General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Sudden flat problems Rss Feed  
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2013-06-12 7:29 PM

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Subject: Sudden flat problems
I've had the occasionally flat but suddenly there's an epidemic. I get a flat every time I ride lately and today I had two. BTW, I only brought along one spare and ended up walking home in the poring rain.
It's very discouraging. Are there any solutions? Is it just a run of bad luck?


2013-06-12 7:52 PM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems
I had a problem like that - 11 flats by the time it was all said and done. I replaced the stock tires on my bike with gatorskins and have not had another flat on that bike since.
2013-06-12 8:07 PM
in reply to: trigal38

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Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems
Originally posted by trigal38

I had a problem like that - 11 flats by the time it was all said and done. I replaced the stock tires on my bike with gatorskins and have not had another flat on that bike since.

What she said! But I just recently got some Conti GP 4000s so I got my fingers crossed. Rode three years and only one flat with the gatorskins.
2013-06-12 8:11 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems
Check your rims, rim tape and get Gatorskins as suggested. Same thing happened to me and the Gatorskins fixed it.



Edited by Goosedog 2013-06-12 8:12 PM
2013-06-12 8:15 PM
in reply to: b2run

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Lake Oswego, OR
Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems

Bummer. Some thoughts, although I'm sure you already considered all of them.

1) Find the holes in your flatted tubes. Are they being puncture in the same spot relative to the valve? Are they being punctured in the same place relative to the rim.

2) If it is in the same place relative to the valve pull tire off wash the inspect for gashes, sidewall weakening and wash the inside of the tire. I'd rub some talc on the inside as well.

3) always check your tire pressure before you ride, and the tire itself after. If not properly inflated the tubes will show evidence of being snake bit. It's easy to get a second flat on a ride if you don't properly inflate the new tube. If you do check to see if it's snake bit.

4) I rode sew-ups for years so I have always been a bit paranoid about running over debris. I tend to palm my tires regularly when I ride even though I switched to clinchers years ago.

5) Pray to the god of cyclists.

6) In the end this may be the only thing that will work: Always carry 2 tubes and a flat repair kit. With that on board you'll never have another flat.

2013-06-12 8:17 PM
in reply to: Goosedog

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Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems
Originally posted by Goosedog

Check your rims, rim tape and get Gatorskins as suggested. Same thing happened to me and the Gatorskins fixed it.



Thanks all. I checked the rims and rim tape after the third flat. They're happening on both tires also so it would seem unlikely that both rims suddenly got nicked. I'm definitely going to hunt up some gatorskins. Flats take the fun out of riding.


2013-06-12 8:29 PM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems
Go over those tires 'with a fine tooth comb'.

Sit down with the tires, in a dark room with a flashlight. Shine the light against the outside as you check the inside. Make sure to flex the tire in all directions as you move along inspecting it. Carefully feel along with a fingertip. (Gently, unless you want to add cut fingers to the list.)

I've heard more than one account of something tiny being stuck inside the tire that continues to pop tubes. Like tiny pieces of wire that break off flush with the rubber, but with the right flex protrude just enough inside to nick the tubes.

You may also want to sand down rough spots inside your rimes and really double check the rim tapes.

2013-06-12 9:02 PM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems
What tire pressure do you ride on?
2013-06-13 2:06 AM
in reply to: faded_memories

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Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems
Originally posted by faded_memories

Go over those tires 'with a fine tooth comb'.

Sit down with the tires, in a dark room with a flashlight. Shine the light against the outside as you check the inside. Make sure to flex the tire in all directions as you move along inspecting it. Carefully feel along with a fingertip. (Gently, unless you want to add cut fingers to the list.)

I've heard more than one account of something tiny being stuck inside the tire that continues to pop tubes. Like tiny pieces of wire that break off flush with the rubber, but with the right flex protrude just enough inside to nick the tubes.

You may also want to sand down rough spots inside your rimes and really double check the rim tapes.




I agree with this - I went through a similar experience last year. After checking many times I eventually found a tiny piece of wire in the tire wall that wasn't noticeable 9 out of 10 times. Compare your flat tubes to see if the puncture is in the same place and then use this as a starting point to minutely examine the tire itself. Worked for me and i'm back to enjoying bike rides again!!
2013-06-13 6:31 AM
in reply to: faded_memories

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Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems
Originally posted by faded_memories

Go over those tires 'with a fine tooth comb'.

Sit down with the tires, in a dark room with a flashlight. Shine the light against the outside as you check the inside. Make sure to flex the tire in all directions as you move along inspecting it. Carefully feel along with a fingertip. (Gently, unless you want to add cut fingers to the list.)

I've heard more than one account of something tiny being stuck inside the tire that continues to pop tubes. Like tiny pieces of wire that break off flush with the rubber, but with the right flex protrude just enough inside to nick the tubes.

You may also want to sand down rough spots inside your rimes and really double check the rim tapes.




Thanks. I'll try that.
Bob - I ride at 90 lbs.
2013-06-13 8:47 AM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems
In my case, it was the rim tape. I got flats every ride and I was sick of it. I went to my LBS and they change the rim tape, after that, no flats (finger crossed). I used to ride in Vittoria tires (don't remember the exact model), but now I use GP4000s. I was very close to get Gatorskins though.

I completely understand your frustration. Check what the people here have been mentioning and look for Gatorskins if nothing works. Riding again without fearing a flat is awesome!!



2013-06-13 8:47 AM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems
In my case, it was the rim tape. I got flats every ride and I was sick of it. I went to my LBS and they change the rim tape, after that, no flats (finger crossed). I used to ride in Vittoria tires (don't remember the exact model), but now I use GP4000s. I was very close to get Gatorskins though.

I completely understand your frustration. Check what people here have been mentioning and look for Gatorskins if nothing works. Riding again without fearing a flat is awesome!!

2013-06-13 8:56 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems

i've had this happen.  turns out my rim tape had shifted, exposing one of the spoke holes.  that created a nice little location for the tube to squeeze into on a climb.  fresh tape, applied CORRECTLY, and fine. 

also --- i ride on 110 - 120 pounds (depending on road conditions).  lower pressure allows the tubes to squish around and get a pinch flat more easily.

if something like this is happening - PUNCTURE-RESISTANT TIRES WILL NOT FIX IT.



Edited by mehaner 2013-06-13 8:57 AM
2013-06-13 10:45 AM
in reply to: mehaner

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over a barrier
Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems
I would run a cotton ball on the inside of the tire, anythinkg sharp will catch and tear....this way nothing cuts your finger.

I personally like cotton rim tape Veloflex

I ride at 100psi and 105 psi.

2013-06-13 12:28 PM
in reply to: 0

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Master
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Lake Oswego, OR
Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems

Originally posted by b2run
Originally posted by faded_memories Go over those tires 'with a fine tooth comb'. Sit down with the tires, in a dark room with a flashlight. Shine the light against the outside as you check the inside. Make sure to flex the tire in all directions as you move along inspecting it. Carefully feel along with a fingertip. (Gently, unless you want to add cut fingers to the list.) I've heard more than one account of something tiny being stuck inside the tire that continues to pop tubes. Like tiny pieces of wire that break off flush with the rubber, but with the right flex protrude just enough inside to nick the tubes. You may also want to sand down rough spots inside your rimes and really double check the rim tapes.
Thanks. I'll try that. Bob - I ride at 90 lbs.

I think that is a little low. I ride at 110, although I think anywhere from 100 to 110 is fine depending on the tire. I've heard people talk about going as low as 95 for comfort but they were all 145 lb guys. Lower pressure does allow more tire tread to stay in contact with the road for cornering, but I have always preferred to the feel of higher pressure.

 

I agree with the recommendation to look at the rim tape. I'd change it if the punctures in the tube are on the valve side of the tube.



Edited by E=H2O 2013-06-13 12:31 PM
2013-06-13 7:50 PM
in reply to: E=H2O

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Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems
I inspected the wheel with my finger. The only rough area was on the sides where the tube wouldn't touch. I cleaner it up and put in a new tube. Gatorskins are on order and hopefully I'm back on the road. You'd think they could make a tube that could withstand the stones.


2013-06-14 5:36 AM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Sudden flat problems
Originally posted by b2run

I inspected the wheel with my finger. The only rough area was on the sides where the tube wouldn't touch. I cleaner it up and put in a new tube. Gatorskins are on order and hopefully I'm back on the road. You'd think they could make a tube that could withstand the stones.


The tube does move inside of the rim cavity so rough spots on the side will cause a flat. Run a cotton ball over the entire rim cavity (including the rim tape), nothing should snag. Then repeat with the inside of your tire. Inspect with a flash light and I'm certain you will find the culprit.

It's very unlikely you will all of a sudden start to have flats due to road conditions (unless you have moved to or started to ride in a very different area). Since you have decided to go with the Gatorskins, make sure you have either a set of race wheels with good tires or another set of tires to use on your wheels. Gatorskins are notoriously slow... but durable.
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