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  1. #1
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    Mystery of the Midnight Flat

    This is by far the strangest thing that has happened to me in the last 24 hours. I'm getting up out of bed to go to the bathroom. When I step into the hallway, I suddenly hear a loud "PSSSSHHHHHHH," the distinct sound of rapidly deflating tire.

    I just bought my new bike, and it is sitting inside for now. The bike hasn't been used in over six hours, and it seems strange that the very little bit of road it's seen could give it a flat. It's not like this is a gradual slow leak; this is a very sudden burst of air. I don't think there was a popping noise.

    Even the cat was looking at the bike wondering what was going on. I considered her biting the wheel or something (she's declawed), but there are no bite marks, and I doubt her little teeth could penetrate the tire. I even checked the locks on the doors and such.

    I will check out the tire tomorrow to see exactly what type of hole it was. Any guesses to what could have happened? Is it a case of bike ninjas? Is it the CIA?

    Anyone have any ideas? Do defective tubes do this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    If you find out, please post the answer. I've had a couple of flats not long after topping off the tires with a presta valve. I suspect the valve, but it hasn't happened in years, so maybe it is related to operator technique.
    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.

  3. #3
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    Every time this has happened to me it was the valve that failed. I air/top off my tires up before every ride. If I ride 6 days in a row, I put the pump on the valve before all 6 rides. My tubes have schrader valves. Putting on and taking the pump off of the valve causes increased wear and tear where the valve connects to the tube. This is usually where it fails. I go through one tube per tire a year because of this.

    You think what happened to you was weird when you got up to use the bathroom, try this one. A few years ago during the summer I was commuting about 26 miles round trip nearly every day. I had a set routine timed down to the minute. It started from the time I got up out of bed to get ready to go to work. I knew and still know exactly how much time it takes me to get up, get ready, and get out the door with the bike to ride to work. I left no room at all for incidental stuff that could happen and I made sure I controlled my environment while at home getting ready to leave for work. Riding to work was another story as I can only control so much.

    One night I am sound asleep, my lovely wife next to me. All of a sudden I had a dream that one of my tires went flat and I could actually hear the sound of the air leaking out. The next morning when I got up, guess what? One of my tires was flat. Apparently my dream came true. That morning my wife took me and the bike with the flat tire to work. I changed the tube there on my lunch hour and rode home that day. Ever since then I allow for at least 10 min. for incidental stuff like this.

  4. #4
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Square & Compas View Post
    One night I am sound asleep, my lovely wife next to me. All of a sudden I had a dream that one of my tires went flat and I could actually hear the sound of the air leaking out. The next morning when I got up, guess what? One of my tires was flat. Apparently my dream came true. That morning my wife took me and the bike with the flat tire to work. I changed the tube there on my lunch hour and rode home that day. Ever since then I allow for at least 10 min. for incidental stuff like this.
    I love this story.

  5. #5
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    Ha, Square that's quite a story. I thought somebody had broken in and was trying to steal my bike... and somehow popped the tire... Ok, I didn't have it completely thought through. It seems so odd that the tire blew right when I stepped outside the bedroom. I think I'm actually going to take it to the bike shop tomorrow to see what they think. I've only had the bike for two days, and it has like three miles on it at the max. If it's just a bad tube, hopefully they'll toss in a new one. Hopefully! Oh well. I'll definitely repost about the cause.

    I'd like to add that this tube has a Schrader valve. Who knows?
    Last edited by Rainier22; 10-05-09 at 02:59 AM. Reason: valve comment

  6. #6
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    Sounds like a 'warranty issue' since it's new. Maybe they will fix it for no charge. Maybe they will find the reason & fix that & will be more careful assembling other new bikes. IN general though...

    I recommend buying a set of tire irons from the LBS and learn how to use them. Fixing a flat is the most basic repair & something every serious rider needs to know how to repair himself. (Being prepared to do so on the road will take care of ~90% of your breakdowns!) Also, appropriate wrenches if it's not a quick release wheel. I'd be glad to show you how if you lived close by - maybe you can find someone experienced to show you. I'm sure there's a YouTube video. It is not hard, should take less time than going to the bike shop.

    http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=35093

    Then you can remove the tube yourself. Should not be hard to find the problem. For a slow leak, inflate the bare tube & put in a basin of water. For something like this, you'll probably need a new tube. Before installing, find the sharp bit that caused the problem and repair it so it doesn't happen again. If it is near the valve, then you need to adjust the rim tape or get the better 'Velox' stuff & install it carefully so the valve area is protected.

    If it's the rear tire, you'll have to handle the dirty oily chain to get the wheel off - get some Lava or Goop or similar hand cleaner.

    Good luck!

    -Rich
    Last edited by duffer1960; 10-05-09 at 04:59 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Happened to a friend mid ride. I had to ride back to the car and rescue my friend about 30 miles out.. No explanation. Except looking at the tire. I was a big bang type explosion.. The hole was like shredded. I found out the person had not a tire gauge. Best we figure it was overinflated.. might this be the case.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainier22 View Post
    I will check out the tire tomorrow to see exactly what type of hole it was. Any guesses to what could have happened? Is it a case of bike ninjas? Is it the CIA?
    A year ago I would have suspected the CIA depending, of course, on who you voted for in the most recent election. I can tell you there were some funny model airplanes continually circling over my house.

    This year, however, and since it's a new bike, I'm going to bet on a bad rim strip. After you take the tire off, check to see if every tiny little arc of spoke hole is covered by the rim strip.

  9. #9
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    If you loved my previous story you really lvoe this one. This is even funnier though my dog would disagree, check this out.

    It was a calm, but very cold winters night, I hadn't gotten around to takign the bike down to the basement to be hung up until the next year. It was just after a good dinner of my wife's famous stir fry. We were sitting in the living room watching TV, around 6:30ish. My recumbent is parked where it always is when I am not riding it. In the dinning room up against the wall. My dog is laying where she always does, near the bike and dinning room table and she is pretty well asleep. We are all enjoying a nice peaceful evening at home.

    When all of a sudden! BOOM!!! WOOOSH!!! My front tire blows. Scares my wife and I, but my dog even worse. She jumps up and yelps like someone stepped on her paw and then starts growling and barking at the bike and tire.

    I get up out of my La-Z-Boy cursing under my breath and walk into the dinning room. The first thing I see is my dog with her head bent down where the tire blew baring her teeth and growling at it, even though it was no longer making noise. She hears me approach the bike and looks up with sadness in her eyes like "I'm sorry daddy, I didn't mean to." and sits and presents her paw to me. I take her paw and rub it saying to her "It's ok Murphy, you did nothing wrong." At which point she smiles and licks my hand. I patted her head and she moved aside so I can set about looking at and changing the tube. Murphy was standing next to me as I am bent down removing the wheel and followed me everywhere I went when I was locating the tools I needed to set about the task. Murphy sat and watched as I replaced the tube. Once I was done and had the wheel back on the bike she laid down near the bike, but this time a little further away.

    Murphy was our previous Samoyed and was very "*** shy" with loud noise. She would cry, bark and growl when it thundered during a storm.
    Last edited by Square & Compas; 10-05-09 at 11:47 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    I bought a set of used rims. One was just slightly dented. Mounted a set of tires that were just a fraction of a millimeter bigger in diameter than normal. After pumping the tire up to 100 psi I went inside pleased with myself & my sharp purchase. 10 minutes later was the big bang. After investigating, the tire was still mounted, but the tube had shredded itself. Not I saw the tube emerge, explode, and let the tire settle back down on the rim apparently seated did I catch on what happened..

  11. #11
    Opt-in Member GreenGrasshoppr's Avatar
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    Had the same thing happen to me one night. The spot where the valve is glued to the tube failed.

  12. #12
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    Well, I took it to the bike shop to hopefully get a free tube (which I did). They just said it was a faulty tube. I suppose the mystery lives on.

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