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  1. #1
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    I have to replace a tube every ride

    Hi all. Very new to road cycling. I'm 6'-6" and 265lb. I have been on 5 rides (15-20 miles each) now with my new bike and have had to replace a tube on every one. I usually run around 95-105 psi in the tubes. I'm sure my weight has a lot to do with it, but is this normal? I just ordered some of these which I hope will help. Anyone have a similar experience or suggestions?

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    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    What size tires?
    What brand/model tires?

    What kind of flat: There are many varieties...
    - Snakebite/pinch flat. Indicative of low inflation pressure. Evidence: (usually) 2 holes on the outside of the tube, where the tube was pinched between the tire and rim.

    - Debris flat. Ya just ran something over. Evidence: Hole in tire, may still have debris lodged in hole. You need to remove the offending item completely (check through the inside of the tire) or you risk having it cause the exact same flat on a replacement tube.

    - Rim flat. Either your rim strip is out of place (evidence: catastrophic blowout on rim side of tube, shifted rim strip) or a long/loose spoke poked through (hole in rim strip; should never happen with properly built wheels).
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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    What tires, tubes, and wheels are you currently using? Was is the max recommended PSI for the tire?

    If you are constantly flatting, you are either installing the tubes incorrectly or you have something sharp in your wheel or tire (thorn, metal shaving, etc.). Take your tire off and bend it backward as you probe the inside with your finger. Also check your wheel... there should be some form of protection covering the spokes & there shouldn't be any dust or debris in the wheel rim.

    Edit:

    Oh yes -> some tires just have poor puncture resistance. However, you are either very unlucky or have one of the problems listed above.

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    Senior Member tardman91's Avatar
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    Somethings up, because I weigh more than you and haven't had to replace a tube yet. I run about 110psi in my tires with a max inflation of 145psi. Weight shouldn't be a factor in your case.

  5. #5
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    i'm 6'4"259 and i ride conti gp4000 regular performancebikes tubes 120psi and have not had a flat in a couple months maybe u have something in the tire or your installing the tube wrong. its not your size i think it could be something with the tire or spokes. good luck. dont get discouraged

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post
    If you are constantly flatting, you are either installing the tubes incorrectly or you have something sharp in your wheel or tire (thorn, metal shaving, etc.).
    Almost certainly. Or you could have a small cut in the tire.

    In addition to the probe Greg suggests, the next time you get a flat. remove the entire tube except for valve stem portion. Inflate the tube good and look (and listen) for the puncture. Since the tube will expand greatly outside the tire you won't know exactly where to inspect the tire for problems, bit it might lead you to the general vicinity.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

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    My tires are Vittoria Rubino Pro 700X23cand all of my flats have been tiny pinhole punctures within the top 1 inch of the tire/tube. I feel somewhat foolish, but I have not thoroughly inspected the tire for debris that may be lodged in it. I appreciate all of the help!

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    lol, i know how you feel i had a post here last week entitled WTF tires are you using and WTF am i doing wrong because I'm also about 250 lbs and was getting flats like crazy. I have armadillos and i was also having trouble with the tire staying seated on the rim. I seem to have kicked the problem now though.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    I'm running those Frote tubes on my commuter. They are heavy and can be a pain to mount because they are pretty bulky but they work.

    As others said, inspect everything really well before installing the new tubes. Also, always line up the tire's logo with the valve stem. That way, when you flat, you can find the puncture in the tube and have a point of reference to find where to look on the tire or rim to see if whatever caused the puncture is still there.

  10. #10
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shatho View Post
    My tires are Vittoria Rubino Pro 700X23cand all of my flats have been tiny pinhole punctures within the top 1 inch of the tire/tube. I feel somewhat foolish, but I have not thoroughly inspected the tire for debris that may be lodged in it. I appreciate all of the help!
    One of the big helful tips is to postition the valve stem lined up with the tire label. While fixing a flat, it is easy to trace down the offender once you locate the puncture in the tube. Even if you are out on the road, find the dbris. I've seen way to many take it for granted the new tube will last without removing the debris, then end up flatting another mile down the road. You MUST remove the debris.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    can anyone say ... rim tape? get the thick cloth type
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    can anyone say ... rim tape? get the thick cloth type
    Ummm, what does rim tape have to do with debris punctures? Rim tape protects the tube from punctures caused by spoke holes.

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    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    To help you find a tiny offending object, pull apart a cotton ball and fluff it up. Gently brush the fluffed cotton through the inside of your tire. The cotton fibers will snag on the object and get pulled out of the ball. Remove the object. Sometimes they are a pain to find.

    Flats are nothing to get frustrated over. I've gone over a year without a flat then had 4 flats in a week.

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    oh sorry I didn't realize he was getting flats from debris. for me, the mysterious repetitive flats sounds like what I was getting last year with bad rim tape when I started using high pressure tires. mounting them was fine but after riding for a while the tube would eventually work its way into the spoke hole and tear. it took a few flats before I discovered what was happening.
    Last edited by rumrunn6; 03-29-10 at 02:45 PM.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  15. #15
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    oh sorry I didn't realize he was getting flats from debris. for me, the mysterious repetitive flats sounds like what I was getting last year with bad rim tape when I started using high pressure tires. mounting them was fine but after riding for a while the tube would eventually work its way into the spoke hole a tear. it took a few flats before I discovered what was happening.
    Ah , I see! But that is a very very very important issue that so many overlook! I've seen comments in other threads, "but it's new bike it shouldn't be the rimstrip". Yeah ok, that plastic stock junk they use aint always that hot! ANd that's if they installed it correctly!

    I thougth maybe you meant to say tire liner. I've had BAD TERRIBLE luck with Tuffy Strips. The edge of the liner itself would cut into my tube! I tried filing it, trimming it,putting tape over it, reverse ovelapping, but still cuts my tubes. Must be my weight as it happens on our tandem also. My friend (160lbs) swears by them.

    They do offer a cloth liner now but I've never tried one. After working at a steel company for a few years, I learned the kevlar gloves protect form slices but not punctures. So I wonder about kevlar type liners, I dunno but they are expensive.
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 03-29-10 at 02:44 PM. Reason: I'm startingto think my typingsucks!

  16. #16
    Senior Member mwchandler21's Avatar
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    When I was in college, I had a fall semester where I had a severe case of bronchitus and quit riding. I gained some weight and I got back on the bike without problems and quickly wrecked forcing me to buy a new wheel. I didn't ride much in the spring but later that summer I started riding again, but had flats every time. I came to the conclusion that I was too fat and gave up riding. Last year I decided to give it another go. I put fresh tubes and inflated it and it popped. I did it again same result. The cheap rim tape in the new wheel wasn't doing its job and basically cost me 5 years of riding. So please don't think its because of your weight if you can't find the problem take it to the LBS and they should be able to find it, probably something pretty simple like bad rim tape or a piece of glass in the tire.

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    I had a similar problem for a while before I finally found what looked like a tiny piece of a staple or thumbtack stuck in the tire. It was small enough that I didn't see it but large enough to just barely scrape and eventually puncture the tube. I patched the tube several times. Since I removed the offending object, the tube has been just fine for the last 1500 miles or so, even with all its patches.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    To help you find a tiny offending object, pull apart a cotton ball and fluff it up. Gently brush the fluffed cotton through the inside of your tire. The cotton fibers will snag on the object and get pulled out of the ball. Remove the object. Sometimes they are a pain to find.
    Excellent idea!
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

  19. #19
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Rubino's are a fairly soft tire, especially for a 250+ clyde.. You most likely are getting pinch flats from too little tire pressure.. Rubino and Rubino Pros are rated at 130psi or 145 psi for rubino pros.. When I was using the Pros, I was putting 130psi in them.. Did not seem to get anymore flats than normal using those tires..

  20. #20
    A Mountaineering thing Hillbasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    I'm running those Frote tubes on my commuter. They are heavy and can be a pain to mount because they are pretty bulky but they work.

    As others said, inspect everything really well before installing the new tubes. Also, always line up the tire's logo with the valve stem. That way, when you flat, you can find the puncture in the tube and have a point of reference to find where to look on the tire or rim to see if whatever caused the puncture is still there.
    Good point,glad I thought of it.

  21. #21
    A Mountaineering thing Hillbasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    To help you find a tiny offending object, pull apart a cotton ball and fluff it up. Gently brush the fluffed cotton through the inside of your tire. The cotton fibers will snag on the object and get pulled out of the ball. Remove the object. Sometimes they are a pain to find.
    Yes, but only if one has the forsight to carry around cotton balls on a ride. Not in most riders bags under their saddles. The only balls I take on every ride sure as hell are not getting brushed on the inside of my tires, or anyone elses fot that matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbasher View Post
    Yes, but only if one has the forsight to carry around cotton balls on a ride. Not in most riders bags under their saddles.
    I've got one in my flat kit. It weighs nothing, takes up no space, and is a heck of a lot better at finding the really fine wires that make their way through tires than my fingers are. They're dirt cheap, and widely available. No excuse not to carry one.

  23. #23
    A Mountaineering thing Hillbasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dscheidt View Post
    I've got one in my flat kit. It weighs nothing, takes up no space, and is a heck of a lot better at finding the really fine wires that make their way through tires than my fingers are. They're dirt cheap, and widely available. No excuse not to carry one.
    Excellant point and I am adding one to mine as of right now.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbasher View Post
    Excellant point and I am adding one to mine as of right now.
    There you go. (I was wrong: there is an excuse. "I didn't think of it".)

    The other thing that I've used to find debris in the tire is a used cigarette filter. Sadly, they're not hard to find. bit disgusting, but hey, it's better than a second quick flat.

  25. #25
    Seņor Member atoms's Avatar
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    And get a patch kit! There is no reason to replace a tube unless there is a catastrophic tear or your valve is blown out or something.

    Sometimes, if the source of the puncture is obvious from the outside you can patch a hole without removing the wheel and actually be on your way faster than you would be swapping in a new tube.

    Cotton ball! I hope I remember to steal one from the wyfe tonight!
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