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Flat after flat... What can I do?

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Flat after flat... What can I do?

Old 02-06-09, 11:47 AM
  #26  
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My first suspicions would be a) pressure problems (pinch flats) and b) worn-out tires.
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Old 02-06-09, 12:01 PM
  #27  
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#1 do some close inspection as to why your getting the flats. Pinch flats, glass, thorns, were on the tube are the holes bottom tire thread side, sides or top of tube rim side.
Hole or slits in tube, or snake eyes.
If its glass or thorns try a different path as simple as that sounds I had a street on my commute that I would get a flat from glass in the same area of the road so I stopped going down that street if I did I'd avoid that area I did and stopped getting my flats.
So it could be a number of things but first figure out what the source is and take it from their.
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Old 02-06-09, 01:50 PM
  #28  
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http://www.sheldonbrown.com/flats.html
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Old 02-06-09, 02:16 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
this thread cracks me up. 22 people have responded to the OP with so little information on which to base any suggestions or conclusions.

If the OP is not savvy enough to provide the necessary information to help figure out the cause of these flats then how will they be able to discern which piece of advice will actually be of any assistance?- they already admit searching the forums and still can't figure it out.

To the OP: Help us out here- What kind of bike? Is it a fixed gear? A mountain bike? Road bike? What kind of tires? Brand? Size? Tubes- presta or schraeder? What kind of flats?- yes, there are different types- blowouts, slow leaks, pinch flats, punctures, inside of tube (close to rim) outside of tube (next to tire casing), sidewall? Where do you live? Are there cuts or holes in the tire casing?- outside of casing? inside of casing? Is it an urban area with lots of glass? A southwestern area with thorns? Are you changing the tubes or are you taking it to a shop? Do you know how to seat the tire properly? Are you reinstalling the tube using tire levers or rolling the tire onto the rim with your hands? How are you pumping the tire up? A hand pump? A floor pump? At a service station? Is the valve straight or at an angle?

All of the answers you have been given thus far are just more shots in the dark- not the best way to solve a problem.
And how, exactly, does the type of bike make your suggestions any more relevant? Do fixed gears have more flats than mountain bikes? Do presta tubes have more flats than schrader? Does a Kenda tire provide more protection then a Continental? Your questions don't add much to the discussion.
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Old 02-06-09, 02:58 PM
  #30  
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If you have the option, go tubeless.

Tubeless Rules All

The commute has no bike lanes and goes through a college area (lots of glass) and an industrial area (lots of scrap, tire wire, dead animals).

Averaged 1 flat per week on good weeks

I tried liners, slime tubes, kevlar belted tires, etc etc.

Switched to tubeless about 7,000 miles ago and have not looked back. One flat due to a key (a friggin house key) that magically punctured the rear tire. Otherwise, perfection.

I pick glass, tire wire, metal shards, etc out of my tires 1/wk and refill with sealant every 3 mo. The Schwalbe Marathons went 5k, and just passed 2k on the current Continental Sport Contact.

Tubeless Rules!
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Old 02-06-09, 03:16 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
this thread cracks me up. 22 people have responded to the OP with so little information on which to base any suggestions or conclusions.
Sometimes other peoples experience is enough to form conclusions, or at least analysis. Many people already have mentioned things I had not yet thought of. Even the information you provided in your reply helped; such as using a tire lever.

Thanks to all who replied I'm going to pick up new rim liners, I'll check the inside of my tire and rim for sharp stuff, and from now on I'll try to keep track of where the puncture occurs. All very helpful advice. If I still have trouble (cross my fingers) I'll check out some armadillo **tires**
Thank!

Last edited by dlittledlite; 02-07-09 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 02-06-09, 04:36 PM
  #32  
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Armadillo tires, not tubes. They work well, BTW.
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Old 02-06-09, 07:05 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by lapher22 View Post
...BTW have you ever tried to patch a slimed tube?
EXACTLY!!!
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Old 02-06-09, 08:34 PM
  #34  
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Sometimes an overinflated tires can flat because the object is more likely to sting deeper into the tire due to the lack of flexibility.
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Old 02-07-09, 02:54 AM
  #35  
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Where are you riding? When I lived in Yucca Valley CA in the high desert they had these little burrs all over the place. They even got in the road. Avoiding them was impossible. I started buying the inner tubes with green slime in them and had very few flats after that.

No idea where you're riding but don't rule out some environmental reason.

Other than that it could be a pinch flat. I did that the first few times I changed a tire. Best to inflate the tube a bit first before working the tire over the rim. Inspect the tire good as well.

Some bontranger tires I had once would get flats about every 40 km. I found a small slice in the tire and I presume it would heat up or cause uneven wear or something and BANG. You could almost set your odometer by it. 40 km.

Bought some Schwalbe Stelvio's and haven't had a flat since on that bike.

John
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Old 02-07-09, 03:14 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by NEXUS View Post
Depending on where you flat, the best solution would probably be to pump up the tune with slime and do you real repair work at home.

I hope one of these days they invent a better airless tire.
Slime adds rolling weight and only works some of the time. I had it save me one time. Another time, it created a gooey mess where the hole was and I still had a flat. It makes it impossible to repair a tube on the road. It also clogs valve stems. I heartily do not recommend it.

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Old 02-07-09, 03:24 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
this thread cracks me up. 22 people have responded to the OP with so little information on which to base any suggestions or conclusions.
Make that 24 people. Add your reply to the other 22 and mine to you. I'll take your word for the 22 count. I don't waste my time counting replies.

Bob
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Old 02-07-09, 08:49 AM
  #38  
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I used to get a flat every 2.5 days on Specialized Borrough tires.! Schwalbe Marathon tires were a very good choice (read between the lines.)
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Old 02-08-09, 10:55 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
And how, exactly, does the type of bike make your suggestions any more relevant? Do fixed gears have more flats than mountain bikes? Do presta tubes have more flats than schrader? Does a Kenda tire provide more protection then a Continental? Your questions don't add much to the discussion.

do fixed gears have more flats than mountain bikes?- yes. often they do. the rear wheel is used often to skid to a stop and wears the tires down and the tires tend to be a much narrower profile and subject to wear sooner and flats.

Presta valves for new users can be problematic, the stems get bent, sometimes the user forgets to tighten the core.

I prefer a Continental tire. But both tires also mount differently depending on the rim size and profile.

Years of being a bike mechanic and bike shop manager and helping customers learn to analyze their bike problems rather than going about it through trial and error made me ask the questions I did in my post.

How many years did you work in shops? And BTW, I made no suggestions in my post other than that the OP might wish to provide more info.

Last edited by buzzman; 02-08-09 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 02-08-09, 10:59 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by wrobertdavis View Post
Make that 24 people. Add your reply to the other 22 and mine to you. I'll take your word for the 22 count. I don't waste my time counting replies.

Bob
it's not so tough- there's a little number in the right hand corner of every post that tells what number post it is.

this thread just keeps cracking me up.
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Old 02-08-09, 11:06 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by dlittledlite View Post
Sometimes other peoples experience is enough to form conclusions, or at least analysis. Many people already have mentioned things I had not yet thought of. Even the information you provided in your reply helped; such as using a tire lever.

Thanks to all who replied I'm going to pick up new rim liners, I'll check the inside of my tire and rim for sharp stuff, and from now on I'll try to keep track of where the puncture occurs. All very helpful advice. If I still have trouble (cross my fingers) I'll check out some armadillo **tires**
Thank!
I'm curious how you read my post- do you think I am suggesting remounting the tire using tire levers or the opposite?

I did not intend it as a suggestion either way but merely a question. But I am curious what conclusion you drew from my post.
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Old 02-08-09, 11:45 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
do fixed gears have more flats than mountain bikes?- yes. often they do. the rear wheel is used often to skid to a stop and wears the tires down and the tires tend to be a much narrower profile and subject to wear sooner and flats.
It would depend on a number of factors that are or are not related to riding style and location. Mountain bikes are prone to pinch flats...not something that is normal for road bikes with proper inflation. Mountain bikes get ridden in areas where the surface may have more sharp objects that can puncture a tire. Road bikes (and urban bikes) may be subjected to broken glass and other sharp objects but any rider paying attention can avoid many of those hazards...not something that a mountain bike do as easily.

Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
Presta valves for new users can be problematic, the stems get bent, sometimes the user forgets to tighten the core.
Schrader valves are more prone to valve stem cuts.

Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
I prefer a Continental tire. But both tires also mount differently depending on the rim size and profile.
Your preference is irrelevent in this discussion and is exactly the same as you complained about in your post... "this thread cracks me up. 22 people have responded to the OP with so little information on which to base any suggestions or conclusions." It's meaningless.

By the way, tires mount the same way independent of brand. Some may be a bit tighter than others but they still mount the same way. The tools you may or may not need to get them on is another matter altogether.

Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
Years of being a bike mechanic and bike shop manager and helping customers learn to analyze their bike problems rather than going about it through trial and error made me ask the questions I did in my post.

How many years did you work in shops? And BTW, I made no suggestions in my post other than that the OP might wish to provide more info.
I've been doing my own work and working on other peoples bikes for decades. There are only a limited number of possibilities for most problems with bikes and with very scant information, it's pretty easy to analyze and solve a problem.
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Old 02-08-09, 11:57 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by mnbikeguy View Post
if you've ruled out the obvious (debris and improper installation) i would try replacing your rim tape.
+1. Unless you're just riding on huge expanses of broken glass, this is the most likely reason for trouble.
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Old 02-09-09, 12:09 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
this thread cracks me up. 22 people have responded to the OP with so little information on which to base any suggestions or conclusions..
ya and u are number 23 to make it even funnier. other people already asked the same questions u did.
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Old 02-09-09, 12:15 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
it's not so tough- there's a little number in the right hand corner of every post that tells what number post it is.
That number depends on how you view the page. You use linear mode which lists the responses in numerical order. I use hybrid mode which shows the posts with responses to subthreads (if you use 'respond with quote'). For example, my first response to your post shows up in hybrid mode at #10 while in linear mode it shows up at #29
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Old 02-09-09, 12:46 PM
  #46  
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Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Nine months zero flats - riding on city streets. Yes they are heavy, but roll very well. Yes they are expensive, however the cost is recovered by elimenating the cost of buying tubes.
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Old 02-09-09, 09:26 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
That number depends on how you view the page. You use linear mode which lists the responses in numerical order. I use hybrid mode which shows the posts with responses to subthreads (if you use 'respond with quote'). For example, my first response to your post shows up in hybrid mode at #10 while in linear mode it shows up at #29

You ever get to the point where something makes you laugh but the joke stops being funny when you have to explain again and again why you're laughing. That's where I've gotten with this now.

I've obviously offended your sensibilities somehow and for that I apologize. I'll try once more to get my point across and then leave it in your expert hands.

Fixing a flat is one of the most basic repairs any of us ever do on a bike. There is a ton of information in these forums on how to fix them, how to prevent them, how to figure out why you keep getting them. Not only that but the internet itself has an abundance of similar information in all kinds of places like blogs and websites. But despite that the OP said, "I searched the forums, and I cant figure out why I get so many flats." Well, I gotta say after years of working in bike shops my antennae go up right there- you learn to look for the loose nut behind the handlebars.

Now the OP says, "I'm aware of common sense stuff like... Installing the tires properly, or avoiding debris." Okay, fine but keep in mind the only information at all provided by the OP is "The only reason (s) ...is maybe something to do with the bike rack on the bus. Otherwise maybe I am buying poorly made tires or tubes? "

And now people start posting with suggestions. Many of which are common sense advice like installing the tires properly and avoiding debris despite the OP's claim of knowledge in that area.

To me it's funny because it's like the old, "How many ------ does it take to -------?". Or it's like putting a target up in a darkened room and having people fire at it until someone hits it but then never even turning the lights on to see if it got hit because the OP doesn't know where the light switch is.

There really wasn't enough information, as is so often the case in BF, for anyone to make an accurate guess. It could be "My knee hurts." or "I keep breaking spokes." Same thing.

And yes, of course I listed lots of questions that may ultimately be irrelevant but that's how diagnostics works other than that it's just trial and error, which is what this thread is. This thread would be really fantastically funny to me if it went on for 3 or 4 more pages with still no more information from the OP but just more and more and more suggestions of what could be the cause. I'm sorry that kind of thing cracks me up but it just does.

And then you, who felt my questions were irrelevant, respond with this:

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
It would depend on a number of factors that are or are not related to riding style and location. Mountain bikes are prone to pinch flats...not something that is normal for road bikes with proper inflation. Mountain bikes get ridden in areas where the surface may have more sharp objects that can puncture a tire. Road bikes (and urban bikes) may be subjected to broken glass and other sharp objects but any rider paying attention can avoid many of those hazards...not something that a mountain bike do as easily.
and this:

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Schrader valves are more prone to valve stem cuts.
None of which do I disagree with but I do feel you're only further proving my point that more information from the OP might have been useful in diagnosing the specific reason why they keep getting flats.

Finally, yes, tires do, for the most part, mount in the same way but what I meant was that sometimes, depending on the rim/tire combination that process can go easy or be seemingly impossible.


Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The tools you may or may not need to get them on
And I suggest that, as a rule, the use of tire levers (or any tool) to mount a tire be avoided.
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Old 02-09-09, 09:37 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
And I suggest that, as a rule, the use of tire levers (or any tool) to mount a tire be avoided.
I've never been able to get a tire on without them. I'm always left with six to eight inches of the bead left on the outside of the rim that apparently requires stronger fingers than I have. (Or maybe I just don't have the knack)

What's the problem with using levers anyway? Pinching the tube?
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Old 02-09-09, 11:32 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
I've never been able to get a tire on without them. I'm always left with six to eight inches of the bead left on the outside of the rim that apparently requires stronger fingers than I have. (Or maybe I just don't have the knack)

What's the problem with using levers anyway? Pinching the tube?
Again, depending on your tire/rim combination getting the tire back onto the rim can be anywhere from super easy to what seems a logistical nightmare. Whenever possible the palm of the hand is used to coax the tire onto the rim. Grasping the top of the wheel where the tire is still off, work the tire onto the rim with the palms of the hands moving closer and closer to the middle end point. This technique will result in fewer pinch flats than prying it back on with tire levers. The more rounded plastic tire levers are certainly better than the older metal tire "irons" of the past if you absolutely must use them to remount a tire but I prefer the metal ones especially in the sub-zero weather we've been having and it's rare that I've had to use a tire lever to remount a tire. BTW, the use of a little bit of dish soap on the bead of the tire or edge of the rim (wipe it off afterwards) can make it slide onto the rim a little easier. There is also a tool called a "bead jack" that will help if you've got a particularly gnarly rim/tire combo.

The ability to put virtually any tire back onto a rim without tire levers is a skill that gets major kudos in a bike shop and when you take off and put on 20-50 tires a day, day after day, your hands get stronger and your technique gets better. Partly out of survival- pinch flats and poorly seated tires are super common and once you fix a flat you don't want to have to do it again at the shop's expense.

Flat tires are barely a money maker for shops on their own but they bring customers in and give the shop an opportunity to get a look at a bike and suggest repairs the customer might not have noticed on their own.

Last edited by buzzman; 02-09-09 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 02-10-09, 09:04 AM
  #50  
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My response to your questions were to show the absurdity of asking them. I don't need a complete medical history, riding history or personal history to diagnose something as simple as multiple flats. I assume that dlittledlite knows a little about bikes even from his marginal information. I think he could figure out what would cause a blowout and that if he were having blowout after blowout, he would be asking about that. One down.

Multiple flats have only a few causes. Maybe he is running over stuff with wild abandon...something he said he isn't doing. Or he is using levers to put the tires back on and slicing the tube...but he said he knows how to put the tires on correctly. Or he is riding with too low a tire pressure...a possibility but he could probably figure that out pretty quickly. Or he is failing to check for an object in the tire which, in my experience, is the most likely cause. Locating the object can be difficult unless you mark the tube so that you can find it, thus my suggestion in my first post.

Finally, flats are random events. Maybe dlittledlite is just having a run of bad luck. But check the damned tire anyway
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Stuart Black
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