QUESTION: Recently I punctured. After I replaced the tube and pumped up the tire, I hadn’t gone 300 yards before the same tire flatted again. I was out of tubes so had to hitch a ride home. What’s going on? — Benny S.
RBR REPLIES: First, stop by your local bike shop and buy a tube repair kit. And ask how to use it if you’re not experienced. Keep it in your seat bag and you won’t be stranded again if you run out of tubes.
Whenever you flat, find out why. Don’t simply take out the punctured tube and stick in a new one. If a thorn or piece of glass caused the original flat, the sharp point is likely to be embedded in the tire casing. As you discovered, you’ll pump up the new tube and start down the road, only to hear that dreaded psssst.
During the repair, take the tire off the rim and gingerly feel inside the casing all the way around. Keep track by starting and ending at the tire label. Don’t rub your fingers too hard and get nicked. Some riders prefer to use a rag, which will snag on a sharp point, but fingers are less likely to miss it.
When you find the culprit, dig it out of the casing with your fingernail or a screwdriver tip from your multitool. Be sure to get it all.
Ron Schechter says
I was in a similar situations. Frequent flats. In one instance, the tire had plenty of tread, but the sidewalls were weak due to age.. I installed new tires and that was that. In another case, I rode on 25mm tires inflated to 110psi. Over time, the rim strips got pressed into the recesses for the spoke nipples in the rim. Apparently, this caused the tubes to enter into those recesses and with the dilapidated rim tape the sharp edges of the holes caused punctures in the tubes. Remedy-replace the rim tape. Now I always inspect the rim tape carefully when tires are off the rims and replace when necessary. Use a good tape such as Velox. Make sure it’s the right width for your rims.