going to let the bike shop do it. Just want to make sure if this is something I should expect until I lose another 40-50 lbs.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1bluetrek's Avatar
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    Its normal for a tire to seep air, I need to inflate every couple of days. But check the tires everytime I ride. You could check for leaks or try a new tube.
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  3. #3
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    It had been holding air fine until last night, now even when I pump it back up, it just leaks back down.

    Never bought a tube yet... hope it's not expensive.

  4. #4
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    Everybody gets flats, usually at the worst possible moment. You really need to learn to replace the inner tube yourself and you need to carry the tools to repair a flat tire (Topeak Road Morph G pump, Pedro's tire levers, spare tube, pre-glued patch kit) on every ride. Buy the tools from your bike shop and get them to show you how to use them.

    As for the why the tire went flat, there are a number of possible reasons. The most common reasons for me are: riding over glass or other debris, pinching the tube between the tire and rim during installation, and failing to check tire pressure before each ride (the dreaded "pinch flat").

  5. #5
    "Fred"--is that bad? DTSCDS's Avatar
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    It depends on what you mean by "hold air". Because of the physics of the thing the tube can't keep up the pressure and so air somehow 'magically' leaks out over time. I pump my tubes up to about 100 psi and then the next day it will be down in the 80-90 psi range. I have to air them up every time I go ride. Now if you can't hold pressure long enough to ride then you have a leak and need to repair/replace the tube. If the tire pressure gets a little low and the tube is getting squashed--especially if you hit a bump--it can get 'pinched' by the rim and you will have to repair/replace it. There are lots of good videos online that will show you how to go about replacing the tube. Pretty simple and can be done in just a few minutes.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Everybody gets flats, usually at the worst possible moment. You really need to learn to replace the inner tube yourself and you need to carry the tools to repair a flat tire (Topeak Road Morph G pump, Pedro's tire levers, spare tube, pre-glued patch kit) on every ride. Buy the tools from your bike shop and get them to show you how to use them.

    As for the why the tire went flat, there are a number of possible reasons. The most common reasons for me are: riding over glass or other debris, pinching the tube between the tire and rim during installation, and failing to check tire pressure before each ride (the dreaded "pinch flat").
    I do have all that stuff, but I figure since I pumped it up last night before bed (to see if it went flat) and came out this morning and it was flat, I am going to let the LBS handle it.

    Or, I suppose I could just buy a tube and change it myself? I know how to get the tire off the one side of the wheel, just not how to get it back on. I am sure youtube can help.

    I have no idea how long tubes are supposed to last. A few hundred miles, a thousand? a few dozen? Worth it to try and patch it, or since it happened here at home, just replace it? Especially at my weight... not sure I want to rely on a patch.

  7. #7
    "Fred"--is that bad? DTSCDS's Avatar
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    People reply too fast as I'm typing...
    Sounds like you need a new tube and a tutorial on replacing it. You should always carry a couple with you so if it happens when you are mile away from home you can fix it on the spot. Not hard to do.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Innes View Post
    I do have all that stuff, but I figure since I pumped it up last night before bed (to see if it went flat) and came out this morning and it was flat, I am going to let the LBS handle it.
    What are you going to do when you get a flat ten miles from home and there's nobody available to come pick you up? In my opinion, you must know how to change a tube if you're going to ride a bicycle...

    Or, I suppose I could just buy a tube and change it myself? I know how to get the tire off the one side of the wheel, just not how to get it back on. I am sure youtube can help.
    The Park Tool website also has lots of good info about bicycle repairs. Don't know if they have tire changing advice, but I'm sure there's tons of info on the web. My local bike shop has a weekly class where they teach new riders how to change a tire.

    I have no idea how long tubes are supposed to last. A few hundred miles, a thousand? a few dozen? Worth it to try and patch it, or since it happened here at home, just replace it? Especially at my weight... not sure I want to rely on a patch.
    Tubes last anywhere from 10 feet to thousands of miles. A lot depends on tube thickness, tube quality, riding conditions (e.g. road debris), and how diligent you are about inflating the tire to the correct pressure before each ride. On the road, I'll generally replaced a bad tube with a new one. I carry a patch kit in case I run out of spare tubes. Many people will repair bad tubes, but I tend to throw them away; I don't want to take the chance of having a patched tube go flat while bombing down a hill at 40mph.

  9. #9
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +1 Learn how to change a tube, or you will at some point, end up stranded. Its really an easy job. Lots of videos on the web.

  10. #10
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    Dear Innes:

    Congratulations on new rig!

    Weight has very little to do with how long tube will last. It could be a piece of road debris stuck in the tire, it could be a slow leak through the valve - Presta valves have a screw-in core that can come loose or to be outright defective. Tubes are not really expensive, have a couple spares on you any time you ride out.

    At this point I would have brought the bike to the LBS to check what is wrong and ask the staff demonstrate how to change a tube and look for debris in the tire and patch a punctured tube. Even if they charge a 10-15 buck service fee - it is well worth it. On the other hand - you just left some dough there - they should be warm and fuzzy to you.

    Patches come in a variety of applications - MTB, Touring, Race, etc. There is a German-made patch kit - the name escapes me now - that makes outstanding stuff that stretches and flexes and generally becomes one.

    Ride safe and have fun.

    SF

    P.S. And while you are at the LBS purchase a frame pump or mini pump rated up to 160psi.
    Last edited by sci_femme; 07-21-09 at 11:38 AM. Reason: added info

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Innes View Post
    I have no idea how long tubes are supposed to last. A few hundred miles, a thousand? a few dozen? Worth it to try and patch it, or since it happened here at home, just replace it? Especially at my weight... not sure I want to rely on a patch.
    I'm a few #s heavier than you and ride a Giant OCR (renamed the Defy). (Not that it matters for the sake of this conversation.)
    Yes, you have to air the tires before each ride. I typically drop from 120psi to 90-100 ish psi overnight My biggest problem with tubes is that I mangle the the thin valve when I air up the tires.
    Personally, I replace tubes when bad. I carry a patch kit (and a spare tube) to get home, but I replace the tube. Hey, a good tube is only around $5 - $10.

    As previously said, tubes can last from 1 mile to 5,000 miles.........depends on many different factors.
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  12. #12
    Member hardd1's Avatar
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    just a minor repair...can happen to any bike
    Last edited by hardd1; 06-03-13 at 07:51 AM.

  13. #13
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    Adding my voice to what everyone else has said: learn to change the tube yourself or you're going to have a very unpleasant experience at some point in the future.

    Do what I did: Take an evening, pull up some tube-changing directions or a video on the internet, and sit down in front of the TV or something and just change your tube over and over. Deflate it, take off the tire, pull out the tube, put it all back together, inflate it, and repeat. Once you do it five or six times it'll really catch on and I guarantee it will save you a lot of time and embarrassment on a future ride.

  14. #14
    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sci_femme View Post
    ...At this point I would have brought the bike to the LBS to check what is wrong and ask the staff demonstrate how to change a tube and look for debris in the tire and patch a punctured tube. Even if they charge a 10-15 buck service fee - it is well worth it. On the other hand - you just left some dough there - they should be warm and fuzzy to you...

    +1

    The videos on youtube are useful, but there's no substitute for watching over someone's shoulder. The LBS mechanic is likely to be really friendly about having you do this; like anyone else they like to show off
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

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    I had 3 thorns.

    The guy at the LBS is really nice and showed me how to change the tube and remount the tire. They also sold me on a tube that accepts Slime, so I got one of those, gonna try it out. I know there are some bad opinions about slime for road bikes, but it sounded like a good experiment.

    I also do carry some "Skabs" patches, tire levers, and a spare tube and pump on my bike. Just a small hand pump, no CO2.

  16. #16
    Senior Member turtlewoman's Avatar
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    Hey Innes,
    Congratulations on learning to change the tire. The only bad thing about Slime really is that you can't patch the tire with it in there because it has a tendancy to ooze out and make the patch not stick. At least that's what they told me at the Collective. I personally haven't tried one with Slime.
    Kate

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    I bought slime tubes but they are kind of heavy...
    It's easy to change tubes and treads once you play around with it. It took me a good hour or so to get comfortable doing it, but I think that evening was well worth it for a future time when I am changing one on the fly 20 miles from home

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Innes View Post
    I also do carry some "Skabs" patches, tire levers, and a spare tube and pump on my bike. Just a small hand pump, no CO2.
    I'd suggest practicing with your tools while at home. My personal experience suggests that if you wait until you're stuck on the side of the road, you'll run into problems... FYI, I highly recommend the following products:

    Topeak Road Morph pump with Gauge if you ride a road bike (700c tires) or a Turbo Morph pump with Gauge if you ride a mountain bike (26" tires). The Road Morph is the only pump I've found that will inflate a tire to 100psi or more without a lot of work. The Turbo Morph is a variation of the Road Morph designed to inflate high-volume tires.

    Pedro's Tire Levers; they're the only ones I've found that won't bend and break at the worst possible moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Pedro's Tire Levers; they're the only ones I've found that won't bend and break at the worst possible moment.
    Love them, better buy three, they snap together into nice little package. Radical solution - tire with aramide (brand name Kevlar) bead, sometimes called foldable tires. You will never touch tire levers again, can change tire with bare hands without breaking the nail

    Ride safe.

    SF

  20. #20
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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    Check on youtube on how to change tubes. Like everyone else said, if you dont know how to fix anything else on your bike, fixing a flat is an absolute pre-requisite if you're gonna ride. Always equipment to get you home like the others mentioned.

    Do have a look on youtube and welcome to bf.
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  21. #21
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    If you're going to practice you might as well do it when you are most likely to get a flat.

    Try practicing on the side of a dark yet busy road during a torrential thunderstorm using the passing headlights of cars as your only light source.

    Then when you mastered that go out on a blazing hot afternoon with absolutely no shade around.

    You might try practicing while sitting in a snowbank as well.

    Of course you will have to practice the best part. Use old inner tubes and use the thinnest needle you can find. Close your eyes and randomly poke holes so you can find them and patch them. Preferably in total darkness. After all not all flats are found at home. They tend to happen at the worst times and in the worst conditions.

    Geez, Now I've done it. Just posting in a flat thread pretty much guarantees I'll have a flat now.

    Update: Just walked by my bike getting ready to go to bed. The front tire is flat.
    Last edited by Tex_Arcana; 07-22-09 at 02:21 AM. Reason: Irony
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sci_femme View Post
    Love them, better buy three, they snap together into nice little package. Radical solution - tire with aramide (brand name Kevlar) bead, sometimes called foldable tires. You will never touch tire levers again, can change tire with bare hands without breaking the nail
    The most difficult tire I've ever had to install was a Continental Ultra Gatorskin 700x25 with a Kevlar bead! I could barely get it on the rim even with tire levers! I think that different brands/models of tires just fit differently; there's nothing magic about a Kevlar bead that guarantees it will be easy to install.

  23. #23
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    First off,the tubes that come with new bikes are cheap and so are the tubes that you get at most shops.

    I switched to using Michelin tubes that I purchase online. I have been running the same tubes at 150 psi for the last 500 miles with no issues......Knocking on wood.

    Second, the LBS is not going to warranty a tube and they are going to charge you out the rear to change it out for you. At my shop the tube is $7 and $7 to change it, takes about a minute to change out.

    This is really how shops make their money, service pays the bills. There really isn't that much of a profit margin on bikes unless you get into custom builds. I have built Orbeas and Colnagos from the frame up that have yielded a serious profit between parts and labor.
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    You need to think of a few parts of your bike as consumables. They will need to be replaced after time and wear.

    Tubes are probably the parts that most frequently need to be replaced. Tubes also aren't expensive and you should really have at least one spare whenever you go on a ride. It's a lot easier to change a tube around to a new one, then take your old one out, patch it on the fly and put it back in.

    It's probably going to be more expensive for the bike shop labour to change the tube than to buy the new tube. If you keep going to the bike shop for this you are going to rack up quite a bill.

    There are video tutorials you can have a look at for free on the web that will show you how to do it. Alternatively you might go to your LBS this once to get it done and ask if you can look over their shoulder as they do it. It's a quick job that they are likely to be able to do while you wait. That way you can see it done first hand by a pro and they can advise you on what tools you need. Pretty much a couple of spare tyres and some tyre levers - but there are good and back tyre levers out there.
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  25. #25
    billyymc
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    Why does everyone think patching a tube is so difficult that they'd rather chuck it and use a new tube?

    I patch them all the time. On short rides, under 20 miles from home, I rarely even take an extra tube. Patching takes -- an additional minute or two to apply the glue and wait for it to dry (yes, I used glue patches, they hold better than pre-glued).

    Anyway...I just dont' get where this "the tube is no good once you've patched it" idea comes from.

    Well, maybe for the guy who is running his tires at 150 psi. Honestly, I never knew there were tires rated for that high.

    Carry a spare tube if you want, but patch the flatted one and use it. Don't chuck it in a landfill just because of a couple small patches.

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