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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a flat on Sunday - patched it and everything was fine. The next day it was flat again. Took the tube out and inflated it, put it under water, etc, and no leak was detected... Put it back on and it's flat again this morning!!! WTF?<br>
Should I just relpace the tube? I can't figure this out! Maybe it's the valve? I don't know.<br><br>
Any thoughts?
 

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Did you check the inside of your tire for glass or sharp objects?<br><br>
How is your rim tape holding up?
 

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Did you put the valve under water also? I often check the end of the valve with a little spit after pumping the tire up. How much air do you have in the tire when you were checking under water?
 

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ABBIE--poor you with all the flat tires--but you are my hero--I have NO idea how to even change a tire--I need to learn.....hope you get it fixed before your bike race!
 

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Tithers was right, when the tire flat, run your fingers around the inside of the tire to find the thing that caused it, sometimes they are hidden and you have to dig them out. Look at the location of the flat and inspect the rim and rim strip in that area for a sharp burr or something like that, finally maybe the patch job didn't hold.<br><br>
I'd replace the tube and get on with life, but check the tire before you remount it, if there are a lot of cuts in it, replace the tire also.
 

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Possibilities include...
<ul><li>You inflate with a CO2 cartridge? Turns out rubber is more permeable to C)2 than to air - so this stuff leaks out over time. It's great for an emergency on the road, but you want to replace it with good old air at some point.</li>
<li>You inflate it good and hard before putting it in water? Could be a small leak that's only forced open at higher pressures.</li>
<li>You been drinkin' Ronbo's margaritas?</li>
</ul>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
jkaiser: How much air should be in the tube when I'm checking for leaks under water? I didn't think about not having enough air in it. I did put the valve under water, but maybe we didn't have enough air in it or something.<br><br>
I did check the inside of the tire (I even turned it inside out) by running my fingers all around it, and a friend did it too, just to be sure. My bike is pretty new (got it in September), but I checked the rim tape anyway, and it was smooth.<br><br>
That's why I am so stumped.<br><br>
I think I'll replace the tube and see what happens. I'll check the tire again for sharp objects, too.<br><br>
Thank you all for your help!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LOL!<br>
No, I didn't use my CO2 to reinflate... I actually just called my dh to come get me when it went flat the first time... so that I could take it home and work on it in the comfort of my house.<br><br>
I may not have inflated it enough to check for leaks with the water... I'll bet there's something wrong with the valve. The second time it went flat, I could hear it hissing as I walked by, so I think it must be the valve - it was loud.<br><br>
Thanks, LLR!!
 

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Abb, would you listen to johnny and get some good tires. I'm telling you get a set of ultra gatorskins or armadillos and you should stay flat free. Get some new tubes with the tires so you are starting fresh. Whole investment should be less than $50 for both front and back.
 

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JB--really? is that what you use---I might have to get some of those (dont know how to change a tire)...<img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Yeah, both of those, the gatorskins (Continental) and Armadillos (Specialized) are designed to be abused. They have several layers of protective sheathing including kevlar that makes them tough to puncture. I have not flatted since putting on the armadillos. There are other brands I'm sure but these are the ones I'm familiar with. I can change a tire but who wants to? Better to get a tire that's hard to puncture so you don't have to bother. You won't be absolutely flat-proof but you'll be a lot less likely to end up with one.
 

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I have used the gatorskins, they are a nice riding tire but a little prone to cuts on the sidewall, the Armadillos have been redesigned, the old ones were bulletproof but rode and handled like a garden hose, while the new ones are more like normal tires. I'm using the Bontrager Hard Case tires this winter and they have been decent, I got a couple flats the other day, but our roads are pretty tough. I expect I just got maybe 500 miles out of the rear and I'm going to pitch it due to lots of cuts.<br><br>
You need to learn to change a tire if you are going to ride a bike. Calling one's spouse for a pickup isn't a long term workaround, as I have mentioned to my spouse...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks guys. I'll look into those.<br>
For the record, I do know how to change a tire now... <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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I mean the old ones that had a redish sidewall and a wire bead. They were so amazingly slow, plus that actually wore into a square shape and "crabbed" around corners, plus the hard rubber made them ride like a jackhammer. They never went flat though, which is good becuase they were difficult to mount out in the cold.
 

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Careful with the nicknames there ... some of us are dyslexic.<br><br><span style="font-size:xx-small;"><i>You figure it out.</i></span><br><br><br><br><br>
Back to the point ...<br><br>
I bent the stem on a Presta valve once and didn't know it till I got to T1. I pumped it up and a mile later it was flat again. Like the newbie dumbass I was, I didn't have a spare. No way was I DNF'g [only a sprint, c'mon!] so I rode on the flat and trashed the wheel. It was my back wheel, so I wasn't sliding all over. The added resistance from the mush back there totally destroyed my legs for the run.<br><br>
But, I finished.
 

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You may find this interesting. I composed this a few years ago for my local Triathlon club and even posted on the old CRMS site. It's got a few flaws, but the general idea on flats is the same.<br><br><b>Cycling: Preventing Flat Tires</b><br><br>
Flats happen while cycling. They usually happen for one of two reasons: puncture or mechanical problem.<br><br>
A puncture is when you ride over glass, a nail, or some other sharp object that punctures the tire and tube, thus causing a flat.<br><br>
A mechanical problem, for lack of a better term, is when you have a defect (of sorts) on your rim or tire or tube or some other physical part of the bike or loose particle. Examples are old and/or misaligned rim tape; a small piece of glass or even a fine grain of sand embedded in the tire or rim tape; or a small piece of electrical wire (picked up from the road) twisted into the tire.<br><br>
Punctures are difficult to prevent. They happen. Punctures can become mechanical problems if the foreign object, such as a piece of glass, that punctured the tube is still lodged in your tire.<br><br>
Mechanical problems are much easier to prevent. But you have to know how; this is the basis for this note.<br><br>
So then, what can you do to best prevent a subsequent (or persistent) flat tire?<br><br>
When you get a flat and are changing the tube, be sure to inspect the tube for where the puncture hole is that caused the flat. From there, align the tube back on the tire, exactly how you took it out (for example, when you change your flat, leave the tire on the rim -- don't take it off, so that it doesn't move -- and align the air valve up with the valve hole on the rim... basically, line it up the same way you took it off).<br><br>
If the puncture hole is on the top, or the outside, or the side of the tube (ie the part that touches the tire -- not the part that would touch the rim), then you probably have a puncture. In that case, line up the puncture hole on the tube with the tire and see if there is any residual glass or nail or other foreign object still embedded in the tire. If so, clean it out. You may need tweezers for those pesky slivers of glass or wire. If on the other hand the puncture hole is on the inside, or the part that touches the rim, be sure to inspect the rim for foreign objects. If you see none, next check if the rim tape is seated correctly and entirely covering the spoke holes (this is key and will cause flats if not addressed).<br><br>
More Notes:<br><br>
It's best to inspect the source of the flat right away, but if you are rushed for time, be sure to do a quick inspection while changing the flat and then look again when you get home or sometime before the next ride so that you're not stranded with yet another flat tire.<br><br>
If you get a flat in exactly the same spot more than once, odds are super strong you have a mechanical problem (ie. glass still embedded in tire or rim tape misaligned). Do not overlook. Spend time finding the problem. Or you will get another flat.<br><br>
When changing any flat, be sure to clean the inside of the tire AND rim. You can do this simply by running your finger along the surface of each. Be sure to inspect any non-smooth areas.<br><br>
Disclaimer: This is just knowledge from my experiences after changing, like, 100 flats on my own bike, sometimes three or four on one 50 mile ride -- no kidding. I'm sure someone with more experience and/or who is a better student of cycling could add more. (Ask me how to tune a bike and I'll give you the Deer in the Headlights look.)<br><br>
See ya on the [side of the] road <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Thor
 

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Make sure those fingers are protected; it's hard to remount a tire/wheel when your fingertips are slashed up by that piece of metal/glass you didn't <i>see</i>, but sure enough <i>felt</i>!
 

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Wait - The tire was flat, you pulled the tube out and couldn't find a hole...so you put the tube back in and were surprised it was flat again the next day?<br><br>
Uhhhh....What we have here is failure to communicate. Whether you can <i>find</i> the leak or not, if you put a leaky tube back in, it <i>will</i> go flat again. Tubes are pretty cheap - if you can't locate the leak, replace it and get on with your life. But check the tire for pokies first.
 
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