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Old 05-20-12, 11:53 PM   #1
Mondo734
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Bad luck or is it my fault........

So I have had three flats in the last 50 miles of riding. Now I know that happens but what is strange is how. The first flat happened while riding home from a 40 mile ride; luckily I only had 1.5 miles till home so I walked it. The second flat (on a new tube) happened sometime on the next ride. I didn't find out I had a flat till I went to ride again and the tire was flat. So I pulled the tire off and inspected the tube and found a small hole. Patched it and rode. That held up for about two weeks of no riding. The bike was in the shop for its first tuneup the first week. Once I got it back I left it in the garage for the next week. Today I finally had time to ride and the tire was flat again. Keep in mind that the bike was in the shop and then sat in the garage the next whole week. Also each flat was the front tire, two separate tubes and one with a patch. All three punctures were in a similar location on the tube. So am I just have a stretch of bad luck or is this possible a product of something I did incorrectly, such a bad job mounting the tube or tire on the rim?
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Old 05-21-12, 01:21 AM   #2
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I had a similar experience, right down to time-off and time-in-shop. Turns out the fabric liner in the rim needed to be replaced -- the punctures were from the spoke ends. No problems since.
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Old 05-21-12, 01:46 AM   #3
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Hmm...So were the punctures on the tubes on the inside where it contacts the rim? The holes I found were all on the outside where it contacts the tire. And when I changed the first tube I did check the rim tape and it looked brand new(as it should the bike is only 2 months old). In addition to a visual inspection I ran my finger over the rim tape and it seemed smooth.
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Old 05-21-12, 02:02 AM   #4
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Have you changed the tire?
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Old 05-21-12, 02:22 AM   #5
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Hmm...So were the punctures on the tubes on the inside where it contacts the rim?
I brought it in to my heroes at Recycled (Cycles, Seattle. Shameless plug). They are the ones that diagnosed the tire. I was shown enough to be able to relay the report I provided earlier. I'm a noob bike techhie. Cant even spell it.
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The holes I found were all on the outside where it contacts the tire. And when I changed the first tube I did check the rim tape and it looked brand new(as it should the bike is only 2 months old). In addition to a visual inspection I ran my finger over the rim tape and it seemed smooth.
Sounds like rim tape is eliminated as a suspect. has there been any ongoing construction in the area you ride regularly in? When hiway 99 was being repaired I was pulling metal shards out of my tires 1x/week, ugh.

Last edited by percy kittens; 05-22-12 at 11:07 PM. Reason: clarity: nails to shards
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Old 05-21-12, 05:24 AM   #6
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Sounds like you might need to inspect the tire carefully. There could be an embedded object causing the punctures. Using your thumbs on the tread face, work your way away around the tire, pushing the inside of the casing up, and look for a tiny, sharp point. Could be glass, wire, metal shaving, etc.
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Old 05-21-12, 05:32 AM   #7
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Sounds like you might need to inspect the tire carefully. There could be an embedded object causing the punctures. Using your thumbs on the tread face, work your way away around the tire, pushing the inside of the casing up, and look for a tiny, sharp point. Could be glass, wire, metal shaving, etc.
^^this
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Old 05-21-12, 06:01 AM   #8
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Sounds like you might need to inspect the tire carefully. There could be an embedded object causing the punctures. Using your thumbs on the tread face, work your way away around the tire, pushing the inside of the casing up, and look for a tiny, sharp point. Could be glass, wire, metal shaving, etc.
+1 ^ Excellent Advice!

Frequently recurring flats can almost always be attributed to embedded sharp objects...Otherwise, it's just too statistically rare of an occurrence with the average tire and road.
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Old 05-21-12, 06:15 AM   #9
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Take a cotton ball and run it around the inside of the tire itself, it will snag on the smallest sharp point, I always try to mount my tires with the label in line with the valve stem, that way I have a reference to check the tire against the hole in the tube.

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Old 05-21-12, 06:25 AM   #10
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Take a cotton ball and run it around the inside of the tire itself, it will snag on the smallest sharp point, I always try to mount my tires with the label in line with the valve stem, that way I have a reference to check the tire against the hole in the tube.

Aaron
Now THAT is a good tip!

Much better than my finger method, which indicates the location of the object when I yell, "@&#%!"
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Old 05-21-12, 06:56 AM   #11
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Now THAT is a good tip!

Much better than my finger method, which indicates the location of the object when I yell, "@&#%!"
Learned that trick...after I got 2 stitches in my thumb

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Old 05-21-12, 09:11 AM   #12
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Take a cotton ball and run it around the inside of the tire itself, it will snag on the smallest sharp point,
Toilet paper works too.
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Old 05-21-12, 09:41 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Sounds like you might need to inspect the tire carefully. There could be an embedded object causing the punctures. Using your thumbs on the tread face, work your way away around the tire, pushing the inside of the casing up, and look for a tiny, sharp point. Could be glass, wire, metal shaving, etc.
You don't really need another post here, but I think this is the key. Whenever you have multiple punctures in the same area (two could be coincidence; three, probably not), you're likely to be missing something. I've had repeated flats from tiny pieces of wire or points of thorns that were almost invisible, so small I missed them even running my finger right over them. Check carefully.
One tip: when you install a tire, line up its label with the valve hole in the rim. If you do that every time, then when you find a puncture in the tube, you'll know where to look in the tire for the offending object. Saves some time.
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Old 05-21-12, 10:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Take a cotton ball and run it around the inside of the tire itself, it will snag on the smallest sharp point, I always try to mount my tires with the label in line with the valve stem, that way I have a reference to check the tire against the hole in the tube.

Aaron
Here you go. And follow his advice about the label and the valve stem.
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Old 05-21-12, 10:57 AM   #15
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if I start getting a lot of flats on a particular tire, I replace it. However, if you aren't finding the cause of the flat that explains the problems you have been having.
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Old 05-21-12, 10:58 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mondo734 View Post
So I have had three flats in the last 50 miles of riding. Now I know that happens but what is strange is how. The first flat happened while riding home from a 40 mile ride; luckily I only had 1.5 miles till home so I walked it. The second flat (on a new tube) happened sometime on the next ride. I didn't find out I had a flat till I went to ride again and the tire was flat. So I pulled the tire off and inspected the tube and found a small hole. Patched it and rode. That held up for about two weeks of no riding. The bike was in the shop for its first tuneup the first week. Once I got it back I left it in the garage for the next week. Today I finally had time to ride and the tire was flat again. Keep in mind that the bike was in the shop and then sat in the garage the next whole week. Also each flat was the front tire, two separate tubes and one with a patch. All three punctures were in a similar location on the tube. So am I just have a stretch of bad luck or is this possible a product of something I did incorrectly, such a bad job mounting the tube or tire on the rim?
Did you inspect the inside of the tire for anything sticking through that could cause another flat? Did you inspect the inside of the wheel for burrs, did you inspect the rim tape? Do you inflate the tube with a little bit of air so that it holds it's shape when you install it?

How are you removing the tire and then remounting it? Are you using tire levers or are you using a screwdriver?

In another thread a member gave the very good tip of taking a piece of cotton (a cotton ball, or the cotton that is stuffed into a pill bottle would work) and running it around the inside of the tire to see if it catches on anything.

When mounting your tire/tube on the rim look on the tire and find the brand label and put that where the valve stem goes into the rim. That way you'll have a reference for when you unmount and check for for foreign matter in the tire.

Meaning that if you have a hole in the tube at 3 O'clock position (the valve stem is 12 O'clock) then going back to the tire and putting the brand label at the 12 O'clock position you know where to look. Likewise with the rim.
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Old 05-24-12, 06:20 PM   #17
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Ok so here it is.

I did check the inside of the tire the last two of the three times I had a flat. Now since I am fairly new to the whole changing a tire thing I will admit stupidity on my part here. So the first two punctures were coincident. The third was in the same spot as my patch and it was admitidly a bad patch job; keep in mind its only the second one I have done. On my mtb I only had one flat and I just injected slime, problem solved. On the cross bike didn't want to go that route so I bought a patch kit and my first patch on the first tube held up fine but this one didn't. So while I am glad I asked learned some good tips I.E. using a cottonball instead of my fingers to catch objects stuck in the tire.
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