Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    13
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Tube failures - better quality tubes?

    We were about 50 miles into a 70 mile ride Saturday when the front tire on our Burley abruptly deflated. We were waiting at a stop sign when it happened, so it was no big deal - we just dismounted and walked the bike across the intersection. However, earlier in the ride we had done some fairly fast descents, so the spontaneous nature of this failure was more than a little unnerving.

    The tube had developed a small split on the rim side. The rim tape is good, and the tube was only a few months old, so I am assuming the failure resulted from poor manufacturing. The tube was the basic black rubber model from Specialized. I have had, over the years, at least a couple of tubes from this vendor fail new out of the box, so I guess I shouldn't be shocked.

    I am curious whether any of you have opinions about tube quality. Are there better quality tube available at a premium price?

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,162
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Sometimes you just get one from a faulty batch... or if you buy in bulk you sometimes get a bad batch. I'm not sure if the price you pay is an guarantee either, as I can recall buying a 12-pack of Michelin tubes many moons ago from an Etailer and after the third one developed a mystery leak along a seam within the span of 3 hours, I borrowed a tube to get home and returned the lot.

    Since then I've simply bought the 10 pack lessor-known brands when they go on sale at Jenson, Performance or where ever and they've worked just fine, particularly given the $2/tube cost.

    Obviously, older tubes that have been folded up in a box for a few years or in harsh conditions can also be problematic so you need to balance carrying your own inventory against your consumption habits to make sure you don't create your own problems.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Kent, WA
    My Bikes
    2005 S-Works SR Equipped,1978 Tom Ritchie Road bike, Kuwahara Tandem
    Posts
    494
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am an expert with leaking tubes. I have used many brands cheap and expensive. I have used latex and butyl. I know if I buy any tubes they are going to leak. I cannot remember when I had a leak on the tire side of the wheel. These are with different rims, different rim tape, and now Velo-plugs. My guess is that the high pressures that a tandem needs for the load it carries causes the leaks. Sure, it could be something else, even my bad luck, but I swear the day will come when I am bombing down a long hill and the tire will go. I have been lucky so far but I am certain it will be my turn someday.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Boulder County, CO
    My Bikes
    '89 66cm Cannondale 3.0, '92 22" Cannondale M2000, '92 JxL Cannondale R1000 Tandem, '86 Cannondale ST800 27" (68.5cm) Touring bike w/Superbe Pro components and Phil Wood hubs.
    Posts
    786
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jagladden View Post
    We were about 50 miles into a 70 mile ride Saturday when the front tire on our Burley abruptly deflated. We were waiting at a stop sign when it happened, so it was no big deal - we just dismounted and walked the bike across the intersection. However, earlier in the ride we had done some fairly fast descents, so the spontaneous nature of this failure was more than a little unnerving.

    The tube had developed a small split on the rim side. The rim tape is good, and the tube was only a few months old, so I am assuming the failure resulted from poor manufacturing. The tube was the basic black rubber model from Specialized. I have had, over the years, at least a couple of tubes from this vendor fail new out of the box, so I guess I shouldn't be shocked.

    I am curious whether any of you have opinions about tube quality. Are there better quality tube available at a premium price?
    I'm 375lbs by myself on my single, and if I come off a descent, like Colorado National Monument, I'll blow tubes every time from the heat buildup in the rims. Sometimes I make it all the way to the bottom and flat in the straightaway by the ticket booth if I'm feeling really daring and stay off the brakes as much as I can. Other times I've flatted on corners and scared myself silly.

    There is a reason for mounting that boat anchor the Arai drum brake on a tandem. Its still the safest, best way to convert forward momentum into heat. I wouldn't ride a tandem that only had disc brakes on it if you paid me.

    I'd bet that your tubes blew out from the heat of the rims. Next time it happens touch the rim. You'll burn yourself most likely.

  5. #5
    Senior Member duppie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    516
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
    I'm 375lbs by myself on my single, and if I come off a descent, like Colorado National Monument, I'll blow tubes every time from the heat buildup in the rims. Sometimes I make it all the way to the bottom and flat in the straightaway by the ticket booth if I'm feeling really daring and stay off the brakes as much as I can. Other times I've flatted on corners and scared myself silly.

    There is a reason for mounting that boat anchor the Arai drum brake on a tandem. Its still the safest, best way to convert forward momentum into heat. I wouldn't ride a tandem that only had disc brakes on it if you paid me.

    I'd bet that your tubes blew out from the heat of the rims. Next time it happens touch the rim. You'll burn yourself most likely.
    Sorry for hijacking the thread....
    Mtnbike, you say you weigh 375 LB on your single. Let's assume you have a lite tandem partner. You're tandem weight likely will be 500 LB or more. What tires are you riding on your tandem that will hold up 500 LB for an extended period?
    Thanks, Duppie

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    13
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    mtnbke,

    I saw your reply about rim heating as a possible cause. We changed the tire immediately and the rim was quite warm, but no where warm enough as be too hot to touch.

    In your experience, how hot does the rim need to get to pose the threat of tub failure? If this was hot enough to be a problem, I obviously need to be more careful about how I mange descents.

    Thanks, jagladden

  7. #7
    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    2,623
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You wouldn't happen to have tire liners in your tire do you? My co-worker had some in his tires and was always getting flats when I looked at his tube it had slits cut into them from the liners sharp corners. He took then out and no more flats.
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
    http://www.jtgraphics.net/cyclist_bicycles.htm

  8. #8
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    My Bikes
    ariZona carbon fiber tandem & single
    Posts
    10,111
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Buying tubes is a be a bit of a crapshoot.
    More $$ does not necessarily get you better tubes.
    We also buy our tubes in batches (cheaper that way). Most tubes are made in the Orient (Taiwan, China, Thailand, Japan).
    Quite often brand name tubes will switch to another country of manufacture for cheaper price (and sometimes lousy qaulity control).
    Agree tireliners could cause issues. Tried tire liners once years ago and it did create flats where the liner ends overlapped a tiny bit; solution: got rid of em!
    We now use Veloplugs rather than rimstrips (which sometimes can shift around).

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    643
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I know you can spend more and go for more of a brand name, but I've had very good luck with the Performance Forte Ultralight tubes on my singles and tandem. And they're always on sale...

  10. #10
    getting bent Engyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    My Bikes
    2008 Rans V3, 1984 Trek 620
    Posts
    241
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have the Forte "thorn-resistant" tubes (much thicker rubber). No failures so far - several hundred miles. Yup they are heavy, but fixing a flat slows my avg. speed much more than a few extra grams does.
    Last edited by Engyo; 06-12-09 at 08:52 AM.
    Namaste, Engyo
    2008 Rans V3 - steel steed
    1984 Trek 620 - old warhorse

  11. #11
    Riding Heaven's Highwayson the grand tour
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Tehachapi Mtns, Calif.
    My Bikes
    '10 C'Dale Tandem RT2. '07 Trek Tandem T2000, '10 Epic Marathon MTB, '12 Rocky Mountain Element 950 MTB, '95 C'dale R900, "04 Giant DS 2 '07 Kona Jake the Snake, '95 Nishiki Backroads
    Posts
    737
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have also tried expensive and I've tried the cheapest..... I've never been able to pin point one as being better than another. I generally use the lightest tubes readily available. Have only used the super heavy thorn resistant ones while doing some touring a couple of years back ...they workrd fine also.
    Bottom line for me is - Keep things fresh, use quality tires for the expected road conditions, use your brakes wisely in the steeps and keep your fingers crossed.

    Bill J

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Boulder County, CO
    My Bikes
    '89 66cm Cannondale 3.0, '92 22" Cannondale M2000, '92 JxL Cannondale R1000 Tandem, '86 Cannondale ST800 27" (68.5cm) Touring bike w/Superbe Pro components and Phil Wood hubs.
    Posts
    786
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by duppie View Post
    Sorry for hijacking the thread....
    Mtnbike, you say you weigh 375 LB on your single. Let's assume you have a lite tandem partner. You're tandem weight likely will be 500 LB or more. What tires are you riding on your tandem that will hold up 500 LB for an extended period?
    Thanks, Duppie
    We're 575 on the tandem.

    Tires or wheels?

    As for tires I absolutely recommend getting some Conti Top Touring (German made gumwalls if you can find 'em), and if you can't find the old Top Touring Contis get the Top Contact instead.

    I run 700x28 on my single
    700x38 on my tandem

    As for wheels, that's a whole 'nother banana.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Boulder County, CO
    My Bikes
    '89 66cm Cannondale 3.0, '92 22" Cannondale M2000, '92 JxL Cannondale R1000 Tandem, '86 Cannondale ST800 27" (68.5cm) Touring bike w/Superbe Pro components and Phil Wood hubs.
    Posts
    786
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jagladden View Post
    mtnbke,

    I saw your reply about rim heating as a possible cause. We changed the tire immediately and the rim was quite warm, but no where warm enough as be too hot to touch.

    In your experience, how hot does the rim need to get to pose the threat of tub failure? If this was hot enough to be a problem, I obviously need to be more careful about how I mange descents.

    Thanks, jagladden
    When I've had the blowouts from the rims overheating the rims absolutely will burn your fingers, there is no 'warm' about it.

    I assume you've checked your rim tape and ran your fingers through the inside of the tire.

    One time my fiance flatted three times in row before I found a teensy little thorn in her tire.

    I do get a lot more flats, with my weight than most people.

    However, if I had to just hazard a guess with just 'warm' rims, I'm betting that you might be flatting because your tires are too narrow for your rims. Guaranteed flats, that combo.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •