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7 flats in 7 days

Old 05-24-12, 08:57 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
I didn't read all of the responses but sometimes it's just your turn to get flats. Curious, how old is the tire? Did you finally get real rim tape? Are you using decent tubes? New tire, new tube and rim tape and I'll bet you're good to ride.
While you're at it, you should get new wheels, a new frame, and a new drivetrain! Just kidding!
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Old 05-24-12, 10:24 PM
  #27  
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11 flats in 9 days

Ok so a few hours ago I patched flat #10 and this time I tried not to buff it so vigorously. Then I installed it and pumped it to 60 then 80 psi....and now it's flat again!:
#11. Another pinhole on the inner circumference of the tube (ie a suspected "spoke puncture") and this time 180 degrees away from all the other pinholes (virgin area with no patches).

So I guess the problem wasn't overzealous buffing/sanding of the tubes. So now I tried installing a wider tube (rated 1.5-1.9" instead of 1.25-1.6") and so far it's holding at 100 psi, but we'll see if it can withstand the nightly onslaught of the tire gremlins ...

Last edited by chucky; 05-24-12 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 05-24-12, 11:27 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
Mother ****er! I woke up this morning and the tire was flat AGAIN (pinhole in the spoke area)...so you can make that 8 flats in 8 days.

<Snip>

What makes you say I'm improvising? How does Velox make their tape? That's what I trying to do....and why shouldn't I be able to? You act like I'm trying to rediscover plutonium here....it's freaking cloth tape: cotton and glue!
Hmm, let's see you've used "strapping tape" and "hockey tape" and you're getting flat after flat. That would suggest to most people that you're NOT using the right material.

I'm all for being self-sufficient and saving money but there is a time and place for it. How much time and money have you spent in patching and/or replacing inner tubes?

If your method of using either strapping or hockey tape worked then why do you keep getting flat after flat?

To be perfectly honest with you I do not now how Velox (or any other rim tape manufacturer) makes their rim tape. But you obviously haven't been able to make a rim tape that is as good as what you could purchase for a couple of bucks from your LBS.

Last edited by Digital_Cowboy; 05-24-12 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 05-24-12, 11:34 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
The middle spoke in this picture is where the flats are happening:


And here's a close-up (exact spot is where my finger is pointing):


And here are where I patched the tubes (there are 4 patches and one unpatched pinhole above the leftmost, uppermost patch)...strange thing is keeps poking through in different spots (but all in the same general area as you can see):





But what if Velox goes out of business or you're on tour and you can't get Velox? Isn't it going to be a much more costly to figure out what makes good rim tape work then.
Velox is just one of how many rim tape manufacturers? Given all of the time that you've "wasted" on fixing flats wouldn't it be less expensive in the long run to just invest in some Velox (or the manufacturer of your choice) rim tape? I'm sure that you can buy it in bulk if you wanted to.
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Old 05-25-12, 05:30 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
With what, my fingers? With the kevlar tire bead? How could this tube possibly be that fragile when the tires are so easy to get on and off? I used to have rims, tires that were hell to get on and off and I never pinched a tube with those (despite snapping many tire levers).
It happened to me last week and looking at your pictures it looked exactly the same. You don't need anything sharp or edgy, just squeezing the tube between the tire and the rim while you force the tire back on could do it. If you always put your tire back the same way every time you will pinch the tube at approximatly the same spot every time.
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Old 05-25-12, 06:44 AM
  #31  
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When a tube "explodes" it is never the fault of the tube. A tube has to have an escape route in order to expand enough to explosively fail. There are only two escape routes available: Through a hole or slit in the tire, or between the tire and rim. Escaping between the tire and rim only has three causes: broken or defective tire bead, mounting a high pressure tire on a non hook-bead rim, or poor mounting of the tire.

There is no logical reason that the tape would be the deciding factor when all of your puncture flats occur in one spot/area. No matter what rim protection you use, the critical difference is that spot on the rim. Can you discern anything different on the rim when you remove the rim tape from that area? I don't recall ever seeing a spoke or ferrule area related puncture I would call a "pinhole," which would be a tiny puncture with no marks or tube deformation around or near it.
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Old 05-25-12, 08:42 AM
  #32  
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I would take a cotton ball or a piece of pantyhose and very thoroughly check the inside surface of the tire. You may have a tiny bit of wire just below the surface, and when you are pinching the tire to mount it, the wire may be sticking out and knicking the tube.


As an aside, I'm not sure I understand your aversion to purchasing proper rim tape. I mean, if you're happy with your solution, that's great. I also am usually self-sufficient with a mule-like tenacity, but... generally speaking, for me, rim strips (and patch kits) are one of those areas that are so cheap and so thoroughly evolved/solved that there's no real reason to try and re-invent them. I use Zefal's cloth tape, from Amazon. Under $8 for 2 rolls, and lasts forever.
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Old 05-25-12, 08:59 AM
  #33  
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So... what you do is get some Velox that so many think is the problem because you're not using it. Install it and if there are no flats, they're right. If not- they're wrong. Either way you'll know.

There is no way I'd settle for 11 flats in 9 days. You're either a glutton for punishment or just plain stubborn. I'd lace up some now double wall rims, put in some velo plugs- new tire and tube and be done with it!
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Old 05-25-12, 12:05 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by reddog3 View Post
So... what you do is get some Velox that so many think is the problem because you're not using it. Install it and if there are no flats, they're right. If not- they're wrong. Either way you'll know.

There is no way I'd settle for 11 flats in 9 days. You're either a glutton for punishment or just plain stubborn. I'd lace up some now double wall rims, put in some velo plugs- new tire and tube and be done with it!
Agreed, as others have said there's being self-sufficient and then there's being stubborn. Obviously whatever Chucky is doing isn't working. Otherwise why is he getting so many flats in such a short period of time?
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Old 05-25-12, 11:15 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
there is a company in Philadelphia that is making rim tape competing with Velox. It's nice.

exploding tubes means that the tire is coming off or it's not inside the tire when you are inflating. I had one of those a while back. I push the tire in around the rim to make sure that the tube isn't trapped between the tube and tire.
+1 obviously your problem is operator error as pretty much the only way a tube explodes, is when the tube is between the tire and rim; you may be checking for this, but it is still what is happening. Its also highly unlikely that you are experiencing spoke flats that suddenly started poking holes in your tube in different spots. The most likely suspect is pinching the tubes using a tire lever(s).
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Old 05-26-12, 06:23 PM
  #36  
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I would go with those saying to use some good rim tape. Out of curiosity, how old are the tubes you're using?
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Old 05-26-12, 10:28 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Makeitso View Post
I would go with those saying to use some good rim tape. Out of curiosity, how old are the tubes you're using?
That's a good question. How old are the tubes?
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Old 05-27-12, 08:17 AM
  #38  
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Three things I am not clear on -

First - you said at one point that a pinhole was on the "opposite side of the rim" did you mean next to the tire or on the spot across the diameter of the rim?

Secondly, where in relation to the valve stem are the punctures? Are they pretty much directly across from the stem (typically where the rim joint, label or reflector is located) or at some other location?

Finally, where do you last push the tire over the rim to finish mounting? Near the valve stem, directly across from the stem, or is it random?
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Old 05-29-12, 07:42 PM
  #39  
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Ok so I've ridden about 150 miles at 100 psi since I switched to a wider tube and have had no flats. I also checked the tubes I was using and the original tube that was punctured on the road was CST (that's the brand) 20x1.5-1.75", then the next 9/10 flats were with the 3 different XLC 20x1.25-1.5" tubes (purchased brand new about 6 months ago), and the flats finally stopped when I put in a vintage Kenda 20x1.6-1.9":
So it was the tubes!

Not the rim tape.
Not the rims.
Not the tires.
Not the spokes.
and NOT user error.
So unless XLC tubes are total crap it appears the problem was simply that the tubes were too narrow and became too thin and fragile when they were inflated to fill the 2" wide tire (contrary to what it says in pretty much every bike mechanic book or class in existence).

And BOY am I happy I didn't listen to some of you knuckleheads and buy Velox rim tape because if I did then I NEVER would have solved the problem and ended up helpless, ignorant, and suckling at the teats of the corporate overlords for the rest of my life (just like some of you). And now that I discovered how unreliable buying inner tubes from professionals can be I might just try my hand at making some of my own from a rubber tree. After all, how would I have stopped the flats if I couldn't get the right size?

In any case thanks to everyone who took a shot at helping me (even the helpless knuckleheads).

Last edited by chucky; 05-29-12 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 05-30-12, 11:12 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
Ok so I've ridden about 150 miles at 100 psi since I switched to a wider tube and have had no flats. I also checked the tubes I was using and the original tube that was punctured on the road was CST (that's the brand) 20x1.5-1.75", then the next 9/10 flats were with the 3 different XLC 20x1.25-1.5" tubes (purchased brand new about 6 months ago), and the flats finally stopped when I put in a vintage Kenda 20x1.6-1.9":
So it was the tubes!

Not the rim tape.
Not the rims.
Not the tires.
Not the spokes.
and NOT user error.
So unless XLC tubes are total crap it appears the problem was simply that the tubes were too narrow and became too thin and fragile when they were inflated to fill the 2" wide tire (contrary to what it says in pretty much every bike mechanic book or class in existence).

And BOY am I happy I didn't listen to some of you knuckleheads and buy Velox rim tape because if I did then I NEVER would have solved the problem and ended up helpless, ignorant, and suckling at the teats of the corporate overlords for the rest of my life (just like some of you). And now that I discovered how unreliable buying inner tubes from professionals can be I might just try my hand at making some of my own from a rubber tree. After all, how would I have stopped the flats if I couldn't get the right size?

In any case thanks to everyone who took a shot at helping me (even the helpless knuckleheads).
Actually by using the wrong size tubes, I would have to say that it was operator error. As you choose to purchase a smaller size tube to put in your tires.

And given that by your own admission that you have to wrap so many layers of hockey tape around your rims that you're afraid that you're not going to be able to properly mount your tires, long do you think that it'll be before you do have a problem related to the "rim tape?"

Again, why are you so resistant to using a tried and proven product? Being self-sufficient isn't a bad thing, but you are essentially are trying to reinvent the wheel, why? Rim tape isn't that expensive. Have you ever heard the saying "the right tool for the right job?"
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Old 05-30-12, 11:19 AM
  #41  
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Until you learn how to make your own tubes, you'll always be suckling at the teats of the corporate overlords. Sad but true.
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Old 05-30-12, 12:54 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Until you learn how to make your own tubes, you'll always be suckling at the teats of the corporate overlords. Sad but true.
I'm guessing he has a mine and all of the equipment to make his own bike frames, handlebars, rims, spokes, chains, cassettes/freewheels, chainrings, cranks, etc., etc., etc.

He most have a large piece of property and a large house or workshop to build EVERYTHING that he'll ever need.
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Old 05-30-12, 03:45 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
And BOY am I happy I didn't listen to some of you knuckleheads and buy Velox rim tape because if I did then I NEVER would have solved the problem
Wrongo, stubborn boy. You would have solved the problem faster by eliminating a potential cause.

Haven't you ever watched House ?
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Old 05-30-12, 05:26 PM
  #44  
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As usual per Chucky posts -almost everyone's a nucklehead but Chucky. For some reason I've been able to use undersize tubes with 26 x 2.5 tires for a year and a half myself without flats, so I doubt the 'tube was too small' diagnosis is worth anything. In fact, just for fun we ocassionally inflate replaced tubes to see how big they can get before bursting. About 6 feet in diameter with a 1 foot cross-section is pretty common.

And reviewing this thread, its pretty apparent that people were offering advice based on Chucky diagnosis - according to Chucky a rash of these were positively, absolutely, definately caused by spoke perforation. Oppps - I guess thats no longer quite so definate.

To make a long story short - you still have absolutely no idea what caused all those flats - you just think you do. Could have just as easily been some contaminant in the tape you used instead of proper rim tape. Not that it really matters - a $3 tube of Stans No Flats would have solved any pinhole problems long ago. But I don't know of any product that compensates for poor patching, lousy rim preparation or incorrect tire installation. There you're pretty much on your own.
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Old 05-31-12, 03:01 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by DMF View Post
Wrongo, stubborn boy. You would have solved the problem faster by eliminating a potential cause.

Haven't you ever watched House ?
Agreed, especially when one considers that by his own admission that he has had to put so many layers of hockey tape on his rims that he's now concerned that he won't be able to get the tires to sit properly.

Originally Posted by Burton View Post
As usual per Chucky posts -almost everyone's a nucklehead but Chucky. For some reason I've been able to use undersize tubes with 26 x 2.5 tires for a year and a half myself without flats, so I doubt the 'tube was too small' diagnosis is worth anything. In fact, just for fun we ocassionally inflate replaced tubes to see how big they can get before bursting. About 6 feet in diameter with a 1 foot cross-section is pretty common.
Ah, but how thin is the rubber when inflated in such a matter? If one has tires 26x2.5" and they install tubes for a tire that is 26x1.5" then isn't the rubber in the tube going to get stretched pretty thin? And because they're stretched thinner then intended isn't that going to shorten their lifespan?

Originally Posted by Burton View Post
And reviewing this thread, its pretty apparent that people were offering advice based on Chucky diagnosis - according to Chucky a rash of these were positively, absolutely, definitely caused by spoke perforation. Oppps - I guess that's no longer quite so definite.

To make a long story short - you still have absolutely no idea what caused all those flats - you just think you do. Could have just as easily been some contaminant in the tape you used instead of proper rim tape. Not that it really matters - a $3 tube of Stans No Flats would have solved any pinhole problems long ago. But I don't know of any product that compensates for poor patching, lousy rim preparation or incorrect tire installation. There you're pretty much on your own.
I wonder how long it'll be before he's back posting about his frequent flats and wondering what's causing them?
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Old 05-31-12, 03:31 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Be careful of tube-orientation when you remove. Take off tyre and tube. Then place blown tube back over rim in the same direction as before. Line up the hole in the tube with a specific rim-hole & spoke that was under the blow-out. Inspect the rim-tape and rim-drilling very carefully at that spot.

Post a close-up photo for us to inspect.

Personally, I wouldn't use rubber rim-strips on anything over 25-30psi. I've tried all sorts of things: strapping/packing tape, multiple layers of first-aid/hockey tape, electrical tape, masking, duct tape, multiple inner tube rim-strips, etc. Given the low cost of Velox versus the dollars I would be earning if I wasn't messing with trial&error experiments with home-made rim-strips , I'll only use Velox from now on as my time is way, way more valuable.

BTW, the secret to Velox is the fabric's thickness and stiffness. The glue that stays tacky is also part of its success.
I bought some rubber rim strips from Niagara Cycles along with a wheel order - I wasn't paying attention and thought I was ordering velox. It's actually worked pretty well. Thicker than you'd expect.
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Old 05-31-12, 09:07 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post

Ah, but how thin is the rubber when inflated in such a matter? If one has tires 26x2.5" and they install tubes for a tire that is 26x1.5" then isn't the rubber in the tube going to get stretched pretty thin? And because they're stretched thinner then intended isn't that going to shorten their lifespan? ...
Thats pretty much what was being tested and the only consequence to date seems to be that the air pressure needs to be monitored more frequently than if the tube was an ideal size for the tire. And I should mention that these are Maxxis Hookworm tires usually run at 60 PSI. I was thinking that running them over rough roads and potholes and railroad tracks at speeds of over 30kph might get me on trouble but so far no blowouts. They've seen several thousand km to date.
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Old 06-01-12, 04:50 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Thats pretty much what was being tested and the only consequence to date seems to be that the air pressure needs to be monitored more frequently than if the tube was an ideal size for the tire. And I should mention that these are Maxxis Hookworm tires usually run at 60 PSI. I was thinking that running them over rough roads and potholes and railroad tracks at speeds of over 30kph might get me on trouble but so far no blowouts. They've seen several thousand km to date.
So then do you think it was a combination of too small tubes, "cheap" tubes, and his improvised rim tape, that was causing his problems?

I mean there has got to be answer besides the size of the tubes, right?
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