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  1. #1
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    Too many popping tubes

    I ride my road bike every day to school, and the roads that i ride one are very littered and not very well maintained. I get a flat or a loose a lot of air pressure often, maybe once weekly (i had two just today). I use a plastic tire tool and there seems to be, most of the time, nothing that punctures it, just a small whole. what do you think is the problem, and i have heard of this liquid called slime does that work or is it just a waist of money?

  2. #2
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    is it a slow leak? might just have a microscopic hole. there could also be grime inside your tire that is killing tubes as soon as you inflate them. I would wipe out the inside of the tire, or maybe just get a thicker commuter worthy tire.

    I dont have any experience with the slime but it might be worth a shot.

  3. #3
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    Slime works for really tiny holes. Not so much for larger holes.

    I suggest either spending $20 on Mister Tuffy tire liners, or buying puncture resistant tires.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Frankgt2's Avatar
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    Your problem might be tubes, or a soft or weak tire that any object will cause a flat. Each time you get a flat, check the tire for the object that caused it, if not, this tiny object (rock, piece of wood...) will make another flat when you return to ride. After a flat always look where it happened and make sure nothing stills there, and then insert the new tube. Try using differents tubes.

  5. #5
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanum View Post
    Slime works for really tiny holes. Not so much for larger holes.

    I suggest either spending $20 on Mister Tuffy tire liners, or buying puncture resistant tires.

    No slime! That stuff is horrible. A good set of tires puncture resistant is the way to go.

    Also careful inspection on the tire after a flat. You very well could be giving yourself a flat over and over do to something stuck in the tire. Even a tiny little stone that you can barely see can cause a problem. Ask me how I know.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  6. #6
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    yea i have checked the tire and there is nothing on it. but it sounds like i should get a new tire, what are some strong brands that are under 30$

  7. #7
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    I have Michelin CityX tires, I have ridden through broken glass & cinders and they show no sign of weakness. I paid $26 at Jenson, you can also get them at Nashbar. Nashbar didnt have the reflective sidewalls though, which I wanted. Armadillos are also a popular option.

  8. #8
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Are all the tubes that are flatting of the same brand? I virtually eliminated "mystery" flats once I stopped using performance tubes.
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  9. #9
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    yea i was thinking about that, the problem is that it seems like all the bike shops around here only have that brand, ill try looking at another place

  10. #10
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    check walmart for your tubes

    yeah, I said that. knock on wood, they've never failed me...

  11. #11
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    what are some good brand of tubes than?

  12. #12
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    Stay away from slime. Have you checked your rim tape?

    Get a decent patch kit and learn how to fix your tubes. The tire patch kits that use vulcanizing fluid tend to work better than pre-glued patches.

    Most any tube brand will suffice. Be sure to match the size of tubes to your current tires.

    For tires, keep your eyes open on online deals. Sites such as Nashbar, Performance, Jensens and Niagra often have good tires on specials. Brands such as Schwalbe, Vittoria, Panaracer, and Continental have good offerings.

    If your on a tight budget, I've heard good things about the Forte Metro-K tires.
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...1511000_400013

    What size tires do you need?
    Last edited by corkscrew; 05-05-10 at 10:29 PM.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Kevlar lined tires are a great help, making sure the tire is inflated at the very least to the minimum pressure to avoid pinch flats, and the biggest improvement for me was the further I moved away from the curb and closer to the lane of travel, the amount of flats I had were reduced, due to less debris accumulation. It's been almost two years now since my last flat, and that was a Schrader valve stem breaking while inflating a tire, and I have since gone to using Presta valves.
    Last edited by dynodonn; 05-05-10 at 10:57 PM.

  14. #14
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Take tire off of rim and go over the inside of the tire with a cloth. If the cloth snags something, then you have something embedded in the tire. If not that, check rimstrip like was previously said. If not that you may have gotten tubes that were from a bad batch of tubes.

    I've had luck with kenda tubes and maxxis tubes and continental tubes. The bontrager tubes I'd be lucky to go a week without flatting.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Frequent flats are generally due either to a systemic defect or due to operator error.

    You should analyze where the holes in the inner tube are located:

    Holes in the inner circumference of the inner tube are usually the result of rim strip failure. Either the rim strip is leaving a tiny arc of spoke hole uncovered or, if you have single wall rims, your rubber rim strip is letting a spoke abrade the inner tube.

    Holes in the outer circumference are usually punctures. It's good to make a habit of lining up the tire's label with the valve stem. That way you can match the tire with location of the hole in the inner tube. It's possible for a thorn or a piece of glass to hide in your tire and puncture your new tubes in the same location.

    Two parallel slits signal a pinch flat. It's easy to pinch your new tube between the tire bead and the rim. If you use a tire lever to reinstall your tire, it's also common to damage the tube with that.

    At some point somebody is going to talk about "a bad batch of tubes". I suppose that's possible, but I've never personally seen it and I've been messing with bikes for a long time.

    I only average 1 or 2 flats per year. I use tires that have a puncture resistant belt but I don't use Mr. Tuffy's, slime or other similar products. I think that if a product is properly designed you shouldn't have to buy accessories to make it work. Maybe if I lived in goat head thorn country I'd have a different opinion.

  16. #16
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    I've had good luck with Bontrager tubes.
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  17. #17
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannihilator View Post
    Take tire off of rim and go over the inside of the tire with a cloth. If the cloth snags something, then you have something embedded in the tire.

    .
    This does not always work. I stone or a thorn can be embedded inside the tire and it only protrudes under pressure.


    And what RG says above about matching the tire with the tube. another good tip.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  18. #18
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakman224 View Post
    I ride my road bike every day to school, and the roads that i ride one are very littered and not very well maintained. I get a flat or a loose a lot of air pressure often, maybe once weekly (i had two just today). I use a plastic tire tool and there seems to be, most of the time, nothing that punctures it, just a small whole. what do you think is the problem, and i have heard of this liquid called slime does that work or is it just a waist of money?
    I would stay in school. The liquid slime stuff is a waist of money.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiPHRaPH View Post
    I would stay in school. The liquid slime stuff is a waist of money.
    It is possible that English is not the poster's first language.

    ----------

    Slime works great when it works but is a huge mess when it doesn't.
    It works best on small punctures; people who ride off-road in desert areas with lots of spiny cactii say it's pretty much required.
    In urban riding you usually run over a lot more glass and bits of metal that make small cuts, and slime does not work so well on them.

    I would advise to try some "armored" tires first. What's cheap to you depends on what tire size you need and where you're located (what country?).

    For most tire sizes, there's two basic kinds: extra-thick rubber tread, and thin rubber tread with a Kevlar layer. (there's not really any "thick" tires for road-racing bikes, they only make the thin/Kevlar for them)
    Thick rubber tires will have a lot of rolling resistance; thin rubber tires w/Kevlar won't. I prefer the thick rubber method; thin kevlar tires have not worked well for me in the past.

    I use Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on my "city" bike. These are expensive and roll heavy but I have pulled a lot of metal and glass out of them and still haven't had a flat yet in the ~3 years I've had them.

    There is a Chinese imitation of this tire named the CST Salva in 26x1.75" (559). The tread is a 5mm thick layer. Niagra Cycle Works has them for $17 each.
    They also have the CST Slecta, which is the same size but is a "thin + Kevlar" tire (1.5mm thick tread) for $14 each.
    You could get a set of each and see what ends up working better for you.


    Another somewhat-cheaper thick tire many people say works well is the Continental Town & Country.

    ------

    You can put a hole in any tire though. Usually only the tread areas are "armored", and so the sidewalls can still be easily cut or punctured.
    ~

  20. #20
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    u guys are right, English is not my strong suit. im an engineering major

  21. #21
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    Ignore the haters on the internet. They're a fact of life.

    Yeah, the advice here is good -- rim strips, look for snags, new tires, and name-brand tubes. Shouldn't cost you a fortune, either.
    I see unexamined people. All the time. I don't think they know they're unexamined.

  22. #22
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    Slime is great stuff. It makes it easy to locate punctures. No holding tubes to your ear listening for the leak. Just look for the green goo.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakman224 View Post
    u guys are right, English is not my strong suit. im an engineering major
    Knowledge or lazyness? Yuo also had 'small whole' in your OP.

    OK now that I've been mean I'll be helpful.

    Do you know how to setup you tires and tubes? The logo of the tire should line up with the valve stem. That way after the tube and tire are off you can realign them and carefully check that part of the tire for junk. Small pieces of glass or steel belt from a car can be very difficult to find. I once picked up a piece of steel belt that I'm convinced only made it through enough to puncture when going over railroad tracks. I searched carefully and found nothing in the tire. This was a long ride, 60 more miles home and after replacing the tube I made it to the end of the ride without noticing any decrease in tire preasure. Next morning flat again. It was not difficult to verify the flat was in the same place. It still took at least 10 minutes to find the piece of steel belt, even though I knew within a couple of inches where it had to be.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    Knowledge or lazyness? Yuo also had 'small whole' in your OP.

    OK now that I've been mean I'll be helpful.

    Do you know how to setup you tires and tubes? The logo of the tire should line up with the valve stem. That way after the tube and tire are off you can realign them and carefully check that part of the tire for junk. Small pieces of glass or steel belt from a car can be very difficult to find. I once picked up a piece of steel belt that I'm convinced only made it through enough to puncture when going over railroad tracks. I searched carefully and found nothing in the tire. This was a long ride, 60 more miles home and after replacing the tube I made it to the end of the ride without noticing any decrease in tire preasure. Next morning flat again. It was not difficult to verify the flat was in the same place. It still took at least 10 minutes to find the piece of steel belt, even though I knew within a couple of inches where it had to be.
    I keep in my bike flat kit a cotton ball. When I fix a flat, I fluff it up, and wipe the inside of the tire with it, putting no pressure on the tire with the cottton. It snags on things I can't see nor feel. The cotton ball is cheap, light, and fits nicely in the little plastic box the flat kit comes with.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakman224 View Post
    u guys are right, English is not my strong suit. im an engineering major
    No excuse. BF is a pretty low key enviornment but, even here, people make judgements about your intelligence based upon the things that you write. Whether that's right or wrong, the fact that you're defending yourself proves that it happens.

    When I attended Iowa State University every single graduate had to pass the "English qualifying exam". Basically you had to write a 500 word paper on a topic in your field and were allowed 1 error per 100 words. Spelling counts, punctuation counts, sentence structure counts. You could be an engineering dean's list student but, until you could pass the exam, you didn't get a degree from Iowa State.

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