Constant flat tires!

Feb 2, 2017
155
6
18
California
I'm tired.... sick n' tired, I tell you! I've bought in excess of 20 tubes now in about a year of riding this bicycle, should I invest in thorn resistant tubes? Do they work in your experience? What about tube liners?

BTW, 'Bell' brand tires SUCK!!:-||
 
Jan 21, 2015
610
21
18
Portland, Oregon
I use puncture resistant tires and inserts, never bothered with the resistant tubes. I figure if it makes it through the tire and insert, the tube won't make a difference.
 

xseler

Well-Known Member
Apr 14, 2013
2,883
126
63
OKC, OK
My tires (Continental) are puncture resistant, tubes are puncture resistant (Continental) and with a touch of Slime in both. I've never had a flat on this bike --- lots of road miles, lots of trail miles, lots of mountain miles........ just lots of miles. It's been ridden in at least 6 states with no issues.

"Doing the same thing and expecting different results will usually disappoint."
 

crassius

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2012
4,032
155
63
USA
stop buying tubes and learn how to patch well - also, a good liner can be made from an old tire by cutting off sidewalls and putting tread inside other tire
 

Venice Motor Bikes

Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles
Mar 20, 2008
6,609
416
83
Los Angeles, CA.
There's absolutely NO REASON why you should get that many flats!!!

You should carefully check the inside of your tire for a very small wire that's stuck in it. ;)
 

5-7HEAVEN

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2008
2,521
136
63
stop buying tubes and learn how to patch well - also, a good liner can be made from an old tire by cutting off sidewalls and putting tread inside other tire
Been there, done that. Thorns, screws and what not drilled right thru my "tire within a tire". I must've gone through 12 tires yearly. My case was different; I used friction drive. One of my bikes had twin engines on friction drive.

Since I switched to chain drive, my tires now last for years.
 

sboricic123

Member
Apr 15, 2013
172
3
18
Bailieboro, Ontario
If the tubes are breaking all in the same area where they nount on the rim, then I'd be checking the rubber strapping on the rim. Or add a few layers of black tape around the rim. Maybe a spokes is not threaded on properly causing issues.
 

djnutz

Member
May 14, 2010
30
2
8
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
I would stay away from the green tire slime tubes. There is another product call Stan's NoTubes that is used in tubeless tires. Tubeless tires require a specific tubeless tire as well as a rim. The draw back to this method is you will need to replace the sealant about every 6 months or so as it slowly congeals over time.

I have put the Stan's stuff into tubes before, but given the fact that you only get about 6 months to a year out of the sealant, you would still be replacing tubes every year.

You really should not be having the issues you are with flats. It sounds to me like there is something else going on. Read through the following steps then go through them IN ORDER and see if the problem persists.

1. Once you get a flat, use a proper plastic tire lever (not a screwdriver or any other metal object) to remove the bead of just ONE side of the tire. Make sure the valve stem stays in place in the valve stem hole on the rim.

2. Hold the valve stem in place with one hand and use the other hand to pull just the tube out of the tire on the side you removed the bead from the rim.

3. Use a bike pump and fill the tube with enough air that it just about doubles in size. Don't worry, it takes a lot more air than that for it to explode when it is outside of the tire. The "exploding tire" from over inflation is most often caused by tire bead or rim failure. A gap forms and the tire "squirts out" through this opening and rips leading to the "explosion." Inflating a tube that is outside the tire to twice the size of the wheel is really only filled with maybe 6-10 PSI, well under the breaking point of the tube.

4. Now you are going to methodically dunk the over inflated tube in a bucket of water one bit at a time until you find the hole.

5. Mark the location with a silver sharpie or a piece of tape.

6. Let enough air out of the tire that it is about the same size as the tire.

At this point, you should be holding a wheel with a tube hanging out of the tire and one side of the tire bead off the rim. The tube is marked where the hole is. By leaving everything in the same position it was when the flat occurred, you now have a good idea about the area of both the tire and the rim that need the most attention for the cause of the flat.

Where the hole is at on the tube is important. If the hole is in the "inside"of the tube, then you might need to replace the rim strip. Gorilla Duct tape is great for this purpose. Remove any old rim strip/rim tape material and give the wheel 2 layers of gorilla tape. I actually cut a roll of tape just as wide as the rim is from outside braking surface to outside of braking surface. This gives just a little extra tape that can wrap up the side of the rim bed.

If the hole is on the "outside" of the tube then you most likely have a small piece of metal in the tire. When you inflate the tire, the pressure actually presses the small piece of metal into the tube. Sometimes this can take a while to notice the problem depending on the size of the metal sliver.

If the hole is on the "sidewall" of the tube, many times you might find a matching hole on the other side of the tube. This is what is called a pinch flat. A pinch flat happens when a tire is ridden under inflated. A rock, crack or bump causes the tire to compress, pinching the tube and tire between the edge of the rim and whatever you hit on the road. This commonly causes 2 small holes in the tube called a "snakebite" The remedy in this situation is proper inflation.

That brings me to the final point: Tire pressure is something that needs to be checked before every single ride. The rubber that is used for bicycle tubes is not 100% air tight. On a microscopic level, air molecules can and do escape through spaces between rubber molecules. I also have a road bicycle and I run those tires at 95 PSI. The next day, the gauge will read anywhere between 90 and 95. If I go long enough between filling the tires, they can and have dropped below 40 PSI. It's just like party balloons. They don't hold air forever. Filling the tires before you leave the house for a ride takes just a few seconds and can save you lots of frustration and money later on.
 

leo

Member
Jul 20, 2015
250
0
16
southern wv
could they just be under inflated? low pressure causes pinch flats against the rim when you hit... almost anything...
 

ZipTie

Active Member
Jan 8, 2016
750
48
28
Mpls Mn
Thanks for the great write up Djnutz on tires/fix/flats/prevention info and all others who gave tips/ should be a sticky for everyone. Glad we do not have the thorn issues here in Minnesota, usually is nails and such/

zip
 

mikadonovan

New Member
Oct 18, 2016
4
1
1
Anderson IN
A tire liner helps a bunch, and I quit using tubes with a presta valve (serious leaky valve issues). Even with a schrader valve tube I lose a little bit of air in the rear tube on a 25 mile ride, but I carry a pump with me to top it off when needed.
 
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Tom from Rubicon

Well-Known Member
Apr 4, 2016
1,144
2,086
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Rubicon, Wisconsin
On my first build of my Sportsman Flyer wheels I went with the cheap Schwinn brand inner tubes, which had spots in the tubes 05 mm and less. Causing failure. Next I purchased a set of Goodyear tubes and what a difference in material quality and it is all good. I don't hear much of it here, but I liberally apply talcum powder to the tube and inner surface of the tire to ease the movement of the inner tube inside the tire. Later as the tire flexes to the road surface it minimizes the friction between tube and tire. Something I learned back in the 70's as a Schwinn mechanic.
Tom
 

William Adams

New Member
Jul 9, 2019
4
2
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42
I've gotten two flats in three days am I putting too much air? it's always the back tire too.....it's says 40 psi but considering these raggedy ass streets in Chicago maybe I should put less ..first flat there wasn't any holes but this time it did puncture .....starting to wonder if I just can't ride a motorized bike with so many messed streets
 

William Adams

New Member
Jul 9, 2019
4
2
3
42
Also my motor chain is loose I keep hearing it suppose to stretch...well if so I dnt like the looseness of it ...how do I tighten it or is it as simple as pulling the tire back further ?