Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Popping Tires Constantly

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Popping Tires Constantly

Old 12-16-21, 09:24 PM
  #1  
Eplumer40
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Popping Tubes Constantly

Long time lurker, first time poster. Iíve been a cyclist for a few years but only recently got into road biking. I currently ride a Diamondback Insight ST hybrid that Iíve built up over the past year. My issue is almost every ride I go on Iím popping at least one inner tube, often times twice in one ride. Due to this frustrating and increasingly expensive endeavor I took a break from outside and tried the stationary bike trainer/Zwift setup. Worked well for a few rides, and today I get another flat. I donít want to give up road cycling because I love riding on the open road but this is super frustrating. What do I need to fix that will prevent getting so many flats?

Wheels are Alex AT450, inner width 13mm. They arenít in the best condition but all the flats have been on the road side of the tires.
Tires are new Continental Ultra Sport III 700x25
Tubes are some random Chinese brand right now, but Iíve also had Sunlites and Continentals blow on me.
Iím quite a bit of a Clydesdale at 5í10Ē 245lbs, but Iím working on that.
Does tightening down the presta screw have a significant impact on the tires?
I also donít have a pressure gauge for presta valves so I have no idea what my tire pressure is.

Iím at a loss at this point. My best thought is I need to switch to a wider wheel/tire combo until I drop 50-60 pounds, but was hoping thereís a cheaper option. Thanks in advance.
Eplumer40 is offline  
Old 12-16-21, 09:49 PM
  #2  
GhenghisKahn
OwainGyndwr
 
GhenghisKahn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Wellington/Porirua, New Zealand
Posts: 122

Bikes: 90 Fisher 3x7 hardtail, 2016 Reid 1x7 commuter, 2017 Viva 46x18 fixed gear, 93 2x8 Avanti Kona

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 43 Posts
My thought is pinch flats from under inflation. Bite the bullet, get yourself a Topeak Joe Blow floor pump. They're bright yellow. Pump your tires to the high end of recommended. The JB pump is set up for presta or schrader valve stems. It goes to 160 psi, I think. Then get a Topeak Road Morph g frame pump. They're like a mini floor pump. They come with directions to make it for schrader or presta. 125 psi. Check your tires carefully by rubbing your fingertips around the inside of your tire after flatting. That will tell you where the puncture is coming from if your finger snags on something. A pinch flat has a signature that varies slightly, but it's obvious when you've seen a few. Others will chime in with more and better info. Again my educated guess would be pinch flats from under inflation. Good luck and stay with it. 👍
GhenghisKahn is offline  
Old 12-16-21, 09:54 PM
  #3  
majmt
Senior Member
 
majmt's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tropical Montana
Posts: 291
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 150 Post(s)
Liked 790 Times in 244 Posts
Flats on the road side of the tube…… You’ve probably already checked but could there be anything imbedded on inner surface the tire casing? Do you live in Arizona? Everything there is sharp or wants to poke, sting, or bite something and those pokers can have a talent for working their tiny little selves through a tire. I went to grad school in Tucson and was always getting flats til I started using Mr Tuffy tire liners.

added: You might want to consider more of an endurance tire.

Good luck with the weight loss.

Last edited by majmt; 12-16-21 at 10:13 PM.
majmt is offline  
Likes For majmt:
Old 12-16-21, 09:57 PM
  #4  
Russ Roth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Shore of Long Island
Posts: 2,091

Bikes: 2010 Carrera Volans, 2015 C-Dale Trail 2sl, 2017 Raleigh Rush Hour, 2017 Blue Proseccio, 1992 Giant Perigee, 80s Gitane Rallye Tandem

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 790 Post(s)
Liked 636 Times in 480 Posts
Pinch flats are also known as snake bites due to the typical appearance of two parallel holes next to each other. Care also has to be taken to make sure that you are really getting out whatever caused the flat, failing to do so can mean it just sits there and cause repeat flats. Getting a nicer tire can help as well. Recommendation on the little valve nut is to throw it out. If you need it to keep the stem in place for inflation, just get a presta valve adapter. Mostly those nuts serve no other purpose than to overtighten and tear the tube at the valve or undertighten and drive you nuts trying to figure out the source of the rattle.
Russ Roth is offline  
Old 12-16-21, 10:12 PM
  #5  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,318
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1092 Post(s)
Liked 643 Times in 344 Posts
All of the above, and check the inside of your rim for rough spots. Also check your rim tape for protruding spokes.

Did I read your post correctly, you had a flat on the trainer? If that is the case, go through all the steps above, and check out the inside if your tire and rim carefully. You don't get pinch flats on a trainer.
Doug64 is offline  
Likes For Doug64:
Old 12-16-21, 10:27 PM
  #6  
Ironfish653
Dirty Heathen
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: MC-778, 6250 fsw
Posts: 1,722

Bikes: 1997 Cannondale, 1976 Bridgestone, 1998 Softride

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 659 Post(s)
Liked 488 Times in 303 Posts
"Popping" as in 'goes bang?' or just that it goes flat? Front wheel, back wheel, or both?

If they're just going flat, you could have a piece of debris lodged in the tire casing that keeps puncturing the tubes. Wipe the inside of the tire with a cotton ball, to see if anything snags.

Yes, you need to close the nut on a presta valve. You don't need to reef it down, but it should be snug, as it's the only thing holding the valve closed, other than air pressure.
Also get a floor pump with a gauge; even an inexpensive one should do fine, you need some kind of repeatability, especially if you want to ride skinny tires.

As a bigger rider, (I'm~220, myself) you need to make sure you have enough air in the tire to support your weight, and prevent pinch-flats. Smaller tires require higher pressure for a given rider weight, so you'll have to keep those 25s pumped up pretty hard. For general-purpose road riding, I like 28-32mm, for that extra air volume bb
Ironfish653 is offline  
Old 12-16-21, 11:26 PM
  #7  
MarcusT
Senior Member
 
MarcusT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: NE Italy
Posts: 1,272
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 580 Post(s)
Liked 380 Times in 213 Posts
A major tire manufacturer stated when riding at the max recommended weight on their tires, the max pressure must be used
MarcusT is offline  
Old 12-17-21, 12:58 AM
  #8  
Leisesturm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,108
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1906 Post(s)
Liked 404 Times in 292 Posts
My vote is for debris trapped in the tire carcass. Seriously. It recently took me AND my wife, nearly 30 minutes to find the little shard of glass that was embedded IN the tread of our Bontrager Hardcase (H2) on our tandem. Those tires are damn near flatproof but when something does get in them it really does get IN them and you need surgical equipment to get it out. Get one of those headlamp mounts for your bike light and light up the inside of that tire. Glass or tiny metal wires will glint in the beam. Flex the tire as you go around carefully feeling along. Investigate EVERY break in the smooth lining of the tire. It's in there.
Leisesturm is offline  
Likes For Leisesturm:
Old 12-17-21, 01:30 AM
  #9  
GhenghisKahn
OwainGyndwr
 
GhenghisKahn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Wellington/Porirua, New Zealand
Posts: 122

Bikes: 90 Fisher 3x7 hardtail, 2016 Reid 1x7 commuter, 2017 Viva 46x18 fixed gear, 93 2x8 Avanti Kona

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 43 Posts
Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
...Also check your rim tape for protruding spokes...
This! Took me years to start using size appropriate, high quality rim tape. My go-to is Zefal, though I imagine there are several makers just as good or better. If you're running high psi tubes, double wall rims w/rubber tire liners that combo is a flat waiting to happen. Get some cloth liners if that's the case. Cheers.
GhenghisKahn is offline  
Old 12-17-21, 02:48 AM
  #10  
LarrySellerz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 994
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1218 Post(s)
Liked 223 Times in 169 Posts
If you can't find the debris inside your tire just get new tires, some cheap stuff should be fine. You shouldn't be getting flats like that, maybe your tires are trash. Your weight isn't the issue if youre pumping them to very firm
LarrySellerz is offline  
Old 12-17-21, 04:41 AM
  #11  
Eplumer40
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I may not have time to look at everything until after this weekend but I will go over everything to see what this issue is. A few answers to questions I saw:

I live in South Carolina, where everyone throws their trash on the side of the road.
Someone asked if they are actually popping or going flat, and theyíre just going flat. There have been one or two times that an actual event caused the flat, such as a pot hole, but not this frequently. Itís been on both wheels as well.
And yes, I got a flat on the trainer.
Perhaps I didnít mention it but the tires are almost brand new. One has maybe 30 miles on it, the other has 10ish.

Iíll have to bite the bullet and get a floor pump for sure with a gauge. Iím hoping this is the issue and my little hand pump just isnít doing it.
Eplumer40 is offline  
Old 12-17-21, 05:02 AM
  #12  
Fredo76
The Wheezing Geezer
 
Fredo76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: EspaŮola, NM
Posts: 290

Bikes: 1976 Fredo Speciale, Jamis Citizen 1, Ellis-Briggs FAVORI, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 118 Post(s)
Liked 216 Times in 110 Posts
Are you using a sealant? Here in the Land of Enchantment (and goat-heads) a sealant such as Slime for butyl tubes, or Stan's for latex tubes, is a virtual requirement for sanity. Feel things get a bit bouncy, stop and find the thorn, pick it out, then spin the tire, pump it up, and ride on, hopefully into the sunset!
Fredo76 is offline  
Old 12-17-21, 07:00 AM
  #13  
freeranger
Senior Member
 
freeranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,239

Bikes: 06 Lemond Reno, 98 GT Timberline mtn.bike

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 310 Post(s)
Liked 485 Times in 303 Posts
Couple of suggestions: when putting in a new tube, put some baby powder on the tube before installing. This will allow it to move a bit in the tire, so it isn't folding over on itself. Also, take the tire off the rim and run a cotton ball or used drier sheet around the inside of the tire. They will snag on anything inside the tire (much better than finding a glass shard with your finger!). I don't tighten the valve stem nut (many don't even use them).
freeranger is offline  
Old 12-17-21, 08:02 AM
  #14  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,111
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3413 Post(s)
Liked 872 Times in 603 Posts
Flats have a cause. You have to be sure to look for it.

When you take the tube out, keep track of the orientation. Use the valve as the basis for keeping things aligned. The hole will be at a particular place on the circumference of the tire. You want to be able to look at the same place on the circumference of the tire. If you aren't sure about the orientation, check the two sides.

Be sure to mount the tire with the center of the lable over the valve. This lets you keep better track of the orientation/alignment of the tire and the tube.

Keep in mind that you can remove the tube by removing one side of the tire (you don't have to take the tire completely off).

============================

Pump it up and find the hole. Put the tube under water, if you have to.

Once you find the hole in the tube, look at the tire at the same place (around the same place).

Often, the thing that caused the flat is still in the tire. If you see something, remove it. Tiny wires (from steel belted tires) can be hard to see.

It there's something in the tire and you don't remove it, you'll (almost certainly) get another flat.

The flat on the trainer suggests that there something still in the tire.

What the hole (or holes) look likes can be a clue to what to look for. A tiny clean hole might be a wire. A jagged hole might be a stone or a piece of glass. Two small slits are a pinch flat caused by hitting a pothole edge hard or too low pressure.

============================

You said the holes are on the road side but these are other things to keep in mind too.

If the hole is on the inside of the tube, the cause isn't from something picked up from the road (it might be due to a spoke).

The nut on the valve will only be a suspect if the hole is at the valve on the valve side. These holes are easy to see. The hole for the valve stem can have sharp edges. If this your problem, careful, limited filing might help. Using a few layer of duct tape between the tube and the rim might help too (make a small square and put a small hole in the center. Push the hole on the square over the valve on the tube.

Last edited by njkayaker; 12-17-21 at 08:29 AM.
njkayaker is online now  
Old 12-17-21, 08:15 AM
  #15  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,111
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3413 Post(s)
Liked 872 Times in 603 Posts
Originally Posted by Eplumer40 View Post
Wheels are Alex AT450, inner width 13mm.
Kind of narrow for a hybrid (I guess the bike is old). 25mm is kind of narrow for a hybrid too. You might be able to put 28mm on those rims (25mm is the largest recommended).

You might be better off with a wider tire, given your weight, but we still don't know enough about what's causing your flats.

Originally Posted by Eplumer40 View Post
Does tightening down the presta screw have a significant impact on the tires?
You said the holes are on the tire side. The valve is not on the tire side. The nut has nothing to do with your issue.

Holes at the valve are fairly common and the nut (which isn't necessary) can be a part of holes near at the valve.

When you put the pump onto the valve, push the tire tread at the valve to make the valve stick out.


​​​

Last edited by njkayaker; 12-17-21 at 08:27 AM.
njkayaker is online now  
Old 12-17-21, 10:00 AM
  #16  
Iride01
MotuekaCascadeChinook
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10,656

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4305 Post(s)
Liked 2,865 Times in 1,994 Posts
You need to diagnose why you flatted. Just knowing that it is the tire side tells you little. For certain you need know if it's from something that punctured the tread of the tire and might still be in the tire puncturing all your other tubes. Or is it from too little inflation and you are getting pinch flats as previously described by others.

It may also be that you simply damage the tube when you install it. Possibly it gets caught under the bead as you try to get the tire over the rim and seated. Or perhaps you pinch it with a tire lever if you use them.

The puncture resistance on a Ultra Sport is almost 4 times what my GP5000's are and I only flat a few times. The last time just last month. Before that 20 months ago. So you need to really do some investigation.
Iride01 is offline  
Likes For Iride01:
Old 12-17-21, 10:29 AM
  #17  
70sSanO
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 4,865

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1576 Post(s)
Liked 1,572 Times in 991 Posts
Not knowing the exact year of your bike, I believe it came with 32’s.

Regardless, can go to whatever tire width that will fit in the frame on those 13mm rims. Technically Alex AT450 has a 622x14 spec, but it is academic. Unless you are bombing hills and making ultra high speed turns, the tires aren’t going anywhere. Even more so if you use a tubeless compatible tire. Don’t spend money on another wheelset.

Good rim tape, larger flat resistant tires, an LBS can help, and maybe a tire liner as a last resort and you should be fine.

John
70sSanO is offline  
Old 12-17-21, 10:36 AM
  #18  
WaveyGravey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 160
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 17 Posts
Highly recommend you address tire pressure and proper inflation. Buy yourself a good pump. I'm betting this is your problem.
WaveyGravey is offline  
Old 12-17-21, 06:57 PM
  #19  
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Posts: 12,139

Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, Catrike Speed

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1379 Post(s)
Liked 573 Times in 359 Posts
When someone says they are "popping" their tubes, it tells me the tire is explosively blowing off the rim and putting a large hole or gash in the tube. As long as the tube stays in the tire, the tube won't POP. That means one of two things is happening:
1. You have a broken bead on the tire and it can't stay on the rim.
2. You are pinching the tube under the bead, the tube then works its way out during use and explodes.

For smaller holes, especially ones that repeat, you can always find the cause if you look hard enough. It may be a wire stuck in the tire, some debris, a rough spot on the rim, or bad rim tape that's exposing a spoke or a hole's sharp edge. Less commonly, a tube can be torn by manhandling the valve stem. I don't suspect this of being your problem since you'd have to be an absolute gorilla to do it every time. Most likely you're not properly mounting the tire and it's a pinched tube.
BlazingPedals is online now  
Old 12-17-21, 07:00 PM
  #20  
KerryIrons
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 292
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 118 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 145 Times in 84 Posts
Originally Posted by Eplumer40 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I may not have time to look at everything until after this weekend but I will go over everything to see what this issue is. A few answers to questions I saw:

I live in South Carolina, where everyone throws their trash on the side of the road.
Someone asked if they are actually popping or going flat, and theyíre just going flat. There have been one or two times that an actual event caused the flat, such as a pot hole, but not this frequently. Itís been on both wheels as well.
And yes, I got a flat on the trainer.
Perhaps I didnít mention it but the tires are almost brand new. One has maybe 30 miles on it, the other has 10ish.

Iíll have to bite the bullet and get a floor pump for sure with a gauge. Iím hoping this is the issue and my little hand pump just isnít doing it.
Find where the hole in the tube is. If it is two holes, spaced a half inch apart, it is a pinch flat from too little pressure in the tire. If it is one hole, line the tube up with the tire and figure out what caused it. As others have said, something lodged in the tire (look very carefully if you don't see it at first) or perhaps the rim tape exposing a spoke. Until you find the cause of the flats, you'll never put an end to it.
KerryIrons is offline  
Old 12-18-21, 09:11 AM
  #21  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,271

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1505 Post(s)
Liked 1,451 Times in 906 Posts
If you want to stay with tubes, some folks put tubeless sealant in tubes. Just remember you'd probably need to swap tubes often enough the sealant doesn't harden and pop the tube when you re-inflate it after the sealant has hardened from a long period. I bought used wheels off a guy that did just this and I didn't think to swap the tubes and popped a tube, sealant in them was done for.

But it's a popular option.
burnthesheep is offline  
Old 12-18-21, 02:00 PM
  #22  
livedarklions
High Performance Noodler
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 12,711

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6627 Post(s)
Liked 6,386 Times in 3,610 Posts
Only thing that I do that hasn't been mentioned is to slightly inflate the tube before mounting it on the rim. This stops you from twisting it and helps prevent getting it pinched between the bead and the rim.
livedarklions is online now  
Likes For livedarklions:
Old 12-18-21, 02:33 PM
  #23  
rsbob 
Sniveling Weasel
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 2,442
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 872 Post(s)
Liked 1,608 Times in 924 Posts
Another tip is when you put on a tire, align the label of the tire with the valve stem. Doing that, when you dismount the tube you will have a good idea of where the offending object entered the tire to puncture the tube. carefully sweep that area with your fingers and also look at the outside of the tire for glass, thorn, whatever. It’s a good habit to get into.

Tubeless people can just ignore that and me in general.

BUT, if you are under inflating the tires going tubeless (requires tubeless compatible rims and tires) might be the thing for you.
__________________
Immoderate Cyclist ďNo regertsĒ




Last edited by rsbob; 12-18-21 at 02:39 PM.
rsbob is offline  
Likes For rsbob:
Old 12-18-21, 03:03 PM
  #24  
GhenghisKahn
OwainGyndwr
 
GhenghisKahn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Wellington/Porirua, New Zealand
Posts: 122

Bikes: 90 Fisher 3x7 hardtail, 2016 Reid 1x7 commuter, 2017 Viva 46x18 fixed gear, 93 2x8 Avanti Kona

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 43 Posts
Originally Posted by Eplumer40 View Post
...Iíll have to bite the bullet and get a floor pump for sure with a gauge.
Do yourself a favor and don't get a big box store pump where the bike stuff is in the toy section. Those pumps are good for filling floaties, volley, soccer and basketballs for your kids. There are several manufacturers of high quality floor and frame pumps. My suggestion for the Topeaks in my earlier post was because that's what I use and am very happy with the quality and longevity of use. The Road Morph g is what I use on all my bikes except my mtb. On that I have a Mountain Morph. Cheers.
GhenghisKahn is offline  
Old 12-18-21, 04:15 PM
  #25  
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,513
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 815 Post(s)
Liked 221 Times in 165 Posts
You can fix it once you find the cause. It doesn't sound like most of your flats were pinch flats. I'd guess that something is stuck in your tire tread, especially if the hole is the same distance from the bead each time. Perhaps it's more than one thing, partly due to bad luck: bad tube one time, glass or wire the next, perhaps with pinch flats other times?

Flats are either pinch flats, sharp stuff going through the tire, defective tubes that come apart, or the bead popping off the rim due to bad tire installation or a broken tire bead. But beads popping off cause a loud, explosive BANG, since the tube pushes out past the bead, blows up like a balloon, and pops. It'll have a split that's usually inches long, unlike the other, slower flats.

Pinch flats ("snakebites")
These are caused from the tire getting compressed so far that the tube is squashed between the edge of the rim and the tire tread. The pressure makes a tiny slit in the tube, usually in a pair, one per rim edge. It's on the inside part of the tube. Sometimes only one side bottomed out, so there's just one slit. It usually happens either instantly or within a minute or two of hitting something on the road. I've hit: potholes, edges of cast iron water valve covers, or, most often, large chunks of sharp edged gravel--at speed. Very slow speeds will often just roll over these things, no damage.

You need enough tire pressure for your weight. But even then, hitting sharp edged objects at speed can pinch flat a fully inflated tire if you are unlucky.

Nails, metal, big glass pieces: its easy to locate the cut in the tire.

Wires or slivers of glass.
These are very difficult to find, and may be recessed in the tread of the tire. They cause slow leaks, from tens of seconds up to hours if they are really tiny.
As the previous comment explained, that's why mounting a tire with the label at the valve stem makes it practical to: locate the leak on the tube; then hold it up to the tire to locate the area of the tread to examine carefully. You might need to look in two directions from the valve, since it's tricky to keep the tube's orientation in mind. (I use a silver sharpy to draw a direction arrow on the tube before installing, for this reason.)

Finding the hole:
Pump some air into the tube. I like to hold the tube up near my cheek and check the whole thing, to feel the air flow and maybe hear it escaping.
A bigger hole might need someone to keep pumping while I look for the leak, otherwise it's empty in a second or two.

But the leak can be way too slow to feel or hear! These have to wait until I get home, hoping the replacement tube won't go flat too. Then I fill the tube until it's doubled or tripled in width, then hold sections under water in the bathtub or basin. There will be tiny trapped air bubbles on the tube surface. I wipe these off underwater with my fingers and watch for one of them to reappear, wipe it again, and see it come back. There it is! I've had this take 10 seconds or more to reappear if the hole is extremely small, but it usually reappears as fast as I wipe it off. If I'm lucky, there's a stream of tiny bubbles heading to the surface of the water, easy to see.
rm -rf is offline  
Likes For rm -rf:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.