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Rec Rider/Commuter
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After my commute to work yesterday, as I went about my normal routine at the office, I heard an explosion in the next room where I had parked my bike. My rear tube had burst, leaving a quarter-inch hole and blowing-out the sidewall. What struck me as odd was that this occurred a good 90 minutes after I arrived at work.

Anyone have an explanation of the physics involved here?
 

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Downhill Juggernaut
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Sorry, no answers... unless the sidewall was compromised. All it takes is pressure and time.

I bet it got everyones attention though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Chris H said:
I bet it got everyones attention though.
Yes, it was very, very loud. Scared the bejeezus out of our receptionist.
 

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My guess the tube wasn't seated properly. Sometimes it takes a while for it to go. Did you recently inflate your tires after they were down too low? That'll create enough space for the tube to slip around.
 

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A couple years ago while cleaning my bike after a wet ride, I noticed a cut in the sidewall of the rear tire. At the moment I noticed the cut, the tube began to find its way out of the cut. . . and all I'm thinking is it would have sucked to have this happen while I was on the bike, and, BAM!!! the thing explodes as I'm looking at it. Scared the sheeeet out of me. In a wierd way it was exciting though, much like the feeling you had as a kid when a balloon exploded in your face while blowing it up.
 

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Pinched tube

Sounds like a pinched tube to me. They don't necessarily go bang immediately once you've inflated them. Sometimes there can be quite a long latency period but there's not much else that can cause a sudden explosion of that severity.
 

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Same thing with me - well, kinda...
I went for about a 40 mile ride on Sunday with no problems, got back, put the bike in the truck and when I get home the front tire is flat.
Pull out the tube and there's a hole that looks like a pinch flat in the side of the tube.
Bizarre

-Rich
 

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Right after my wife bought a new bike we had a similar incident. We had gone for a ride during the day with out any problems. At the time we used the bedroom next to ours for bike storage and after the ride we leaned the bikes against the wall that backed up to our bedroom. At 2am her rear tire blew. It was very loud. Sounded like a gun going off. It also knocked over her bike and mine adding to the "What the heck" response. What a way to be woken up from a sound sleep. Replaced the rim strips that had come on the wheels and haven't had it happen again. KJ
 

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is it cold where you are:

once possibility: lets say it was cold where you are, and you inflated your tire outside before riding to work using some nice cold condensed air. you get to office, bring bike inside to nice warm store room, air expands - boom! the blow-out just happened to occur where ever the tire was weakest, possibly caused by a scrape or simple inconsistent manufacturing, etc


KJohnson said:
Right after my wife bought a new bike we had a similar incident. We had gone for a ride during the day with out any problems. At the time we used the bedroom next to ours for bike storage and after the ride we leaned the bikes against the wall that backed up to our bedroom. At 2am her rear tire blew. It was very loud. Sounded like a gun going off. It also knocked over her bike and mine adding to the "What the heck" response. What a way to be woken up from a sound sleep. Replaced the rim strips that had come on the wheels and haven't had it happen again. KJ
 

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Call me a Fred
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You guys are overlooking the obvious. From the description (unexpalinable damage), there is no other logical explanation other than gremlins got to your bike.

The government has been covering up the fact that they imported some gremlins from eastern Europe for 'research' many years ago and recently due to severe security lapses, a horde of them escaped and have been causing havoc around the country. You don't really believe that story that the government put out about a hurricane causing the levees in New Orleans to break do you? Of course not, it was gremlins.
 

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Key point

Chris H said:
Sorry, no answers... unless the sidewall was compromised. All it takes is pressure and time.
The key information from the OP was "tube had burst, leaving a quarter-inch hole and blowing-out the sidewall." The implication here was that the exploding tube tore the sidewall of the tire. In fact, just the opposite was likely the case. The sidewall failed and the tube blew out the hole. Sidewall failures can "just happen" due to age or manufacturing defect, but more likely the sidewall was cut by road debris or the brake pad.

I, too, have had tire casings fail in the middle of the night. I picure a scenario in which the tire pressure breaks one casing thread, then another, and another. Each successive thread break puts added load on the remaining threads, and the thing proceeds to the point of a hole being large enough for the inner tube to extrude through the gap and blow.
 

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Engineers call this creep. A constant load, over time, may cause failure. One common example used in textbooks is lead sheets used as roofing material. Over time the lead would pull through the nails, and fall off the roof. No change in load, just time.
 

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I know that this is just sharing a similar experience, but I was riding my trainer a few weeks ago after having just put a training tire on, when all of sudden, POW, thing just blowsout.

Scared the crap out of me, my wife riding next to meet, and our dogs who were asleep on the couch. Felt sorry for them, they do not like my trainer much to begin with, and that just made it worse. It sounded like a gun shot.

Guess i just got the tube pinched. Frustrating thing was that I thought I had been extra careful about checking, oh, well.
 

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not gremlins on mine

I actually did consider the Gremlins idea as it could be the case.
But, coming from a mt bike background, I have anti gremlin mojo zip-tied to both the mt bike and the road bike.
No mojo - ever - guaranteed!

-Rich
 

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n00bsauce
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Speaking of spontaneous blow outs, I had one on a tandem a couple of years ago. We were doing a century and were about at the half way mark and going down a 30+mph downhill. Towards the bottom I began to feel a thump, thump, thump and went oh-oh! I told my stoker we would have to stop quickly, which we were able to do and pulled off on the shoulder. We dismounted and my stoker and I were bending over looking at a ping pong sized bulge in the front tire (right where the tread and sidewall met) when she blew. MAN was that loud and startling. Our hearing was compromised and our ears rang for about fifteen minutes. Thank god it waited to blow until we stopped. A front tire blowout on a tandem barreling down a 30+mph hill would not be a pretty sight.

BTW, probably a cut or damaged sidewall that caused your blowout.
 

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Non non normal
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You all have missed the obvious explanation.

After careful calculation of the variables I have concluded that
you pissed off one of your coworkers.





That and what Kerry said.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
The key information from the OP was "tube had burst, leaving a quarter-inch hole and blowing-out the sidewall." The implication here was that the exploding tube tore the sidewall of the tire. In fact, just the opposite was likely the case. The sidewall failed and the tube blew out the hole. Sidewall failures can "just happen" due to age or manufacturing defect, but more likely the sidewall was cut by road debris or the brake pad.

I, too, have had tire casings fail in the middle of the night. I picure a scenario in which the tire pressure breaks one casing thread, then another, and another. Each successive thread break puts added load on the remaining threads, and the thing proceeds to the point of a hole being large enough for the inner tube to extrude through the gap and blow.
I vote w/ Kerry. I had the same thing happen. Rode to school/work, and while I was working at my 'puter in the office, there was a giant "pop." A piece o' rubber shot 20ft across the room and hit a wall, just missing a peer's head. The blowout was the result of a completely shagged rear tire that I figured I could get one more ride out of.......I guess not.
 

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Tyler Hamilton had the same thing happen after a Euro stage race ( TDF maybe? ). he dismounted his steed and leaned on the transport bus, within 30 seconds one of the tubes let go. One of the few times luck was on his side. It can happen to anyone. S*** happens!
 

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Luck was not on his side.
That was durring the 04 tdf immediately following the TTT which, if memory serves, Phonak had four flats, and I think someone broke a bar. They ended up losing just over a minute to USPS. Easily the amount of time lost waiting for tire changes. Not so lucky.

Anyway, another theory could be that when you got to work and leaned your bike against the wall you placed it next to a heat register, or perimeter floor board radiator.???
 
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