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  1. #1
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    ways to help prevent flats and blowouts.

    I just bought thorn resistant tubes because I'm getting sick of having to pump up every 3 days and changing tubes on the road. I also switched to presta valves (with schrader adapter) because schrader has not been so kind to me lately. I'm pretty sure there's nothing sharp in my tire. But the tires keep leaking anyway.

    Are there ways to help prevent flats? like putting grease between tire and tube to try to minimize friction?

  2. #2
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I pump up before each ride (only once per day), that is to prevent pinch flats
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    You're only "pretty sure" there's nothing sharp in your tire?

    You need to take the tire and tube off the wheel, go over the inside of the tire with a fine-tooth comb (not literally) to look for any embedded debris on the inside of it, like glass, wire, etc. Then you need to examine your wheel for anything like a metal burr anywhere on the rim, including around the edge of the valve hole, and look for any spots where the rim tape isn't adequately covering the ends of the spokes.
    Craig in Indy

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    Two things have helped me out. Run Schwalbe tires and inspect the tires after each ride. Remove anything stuck in the tires. It may go flat then and there, but at least you can fix it at home. bk
    Last edited by bkaapcke; 08-12-11 at 08:10 PM.

  5. #5
    worldtraveller worldtraveller's Avatar
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    TAke the advice of what the others guys said on here. I once had same problems.

    Make sure you are using the correct size tube for tire, and correct size tire for rim.

    Then yes, make sure rim in side after u take off tire is free from any debris

    make sure no spokes from inside are poking through, make sure u use rim strips or have something over top of them

    Inflation of tires, make sure they are at recommend PSI

    on my road I use between 95 to 105 PSI, never had a problem since, tires should be hard hard

    i have ridden over stones before on road without a problem
    so try that and let us know

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Thorn resistant tubes + some substantial tires saw me OK on a 6 month tour from one ,

    SW coast, of Eire to the other end north of Scotland with out a single puncture.

    But I kept the pressure up to 6 bar .. every day

    got heavier rolling resistance.. quickly , when the PSI fell below that.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-06-11 at 01:49 AM.

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    I was told by the BS that it is not abnormal to need to add a little air each week. Are the tires losing lots of air every three days?
    How often are you having flats?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cyclomania's Avatar
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    I know this stuff puts more weight on one's tire, but...

    Mr. Tuffy. I swear, haven't had a flat in years!
    Last edited by Cyclomania; 08-07-11 at 08:46 PM.
    Sometimes when I'm out doing a shopping run, I'll be offered a free sample (cut of pizza, doughnut, cheezywiz thingy)...little do they know that behind every bite is my gasoline!

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    I am not a recognized expert, but-
    Quote Originally Posted by mrund3rd09 View Post
    I just bought thorn resistant tubes because I'm getting sick of having to pump up every 3 days and changing tubes on the road.
    Your tube has a hole in it, and your tire might have something sticking into it too.
    Do you know the trick of holding an inflated tube underwater to spot tiny holes? You pump the tube up until it's pretty fat--like double the tire's usual diameter, and then section-by-section, hold it under water in a bucket of water and look for air bubbles. Another variation is dunking it in a bucket of water with some dishwashing detergent added and then pulling it out, because tiny soap bubbles will form wherever there's a hole. If you use either method and the valve is leaking, you can even see that.

    I also switched to presta valves (with schrader adapter) because schrader has not been so kind to me lately.
    I've never seen that Presta, Shcrader or Woods ever made any difference in a tire holding air, as long as the valve was working properly.

    What I HAVE seen though is that people with Schrader valves are too lazy to pump up their own tires, so they go by a gas station and use the air pump there--and that's bad to do. The air hose gets laid on the ground, and the air chuck gets dirty. When you use it to fill your tires, it blows dirt into the valve seat, which causes slow leaks. It's not such an issue with a car tire due to their large volume, bit it is easily an issue with a much-smaller higher-pressure bicycle tire.

    Keep your air valves clean! Pump up your own tires, using your own [clean] pump!

    I'm pretty sure there's nothing sharp in my tire. But the tires keep leaking anyway.
    Do the air-bubble test of the tube, and carefully inspect & rub your fingers around the inside of the tire to check for anything sticking through it...

    Are there ways to help prevent flats? like putting grease between tire and tube to try to minimize friction?
    I've never ever heard of a flat caused this way, so I doubt you would accomplish much by doing it.

    What you can do is switch to more-puncture-resistant tires.
    There's a few different ways to do that: there's thin-kevlar tires, there's thick-rubber tires, there's rim strips like Mr Tuffy, and there's tire sealant like Slime. Any of these has advantages and disadvantages. I like thick rubber tires myself, but they are heavy & slow.

    Lastly, one thing I see a lot of casual bicyclists doing is they ride in the gutter of the street. They do this because they're not used to riding next to car traffic, and so they want to try to stay as far from passing cars as possible. That means they end up riding in the gutter all the time, and the gutter is where all the screws, nails and glass bits end up. And then they get flat tires all the time, and wonder why.... If you need to be able to ride in gutters like this, then you will NEED a bomb-proof tire setup, there's no way around it. But even so, when riding a bicycle on pavement, you should generally keep the tires on clean pavement. If that means riding a foot into the traffic lane so cars have to swerve around you, then that's what you do.

  10. #10
    train safe buelito's Avatar
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    I think all tubes will lose 5-10% per day... I pump up my tires before every ride (well- only in the morning on my commuter), I invariably have to pump in 20-30 lbs of pressure to 'top them off'. I have been doing this for a LOOONNNNG time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrund3rd09 View Post
    I just bought thorn resistant tubes because I'm getting sick of having to pump up every 3 days and changing tubes on the road. I also switched to presta valves (with schrader adapter) because schrader has not been so kind to me lately. I'm pretty sure there's nothing sharp in my tire. But the tires keep leaking anyway.

    Are there ways to help prevent flats? like putting grease between tire and tube to try to minimize friction?
    Marking the side of the tire and tube with chalk or crayon after a flat, will permit you to determine exactly where on the tire the problem is. Try new tires.
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  12. #12
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Run quality tyres at the proper pressure and stay out of the gutter.

    This is usually all one needs to do to minimize flats... if you live / ride in thorn country or have to deal with a little or a lot of glass you might look at tougher tyres / liners.

  13. #13
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    I once had a brand new tube that leaked really slowly, i topped it up a few times before i decided something was wrong. I couldn't figure out where it was leaking from until i held it under water and it turned out to be the Presta valve which hadn't been assembled properly, i ended up using an adjustable wrench to tighten the inner part of the valve into the outer part and that sorted it.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Proper inflation, quality rim tape, keep the knurled knob on a presta valve loose or just remove it, of course closely inspect the inside of the tire for objects, and IMO it's important to take the lane whenever its possible.

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    Tube size

    Hi guys,
    First time poster so forgive me if this is way to obvious a query, thought it better to post in here than start a new thread.

    I recently got an old road bike and have started taking it on long(er) journeys. Previous bike being an antique all steel Raleigh Roadster.

    New bike has schwalbe blizzard sport tires and yesterday I got a flat with no pump, repair kit or tube to hand. Lesson learned.

    I can get the tube replaced in a store but that's no good on a Sunday evening in the middle of nowhere.

    I am going to start carrying repair kit, spare tubes etc but was hoping someone could recommend a place to get tubes online -and tell me what size I need.

    I am in Ireland but UK suppliers would be just as useful.
    cheers

  16. #16
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewerson View Post

    I can get the tube replaced in a store but that's no good on a Sunday evening in the middle of nowhere.

    I am going to start carrying repair kit, spare tubes etc but was hoping someone could recommend a place to get tubes online -and tell me what size I need.

    I am in Ireland but UK suppliers would be just as useful.
    cheers
    Ummm, no, can't tell you what size. What does it say on the side of the tire?
    Last edited by coldfeet; 08-08-11 at 10:16 AM.

  17. #17
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    Ebay is pretty good or Chain Reaction usually do free postage and are quick (I use them). The size of the tube depends on the size of the tyre, as above, it will say the size of the tyre on the side of it and you need to buy a tube according to that, although there is usually some leeway with tubes and they are usually described as being suitable for a range of sizes. eg. 26 X 1.5 - 2.0
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
    I ... Do the air-bubble test of the tube, and carefully inspect & rub your fingers around the inside of the tire to check for anything sticking through it...
    I once read of an alternative technique to checking with your finger inside of the tire to look for debris, that is to use a cotton ball which will snag on anything sharp. Personally, I just use my finger though.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
    I am not a recognized expert, but-

    Your tube has a hole in it, and your tire might have something sticking into it too.
    Do you know the trick of holding an inflated tube underwater to spot tiny holes? You pump the tube up until it's pretty fat--like double the tire's usual diameter, and then section-by-section, hold it under water in a bucket of water and look for air bubbles. ....
    A small but significant add on to this is that the decal on the tire should line up with the valve when yuo put the tires on. This is so when you hold an inflated tire underwater and find a slow leak you can line it up with the tire and search the small area carefully until you find anything in the tire.

    3 times I have picked up a piece of steel belt from a car tire. Only once did I find it the first time. One other time I made it a mile or so before a second flat and then spent a half hour searching until I found it. The Third time was on a ride out to Acton and the general store where we stopped fro lunch was kind enough to let me use theit sink to chek for leaks, found it, checked the tire and found nothing. Changed the tube, pumped it up, finished the ride, 40 more miles at least. Flat the next morning.

    I've always thought in this last case the original flat was because of crossing railroad tracks a few miles before the rest stop. Just went over one of them just right to drive it through a few millimeters. And once off the high point of the track it was back where it was before , save a fraction of a millimeter. I may have hed it in hte tire for hundreds of miles before then.
    Last edited by Keith99; 08-09-11 at 01:42 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    I once read of an alternative technique to checking with your finger inside of the tire to look for debris, that is to use a cotton ball which will snag on anything sharp. Personally, I just use my finger though.
    Yes, but I stopped doing that and using cotton balls after reading the story of the bike mechanic who jabbed her finger on something and found out it was a snapped off hypodermic! The cotton also is better at finding those tiny little slivers that are impossible to see.

  21. #21
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    A tip from a racer known for his high speed descents: Since roads are full of glass bits, many flats or crashes can be avoided by checking for glass shards before having the flat. The routine is to let most of the air out of your tires before the ride, then examine the tire by pinching to open up minor cuts. By doing this, a glass sliver can be seen in a cut that otherwise would not be visible. I've begun to do this and from time to time will be able to pick out glass slivers that would inevitably cause a flat eventually.

  22. #22
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    When I started riding in the 1970s it was considered good practice to clean your tires with the palm of your cycling gloves while riding. I don't hear much about people doing this anymore, but I still do it. If I can't avoid a patch of glass or other debris (cinders can be sharp enough on their edges to cause flats, too), as soon as I'm through it, I'll lean forward carefully while riding and let my palm rub along the front tire for three or four revolutions of the wheel. I do the same thing on the rear, but even more carefully (it's easy to let the friction between the tire and palm force your hand in between the tire and the seat tube, something you do not want to have happen).
    Craig in Indy

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Re: tube size
    What does it say on the side of the tire?
    chewerson,
    I thought Eire was a country of Writers and Readers

  24. #24
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    slimeee

  25. #25
    Senior Member nathan.johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    When I started riding in the 1970s it was considered good practice to clean your tires with the palm of your cycling gloves while riding...
    If I accidently ride over some glass, I make sure to clean the tires. But I'll usually dismount to do it.

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