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Looking for insight, getting fed up

Old 05-28-21, 09:20 PM
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Jax Rhapsody
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Looking for insight, getting fed up

I keep getting punctures on the inside of innertubes- the rim racing portion. These patches I have are not holding, those damn lil round black&orange patches. The rim not only has a rim strip, but also has electrical tape assisting it. I'm on my last patch and do not want to keep spending 7 bucks on tubes every few days.
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Old 05-28-21, 09:33 PM
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How are you applying the patches? Rough up the area with sand paper, use a generous amount of glue and let completely dry, apply patch without touching the adhesive side of the patch?

I would sweep my finger on the inside of the rim looking for anything sharp or a spoke protruding. I would note the position of the tube relative to the rim at the puncture site and investigate there
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Old 05-28-21, 09:43 PM
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My first thought is patch application. You are abrading the tube & letting the vulcanizing compound ("glue") completely dry before applying the patch, right? Yes? Good.

Secondly, how much spoke is sticking up beyond the spoke nipple? It should be zero. A bike shop can fix this. If the spokes are too long they can nip off the bit sticking up. How is your spoke tension, BTW?

Third: I'm going to guess you have single wall rims. The proper rim strip for single wall rims is a good thick cloth based rim tape like Velox or similar. Tubeless tape is too thin for this application. The plastic banding they use on shipping pallets &/or a thin band of rubber often used just isn't as good at cloth based rim tape. Do they work? Yes. They"re just not as good. Try switching to Velox. Maybe 2 layers if problems persist.

Good luck,
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edit: You can patch a tube about a bazillion times. The tube & patch simply expands to the tire casing & goes no further. Unless you have a gash or catastrophic tear from a blow out, or the nipple seperates, you need not spend $7.00 every single time. Vulcanized rubber patches literally become part of the tube they are attached to. The "quick patch" stick-on ones, not so much.

Last edited by base2; 05-28-21 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 05-28-21, 09:48 PM
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Are the holes consistently in the same location on the tube? I got several flats on one wheel, no obvious cause to me - I'd just find the tire flat when I went to ride the bike. The hole was always near the valve, on the side of the tube facing the rim. When I went to my LBS to buy yet another tube, I mentioned the problem to the mechanic. He asked some questions about the bike (I hadn't ridden it there, due to the flat tire) and he noted that that particular bike had come with narrow rims. I'd had trouble seating the tire bead right near the valve due to this. He suggested that I was pushing the valve up, into the tire, so the bead would seat, and that this allowed the tube to fold over on itself (making sort of an S shape next to the valve). Then, once inflated, the sharp bend stretched the tube until it failed. Now I use the valve stem nut (Presta valve) to lock the valve against the rim, and I haven't had another flat.

You might not have the same issue, but mechanics have a lot of knowledge - might be worth bringing your wheel to your local shop and asking for some help, if you can't identify the cause.
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Old 05-29-21, 06:17 AM
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Another vote for Velox rim cloth tape. Also, use a cotton ball or used drier sheet to go around the rim--they will snag on anything and if there's something in the rim, you'll find it! I've found that some "glue" just doesn't work as well. Rema vulcanizing fluid is what I've found holds best. You say the hole is always near the valve--are you using the nut on a presta stem, and tightening it down on the rim--if you are, don't do that. If you want to leave the nut on, move it up on the stem, can always put it down toward the rim when inflating.
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Old 05-29-21, 06:52 AM
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Take off the wheel and take it up on the highest hill in the area make sure nothing is in the way then gently give it a roll and go home problem solved
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Old 05-29-21, 07:36 AM
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The vulcanizing fluid must dry before applying patch. Feels wrong, but it's right.
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Old 05-29-21, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Jax Rhapsody View Post
I keep getting punctures on the inside of innertubes- the rim racing portion. These patches I have are not holding, those damn lil round black&orange patches. The rim not only has a rim strip, but also has electrical tape assisting it. I'm on my last patch and do not want to keep spending 7 bucks on tubes every few days.
“Black and orange” patches describe almost every patch out there. Just because they are the same color doesn’t mean that they are all the same. Many of them...well, most of them...are just bit of rubber and rubber cement. Rema Tip-Top are different from all the rest. Instead of depending on rubber contact cement, they actually perform chemistry to make new rubber bonds that are stronger and less likely to fail...especially on the inner curve of the tube.

As for what is causing the puncture, by all means check the rim tape for any burrs. Get a cotton ball and run it around the inside of the rim. Any burrs will catch the cotton and pull out bits that are visible. Two other tricks to finding a chronic problem is “clock” the tire and tube. For the tire, align the label of the tire with the valve stem. It makes finding whatever is causing the puncture easier. The other trick for the tube is to mark the tube with a direction at the valve stem (use a silver Sharpie marker). If you install it consistently the same way, you can find the object puncturing the tube easier.

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
My first thought is patch application. You are abrading the tube & letting the vulcanizing compound ("glue") completely dry before applying the patch, right? Yes? Good.
While I agree with the need for good preparation, “vulcanizing fluid” is not “glue”. True vulcanizing fluid has a chemical activator in the fluid that is used in concert with another chemical in the patch to make rubber bonds. “Glue”, especially rubber cement, is missing the activator in the fluid and the chemical in the patch.

Third: I'm going to guess you have single wall rims. The proper rim strip for single wall rims is a good thick cloth based rim tape like Velox or similar. Tubeless tape is too thin for this application. The plastic banding they use on shipping pallets &/or a thin band of rubber often used just isn't as good at cloth based rim tape. Do they work? Yes. They"re just not as good. Try switching to Velox. Maybe 2 layers if problems persist.
I don’t agree. Most of my flats over the last few years have been on the inner part of the tube. I know how to apply rim tape and I use double wall rims. I also know how to check for foreign objects in the tire and wheel. I can find nothing in the rim tape nor any tears the tape but I’ve been experiencing more and more of this kind of puncture. Right now my working hypothesis is that it’s the tubes. I went for years with the same rim tape only to have the tubes start to fail on the inner part. I’m not particular about the brand of tube I use but I’ve seen this kind of puncture across a wide range of tubes on many different bikes. I think it’s the compounding of the rubber being used now. Maybe they aren’t blending the rubber properly or they are using poorer quality rubber. But given that the problem has occurred for me over a range of tubes and on different bikes, I’ve got to say that it’s the tubes.

edit: You can patch a tube about a bazillion times. The tube & patch simply expands to the tire casing & goes no further. Unless you have a gash or catastrophic tear from a blow out, or the nipple seperates, you need not spend $7.00 every single time. Vulcanized rubber patches literally become part of the tube they are attached to. The "quick patch" stick-on ones, not so much.
As long as you use the proper patch kit (*cough*Rema*cough*), I fully agree.
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Old 05-29-21, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
I've never had luck patching a tube on the inner diameter. Gave up after a couple of times realizing it doesn't work well.

Puncturing on the inside of the tube? You might have a metal sliver stuck in the tape. Happened to me once, less frustration to just replace the tape. What is it, about $4. Also check the inside walls of the rim for burrs.
Oh, I remember the rim tape incident. Or rather the absence of rim tape incident. New bike, three miles from home. FLAT. Begin repairing. Hmmm, something looks wrong. Oh, shouldn't there be some rim tape!!! Not amused and let the bike shop know!
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Old 05-29-21, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Jax Rhapsody View Post
I keep getting punctures on the inside of innertubes- the rim racing portion. These patches I have are not holding, those damn lil round black&orange patches. The rim not only has a rim strip, but also has electrical tape assisting it. I'm on my last patch and do not want to keep spending 7 bucks on tubes every few days.
Trash your crummy rim strip and electrical tape (electrical tape, really?).

Get some Velox rim tape in the width that your rim calls for, install it. No more punctures on the inside of your tubes.

Velox Bicycle Rim Tape
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Old 05-29-21, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
While I agree with the need for good preparation, “vulcanizing fluid” is not “glue”. True vulcanizing fluid has a chemical activator in the fluid that is used in concert with another chemical in the patch to make rubber bonds. “Glue”, especially rubber cement, is missing the activator in the fluid and the chemical in the patch.
I think we are in agreement. I put the word glue in quotes & parenthesis to address the potential that the OP might have been using the terms interchangibly in his/her own conventional vernacular. Wet application/adhesion problems would indicate an absence of knowledge in this particular area.

The silver Sharpie® on the tube is actually a really good idea.

I am dubious about the poorly manufactured rubber claim. Sample size of one, & all that. However I can't completely discount it either. Recently (starting the year before last) I've had issues with Continental Supersonic tubes. For whatever reason the area around the valve stems tend to tear out. Even when knowing how delicate they are & acting accordingly, it seemed to make no difference. Truth be told, it is this frustration that drove me to tubeless.


edit: And yes, Rema! It's hard to beat Rema patches & vulcanizing compound bought in bulk on Amazon or elsewhere. I find i much prefer the smaller diameter patches, but to each his own.

Last edited by base2; 05-29-21 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 05-29-21, 11:00 AM
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Tubeless. Three years and zero flats.
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Old 05-29-21, 11:11 AM
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Had two flats this year, all on the inside of the tube. Same wheel. Put on a new tube in the field. Filled it with CO2, but did it too fast. Tire filled up and deflated within a minute. Walk of shame. At home, found both holes in the same place. No roughness on the rim, but I added a second layer of Velox. I patched both tubes, and so I have the patch and tape there now in the area where it leaked. I beiieve the original happened because I went from 1.75" Kenda Kwest to 2.0" Big Apples, and stayed with 80 PSI, More compressive force inside the tire? Running 40 PSI now.
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Old 05-29-21, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
How are you applying the patches? Rough up the area with sand paper, use a generous amount of glue and let completely dry, apply patch without touching the adhesive side of the patch?

I would sweep my finger on the inside of the rim looking for anything sharp or a spoke protruding. I would note the position of the tube relative to the rim at the puncture site and investigate there
Roughing up the surface- I forgot about that.
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Old 05-29-21, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Tubeless. Three years and zero flats.
This is a 83 High Sierra with a $40 wheel and some real nice tires from a Cranbrook- not an option.
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Old 05-29-21, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by nathand View Post
Are the holes consistently in the same location on the tube? I got several flats on one wheel, no obvious cause to me - I'd just find the tire flat when I went to ride the bike. The hole was always near the valve, on the side of the tube facing the rim. When I went to my LBS to buy yet another tube, I mentioned the problem to the mechanic. He asked some questions about the bike (I hadn't ridden it there, due to the flat tire) and he noted that that particular bike had come with narrow rims. I'd had trouble seating the tire bead right near the valve due to this. He suggested that I was pushing the valve up, into the tire, so the bead would seat, and that this allowed the tube to fold over on itself (making sort of an S shape next to the valve). Then, once inflated, the sharp bend stretched the tube until it failed. Now I use the valve stem nut (Presta valve) to lock the valve against the rim, and I haven't had another flat.

You might not have the same issue, but mechanics have a lot of knowledge - might be worth bringing your wheel to your local shop and asking for some help, if you can't identify the cause.
I was actually thinking of checking the other tubes for that reason. I'm usually not a moron with bikes.
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Old 05-29-21, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
“Black and orange” patches describe almost every patch out there. Just because they are the same color doesn’t mean that they are all the same. Many of them...well, most of them...are just bit of rubber and rubber cement. Rema Tip-Top are different from all the rest. Instead of depending on rubber contact cement, they actually perform chemistry to make new rubber bonds that are stronger and less likely to fail...especially on the inner curve of the tube.

As for what is causing the puncture, by all means check the rim tape for any burrs. Get a cotton ball and run it around the inside of the rim. Any burrs will catch the cotton and pull out bits that are visible. Two other tricks to finding a chronic problem is “clock” the tire and tube. For the tire, align the label of the tire with the valve stem. It makes finding whatever is causing the puncture easier. The other trick for the tube is to mark the tube with a direction at the valve stem (use a silver Sharpie marker). If you install it consistently the same way, you can find the object puncturing the tube easier.



While I agree with the need for good preparation, “vulcanizing fluid” is not “glue”. True vulcanizing fluid has a chemical activator in the fluid that is used in concert with another chemical in the patch to make rubber bonds. “Glue”, especially rubber cement, is missing the activator in the fluid and the chemical in the patch.



I don’t agree. Most of my flats over the last few years have been on the inner part of the tube. I know how to apply rim tape and I use double wall rims. I also know how to check for foreign objects in the tire and wheel. I can find nothing in the rim tape nor any tears the tape but I’ve been experiencing more and more of this kind of puncture. Right now my working hypothesis is that it’s the tubes. I went for years with the same rim tape only to have the tubes start to fail on the inner part. I’m not particular about the brand of tube I use but I’ve seen this kind of puncture across a wide range of tubes on many different bikes. I think it’s the compounding of the rubber being used now. Maybe they aren’t blending the rubber properly or they are using poorer quality rubber. But given that the problem has occurred for me over a range of tubes and on different bikes, I’ve got to say that it’s the tubes.



As long as you use the proper patch kit (*cough*Rema*cough*), I fully agree.
I think that's the other problem; it seems to just be rubber cement. It doesn't even burn like proper vulcanizing adhesive, that bonds the material together. There's a large patch on the old tube that gets a bubble in it, if inflated outside a tire where it looks like it'd split open and never does. One of those don't question it ordeals. I think this discussion has gotten me right on track.
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Old 05-29-21, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
I think we are in agreement. I put the word glue in quotes & parenthesis to address the potential that the OP might have been using the terms interchangibly in his/her own conventional vernacular. Wet application/adhesion problems would indicate an absence of knowledge in this particular area.

The silver Sharpie® on the tube is actually a really good idea.

I am dubious about the poorly manufactured rubber claim. Sample size of one, & all that. However I can't completely discount it either. Recently (starting the year before last) I've had issues with Continental Supersonic tubes. For whatever reason the area around the valve stems tend to tear out. Even when knowing how delicate they are & acting accordingly, it seemed to make no difference. Truth be told, it is this frustration that drove me to tubeless.


edit: And yes, Rema! It's hard to beat Rema patches & vulcanizing compound bought in bulk on Amazon or elsewhere. I find i much prefer the smaller diameter patches, but to each his own.
It’s happened to me a couple of dozen times. Like I said, I know how to use rim tape and how to check for debris. If it were something that happened a couple of times, I would probably chalk it up to missing something but the frequency that I’ve been experiencing it has happened isn’t due to my error. The tears don’t happen at the valve stem, either. They tend to happen over a spoke hole but there is no visible damage to the rim tape.
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Old 05-29-21, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Jax Rhapsody View Post
I think that's the other problem; it seems to just be rubber cement. It doesn't even burn like proper vulcanizing adhesive, that bonds the material together. There's a large patch on the old tube that gets a bubble in it, if inflated outside a tire where it looks like it'd split open and never does. One of those don't question it ordeals. I think this discussion has gotten me right on track.
What do you mean by “doesn’t even burn”? Are you doing the “hot patch (that really isn’t ‘hot patch’)” setting the tube on fire method? Don’t do that. It does nothing for the tube, it isn’t “hot patching” and your Daddy was all wrong about how they did it in the “old days”.

Let the glue dry and then apply the patch.
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Old 05-29-21, 05:36 PM
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On the rare occasions when this has happened to me, and when all sensible efforts have failed to resolve, I break out my fiber reinforced packing tape and run a strip tightly around the rim. Then run your preferred rim strip on top of it. This has always fixed things for me. The downside is that the fiber tape may be difficult to remove if you need to.

Also, Rema TipTop is a patch system that you can rely on.

Good luck.
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Old 05-29-21, 05:44 PM
  #21  
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Even a non-sharp discontinuity can erode through a tube. I had a similar problem once with a thick boot. As for running your finger around inside the rim, maybe a cotton ball, to reduce the likelihood of blood.
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Old 05-29-21, 06:37 PM
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I'll just add that it's not just spokes that can make a hole. If the tape doesn't *completely* cover the spoke holes, the edge of a hole can cut the tube too. Sometimes it's hard to see it happening because the tape LOOKS ok and only exposes the edge of the hole under pressure.
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Old 05-30-21, 06:58 AM
  #23  
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I've had problems with thorn proof tubes chafing thru when used on narrow rims
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Old 05-30-21, 09:25 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Tubeless. Three years and zero flats.
came here to post this.

Mind you I can still get “flats” (like a nail puncture) with tubeless but much less likely and it is really self repairing for most everything but a sidewall gash. I’ve hit a couple nails or glass shards, which I pulled out, let the sealant do it’s thing, added back air, then was back on my merry way.
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Old 05-30-21, 09:50 AM
  #25  
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Have you figured out why you are flatting so often? In the last 10 years, most of my flats were poor installation, some worn out rim tape, few were road hazards or punctures.
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