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My rear tire keeps going flat.....

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My rear tire keeps going flat.....

Old 08-07-15, 02:21 AM
  #1  
HK2K13
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My rear tire keeps going flat.....

I've posted a while back about getting rid of my WACK $&% Retrospec fixed gear/singlespeed bike. I SO wish I could get rid of it right now but I can't afford it. Every time I look around, there's another issue with it. Either I need to become a bike mechanic or get rid of this bike.. or BOTH! lol
I've recently been having problems with my rear tire going flat on me as I'm out riding. I do nothing out of the ordinary. Hell... Honestly, I'm still rolling on my original front tire AND tube from 2011.... Hitting potholes and all. It holds air and rides like a trooper! FYI - I don't skid. I've taken this crapload to two different bike shops over 4-5 visits and the same thing keeps happening. Last time, the so called 'mechanic' at the bike shop had part of the tire sitting outside the rim which caused it to bubble and ride rough like the wheel was bent. He charged me for this foolishness! I caught it before it went flat, released all the air, pushed the tube into the tire and the tire into the rim. Inflated it & went for a ride.. Everything was a-ok. About 4 miles in....I feel that horrible feeling that I didn't need to feel at the time. My tire was FLAT. .I was close enough, so I walked home PISSED OFF!

Please help... What could be the cause of this? Was the tube punctured from the mishap? I ride in the street... No grass... I stay away as much as I can from rough terrain and glass. LA streets SUCK! So, I'm always dodging what they should've fixed a LONG time ago.

Last edited by HK2K13; 08-07-15 at 02:41 AM. Reason: added details
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Old 08-07-15, 03:13 AM
  #2  
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IMHO, anyone who rides should be enough of a wrench to fix flats. It's just faster and easier than visiting an LBS for that.

Sounds like a repeating problem, so look for something imbedded in the tire that punctures the tube. Wire segments from car tire belting are the usual suspect. They can be almost invisible, so look for clues like the tube being punctured in roughly the same position on the rim. You can do things like rub a cotton ball around the tire....where a few cotton threads get caught and remain is where the offending piece is located. Push the wire or glass piece out of the tire, then repair the tube and re-install. You may need to patch the tire on the inside if the hole has become big enough.

Not too hard, certainly easier than boning around at the LBS for that. Flats are part of life, resign yourself to accepting and repairing them. A patch kit costs <$5 and will fix a dozen flats, at least. Can't go to the LBS once for that much.
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Old 08-07-15, 03:23 AM
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The only way people over the internet can help you (other than providing a forum to rant) is to say that you need to figure out what caused every flat.

It is pointless to complain about a generic flat without determining the cause.

If your tire is 4 years old, what condition is it in?

Common causes of flats:
  • Pinch Flats. The "snake bite", you hit a big bump, and find 3 holes about 1/4" apart in a line around the tube.
    Could be a sign of too low of pressure, too small of a tire, or running over too much debris.
  • Radial Tire Wire. Sometimes hard to spot. A needle like wire that can extend 1/4" into the tube.
  • Glass. Chews its way through the tire and into the tube.
  • Thorns or goatheads.
  • Bad rim tape, or perhaps something on the rim. When you find the hole, it is mysteriously on the rim side.
  • Tube punched or folded during install???

I usually remove tire and tube together, then inflate and try to find the cause of the flat before removing the tube from the tire and proceeding. Sometimes I'll try to remember where the valve was before removing the tube, then find the hole and match up the hole to the tire (and rim). Some people use the label on the tire to mark the valve.

I always run my thumb around the tire before installing a new tube, to knock out any debris, and feel for something causing a flat, although it probably isn't sensitive enough. Periodically I also go around the tire with my Swiss Army Knife Leather Punch (or something similar) and probe the bottom of every hole to check for glass, thorns, wires, etc.

I did have a tire that got so many flats that I just changed it out. I don't know, it was a few years old, but perhaps I missed something
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Old 08-07-15, 03:48 AM
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Take the tire off completely and get an old pair of nylons and ball up one leg, put them inside your tire and slide it around to see if a fine wire or thorn is stuck in the casing.
Get a Thorn proof tube for the rear.
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Old 08-07-15, 04:23 AM
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All that.
Be careful running your finger/thumb around inside the tyre because sometimes, you find the problem by ripping a chunk out of said digit.

Sometimes, you'll get a bit of glass stuck in the tyre and while it pokes through when under pressure, doesn't poke through when not. Find the hole in the tube. Lay it over the tyre, look inside AND outside the tyre for a problem (from the outside, you may only see a small cut in the tyre). This is where lining the badge on the tyre over the valve helps as it gives a guide to how the tube and the tyre fit together.

When you find the hole in your tube, have a close look to make sure the hole is not on the inside of the tube (when installed) - it's not unknown for the holes in your rim that take the spokes to cut the tube.

Seriously though. LEARN HOW TO FIX TYRES YOURSELF. This is basic mate. It's not rocket science and it's the most common repair needed on the side of the road. Paying someone to fix flats is like paying someone to squirt lube on your chain.
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Old 08-07-15, 04:27 AM
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I check my tyres for glass at least once a week, sometimes more often than that. Maybe I live in a area unusually populated with bottle throwing cretins but it's rare I don't flick something out of my tyre.
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Old 08-07-15, 04:53 AM
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When a tire is getting worn out, one sign of that can be repeated punctures, simply because there is not enough rubber left to stop road crap. Don't use the condition of the front to gauge the condition of the rear, rear tires always wear much faster than fronts, even if you don't skid.
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Old 08-07-15, 08:54 AM
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Thanks to everyone who didn't chastise me telling me to learn how to fix a flat. I appreciate the valuable info! lol fyi- I do know how to fix a flat. I've been going to the bike shop (lately) because I'm tired of trying to figure out what's with this rear tire.

Last edited by HK2K13; 08-07-15 at 09:01 AM. Reason: Missed details
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Old 08-07-15, 08:56 AM
  #9  
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....oh I forgot to mention. It's a fairly new tire. I've had it for all of 2 months. My front tire is old as heck.... No flats. I'm about to change the new flat in a sec & utilize what you guys have told me. Thanks again!

Last edited by HK2K13; 08-07-15 at 09:03 AM. Reason: Missed details
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Old 08-07-15, 09:31 AM
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You'll flat the back wheel more of than then your front, at least in my experience.

Buy a bundle of tubes, even new bikes get flat tires, so if you replace your bike, you'll still need the tubes at some point.

Learn to change your own tube, do what the others have said about checking the tire for debris or something stuck in it. However, I'm assuming your first tube went flat due to it being 4 years old, and the second one sounds like was pinched between the tire and the rim when it was inserted. An easy way to avoid that is to pump up the tire to about 10-15psi and push the tire around the beed, all the way around the tire to ensure the tube is in the tire and not pinched between the two.
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Old 08-07-15, 10:21 AM
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when you change a tire you should always wipe out the inside of the tire, could have a metal shaving, glass spec, etc. that keeps tearing the innertubes.
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Old 08-07-15, 12:05 PM
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Last year I decided to go with tires rated as puncture resistant.

My Origin8 Elimin8ers were supposed to be kevlar belted. I'm going to try some other brands as soon as they're worn out which is imminent. I did have a Schwalbe Marathon on last year... it is HEAVY.

I still get a few flats, but I think the numbers are quite reduced, especially in the summer. I've been riding on really bald tires for the last month or so... and no flats
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Old 08-07-15, 01:35 PM
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Which shop serviced your bike? They sound useless.
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Old 08-07-15, 04:08 PM
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Check your rim tape. See if it has started to migrate in one direction, or another, exposing the edge of a spoke hole. Even the slightest amount of edge can cause, through constant rubbing, a small tear in your tube. If this is the case, consider replacing your rim tape--possibly with wider tape.

While on the topic of rim tape, some cheaper wheel manufacturers use plastic (of some sort) as a rim strip. Over time these plastic strips harden and can form small jagged edges. Eventually these edges can wear a hole in your tube. This actually happened to my friend, who came to me with the same issue as you. I replaced his rim tape, with cloth tape, and he's been fine for months, so far.

I'm not saying this is definitively your issue. However, it is worth taking a look at.

Also, you might try putting a little air in the flat tube, then squeezing it to force the air out through the puncture, to see where the hole is. This might help you find from where the puncture is originating (something on the rim or an object embedded in your tire). From there, you should be able to take a look at either your rim or tire and figure out what the cause of your series of flats might be.

...and like the others said, learn to fix your own flats (for obvious reasons).

Last edited by mrblue; 08-07-15 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 08-07-15, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mrblue View Post
Also, you might try putting a little air in the flat tube, then squeezing it to force the air out through the puncture, to see where the hole is. This might help you find from where the puncture is originating (something on the rim or an object embedded in your tire). From there, you should be able to take a look at either your rim or tire and figure out what the cause of your series of flats might be.
This is the ultimate reason for lining your tire logos up to your valve stem...pull the tube out and find the puncture, then inspect the tire in that location. Lined up logos makes life a lot easier.
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Old 08-07-15, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
This is the ultimate reason for lining your tire logos up to your valve stem...pull the tube out and find the puncture, then inspect the tire in that location. Lined up logos makes life a lot easier.
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Old 08-08-15, 01:09 PM
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Thanks for the info. Noted!
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Old 08-09-15, 03:19 PM
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Thanks to everyone who lended a hand to me regarding my issue with flats. I read through, took note & used the knowledge. Changed the tire, went for a couple rides and it's still holding solid. Perfect. Now my back axle is wiggling around.... Not much.. Just a little play when I wiggle it horizontally. That can't be good. :-/ Where the hay could that have come from? Am I gonna have to rebuild my back tire? I know I sound like a real newb but, I'm really trying to learn from the people who have knowledge of bicycles. I desire to have the knowledge to fix my bike all around because I can't fully trust LBS's. My experiences have not always been so good. But, I'm not at the level yet where I can replace the aid of a bike shop & what they know.

Last edited by HK2K13; 08-09-15 at 03:20 PM. Reason: Left out important details
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Old 08-09-15, 05:00 PM
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Describe the wiggling? Is it the axle in the dropouts? Make sure the wheel is straight, chain tension is right, and tighten up those nuts. If there is some play between the hubshell and the axle, that's ok, as long as there isn't too much. That little bit of "slop" is for the bearings, to make sure that they roll smoothly. You adjust this with the cone nuts on the axle. These are those really skinny black nuts on your axle that are in pairs on either side of the hub. You basically adjust these by tightening them ever so carefully until there is no play in the wheel, then back it off just to the point where you can feel some play. If these nuts are too tight, you can ruin your bearings. Too loose and you can also ruin your bearings. You don't have to be super precise with the exactness of the adjustment. Just follow the procedure listed above and it should get you to where you need to be.

Cone nuts reqiure cone wrenches. These are skinny, so that you can tighten then up one at a time, and look like they were made from thin metal plate.

Images - https://www.google.ca/search?q=cone+...IVTwiSCh0E6QMs
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Old 08-09-15, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by taras0000 View Post
Describe the wiggling? Is it the axle in the dropouts? Make sure the wheel is straight, chain tension is right, and tighten up those nuts. If there is some play between the hubshell and the axle, that's ok, as long as there isn't too much. That little bit of "slop" is for the bearings, to make sure that they roll smoothly. You adjust this with the cone nuts on the axle. These are those really skinny black nuts on your axle that are in pairs on either side of the hub. You basically adjust these by tightening them ever so carefully until there is no play in the wheel, then back it off just to the point where you can feel some play. If these nuts are too tight, you can ruin your bearings. Too loose and you can also ruin your bearings. You don't have to be super precise with the exactness of the adjustment. Just follow the procedure listed above and it should get you to where you need to be.

Cone nuts reqiure cone wrenches. These are skinny, so that you can tighten then up one at a time, and look like they were made from thin metal plate.

Images - https://www.google.ca/search?q=cone+...IVTwiSCh0E6QMs
I'd bet taras0000 knows what he's talking about. I have this issue constantly on the wheelset that came on my Bikes Direct bike.
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Old 08-09-15, 08:00 PM
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I know exactly what you're speaking of. I need to buy some cone wrenches. It just started the jiggle.. I don't remember it having that much play before. It's not horrible but I felt it ever so slightly as I rode this morning. I didn't go far...turned around, went back home and took the wheel off to take a closer look at it.... I definitely don't want to affect my bearings
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