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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-27-09, 05:48 PM   #1
fit24hrs
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So I found no hole...

Today was the first day I rode my new (to me) Everti ti-fighter cross bike to work. I parked it where I always park, in a locked storage area for bikes across the street. After work, I come to see that my front tire flat. I've flatted that tire this past weekend and patched the tube to so I figured I must've not cleared the tire well and re-punched a small hole in the tube my way to work that slowly leaked out by the end of the day. I called my wife and she picks me and my bike up. Well, just now, I could not find a hole. My only other hypothesis is someone, a fellow bike commuter, was casing my bike and flatted my tire hoping I'd leave my bike there overnight so he could cut the lock with a grinder after hours.

Any other theories?

I really hope my tire is flat tomorrow morning. Then I'll know the tube is bad rather than the place I park.
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Old 07-27-09, 06:00 PM   #2
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I had a mysterious flat routine when I rode my "strictly" offroader (dual suspension with some awesome knobbies on it) for a couple weeks to work as my hardtail mtb that I use to commute (has 1.5 tires on it with "flak jacket" puncture resistance and has deep thick treads) was down for the 8-count for a bit for repair - and so I fixed the flats - not seeing anything really - BUT not taking the tire off and examining it thoroughly.

Then road a (running) marathon where I officiate the lead female and fek - had a flat - repaired FAST and jumped back on only to go flat again - all I could do was repump up the tire - ran out of CO2 - road across the finish line with my charge and I walked that bike home with a flat.

Rather P'O'd about it - I had time to put the tube in water to discover there was an eensy weensy pinhole in it - and so I measured back to where it would have been on the tire and unfolded the tire and finally found a stupid hardened piece of extremely thin shred of aluminum - smaller than a staple - that was hanging in on the inside of the tire by a minute amount - I mean I took a magnifying glass to it. AND it took a pair of pliers and some good ole fashion muscle to pull that stupid thing out too! And by reinflating my tube to it's full maximum eventually put this stupid little thing farther into the hole - or made new holes so finally it wouldn't hold any air at all. Let me say - that day was darn frustrating!!!

Wiping my fingers down the inside of the tire after a flat did not catch this nasty thing, it took sitting down with my tire in the grass and a strong light and magnifying glass to find it!

Perhaps you have a similar thing ...
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Old 07-27-09, 06:21 PM   #3
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I think you're being a bit paranoid. I, for one, would never assume that a just letting the air out of someones tire would disable the bike. Most commuters carry spare tubes, pumps, patch kits, etc.

I've had a couple of flats at work. I usually make a point of going over to the storage area (which is inside our offices) sometime after lunch just to see what the tire pressures are like. If one of the tires is flat (or even just a little soft), I swap the tube out for the spare that I keep in the office (I also have one in my seat bag).

I then blow up the old tube and find the hole (BTW, whiteout works great for marking holes) and patch the tube. Once the tube is patched, I blow it up to a reasonably large size and leave it in the corner. If the tube is still solid the next day, I deflate it and it becomes the "office spare". Otherwise I stop at the bike shop on the way home and get another tube. So far this has only happened when the failure has been too close to the valve to patch.

Last edited by mr_antares; 07-27-09 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 07-27-09, 06:24 PM   #4
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Check the tire in water and if there is a hole, find the same location on the tire. The wire Tude is talking about, is from a steel belted tire. When people run the tires too long and the fly apart, the little steel wires get sliced up and get allover the place.
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Old 07-27-09, 06:31 PM   #5
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I've had slow leaks that I couldn't find, even in water. I hate to do it, but those tubes get trashed.
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Old 07-27-09, 06:54 PM   #6
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Perhaps I am being paranoid. I did check it in water and came up with nothing. When I was checking the tire, I did find a minuscule thorn inside the tire. I mean, this thing was small, but we'll see. Hopefully, it's flat tomorrow and I'll just toss the tube.
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Old 07-27-09, 07:06 PM   #7
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It's rare, but I've also encoutered an intermittent valve leak. I presume a tiny bit of dirt got stuck inside the valve and resulted in a slow leak. Pumping up the tire can dislodge the dirt and the leak disappears. I'd really doubt that anyone would use a fake flat as a way to steal a bike.
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Old 07-28-09, 06:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fit24hrs View Post
Perhaps I am being paranoid. I did check it in water and came up with nothing. When I was checking the tire, I did find a minuscule thorn inside the tire. I mean, this thing was small, but we'll see. Hopefully, it's flat tomorrow and I'll just toss the tube.
I've had an unidentifiable leak before due to a bad patch job.

You don't carry a spare tube and pump with you?
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Old 07-28-09, 08:27 AM   #9
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Maybe there isn't a hole.

Is this a tire with a schrader valve? I've had the valve stem on a schrader valve stick and not fully spring closed after I had pumped air into the tire, which slowly deflated the tire. On a slow leak, it would be barely audible.
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Old 07-28-09, 09:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_antares View Post
I think you're being a bit paranoid.
If I had your bike I would be paranoid also, nice ride btw. I have had set of tires that had a very small tear, just barely visible, in the sidewall that kept doing this. I went through 3 tubes and a couple patch jobs before figuring this out. I booted it and never had a problem again.
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