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  1. #1
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    Getting multiple flats every ride

    So my dad has been trying to get into the whole cycling thing but he's recently faced a problem. He put on Michelin City Tires on his MTB to get rid of the knobbys. He rides an older (~2005) MTB with 26 tires. At first they were fine and he would go out riding at least three to four times a week and enjoying it. All was swell. Then, he got a huge spurt of flat tires. First started off once every other ride but then it would be multiple in the same ride. He quickly got frustrated and gave up. Now, any time he tries to ride, he get's a flat tire. Yesterday, he tired commuting to work (which is only 5 miles) and he got 2 flats on the way home and had to walk about 3 miles. He's a big guy, don't know his exact weight but at least 260. He doesn't inflate his tires before every ride even though I tell him to, so pinch flats might be a reason. But I rode with him once and inflated his tires and he still got 2 flats in 40 miles. I'm thinking either the tires need to be replaced with something more heavy duty. Or there's something lodges in the rims. I really don't know. And the tires have been checked for glass and everything each time before a new tube is installed.

    Thinking this would be an appropriate place to ask as there are a lot of people with experience.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 99Klein's Avatar
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    Check rim strips, inside of the rim and turn the tires inside out as much as possible when checking. There could be something in the tire that doesn't protrude without pressure. Also, inflate to the tires maximum pressure.
    When you argue with an idiot, from a bystanders point of view, it may be hard to discern which is the idiot. (dis·cern: Verb - Perceive or recognize)

  3. #3
    Senior Member seymour1910's Avatar
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    Yes inspect the rims closely and make sure there are no jagged edges anywhere in the rim. Check the rim strips and consider new, better rim strips.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Agree with the above. Look at the tubes for clues to the cause (hole, tear, snake bite, etc.). And line up the valve with the label on the tire so you know what part of the tire and rim to inspect when he flats. Also, how/where you ride makes a big difference. It took me years to get my wife out of the gutter. We'd ride together and she'd get 10x the number of flats running the same tires on the same route even though I've got 100 lbs. on her. Just another thing to consider.

  5. #5
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    Part of fixing a flat is finding what caused it. (Which is why I'm always skeptical of those "I fix a flat in two minutes!" claims.) Sounds like your dad hasn't found it. A sliver of glass can cause multiple flats, as can a small bit of wire (Michelin wire), exposed spoke, rough plastic rim strip, or even a broken tire. Find what caused it, fix it, and that should be the end of the problem -- at least until the next flat!

  6. #6
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    Try to determine the cause of each flat.

    Mount the tire with the tire label at the valve stem in the rim.

    Once you locate the hole in a flat tube , find the area on the tire or rim that it matches.

    This blowout occurred after the tube was installed being pinched between the tire bead and rim.

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  7. #7
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    if its on a MTB, then run ghetto tubeless method with Stan's. You won't get flats anymore and you won't burp air out if riding on just the road. The hard part will be finding some 20" BMX tubes with removable presta valves. But here's a head start
    http://www.amazon.com/Schwalbe-Bicyc...ds=schwalbe+20


  8. #8
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    Yea, I'm gonna check the rim strips. I figured that might be it since I've heard it can be a silent killer. While stepping out the door just now, I checked the tire and saw a piece of glass caught in the tire. So there's the reason for one if not both of the tire flats during his last ride (probably didn't check for it before replacing the tube). Some weeks back while riding with him, he got a flat on the back tire. We checked the tire and didn't find anything. About 5 miles later he got a flat but this time on the front tire. Had no more tubes so we called it a day. As I was checking the tire today, I noticed a fairly large amount of cuts in the tire. If I can't find anything on the strips, replacing the tires might be the best solution. My road bike's current tires has 2000 miles, 0 flats, and 1 tear on each tire. His tires have maybe 200 miles and at least 10 flats, and 5-6 tears on each tire.

  9. #9
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvall91 View Post
    So my dad has been trying to get into the whole cycling thing but he's recently faced a problem. He put on Michelin City Tires on his MTB to get rid of the knobbys. He rides an older (~2005) MTB with 26 tires. At first they were fine and he would go out riding at least three to four times a week and enjoying it. All was swell. Then, he got a huge spurt of flat tires. First started off once every other ride but then it would be multiple in the same ride. He quickly got frustrated and gave up. Now, any time he tries to ride, he get's a flat tire. Yesterday, he tired commuting to work (which is only 5 miles) and he got 2 flats on the way home and had to walk about 3 miles. He's a big guy, don't know his exact weight but at least 260. He doesn't inflate his tires before every ride even though I tell him to, so pinch flats might be a reason. But I rode with him once and inflated his tires and he still got 2 flats in 40 miles. I'm thinking either the tires need to be replaced with something more heavy duty. Or there's something lodges in the rims. I really don't know. And the tires have been checked for glass and everything each time before a new tube is installed.

    Thinking this would be an appropriate place to ask as there are a lot of people with experience.
    Weighing 260 won't cause punctures in and of itself. I started riding at more like 290 (now about 230) and to date (nearly 4 years and about 6000 miles) have had one puncture.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    Part of fixing a flat is finding what caused it. (Which is why I'm always skeptical of those "I fix a flat in two minutes!" claims.) Sounds like your dad hasn't found it. A sliver of glass can cause multiple flats, as can a small bit of wire (Michelin wire), exposed spoke, rough plastic rim strip, or even a broken tire. Find what caused it, fix it, and that should be the end of the problem -- at least until the next flat!
    +1. I am proof that even an experienced rider can miss something stuck in the tire that causes repeated flats. Last month I flatted, changed on the fly and woke up the next morning with another flat. It was only after a thorough investigation that I finally found the most minute chard of glass I had ever encountered.

    I have read several journals where people talk about having numerous flats during a ride. One guy chalked up his SEVEN flats in one day to "bad luck." I find that impossible to believe.

  11. #11
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires have a belt of Kryptonite in the tread. This deflects glass, thorns and sharp little wires. My two bikes have Marathon Racer, and Schwalbe Dureme tires. I only get occasional flats.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  12. #12
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires have a belt of Kryptonite in the tread. This deflects glass, thorns and sharp little wires. My two bikes have Marathon Racer, and Schwalbe Dureme tires. I only get occasional flats.
    Kryptonite really exists? Keep Superman away from those tires or he will be useless.
    Move along....nothing to see here....anymore.

  13. #13
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    I usually ride a road bike (280lbs) and in 3000 miles Ive had a total of 4 flats. This fall I tried my hand at a MTB and had 6 flats in the first 50 miles. I installed these tubes:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ENOPOA

    No more flats

  14. #14
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
    Kryptonite really exists? Keep Superman away from those tires or he will be useless.
    Superman really exists?

    Craig in Indy

  15. #15
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    I had a tire that would go flat within 100 miles every time. I changed tubes, changed rim strips, carefully went over every mm of the rim and tire inside and out but still got flats. I always orient the tire to the valve and use a Sharpie metalic marker to indicte the direction of rotation on the tube. This helped me identify that the holes were occuring in just about the same location each time. I was about to toss the tire when someone suggested that I turn the tire completely inside out to inspect it. I did and when I did the cotton ball test I found a tiny bit of metal, like the tip of a pin, embedded in the rubber. With the tire right side out it had passed the cotton ball, eye ball and finger tip tests, but inside out the point just barely came above the surface. My theory is that with the compression on each wheel rotation the tip of the pin just touched the tube, eventually wearing a small hole. I was able to extract the offending bit and the tire lasted the rest of the season without another flat.

    The point (no pun intended) is that the things that cause flats can be sneaky, so you have to be very diligent in seeking them out.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  16. #16
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    Well I took a closer look at the rear tire today. Found multiple things but nothing seemed to be the result for, at least, the last flat. Maybe these caused some others. In two of the tire rips, I found a small glass, and a tiny pointed rock. Checked for the location of the tube hole and found it to be on the bottom where the tube touched the rim. So the glass and rock didn't cause this flat. I inspected the rim and tape thoroughly and did not find any abnormalities. So I'm thinking pinch flat? I noticed his front tire was very low on air so I assumed the rear tire was in the same shape. The front seemed to be inflated to 20-30 psi and I'm sure that can be a problem regardless of weight. I patched up the tube, set it in the tire again, slowly just in case, and started pumping. Halfway through, I checked to make sure the tire was set in properly and then see this (see picture). Clearly the tires ripped at that section and the tube started popping out through there while inflating. So now new tires immediately come to mind.

    IMAG0017.jpg

    Any recommendations for a good set around maybe $60 for the pair? Would be for road/commuting use.

  17. #17
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    cvall91, without ever having ridden with your dad, I'm wondering if he ever makes any attempt to avoid debris in the road. Maybe, thinking it is a MTB, he thinks he can just roll through junk in the street, especially those little triangle areas at intersections that never get any vehicular taffic. You've ridden with him, so you know how he rides.

    I went through a stretch this past year when I got a lot of flats. No rips in the tires, nothing inside the tires, (I would have felt it when I ran my fingers through). Finally, getting fed up, I got new 'hardcase' tires. This is on a road bike. The tires are heavier than normal road tires, but it put a stop to my flatting. Surely, something like hardcase tires are available in 26" sizes.

    Good luck. It can be very frustrating. It would be a shame for your dad to give up riding because of this.
    Deut 6:5

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  18. #18
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvall91 View Post
    Dang! That's nasty. And, those are new tires??? Maybe you can take the back to the shop where you got them?

    You've scared me now. I just put a set of those same exact tires on my ol' non-suspension MTB a couple months back. Haven't riden the thing since putting the new tires on. Maybe I shouldn't.
    Deut 6:5

    ---

    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
    - Vizzini during his "battle of wits" with the Man in Black

  19. #19
    MAK
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    After you check the rim and the rim strip, try wadding up a couple or cotton balls and then rubbing the inside of the tire. Even the smallest bit of glass/wire/whatever will snag the cotton and you'll have found your problem.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by volosong View Post
    cvall91, without ever having ridden with your dad, I'm wondering if he ever makes any attempt to avoid debris in the road. Maybe, thinking it is a MTB, he thinks he can just roll through junk in the street, especially those little triangle areas at intersections that never get any vehicular taffic. You've ridden with him, so you know how he rides.
    This is his exact mentality lol. He enjoys riding over anything I avoid on my road bike. And sometimes rides up grass banks next to MUP's. He's a big child. He enjoys it and that's why I want to fix this. He was really into biking before all this and he would go out all the time. I was happy too since he wouldn't get any other form of exercise before. So either find another pair of city tires, or switch back to knobby's.

    Quote Originally Posted by volosong View Post
    Dang! That's nasty. And, those are new tires??? Maybe you can take the back to the shop where you got them?

    You've scared me now. I just put a set of those same exact tires on my ol' non-suspension MTB a couple months back. Haven't riden the thing since putting the new tires on. Maybe I shouldn't.
    He bought them online and they have about 200 miles. They have gotten good reviews so I thought they were a good set of tires. But people tend to have different experiences with tires. Some never get flats during the life of the tire, others get flats the second they put the same tire on.

    Quote Originally Posted by MAK View Post
    After you check the rim and the rim strip, try wadding up a couple or cotton balls and then rubbing the inside of the tire. Even the smallest bit of glass/wire/whatever will snag the cotton and you'll have found your problem.
    I'm gonna try this out, even though the tires are done for anyways. Just out of curiosity and to learn for the future.

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