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Flat Tire - Recurrence

1132 Views 26 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Abb94
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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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=""><br><br>
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