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Old 07-21-11, 02:47 PM   #1
Roustabout
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How Often Check Tires For Trash/Debris

I am relatively new to the forum and serious bike riding, and as such had my first flat today. I had just about finished a short, fifteen mile ride when the flat occurred and I then walked the bike back to my house. I always have a phone with me, but didn't use it since I was so close to home. Anyway, after diligently searching for what caused the flat, I finally found a small piece of wire, like off a wire brush, which had made it thru the tire into the tube. I'm sure that it took a while to work it's way down to cause the flat (I guess). Anyway, the question I have for all you serious cyclists, is how often do you check your tires for debris or trash that may have become imbedded in the tires which could later cause flats? Do you check after the end of your riding day, periodically during the day, or whenever you think about it? Thanks.

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Old 07-21-11, 02:51 PM   #2
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Check them every time I flat.
Pump them up before each ride.

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Old 07-21-11, 02:59 PM   #3
raybo
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On a recent ride through the UK, I rode on some recently laid pavement that was still wet with tar. I stopped about every 10 minutes to brush rocks and other debris that stuck to the tar that was on my tires.

Other than that, I usually stop when I hear a funny sound coming from the wheels.

I use tire liners, so flats are rare, indeed.

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Old 07-21-11, 07:03 PM   #4
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A trick I use when I inadvertently (or am forced) run over glass is to lightly allow my gloved hand to brush along the circumference of the tire as it rolls. This brushes the glass off before it gets a chance to work it's way through the tire. I've discovered wire using the same method, feeling it as the tire rotates. The wire doesn't brush off, so I have to stop to pull it out when that happens. There are many people who shouldn't do this, but it does work for me. You could be hurt real bad if not careful. My gloves wear out much faster too.
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Old 07-22-11, 04:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
A trick I use when I inadvertently (or am forced) run over glass is to lightly allow my gloved hand to brush along the circumference of the tire as it rolls. This brushes the glass off before it gets a chance to work it's way through the tire. I've discovered wire using the same method, feeling it as the tire rotates. The wire doesn't brush off, so I have to stop to pull it out when that happens. There are many people who shouldn't do this, but it does work for me. You could be hurt real bad if not careful. My gloves wear out much faster too.
I used to do that often, but the fenders on my touring bike make it difficult to impossible.
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Old 07-22-11, 08:12 AM   #6
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While on tour I check, if I remember, at my next stop after rolling through anything that makes me nervous. Or at the end of the ride. Day to day around the city, if I checked whenever I rolled by/through broken glass or other debris, I'd be stopping every other block, and I rarely check. A better time saver is to always have a spare tube, patch kit, and tools with you, as well as good tires that are reasonably flat resistant.
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Old 07-22-11, 08:33 AM   #7
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I only rarely check. That's why I'm surprised to see cords or a different color rubber showing through. But that doesn't usually cause more than one flat per tire.

If you think about it, a small diameter wire will penetrate and flat the tire in one fell swoop. Then the part that's left outside will bend and break off, making the job of finding what caused the flat a real hassle. If it doesn't go straight through, it'll bend as the tire mashes down, and usually pull back out. My tires have a nice collection of cuts and tiny holes on the outside by the time they're worn out, but few flats.

Logging staples, on the other hand, may stick to the tire and be heard whapping against the fenders, giving you a chance to remove them before they cause a flat. Sometimes.
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Old 07-22-11, 12:13 PM   #8
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I think I will go check mine , Now.
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Old 07-23-11, 10:08 AM   #9
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I do a thorough check when I flat of course, but only of that one tire. I check both tires every few days, deflating them and rotating which squeezing with my thumbs to open up any cuts. I probe inside the cuts, gently, with a knife point or similar, to flick out bits of glass or stones. Then I glue the cuts shut with gap-filling superglue. Gluing really seems to help with tire life and reduces flats.

The wire is from radial car or truck tires, is common, and can be difficult to find.

Always carry 2 tubes, a patch kit, and a pump. Never walk.
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Old 07-24-11, 04:00 AM   #10
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"How often?"
Apparently not often enough! I finally got a flat on my Conti Gatorskins the day before I switched over to Vittoria Randoneurs for the bike camping season. When I went to inspect the tire for what caused the flat I found a wire which I figured caused it and then used the blade on my Alien II to pick out no less than SIX chunks of glass embedded in the tire! I usually don't check more often than when I have a flat, but I should change that now that I am not having flats every day!
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Old 07-24-11, 07:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
A trick I use when I inadvertently (or am forced) run over glass is to lightly allow my gloved hand to brush along the circumference of the tire as it rolls.
I essentially do the same thing, but with the bottom of my shoe/sandals. It works well for me.
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