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Old 09-05-06, 08:25 AM   #1
will dehne
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Never too old to learn. A Flat story.

It is Sunday in Ohio and a beautiful day. I say good by to my Family and go on this fast century ride from Springfield to Cincinnati at my fastest speed using a Trek Hybrid with aerobars but 700 x 38 tires.
I love that bike and have had no flats for at least three years of consistent use.
Well, this was the day. Ten miles into the ride the rear started bouncing and it took my a while to realize that this was a flat. OK, no sweat, I have all the tools and a spare. Sit down and remove tire and tube. The valve stem came off the tube. Hmmm....., must be old I think. Study the inside of the tire. Looks fine. No nail, no glass, no wire. Install new tube. New tube does not hold air. What is going on? Must be the pump. It is one of these small bike mounted pumps. Have never used it. Have never had a flat with that bike.
There come my Family on a Tandem bike. They have another pump. Nope. Tube does not hold air. Take tube out. Two little punctures. What the devil is going on? Use a tube fix kit to repair tube. Nope, does not hold air. Use the Tandem and bike to a LBS, 5 miles.
Closed for the weekend. I give up, out of time.
Use the Tandem to get the car.
Came Home and sit down to find the problem. The wheel rim had two small nicks where the two punctures were on the second tube. It took good lights to see that, peace and quiet to feel that. Used a file and emery cloth to fix it. How did the nicks get there? Who knows? I don't.
Now back in business.
I know this is a mundane and trite story. It may be of benefit to a Newbie or someone like me.
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Old 09-05-06, 08:33 AM   #2
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It's always the little things that drive you nuts! I've had similar experiences, i.e., not being able to figure out what was causing the flat and losing a ride because of it. However, I would never venture out with a pump that I haven't used at least once, because I've learned the hard way that some pumps are real junk and others worth their weight in gold. I have to say, that I've never had a back-up tandem to help. Now that must be nice!
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Old 09-05-06, 08:47 AM   #3
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I had a vexing tube problem a few months ago. I got a flat, checked the tire and rim, saw a wire pulled it out and put a new tube in. Filled it and started a ride and bang it goes flat. Checked everything over could not find a problem and just figured I pinched the tube when installing. Was not far from home so I walked back put in another tube pumped it up and bang it blows out? Now I have gone through three tubes and cannot figure out what is going on. I take the tire completely off the rim and find there is a small tear in the tire right at the bead. Sometimes it will hold the tube until I sit on the bike other times the tube just balloons out and blows. Sometimes these things are a bugger to find.
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Old 09-05-06, 09:31 AM   #4
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Good info to know about!! I had an issue with the hole around the valve stem that needed smoothing out a bit as well.
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Old 09-05-06, 11:36 AM   #5
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A little trick I've picked up on is to carry a small cotton ball in my patch kit. After I dismount the tire completely, I lightly run it all around the inside surfaces of the tire, going both directions. Anything too small to see with the (old) naked eyes will always snag the cotton ball, allowing me to find and remove the offending object. The added advantage is not slicing your hand open when you use your bare fingers trying to find said object ....

I also carry a small magnifier and mini tweezers, I've had a few flats due to small wires or such picked up off the road that would have been impossible to get out without the mag and tweeze to help....

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Old 09-05-06, 11:57 AM   #6
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My bug bear is tyres that have had a multitude of thorn punctures. Always get the thorn out by pushing from the inside, but there is always the odd one where it breaks inside the Tyre. Eventually the remains of the thorn work back into the tyre and onto the tube. They are a bu**ar to find as the head is as smooth as the inside of the tyre and difficult to feel. Only way to find them is to turn the tyre inside out and look. You can just see the head of the thorn, if your lucky, but it still will not pull out cleanly. That Means the next weekend I am down to the LBS fgor more tyres. Always find that if there is one- there are another couple lurking somewhere.
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Old 09-05-06, 09:03 PM   #7
will dehne
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Not so simple this biking business, is it not?
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Old 09-13-06, 05:42 PM   #8
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The nicks were probably always there but finally wore through the rim strip. If you get a chance it probably is time to change it.
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Old 09-13-06, 08:18 PM   #9
will dehne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgeezer
The nicks were probably always there but finally wore through the rim strip. If you get a chance it probably is time to change it.
Yeah, there is a follow up story. I have this Cannondale Road Bike. I used it for Xc ride with only 3 flats over 3000 miles. I used that same bike and tires and wheels for at least 3 years going around this park road in Michigan with no flats.
This week, I had 4 flats in one day. Not trusting my expertise, I had expert bikers fix my flats. No dice, more flats. Gave it to a LBS to figure out. What is it? Embedded glass, can not see it, can not feel it but under load creates a flat. Darn it, unbelievable. I will get a Dr. degree in biking if this keeps going on.
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