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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding my new road bike semi-regularly since April, and have had two flats. Another woman I ride with has ridden for years and never had a flat. Before buying the road bike I rode mountain & hybrid bikes for years and never got a flat (of course, those tires are much fatter). Is two flats a lot in not a lot of riding?<br><br>
The first flat, I rode over something small and sharp -- there was a tiny puncture in the tube. Tonight was a sudden blowout, loud gunshot sounding noise and a large hole in the tube. What would cause that to happen?
 

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two this year, but not while riding, they "flattened" overnight. I've never flatted on a ride.......and I've ridden on rotted tires <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/sad10.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="sad10"> I've had friends flat twice on the same ride.
 

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I think both of my tires have slow leaks, I usually have to pump them up before I ride.<br><br>
In three years, I've had one flat while I was on a ride and had to carry my bike about half a mile home. Another time, I had my chain break and had to push my bike over a mile and a half to get home. Barefoot b/c I just got my new clip in pedals.<br><br>
But, to answer your question, SG, I know people that swear flat tires come in streaks. You go a long time w/o getting one, then get 2 or 3, then a long time again.<br><br>
Sorry. They suck.
 

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made your "slow leak" is saving you a flat. The mechanic at the bike shop says that most flats could be avoided if people checked and pumped their tire before every ride. He said at proper levels a pumped tire should kick out glass. I'm not strong enough to pump those last 5# in my tire. My DH checks his tires, and when I ride behind his tires spit road dirt into my face. thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I pump my tires to 120 psi (the recommendation) before every ride.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">
 

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That is a good practice to have! You should definately keep that up. You'll definatly minimize your chance of flats by riding on properly inflated tires.<br><br>
Flats can be caused by many different things. When I was riding regularly, I would put int 200 or so miles a week. Sometimes I'd go months or even almost a year without having a flat, and sometimes I'd have multiple flats on a ride.<br><br>
Do a degree, you're always rolling the dice with having a flat on your bike everytime you ride. I only say this because there are lots of variables that cause flats.<br><br>
Pinch flats/compression flats are common, and are caused by having underinflated tires, and hitting a bump in the road. your weight + the compression of the tire, causes a "pinch" resulting in two small parallel holes. When I worked at a bike shope, we saw these all the time, and called them 'snake bites'.<br><br>
The other common cause of flats is glass, debries, etc. If you ride through lots of sandy gravel/small ground up bits of glass and metal etc. on the edge of the road, it can and will work it's way into your tire and cause flats. If you ride through a spot like this you can minimize your risk of flat by:<br><br>
1) stopping for a moment, spinning your wheels and running your glove lightly over the wheel cleaning it off.<br><br>
2) if you have reasonably good handling skills - don't stop... hold your glove over your wheel as you coast along, and clean it off. If you do this be careful not to "break"/Stop the wheel causing yourself to catapult and wreck.
 

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I do the same thing. I had never had a flat before this year. And I've had two.<br><br>
They both came just after I learned how to change a tire, so that is good. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_cheers.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="cheers">
 

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Yes, too many flats. I almost never flat. Good tires (e.g., Michelin carbons), check the pressure before every ride, avoid obvious road hazards, and you should be able to do the same.<br><br>
 

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but, how hard are they to change "if" you flat??? There are some tires I just can't change. Seems like when you "move up" they are tighter and even with the tools I just can't (small fingers, weak arms).
 

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When I first got into cycling, I went through a terrible run of flats. In fact at one point it seemed like I got a flat every time I rode. I finally learned about proper inflation and using high quality tires. But, I had to change a lot of tires to get to that point. What I learned from all that tire changing is that technique is more important than raw strength. Key points:
<ul><li>Use levers to get the tire off the rim, but use <b>hands only</b> to get it back on. If you use tools, there is a very good chance you will puncture the tube no matter how carefully you work.</li>
</ul><ul><li>Get as much of the tire back on the rim as possible before the final effort.</li>
</ul><ul><li>For that final bit, don't pull with your fingers (weak), rather <b>push with your palms</b> (strong) to gradually knead the tire onto the rim.</li>
</ul>
 

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Both my flats were b/c of puncture wounds...one was at BRAG (Bike Ride Across GA). I was a mile from that day's finish. 15 cars wanted to give me a lift. I said "I didn't sign up to bike ride ALMOST across GA."<br><br>
2nd time was my final ride before IMFL. I got back to the parking lot and a safety pin punctured my tire. There was a half mari the day before that ended at said PL.<br><br>
Last week I flatted my tire on purpose b/c the idiots at performance bike put my tire on wrong (got new wheels) and the damn thing started coming off. So-I flattened it...fixed the tire...got out my co2 gun. OUT. Extra cartridge-OUT...<br>
ETA-I was in the middle of the farmland when the tire fell off. Luckily, there were a group of riders that showed up 15 minutes later!<br><br>
Apparantly-I had EMPTY CO2s in my saddle bag for IMFL. OMG. I threw out my good ones and kept the bad ones.<br><br>
needless to say...I made sure to fix that problem!
 

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My two this year came in a one-month period. One I ran over what turned out to be one of those construction-sized staples; thankfully, I was less than a mile away from home and managed okay despite losing all my air.<br><br>
The other was an overnighter. I hit a 2x4 square on (I don't know how I missed it) during my ride but the tire checked out okay upon closer inspection. A few hours after I had gotten home, I heard this champagne-cork-loud pop sound followed by the sound of whooshing air - the tire had finally given up the ghost.
 

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I've had more flats that I can count. Once I had 4 in a single day! I found that my bike shop was giving me a tube that was too big for the tire AND they'd sold me the darn bike! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/ugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="ugh">
 

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initially i had several flats when i was riding to work. i attribute this mostly to not inflating the tires often and getting "pinch flats".<br><br>
now a days a rarely get them HOWEVER the streak theory i totally agree with. i've gone a year and then 3 of them in a matter of a a week. two overnights and one on the commute in.
 

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I had one last year, in my first biking year. I had learned to fix a flat six months earlier, but did not feel comfortable doing it. I called DH and he came to pick me up. I was on my way to work, so I could not afford to be late, either, in case of a second flat.
 

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As a long time cyclist and a previous bike shop mechanic, here a few things I always do after a flat to help prevent some of the "streaks":<br><br>
1. Check the tire carefully for glass and run your finger around the inside of the tire to feel for what caused the flat (carefully).<br><br>
2. Make sure the rim strip/rim tape is completely covering every spoke nipple hole. It's common for it move slightly, exposing the hole, thereby allowing the tube to poke into the hole, rub the rim and flat. This is a very common cause of repeated flats. Velox cloth adhesive rim strip is awesome, much better than the cheap plastic stuff on most bikes from the factory.<br><br>
3. A good practice to get into is always placing the tire's label at the same location as the hole in the rim. This allows you to pull the tire off (when flat), put some air in the tube, and quickly determine where on the tire the flat originated from... makes it easier to find the glass in the tire.<br><br>
4. Learn to replace a tire without using objects like screwdrivers to lever it back on, which can damage the tube, tire, and/or rim.<br><br>
Out west, we have goatheads, which are thorns that are just pure evil on bike tires:<br><img alt="" src="http://www.klickitat-trail.org/images/goathead.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
- Chris
 

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Man, I haven't thought about goatheads in about 20 years. About the time I hung up my bmx bike. I don't live in the west anymore so they never come up during cycling.<br><br>
To answer the original question, maybe once every two months or so, I get a flat during good weather. During the winter months I ride my MTB mostly, and then mostly on roads, so I have a little more toughness against flatting. I did get a few flats while I was getting my trainer up and running this year. Don't ask.
 
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