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Tubes popping

Old 03-19-16, 11:16 PM
  #1  
w.clay.roberts
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Tubes popping

Hey everyone.

Im just getting into biking and was have a 2009 Schwinn Le Tour. I had it serviced by a bike shop to make sure its good to go. After taking it out a few times I seem to pop a tube about every 3 rides. Is this common or am I doing something way wrong? The bike shop recommended 100 psi and it seems to work well enough on my rides.

Is this normal? Any tips on tube protection? Its getting kind of frustrating dealing with changing a tube every few days.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 03-19-16, 11:38 PM
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While punctures are common enough, popping tubes (by which I take to mean blowing off the rim and bursting with a loud bang) is usually a sign of a preventable mistake in mounting.

To help, I need more clarification.

Is the tire partly blowing off the rim letting the rube escape underneath?
Or, when you find it after it bursts, is the tire still fully on the rim with the burst tube safely inside?

Also, I need to more in order to say whether 100pse seems appropriate. Tire brand/model and width, along with rim brand and model, or description.

It also helps to have a description of the damage the tube suffered, including the location, and whether the flats are always in the same place, or if it seems random.
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Old 03-20-16, 01:05 AM
  #3  
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A tube should never "pop". If you mean a generic flat tire (normally silent), then the key is to see what is causing the flats. Maybe it's a sticker or piece of wire you never did get out of the tire? Maybe it's bad rim tape. Maybe it's tube being pinched under the tire. If the tube is actually popping ("Blam!"), that's normally a tire problem, not a tube problem. I've had that happen on a unicycle, not a bicycle. I think what actually happened was that the tire popped off the rim in one place, let the tube blow, but went back on in the next rotation. Anyway, if that's the problem, check if the tires are unusually loose on the rims, check if they seem to be centered all around as you air it up. Regardless, that's not a "normal" problem, and indicates some mismatch of tire and rim or some error in installation.
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Old 03-20-16, 01:27 AM
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My bet is that you're trapping the tube between the tyre and the rim.
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Old 03-20-16, 05:52 AM
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Take a file with the rim tape off and file any long spokes or ruff spots.
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Old 03-20-16, 06:48 AM
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Clay, please explain what you mean by popping tubes. We can help you figure it out, but you have to give us more info. Do you mean you keep getting flats? If so are you patching the tubes? Relative to the valve stem, is the puncture appearing in the same place each time? Is the puncture on the street side of the tube or the rim side?
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Old 03-20-16, 08:24 AM
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If he's actually "popping" tubes, I'd check to see if he's doing something stupid like trying to fit a 27" tire on a 700mm rim.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:33 AM
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If your tube destruction is a long slit in the side of the tube, look for possibly having damaged the tire at the bead. Sometimes if the tire lifts off the rim and causes a blowout it will happen again and again at the same position because the tire bead is bent. Only thing to do if this is the case is to replace BOTH tire and tube.
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Old 03-20-16, 10:06 AM
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...or, is he using a screwdriver to seat the rim instead of a tire lever?
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Old 03-20-16, 10:58 AM
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We could speculate until the cows come home,

OR

we could wait for the OP to respond with a better description of his problem.
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Old 03-20-16, 01:14 PM
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I agree, we need a much better description. I.E. What does "popping" mean to the OP.

  • Blowout. Tire comes off side of rim with a loud bang. Tire too loose?
    Sometimes old tires are a bit loose and one has to be careful they are seated on the rim.
    Or, potentially a pinched tube could blow the tire off the rim.
    After a couple of occurrences, it might be best to replace the tires.
  • Ordinary flat from tire side of tube.
    Locate every flat, and use it to help guide the search for glass or radial tire wires or other things causing flats.
    I periodically probe every cut or small hole in the tire for pieces of glass or wires that could cause flats.
  • Flat, Rim side of the tube. Check the rim tape is intact and covering the holes. Also look for burrs in the rim. Finding where the hole is can help direct your search.
  • Pinch flat. The classic "snake bite" flat. Two holes about 3/8" apart along a circle around the tube. This is caused by low pressure, heavy weight, and narrow tires, and hitting something sharp in the road.

The common thing with all flats is one has to determine what type of flat, and then determine the cause.

Recurring flats are likely due to a problem that hasn't been dealt with. Either that, or running over lots of glass.

Consider puncture resistant tires for your next set.
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Old 03-20-16, 01:33 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Consider puncture resistant tires for your next set.
How about sword resistant tires? Do they exist? It's the only explanation for the flat I got Friday; shiny new bike, one week old, riding home as always, when 'SSSSSSSS!!' Stopped and got off the bike to discover my rear tire (why is it ALWAYS the rear??) was flat. Long story short, I fixed my first flat (and was quite pleased with myself), got a 1/2" slice in my barely used tire (RIP), and then found $20 on the side of the road. DH is ordering some puncture resistant Continentals, so I'm stuck for a week or two, but it'll be raining the whole time anyway so whatever.

I swear, I was looking for debris, so it must have been a magic sword that stuck out of the road just as I was rolling over it, and then sank back down into the earth from whence it came. It's the only explanation. [/whine]
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Old 03-20-16, 01:37 PM
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I don't believe Schwinn made the Le Tour as late as 2009. I smell something.
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Old 03-20-16, 01:40 PM
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Do you mean ?
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Old 03-20-16, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I don't believe Schwinn made the Le Tour as late as 2009. I smell something.
It is listed on the Bicycle Blue Book. Of course, the rest of the world could be wrong.
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Old 03-20-16, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
How about sword resistant tires? Do they exist? It's the only explanation for the flat I got Friday; shiny new bike, one week old, riding home as always, when 'SSSSSSSS!!'

I swear, I was looking for debris, so it must have been a magic sword that stuck out of the road just as I was rolling over it, and then sank back down into the earth from whence it came. It's the only explanation. [/whine]
I did decide to go with flat-free tires on my winter commuter.

Installation was a bit of a pain, but I don't have to worry about it again until they're ready to come off. No hunting for a dry spot to change a tire in a rain storm.

I have the narrow version, 700x23. A bit harsh, but not bad. So far a few hundred miles in the rain. AND NO FLATS. I've picked up a couple of pieces of glass that could be bad news for other tires. The wear is still barely scratching the surface.

Unfortunately the goal was to ride them in the winter, and I believe the wet traction is somewhat reduced. Perhaps the tires are aksi slightly slower than pneumatic tires, or perhaps I'm just slow

The tires should be ok with something doing a lengthwise cut, but I'm not sure how they would react to a large crosswise cut.
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Old 03-20-16, 02:18 PM
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Thanks Clifford; I'm a weather weenie, so rain isn't much of an issue. I will admit it does help that my alternative transport is the bus. I feel ya about the slow, but I'm working on it. My slice was right across where the rubber hits the road; the rest of the trip home had a bit of a bump to it. I'm just glad it all held together.
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Old 03-20-16, 02:28 PM
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Don't ride in the debris lanes (bike lanes or paved shoulders.)

Last edited by BlazingPedals; 03-20-16 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 03-20-16, 02:29 PM
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That is not common at all. I don't get more than 1 flat a year for example.

What you need to do is, the next time it happens, take it to a good bike shop, and tell them that you keep getting flats, and you want them to take a look and figure out where the flat is coming from. Or you could do it yourself - you take the tub off the tire, be careful to mark it so you know exactly where the tube is in relation to the tire, add some air figure out where it leaks.
- If it's leaking on the inside of the tube (towards the metal wheel) then something is poking out of the wheel and needs to be fixed. Might need new rim tape, might need to sand something down.
- If it's leaking on the outside of the tube then something is embedded in the tire that's repuncturing it over and over again. Either it needs to be removed, or if you cannot locate it, you need a new tire (rare but happens sometimes)
- If it's leaking around the stem, then either either a problem with the hole in the rim, or your pump is causing the issue. This happened to me, I finally realized my pump was not letting go of the stem very easily, and I was slowing pulling the stem out. Fixed my pump and it fixed my problem, no more flats around the stem.

That's what you need to do, figure out where the flats keep happening.
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Old 03-20-16, 05:15 PM
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I've had problems like this. Pinch flats. It was usually the wrong size or type tube for the rim or tire for me. Lately I've only been using heavy duty thorn resistant tubes that are slightly too small for the rim & tire.
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Old 03-20-16, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
If your tube destruction is a long slit in the side of the tube, look for possibly having damaged the tire at the bead. Sometimes if the tire lifts off the rim and causes a blowout it will happen again and again at the same position because the tire bead is bent. Only thing to do if this is the case is to replace BOTH tire and tube.
The same thing was happening to me - I blew out three tubes. Finally figured that the tire wasn't holding , replaced tire, no more problem.
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Old 03-20-16, 07:27 PM
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Regarding tubes, as a recumbent rider I have what could be referred to as 'special experience.' Many times I've had to use a tube that's slightly too big, either in diameter or width. If you can get it stuffed into the tire, it'll work even though it won't be optimal. A 700c tire with a 27" tube? Piffle!
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Old 03-21-16, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
We could speculate until the cows come home,

OR

we could wait for the OP to respond with a better description of his problem.
Sure we could, but where's the fun in that?
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