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Got Flat Tire Twice a Day riding my bike

Old 10-15-19, 01:26 PM
  #1  
Cheez
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Got Flat Tire Twice a Day riding my bike

It has been chaotic guys I thought I was losing my mind.. Since I had the wheels (used ones off ebay) and new tires installed I've been getting flats once or twice a day... Flat on the way to work and another flat on the way home. This has repeated pretty often even going out to the store... I got flats so many times I had to keep buying spare tubes all the time. There were a few times I had to walk push my bike home because I ran out of spare tube and the flat tire patch kit wouldn't work.. both the glueless and traditional patch are worthless as the bonding is too weak... there were times I had multiple punctures at a time too.

The cost of having to keep buying spare tubes negated the savings on buying a set of used wheels for my bike. By the way flats was only happening on the rear and not the front.

A week ago I finally decided to take the plunge by taking the tire off the wheel and inspect.... I felt like I was a detective. I found out that the rim tape inside the wheel was not covering all of the spoke holes....the tape job was a mess. I wasn't sure if this was the cause for having flats... I checked on google and it says you "will" get flat if those spoke holes are exposed. I didn't have a rim tape so I used the duct tape, cut out in small square or rectangular shape to patch these holes... After I have finished I put on my fresh spare tube and pumped up air... been riding my bike and haven't got any flats since then. I recently got me a bike cargo trailer and one of the wheels kept losing air...eventually flat. That wheel also had spoke holes not properly covered by the rim tape too so I patched thst up as well. The tube near the valve was starting to crack also. Just giving you guys heads up to inspect your wheels for spoke hole exposure... they can be very destructive and make your life unpleasant.

Last edited by Cheez; 10-15-19 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 10-15-19, 01:28 PM
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General Geoff
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I take the tire off the rim and inspect inside my wheel every time I get a flat...
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Old 10-15-19, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
I take the tire off the rim and inspect inside my wheel every time I get a flat...
Good.
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Old 10-15-19, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheez View Post
It has been chaotic guys I thought I was losing my mind.. Since I had the wheels (used ones off ebay) and new tires installed I've been getting flats once or twice a day... Flat on the way to work and another flat on the way home. This has repeated pretty often even going out to the store... I got flats so many times I had to keep buying spare tubes all the time. There were a few times I had to walk push my bike home because I ran out of spare tube and the flat tire patch kit wouldn't work.. both the glueless and traditional patch are worthless as the bonding is too weak... there were times I had multiple punctures at a time too.

The cost of having to keep buying spare tubes negated the savings on buying a set of used wheels for my bike. By the way flats was only happening on the rear and not the front.

A week ago I finally decided to take the plunge by taking the tire off the wheel and inspect.... I felt like I was a detective. I found out that the rim tape inside the wheel was not covering all of the spoke holes....the tape job was a mess. I wasn't sure if this was the cause for having flats... I checked on google and it says you "will" get flat if those spoke holes are exposed. I didn't have a rim tape so I used the duct tape, cut out in small square or rectangular shape to patch these holes... After I have finished I put on my fresh spare tube and pump up air... been riding my bike and haven't got any flat since then. I recently got me a bike cargo trailer and one of the wheels kept losing air...eventually flat. That wheel also had spoke holes not properly covered by the rim tape too so I patched thst up as well. Just giving you guys heads up to inspect your wheels for spoke hole exposure... they can be very destructive and make your life unpleasant.
I always take the tire off the rim when I get a flat, even if I'm repairing the flat roadside. You need to do this to make sure there isn't anything inside the tire that's puncturing the tube, not just the rime. An example that happens to people a lot is the very thin metal wire that ends up on the road after a car tire bursts. That can work its way into your bike tire and really not be visible from the outside of the tire. Small sharp pieces of glass can do this as well.
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Old 10-15-19, 01:35 PM
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General Geoff
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Also, top tip: after finding the puncture in the tube, figure out where the hole is in relation to the tire and rim so you can focus on that area specifically to find any sharp edges or foreign debris that could have caused the flat. In your case, the punctures being on the inside of the tube as oppose to the outside part which contacts the tread of the tire, would be a dead give-away that there was a problem on the rim side.
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Old 10-15-19, 01:52 PM
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Thanks for the tips guys.. that's good call.

And has anyone tried using super glue to patch these tubes? The regular cement glue seems too weak in bonding. Wouldn't super glue work better? To ensure seal and quick bonding?
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Old 10-15-19, 02:02 PM
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If you're looking for something sharp poking through the inside of the tire, use your glove to find it not your finger. It's hard to make a bandage stick to a sweaty fingertip.
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Old 10-15-19, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
If you're looking for something sharp poking through the inside of the tire, use your glove to find it not your finger. It's hard to make a bandage stick to a sweaty fingertip.
Or as many do, carry a cotton ball in your tool kit. The cotton fibers will catch on just about anything.

Cheers
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Old 10-15-19, 02:21 PM
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if you know exactly what caused the flat & the precise location of the puncture, like a thumbtack, you don't even have to take the wheel off the bike! but if you do, you can just ease the tube out the side to work on it





but yeah, rim tape ... you have my sympathies!


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Old 10-15-19, 02:36 PM
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General Geoff
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Originally Posted by Cheez View Post
Thanks for the tips guys.. that's good call.

And has anyone tried using super glue to patch these tubes? The regular cement glue seems too weak in bonding. Wouldn't super glue work better? To ensure seal and quick bonding?
Use Rema vulcanizing fluid and patches. I've applied dozens and not one leak yet. The trick is to use a square of fine grit sandpaper (I use 400 grit) to rough up the area to be patched, then apply the cement/vulcanizing fluid and smear a thin film all over the punctured area, just a bit wider than the size of the patch. Then wait for the fluid to dry. Usually only takes a minute or two, faster if it's warm out and exposed to direct sunlight. Then once the fluid is dry, peel the foil backing off the patch and place over the area with the dried fluid and knead it to the tube firmly for at least 30 seconds. Then you can put just a little bit of air in the tube so it retains a floppy donut shape, and slip it back into your tire and mount the tire on the rim. DO NOT fully inflate the tube outside the tire and rim, it can stretch the tube around the patch area too much and cause it to fail. Only inflate to pressure after the tube is contained by the tire and rim.
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Old 10-15-19, 04:01 PM
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How many weeks did it take you to discover this?

Thanks for offering up the advice.
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Old 10-15-19, 04:13 PM
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Ugh. When I was new I got 3 flats in an hour and it never occurred to me to look at the rim strip. Very frustrating, but a valuable lesson learned.
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Old 10-15-19, 04:21 PM
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If the holes are on the outside edge of the tube (where the tire tread is) you should remove the tire. To make inspection easy, invert it (turn it inside out). This stretches any hole out and makes it easier to see. And a cotton ball rubbed around the thing will snag on a piece of wire or glass. If you have this in the tire, you have to remove it.

Best to use a good patch kit. Rema makes a good one, although with your history you may want to buy a bulk bottle of Rema vulcanizing fluid and a bag of 100 Rema patches. You need to clean the tube off and rough it up with sandpaper. A good patch will stick very well. General Geoff gave good details.
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Old 10-15-19, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheez View Post
Thanks for the tips guys.. that's good call.

And has anyone tried using super glue to patch these tubes? The regular cement glue seems too weak in bonding. Wouldn't super glue work better? To ensure seal and quick bonding?
Sorry you had to go through so many tubes, but it's good that you're on the right track now. I'll vote in agreement about using the Rema kit. I have tubes with multiple Rema patches, that I trust just like a new tube. It won't be a total loss if you waste a couple of tubes getting the hang of it. Happy riding!
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Old 10-15-19, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Or as many do, carry a cotton ball in your tool kit. The cotton fibers will catch on just about anything.

Cheers
Beat me to it. A small piece of micro fiber cloth will work as well.
Jon
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Old 10-16-19, 05:58 AM
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Tubeless.
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Old 10-16-19, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheez View Post
both the glueless and traditional patch are worthless as the bonding is too weak...
Yet for some strange reason people have been buying and using them successfully for decades. Hell. There are forum members who have confessed to using tubes with multiple patches. Some a dozen or more. Even I successfully patched a tube a few years ago. How could that possibly be if patches are worthless?
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Old 10-16-19, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by general geoff View Post
...then wait for the fluid to dry. usually only takes a minute or two, faster if it's warm out and exposed to direct sunlight. Then once the fluid is dry, peel the foil backing off the patch and place over the area with the dried fluid and knead it to the tube firmly for at least 30 seconds.
+1
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Old 10-16-19, 06:26 AM
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... and leave the clear cellophane in place, no point in tearing the patch off while removing it.
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Old 10-16-19, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheez View Post
A week ago I finally decided to take the plunge by taking the tire off the wheel and inspect.... I felt like I was a detective. I found out that the rim tape inside the wheel was not covering all of the spoke holes....the tape job was a mess. I wasn't sure if this was the cause for having flats... I checked on google and it says you "will" get flat if those spoke holes are exposed.
Same problem I had when I bought my new bike a few years ago. The cheap rim tape they used at the factory just barely covered the spoke holes, and I got a few flats from the tube pushing into the holes and rubbing on the sharp edges. Bought a couple of rolls of rim tape, installed it, and haven't had a problem since. I do agree with google, you WILL get a flat if the tube comes into contact with those spoke holes.

I didn't have a rim tape so I used the duct tape, cut out in small square or rectangular shape to patch these holes...
Best bet would have been to get some regular rim tape since it's a lot stiffer than duct tape. The duct tape will eventually fail. But, failing that, it would have been better to cut a long strip of tape and go all the way around the rim and completely cover all the holes. I have a feeling you'll eventually be suffering more flat tires as soon as those patches you made start wearing through and the tube starts rubbing on the edges of the holes again.
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Old 10-16-19, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheez View Post
Thanks for the tips guys.. that's good call.

And has anyone tried using super glue to patch these tubes? The regular cement glue seems too weak in bonding. Wouldn't super glue work better? To ensure seal and quick bonding?
AFAIK super glue won't bond to rubber inner tubes very well. And when it hardens, it becomes stiff and rigid. You need regular patch cement which bonds to rubber and stays pliant. Scuff up the area around the hole in the tube, apply the glue, then allow it to dry. Once it's dried, apply the patch and rub it down the best you can.
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Old 10-16-19, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Completely disagree.

He came around to reason at the end of the other thread, trolls don't do that.

He's learning a lot really quickly while in a bad circumstance, and wants to talk about it.

Last edited by livedarklions; 10-16-19 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 10-16-19, 07:24 AM
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I had a customer, years ago, who complained about multiple repeated flat tires. It would go flat almost immediately after being 'repaired'.

Me: "Are you replacing the tube or using a patch?"
Customer: "What does that mean? I pumped up the tire and it just goes flat again and again!"
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Old 10-16-19, 07:25 AM
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Milton Keynes
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Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
Then wait for the fluid to dry.
I wonder how many people have ever cursed patch kits because they couldn't get their patches to stick to wet glue...
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Old 10-16-19, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
AFAIK super glue won't bond to rubber inner tubes very well. And when it hardens, it becomes stiff and rigid. You need regular patch cement which bonds to rubber and stays pliant. Scuff up the area around the hole in the tube, apply the glue, then allow it to dry. Once it's dried, apply the patch and rub it down the best you can.
I have once used super glue with ok results. It can be done as a temporary fix for tiny holes, super glue will bond to almost anything; you just have to cut also the patch real small (like 5mm in diameter) to minimize the adverse effects of it hardening. However I still do not recommend it as a permanent solution.

Regular rubber cement though works very well if applied correctly, as described before.
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