Numerous flats... ready to give up!!

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by terpsucka, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. terpsucka

    terpsucka New Member

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    Hi there, newbie here. I've been biking to work on a "hybrid" a few days a week for about a year now, but have been experiencing flats with increasing frequency. I've tried a few things-- tire liners, various pressures, but I keep getting flats. My ride is about 12 miles each way, and I got to the point where I was seeing about one flat every other ride. It's all sidewalk/trail/street riding, and I'm not hitting anything obvious in the road.

    I thought I'd found the answer-- I put a tube of slime sealant in each inner tube, and I went awhile with no flats. Finally yesterday, I got a flat the slime couldn't cure. I took off the tire and found six spots that had been sealed, all around and on all sides of the rear tube. I guess the slime was finally all used up. These aren't snakebites and don't look like punctures, they are what appear to be splits in the tube. The fact that they're appearing all over the tube makes me think it's not the tire or the wheel that's at fault. My local bike shop only sells "Forte" tubes, so that's what I've always used, and I've been through probably 10 of them. I use the width and diameter called for on my tire, but I don't have the manual for the bike itself, so I'm not sure what it calls for... I assume it's the same since the tires are what came on the bike. My wheels don't show any signs of wear, and the tape is all in tact. There's nothing inside the tires and they appear to be in fine condition.

    I've been stuck in the elements far from work and home several times changing tubes (or worse when I forget to replace my spare!). I love the biking, but unless I can solve this problem, it's just too much hassle. Any suggestions?
     
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  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    A lot of possibilities but my top guesses would be a bad batch of tubes or tubes that have dry rotted sitting on the shelf.

    Of course I am only guessing.
     
  3. rplace13

    rplace13 New Member

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    About 3 years ago I had a bad rash of flats on my commuter bike. It was so frustrating to work all day ride home and get a flat during my 20 mile one way commute. Double sucks when going to work and you are late then you worry about the ride home all day long.

    Once I found tufo tubular clinchers my commuting world changed. I have ridden for 3+ years now with only one flat. I can't say enough good things about them. They are a bit pricy, but you are getting the tire and the tube...but the real value is in not getting flats. You simply cannot get a snake bite and the sealant works great. I have been riding along and herd the hiss for a few revs of the wheel then "magically" it is gone. I have no idea how many flats I have avoided, but see plenty of cuts, holes and slices in my tires and the still roll on.

    HOW TUFO TUBULAR CLINCHER WORKS

    I get them from World Class great prices and super service.

    World Class Cycles


    Good luck, HTH
     
  4. terpsucka

    terpsucka New Member

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    rplace: Thanks for the info. These look pretty awesome. You mentioned you've had one flat... did you have to replace the whole thing?
     
  5. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    Terpsucka, what brand and model of tire are you currently using? You mentioned you've always used Forte tubes, maybe someone will have some input on the tires you have.
     
  6. rplace13

    rplace13 New Member

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    Yes the tube is inside the tire like a circular sausage sort of not a concave shell. They last foever but when they go they are done. Getting ready to head out on them right now for the tirp home from work. Well me well!
     
  7. terpsucka

    terpsucka New Member

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    64Paramount: Good idea.

    My bike has Kenda Komfort (sic) 26x1.95 tires. I've been using the Forte 26x1.5-2.0 tubes, I assume these are the right ones.
     
  8. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    Well, I don't have any experience with that particular tire.

    I just did a quick google to read about it, and here is one of the links for an example:

    Kenda K841 A Komfort Tire - 26 X 1.95

    I'm thinking that while that may be an okay tire, it's probably far from being great puncture resistant tire.

    Maybe you should look at spending a bit more and getting a comfort style tire that has a kevlar composition, something like this:

    Bontrager: Comfort Hardcase (Model #00804)

    I've been using Bontrager Racelite Hardcase tires on my road bikes for the past 5 years and have never had a flat. But, I have never used the Bontrager Comfort style hardcase..... I'm sure other forum members could relate experiences with comfort style tires.

    Like Jhuskey said your bike shop might just have a lot of bad, or old, tubes. Or possibly your tires are prone to punctures.

    Either way I don't think putting goop or slimey stuff in the tires is the way to resolve the problem.

    I think you need a good set of tubes and I think you need a good set of tires.

    There's no reason to have that many flats...
     
  9. curby

    curby New Member

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    I can't remember ever having had a mystery flat (unknown cause) on my road bike in 25 years. Your symptoms suggest a pinch, even though you report 'snakebite' is not the cause or a slice in the tire that the tube is squeezing out through, . Perhaps switching the tires front to back could help further diagnose if there is some trouble with that rear tire. I must respectfully add that those tires look inexpensive and your considerable mixed surface commute sounds like a good quality tire($25-40.00?) would serve you well.

    would love to hear back if you discover anything further,

    all's'miles

    curby
     
  10. Rockslayer

    Rockslayer New Member

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    Did you check or replace the rim tape? The tube could be rubbing on the spoke heads/holes if it is worn or torn.

    You may need to also check the rims for any sharp points or burrs. The slime wont fix the cause of the punctures.
     
  11. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    My thought is similar to rockslayer's. Did you check your tire to ensure that you removed the peice of glass or thorn or whatever caused the flat in the first place? If you did not correct the initial cause of the flat, you will keep getting them over and over again. The punctures with the slime tubes sounds a little like there was a peice of glass or other foreign object floating around between the tire casing and the tube.
     
  12. randochap

    randochap New Member

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    Very unusual story. I've never experienced anything like that in more than 40 years of cycling.

    If I were to average flat tyres, I bet I don't get more than 1 a year, riding in all conditions. Of course, most flats happen during the winter.

    There is no trick to avoiding flats other than buying quality tyres and tubes, checking regularly for embedded detritus and keeping them properly inflated (according to size, carrying weight and road conditions).

    You should be prepared for the inevitable by carrying a repair kit and spare tubes and knowing how to fix a flat.

    I'd try a good commuting tyre, like Schwalbe Marathons and forget Slime, liners and other encumbrances that interfere with performance and complicate repair.
     
  13. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    If you're desperate enough you might try air free tires, at least for the rear, where I assume most flats are occurring.

    I've been quite curious about them myself for some time now, would like to find a way to take the edge of the shipping cost to Europe before buying though.
    The tires themselves are getting mixed reviews, with the manufacturer saying that many complaints stem from people not choosing the right tire for their rims.

    Last time I checked there were quite a few customers who'd been having trouble with buying from that site, so a repeated recommendation was to buy from the manufacturer instead.
     
  14. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    If you mentioned tire pressure I missed it but this is another consideration. Be sure the tires are properly inflated. I had a problem with punctures on a MTB that drove me insane. Under a magnifying glass with strong light I found an almost microscopic wire filament that was putting a very small hole in the tube.
     
  15. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how Greentyre - tyres without air compare with the Nu-Teck tyres ...

    The postage from the UK should be more affordable for you.

    A 'review' of the Greentyre tyres would be welcome.
     
  16. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for making that suggestion.

    I've been looking at those too, but best I remember they didn't run to quite the PSI equivalents that nu-teck offered.

    (long story short: I've got a pair of plastic wheels, at bit like tuffy wheels. They're fairly soft, so I'd thought running them with rock-hard tires would make for a nice combo)

    But a greentyre purchase might well happen some time, rest assured that I will post about it if it happens.
     
  17. terpsucka

    terpsucka New Member

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    Thanks all for all the ideas. I found another semi-close bike shop that sells Bontrager tires. I will get a few tubes while I'm there, too. If this doesn't work out I'll go with the Tufos. I'll keep you posted!!
     
  18. terpsucka

    terpsucka New Member

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    Just wanted to followup on this... I bought the new Bontrager tire (not the comfort, I went with a bit more tread) and some new tubes, and have now ridden over 200 miles without a flat. I'm back to loving my bike. Thanks to all who posted for helping to bring me back on board!
     
  19. baphometcycles

    baphometcycles New Member

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    Yes; check the rim tape. Sometimes it slides around. If yours is made of black rubber, you can either:
    a) throw it out and use cloth tape (google Velox Fond de Jante)
    b) cover it with 2 or three layers of duck-tape.

    Second thing to try: Good "commuter" tires. Look for something of the following:
    Vitorria Randonneur Hyper
    Continental Touring Plus
    or Michelin City

    I average 100-150 urban miles a week . . that's a lot of glass! I am ok with a 2 flats a month, to give you an idea. If you're getting flats more often, somethings up.

    Bama
     
  20. mccornwall

    mccornwall New Member

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    I was experiencing a rash of flats. Since then I have had good luck with Continental Ultra Gatorskins. I also like the Velox cloth tape although I let the bike shop do the Gatorskins so I actually don't know what's in there at present.
     
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