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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am very distraught lol. something as simple as changing tubes...sheeesh. After years of mountain biking and priding myself on my ability to change tubes, after 3 tries on my road bike flat I have realized I need help.

Inflated to 120pds and 200 feet down road I get flat. I take tube out and patch it and put in 25 miles on it. I buy new tube and replace. I get up in morning and do my 6 mile commute to work and all is well. I go out to lunch and it is flat once again. I go home check tire and rim and patch tube and inflate. after 10 min tire is flat again. Am I doing something wrong? Are road tubes any different in changing? HHelp

fr37
 

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The much higher pressure is what I assume causes the tires to flat more easily than mountain tires. 120 seems a bit high though? What is your weight and the road conditions you normally ride on?

You should also keep track of where these flasts are happening on the tube. There may be a rim problem. If it keeps happening in the same spot, I would say it is something other than the tube
 

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Inspect the tire for something embedded like a small sliver of glass or a sharp shard. Also check the rimtape to make sure it fully covers the spoke holes.

If you don't already do so, make it a practice to line up the label on the tire with the valve stem. Then when you get a flat in the future, you can line up the hole in the tube with the tire and see if the problem is with the tire.
 

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Potatoes
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Sounds like you're either improperly installing the tube or not checking your tyre properly.

1) Either look very carefully or run your fingers along the inside of the tyre to look for the cause of the puncture. Just beware that if it's sharp enough to pierce through the tyre and tube, then it's sharp enough to cut your finger. Having learnt to line up the tyre labelling with the tube stem (pointless, but oddly 'traditional' type thing) once I locate the hole in the tube, I can line it back up with the tyre and find the culprit.

2) There's a little less leeway with poor tyre seating with road vs MTB since the tyres are thinner. You may be getting the tube caught or pinched between the rim and tyre. It can be fine for a while, but will most likely eventually result in a flat.

3) If you're commuting/riding on stock tyres, you may want to think about upgrading. Often to cut costs (especially on bikes below $1500), stock tyres are cheap and don't offer a lot of features. If you commute a lot, have a look into some Continental Grand Prix 4 seasons or Schwalbe Durano Plus tyres. They're heavier, but are highly puncture resistant. You can always switch to lighter tyres for racing/longer rides.
 

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When I use patches, I give them at least 24 hours drying time before using the patched tube again. You don't specify if your new leak is on the patch or somewhere else. Replace the tube with a new one, patch the old one for later. Oh, and buy some better tires that will give you less flats.
 

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Which side of the tube is the puncture? Are all the tubes punctured in the same place? If the punctures are on the inside/rim side I'd strongly suspect rim tape. Even if the rim tape looks perfect it might not be. I always use double rim tape. Forte' tubes from Performance have had a run of bad tubes. The flat at the base of the stem - can't fix them. Aside from that and other suggestions above I'm out of ideas.
 

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Grab a piece of tissue paper or - better yet - a large cotton ball. Drag it through the tire in both directions - if there's a tiny sliver of metal/glass the cotton/tissue will leave a little "flag".

But as Mr. Versatile suggested - the first step is id'ing if it's the tire or rim that's causing the flatting. Also, are you using irons to reseat the tire? it is possible to cut/pinch the new tube as you install it. If possible, avoid tools when installing the new tube and tire.

Side note: You're probably in a habit (MTB) of starting the bead at the valve stem and ending opposite the stem. Flip it - finish up at the valve stem.
 

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OldZaskar said:
Grab a piece of tissue paper or - better yet - a large cotton ball. Drag it through the tire in both directions - if there's a tiny sliver of metal/glass the cotton/tissue will leave a little "flag".

But as Mr. Versatile suggested - the first step is id'ing if it's the tire or rim that's causing the flatting. Also, are you using irons to reseat the tire? it is possible to cut/pinch the new tube as you install it. If possible, avoid tools when installing the new tube and tire.

Side note: You're probably in a habit (MTB) of starting the bead at the valve stem and ending opposite the stem. Flip it - finish up at the valve stem.
Good advice here. You need to identify why you are getting flats.

My GF just picked up her first road bike and had three flats in three rides. I replaced a tube for her on the third time and was immediately losing air. I ran my finger around the inside of the rim and found a small burr. I filed it down and she has been good to go ever since.

I always run Spin Skins in my wheels. In AZ we have lots of catus thorns and flats can be an issue. Others like Slime tubes. Find what works best for you and get familliar with changing tires, it's really a fact of life on a road bike.
 

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I ride in circles..
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I've never flatted in a race so I can't speak for that..

However Whenever I've flatted I find it best to take a few seconds to relax and let the heart slow down.. adrenalin fade out and relax. Then I take off the tire and make the repair without rushing. I don't like repairing a flat tire twice.
 

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Saturday on our group ride, a guy got two flats in forty five miles. The second time he was replacing his tube, he discovered that his tire had a crack in the sidewall. This caused the tube to get pinched and rip. Maybe you should check your tired out to make sure they are looking okay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks all for tips and info. It was in fact operator error. It seems I was pinching tube with tire levers when puting tire on. After being shown the proper way by bike shop mechanic in Richmond indiana I was educated. He showed me a roll method he uses and I was amazed. Thanks to all...This forum is great.

rf37
 

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bmb032 said:
he discovered that his tire had a crack in the sidewall. This caused the tube to get pinched and rip.
I experienced exactly this this past Monday, damn annoying as it was a less than 6 week old Conti 4000s. :cryin:

Cheers,
Pete
 

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When you get repeated flats it's pretty easy to tell if it's in the same spot what needs to be fixed. Pull the tube while holding the tire in the same place... don't let the tire change position. Hold the tube up next to the tire and look for the problem. You just match up the location with the tire. Use Chalk to mark the tire so you can find it again easily.
 

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orlin03
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2 more tricks to help you avoid pinching the tube: 1) loosen the valve, blow some air in the tube, and tighten it; this will help keep everything in place and avoid folds and pinches. 2) when seating the tire around the valve, push on the valve so the tube moves deeper into the tire, since this part of the tube is easily caught in the wrong place.
 

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Put the bead down in the channel and use your palms and roll the last bit on.
 
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