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Wire embedded in my tire

Old 01-05-15, 08:11 AM
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happyscientist
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Wire embedded in my tire

Hello all. I have a tiny wire embedded in my tire. It is small enough that I couldn't find it until I turned the tire inside-out and brushed it with my fingers, but it is large enough to have caused a flat. It is too small for needle-nose pliers to grab. Does anyone have any tips for getting it out without digging a hole in the tire?
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Old 01-05-15, 08:12 AM
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Tweezers? Never had one that I couldn't get out with needle nose pliers.
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Old 01-05-15, 08:43 AM
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Probably a steel belted radial wire. That's a common bike puncture cause. I had to work my last one out with my finger and a tire lever. I'm thinking about carrying a needle nose pliers with me on rides.
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Old 01-05-15, 08:56 AM
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It's like removing s splinter. Scrape it with a pocketknife blade, and the blade may engage it and pull it out, or it'll cut it off flush, which may solve the problem.
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Old 01-05-15, 09:06 AM
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I carry a tweezers in my patch kit exactly for that. Majority of my flats are caused by fine wires.
Use a Q tip or cotton swab to locate. They don't bleed.
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Old 01-05-15, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
It's like removing s splinter. Scrape it with a pocketknife blade, and the blade may engage it and pull it out, or it'll cut it off flush, which may solve the problem.
Pocket knife works for me.

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Old 01-05-15, 09:20 AM
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Needle nose locking pliers. Or side cutters. I've found bending the tire around a few different ways to figure out how to get best purchase on it and work it out a bit is best.
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Old 01-05-15, 09:23 AM
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GOOD needle nose pliers which have tips that meet evenly and tight should work. Cheap ones with poor alignment may not. However, they are a bit heavy so tweezers or a pocket knife are more practical take-along tools.

Last edited by HillRider; 01-05-15 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 01-05-15, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Probably a steel belted radial wire. That's a common bike puncture cause. I had to work my last one out with my finger and a tire lever. I'm thinking about carrying a needle nose pliers with me on rides.
Are you saying that the little stand of wire is from the steel belt itself? Wow, I've had a couple of these myself. : (
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Old 01-05-15, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by dicktill View Post
Are you saying that the little stand of wire is from the steel belt itself?
Yes.

On the shop end, the usual clue is a customer complaining about a slow leak. Tire is flat or way down, they pump it up before a ride, ride is fine, three-five days later, it is way down on pressure again.
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Old 01-05-15, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by dicktill View Post
Are you saying that the little stand of wire is from the steel belt itself? Wow, I've had a couple of these myself. : (
They are mt bike tires, and considering how fine the wire is and how tightly it is embedded, I was wondering if it was part of the tire itself.
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Old 01-05-15, 09:47 AM
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Tool that mother, a Surgery RN, brought home ... to clamp off Bloodvessels , (they get replaced often ) proves to be useful in situations needing a super grippy

needle nose locking Plier ..
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Old 01-05-15, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by happyscientist View Post
They are mt bike tires, and considering how fine the wire is and how tightly it is embedded, I was wondering if it was part of the tire itself.
No, there are no "steel belted" or radial bicycle tires. The wire came from a worn automobile tire.

Tool that mother, a Surgery RN, brought home ... to clamp off Bloodvessels...
AKA, Hemostat. Actually most hardware stores also carry these for non-medical use.
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Old 01-05-15, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
It's like removing s splinter. Scrape it with a pocketknife blade, and the blade may engage it and pull it out, or it'll cut it off flush, which may solve the problem.
If you do cut it off flush, mark it with a pen or felt tip. I've had wires short enough to not protrude from either the tread or casing cause multiple flats and not known it was the same hidden wire until I was putting patches over patches. I wouldn't cut it. Keep all the handle you have!

Ben
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Old 01-05-15, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Probably a steel belted radial wire. That's a common bike puncture cause. I had to work my last one out with my finger and a tire lever. I'm thinking about carrying a needle nose pliers with me on rides.
"Probably a steel belted radial wire." A car tire, not your tire. I started seeing these flats around 20 years ago. These flats didn't exist in the '70s and '80s. Steel belted auto tires were still new. No debris yet from old worn ones.

Edit: HillRider beat me to it. In a pinch on a ride, put a tube patch over the wire. That ought to get you home and it clearly marks the location. (But that wire WILL go through the patch and eventually cause another flat.)

Ben

Last edited by 79pmooney; 01-05-15 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 01-05-15, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by happyscientist View Post
They are mt bike tires, and considering how fine the wire is and how tightly it is embedded, I was wondering if it was part of the tire itself.
I had that happen on a road tire, It took quite a while to find that tiny piece of wire.
Needle nose, tweezers, hemstat, will all help getting it out. The trick is to find it first.
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Old 01-05-15, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
If you do cut it off flush, mark it with a pen or felt tip. I've had wires short enough to not protrude from either the tread or casing cause multiple flats and not known it was the same hidden wire until I was putting patches over patches. I wouldn't cut it. Keep all the handle you have!

Ben
I wouldn't trust cutting it off for that reason. It took me long enough to find it last night. I marked it with a felt tip pen so I can tackle it again tonight. I might have to stop at the hardware store to see if I can get some better pliers.
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Old 01-05-15, 01:42 PM
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"Splinter tweezers" have a precision cut sharp point. They work very well on splinters, of course, able to grab the end of a mostly embedded splinter. Perfect for a tiny wire.

I've had one of these (without the magnifying glass) for years. There's many other styles. Try a drugstore or hardware store.
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Old 01-05-15, 01:57 PM
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I have been successful in using a sharp pocket knife to pull them out. It was not my tire and it was back when I was bike commuting and always had a pocketknife with me. perhaps I need to add a small pocket knife to each seat bag because I normally don't carry a pocket knife when I'm kitted up to ride. If you can find the entry hole you may be able to use an awl to push it through from the tread side. I have had to do this with small rock shards.
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Old 01-05-15, 02:47 PM
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I suppose this is a reason to get a front end alignment done one one's car, and replace the tires before one starts seeing the wires poking out.
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Old 01-05-15, 03:50 PM
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A cuticle nipper is handy for extracting small things from tires or brake pads. They look and work like a small side cutting pliers. The tips are small and sharp enough to get a purchase on the offending object without digging into the tire too much. If you are careful you can grab a small object and pull it out without cutting it off.

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Old 01-05-15, 06:28 PM
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There were some radial tires made in Japan in the 80's. They weren't steel belted but look as if they were belted with nylon or other material that would been available then. There was a set on my 1989 Miyata 1000LT touring bike. The rear tire lasted nearly 20 years! I've since replaced the rear tire twice, and will be replacing it again this spring. The front tire is still the original radial tire made by National Tire Company, Ltd. in Japan. It has in excess of 25,000 miles at this point, but it was looking a bit ragged at the end of the riding season last year. Here's Sheldon Brown's commentary on the Miyata 1000LT bike. Japanese Bicycles in the U.S. Market. You're absolutely right about carrying something like small needle nose pliers or a hemostat type tool for removing a wire from the tire.
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Old 01-05-15, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by dicktill View Post
Are you saying that the little stand of wire is from the steel belt itself? Wow, I've had a couple of these myself. : (
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Yes.

On the shop end, the usual clue is a customer complaining about a slow leak. Tire is flat or way down, they pump it up before a ride, ride is fine, three-five days later, it is way down on pressure again.
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
No, there are no "steel belted" or radial bicycle tires. The wire came from a worn automobile tire.
I'm sorry, so which is it, a piece of wire from an automobile tire, or a self-sacrifice/suicide of the bicycle tire? BTW, when I had these on two different occasions/tires, the little wire that had punctured the tube was extremely difficult to pull out of the inside of the tire, almost it seemed : ) as if it was attached.

Thanks, Dick
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Old 01-05-15, 08:14 PM
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I am confident these little buggers are from over-worn auto tires. There is nothing in a bicycle tire that would liik like this. I have had a few over the years. I had one like the OP, that was too small to pick out by conventional means. Luckily it was at work. I was able to use a stereo microscope and really fine tweezers. When I got that puppy out it was no longer than 1/16" inch. I am glad I was at work when it happened.

Ride Safe,

Joe
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Old 01-05-15, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Tool that mother, a Surgery RN, brought home ... to clamp off Bloodvessels , (they get replaced often ) proves to be useful in situations needing a super grippy

needle nose locking Plier ..
Hemostat - especially handy for grabbing ball bearings inside hubs or other recessed places.
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