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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-13-11, 06:39 AM   #1
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A flat tire, but why?

I've been riding now for abotu two years, and haven't had a flat before last night. PArt of the reason for my good luck so far is that I use fairly beefy tires (700x32 or 700x35) with a skin in them.

Until last night...

I had spent a few minutes at home, adjusting my rear brakes before the ride. They were grippy/stoppy enough, but the lever didn't spring back quickly enough after I pushed it in for my liking. So, some attention to the springs and cantilevers and such was in order.

Then I started riding. After about 3/10 of a mile, I pulled over because I heard a noise on every revolution of the rear wheel. Turns out the brakes were grabbing. Looking at the rear tire, I could see a spot where the sidewall was bulging right at the rim -- and the bulge was rubbing against the top of the brake pad. "Uh-oh," I said to myself, "that doesn't look good." Kept on riding, hit a bump about twenty feet later, heard a whoosh, and the tire had gone all the way flat.

The thing that surprised me when I got the bike home and changed the tire was that I couldn't find any sidewall problems! I had expected there to be a spot where the sidewall was stretched or torn or something -- no, it all looked fine. The tube itself has one hole, not the two I would expect from a pinch bite.

Comments? Ideas
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Old 06-13-11, 07:19 AM   #2
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The bulge sounds the likely culprit. If the tires aren't fully clinched onto the rim, it won't hold up and keep the tube safe when you hit a bump. I've had this happen with old tires that were too worn out to hold onto the rim.
But I wonder why it was bulging? Is the bead worn? Is the wheel out of true causing the tire to rub on the brakes?
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Old 06-13-11, 07:20 AM   #3
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Two words-
Global Warming...
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Old 06-14-11, 09:20 PM   #4
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On further inspection, I found the problem on the tire: the bead at the sidewall was just ripping through.


So it's off to REI with my shredded tire and my membership card, to hope that their return policy is as good as it is reputed to be.
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Old 06-14-11, 10:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
On further inspection, I found the problem on the tire: the bead at the sidewall was just ripping through.


So it's off to REI with my shredded tire and my membership card, to hope that their return policy is as good as it is reputed to be.

New tire, or a 2 year old tire? If it's two years old, would you expect REI to replace it? I don't see any mention of a recent purchase on the damaged tire.
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Old 06-14-11, 10:20 PM   #6
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When you adjusted your brakes, did you check to see if (due to pad wear) they were lapping over the rim bead. Easy check: Is there a "ridge" of pad at the top edge of the brake pad, or is it perfectly flat?

If it's got that ridge, then the sidewall damage at the bead is from the pad edge slicing the sidewall.
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Old 06-15-11, 05:43 AM   #7
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New tire, or a 2 year old tire? If it's two years old, would you expect REI to replace it? I don't see any mention of a recent purchase on the damaged tire.
Low-mileage, anyway. These aren't the tires that came with the bike; these aren't the tires that I did the 300 mile tour on. I put them on the bike last autumn, then winter came; I figure I don't have over 200 miles on them.
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Old 06-15-11, 07:00 AM   #8
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In the pic it looks like there is still a bit of that bead/seam thing that is left over from the manufacturing process; so there can't be too many miles on it.
Michelin tire?
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Old 06-15-11, 07:19 AM   #9
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Low-mileage, anyway. These aren't the tires that came with the bike; these aren't the tires that I did the 300 mile tour on. I put them on the bike last autumn, then winter came; I figure I don't have over 200 miles on them.
I see. I thought you were talking 2 yo tires. I thought if they take those back, I'll take mine back when they wear out.
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