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  1. #1
    Mekanicul Enjuneer wristwister's Avatar
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    If your tire's gonna explode ...

    ... it might as well happen at a bike shop!

    This morning I did a ~40 R/T mile ride into Seattle, and on the way back I stopped in at Gregg's Cycle in Greenlake to pick up a couple goodies. I brought my bike in and set it near the counter. As I was wandering around the store perusing the shelves, a cannon went off. Well, that's what it sounded like anyway! Pretty much freaked out everybody in the store! People were looking around trying to figure out where the explosion had come from. I looked at my bike, and the front tire was shredded. Just bizarre! I've been riding the snot out of that bike for the last couple months, including 20+ miles just before entering the store, and the tire decides to explode while the bike is leaning up against the counter!

    Worked out great though, they had the exact tire in stock, mounted her up while I grabbed a bite to eat, then I was off again.

    So, any ideas why a tire would choose to blow at a time like that? Looked like the blow originated at the sidewall right next to the rim.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wristwister View Post
    So, any ideas why a tire would choose to blow at a time like that? Looked like the blow originated at the sidewall right next to the rim.
    Two common causes:

    1. If the inner tube is pinched under the tire bead it can sit there patiently for quite a long time. At some point the air pressure gets under the tire bead and blows the tire off of the rim.

    2. If the brake pads are improperly adjusted and rub the tire they will abrade through the sidewall and the tire will blow out at that point.

    3. Why did it happen at the bike shop? It's because that Murphy's Law guy isn't right sometimes. Maybe you've just lived a virtuous life or maybe you just used up all of the good karma that you've accumulated to this point of your life.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wristwister View Post

    So, any ideas why a tire would choose to blow at a time like that? Looked like the blow originated at the sidewall right next to the rim.
    My guess would be a combination of things, as previously posted, an improperly aligned brake pad wearing on the sidewall, and a temperature difference from outside (colder) to inside the LBS (warmer), causing a pressure increase just enough to make the tire to explode.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Throwmeabone's Avatar
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    You're really lucky that didn't happen while you were riding it or you would have gone down for sure.

  5. #5
    Mekanicul Enjuneer wristwister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    1. If the inner tube is pinched under the tire bead it can sit there patiently for quite a long time. At some point the air pressure gets under the tire bead and blows the tire off of the rim.
    Bingo! I had a front flat a few weeks ago and did a roadside repair. I bet I pinched the tube. I put ~200 miles on the bike since that repair though. Amazing that it waited this long before blowing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    3. Why did it happen at the bike shop? It's because that Murphy's Law guy isn't right sometimes. Maybe you've just lived a virtuous life or maybe you just used up all of the good karma that you've accumulated to this point of your life.
    Yeah, I'm going with that whole virtuous life thing. Leading a monk-like life for the last 50 years has finally paid off.


    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    My guess would be a combination of things, as previously posted, an improperly aligned brake pad wearing on the sidewall, and a temperature difference from outside (colder) to inside the LBS (warmer), causing a pressure increase just enough to make the tire to explode.
    Nope, ~70 degrees inside and out. Brake pads perfect. I'm going with the pinched tube on this one, but it's still curious why it picked that moment to blow.


    Quote Originally Posted by Throwmeabone View Post
    You're really lucky that didn't happen while you were riding it or you would have gone down for sure.
    Absolutely! This was also my first ever ride using clipless pedals (which I LOVE by the way). I had a few close calls unclipping, but a blow out would have had me on the pavement for sure!

  6. #6
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    I recently had new brakes put on my commuter bike, and new tires since the old ones no longer fit. I picked up the bike at the shop in the morning, rode it to work, then rode it home in the evening. The next morning I pumped the tires up to the recommended pressure (they had been a bit soft before), then went around the apartment getting ready for work, took maybe ten minutes. I got all of my gear on, and walked over to pick up the bike. I reached for it and **BLAM** the front tire blew. Scared the living daylights out of me. I hadn't even touched the bike!

    A post-mortem revealed the hole on the inner side of the tube, facing the rim tape, but I never found anything sharp in there, and the tube I replaced it with has been fine for a couple of months now. Sometimes you just have to chalk odd occurrences up to chance!

  7. #7
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Two questions:

    1. So you missed the shop guy with the pen knife right next to your bike.

    2. You did not have that many miles on that tire did you, so if the tire shredded that soon, why did you replace it with the same exact tire?

  8. #8
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Dude... buy a lottery ticket. Now!
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jack002's Avatar
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    Murphy will want to overcompensate for the next one. Be ready for a blowout in the middle of a huge desert next time.
    Biking isn't a sport because anybody can do it. I can bike, you can bike. For goodness sakes, my mother can bike! You don't see her on the cover of Sports Illustrated, do you?

  10. #10
    Justin scattered73's Avatar
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    my back tire did the same at our copy shop about 6 months ago scared the crap out out everybody in the store. I had just changed a tube out due to a presta valve going bad. Bummer was I had to catch a ride home didn't even have a workable tube to patch.
    Do what makes you happy.

  11. #11
    Mekanicul Enjuneer wristwister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack002 View Post
    Murphy will want to overcompensate for the next one. Be ready for a blowout in the middle of a huge desert next time.
    Yup, already happening. Had a rear flat on my way to work this morning. This payback is gonna be a *****!

  12. #12
    Mekanicul Enjuneer wristwister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Two questions:
    2. You did not have that many miles on that tire did you, so if the tire shredded that soon, why did you replace it with the same exact tire?
    Giid question! I assumed this blowout was just a wierd anomaly, not some problem with the tire make/model. I figure if it's good enough for Specialized it's good enough for me.

    Although with my rear flat this morning, that's 3 flats in a month or so. I may need to rethink this!

  13. #13
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Murphy's Law is actually a very optimistic concept. It infers being assured of a future or recent event. It states clearly that "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong..." Etc. If it said "might" rather than "will" then it would be a negative statement as it would leave no certainty. Being uncertain of something that can go wrong is a real nail-biter.

    So Murphy's Law WILL come along and RUIN your day shortly. Isn't this comforting?
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  14. #14
    Mekanicul Enjuneer wristwister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    Murphy's Law is actually a very optimistic concept. It infers being assured of a future or recent event. It states clearly that "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong..." Etc. If it said "might" rather than "will" then it would be a negative statement as it would leave no certainty. Being uncertain of something that can go wrong is a real nail-biter.

    So Murphy's Law WILL come along and RUIN your day shortly. Isn't this comforting?
    Uh huh. You see my post about a flat on the way to work yesterday? Had TWO flats on the way home! All the rear. I ran out of tubes and CO2, so I called the wife to rescue me.

    Yup, that little bike shop explosion was just a way for Murphy to soften his devious plans for me.

  15. #15
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wristwister View Post
    ...I looked at my bike, and the front tire was shredded. stock, mounted her up while I grabbed a bite to eat, then I was off again.

    So, any ideas why a tire would choose to blow at a time like that? Looked like the blow originated at the sidewall right next to the rim.


    While tube pinches under the bead might cause a blowout, they wouldn't cause the sidewall to shred. Much more likely that you had a weak spot in the sidewall that the tube managed to spread apart.

    Thorns nor glass nor pocket knives will cause an explosion - only the bead lifting off or a piece of the tube escaping through the tire will create the bang.

    As for why then - who knows? Probably just coincidence. Once I was at a bike club meeting and somebody's sew-up exploded.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack002 View Post
    Murphy will want to overcompensate for the next one. Be ready for a blowout in the middle of a huge desert next time.

    Don't believe it. Murphy's law wasn't even written by Murphy. It was just 'some guy' who happened to have the same last name.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jack002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
    Don't believe it. Murphy's law wasn't even written by Murphy. It was just 'some guy' who happened to have the same last name.
    Theres no point in researching it. Murphys law dictates that any effort to do so would be fruitless.
    Last edited by jack002; 05-26-09 at 02:55 PM.

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