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Re-Occuring flat tires

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I've been having a severe problem with flat tires. In the past month I've probably had about 7 flat tires and I don't know why.

 

The area I ride at in SE Nebraska is pretty rocky and has a lot of thorns from locust trees, but I haven't seen any thorns stuck in the tires. I have an ultra heavy duty tire in the back wheel, which just got a flat 2 days ago, and a normal tube in the front. I normally run about 12-14 psi in both tires.

 

I've heard some people say that rim tape helps but I'm not really sure what that does. I have had the same tires for about 5 years, but I don't know if that would make a difference. If you have any suggestions, they would be much appreciated!

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Ya when you pull the tubes you really need to note how they and the tires were installed. Then when you find the hole or holes, in the tube, you can determine if it was a say a pinch flat IE 2 holes on either side of the tube in roughly the same place or ifs on the outside.

Pinch flats are one thing then ifs on the outside most likely a thorn in the tire that is hard to see but if you know where the hole in the tube is in relationship to the tire, you can use your fingers on the inside to feel if its poking through or look on the outside and use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove

 

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Make sure your rim is not bent. I had a similar issue years ago. While I was changing yet another flat I set my bare wheel on the garage floor and it promptly fell over. Stood it up again, it rolled a bit and fell over . Figured out that the edges of the rim were stead/ flattened in one spot. It wasn't obvious when on the bike. I think I was just losing the bead and popping the tube in the process. New rim , no more flats in my case.

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What kind of holes are in the tubes? Snake bites on the sides from pinch flats? Thorn poke holes in the tread area?

I think that most of them have been pinch flats, but I don't know how since I run a pretty high tire pressure

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Ya when you pull the tubes you really need to note how they and the tires were installed. Then when you find the hole or holes, in the tube, you can determine if it was a say a pinch flat IE 2 holes on either side of the tube in roughly the same place or ifs on the outside.
Pinch flats are one thing then ifs on the outside most likely a thorn in the tire that is hard to see but if you know where the hole in the tube is in relationship to the tire, you can use your fingers on the inside to feel if its poking through or look on the outside and use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove
 

I'm pretty sure that most of them have been pinch flats, but I'm not sure how since I run a pretty high tire pressure

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You may want to revisit how you're installing the tube. Are you installing it completely flat or adding some air? Are you installing it clean or using some talc? Lots of little tricks to avoid pinch flats. 

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1 hour ago, Will3213 said:


I'm pretty sure that most of them have been pinch flats, but I'm not sure how since I run a pretty high tire pressure

were there two holes opposite each other or one hole on the outside of the tube?

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If you ride it hard sometimes the tire will slide on the rim and rip the valve right off of the tube if the tire is low or not sealed on correctly that's usually what happens if the tube keeps getting flat in the back and not on the front. You're rim may be warped as well or the the spokes couldn't be poking into it. I would take some rim tape or I always use electrical tape to seal it up to make sure the spokes aren't poking the tube and make sure you're tire is good and sealed up and see if that fixes it.

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Check that ur bead lock isn't worn thru the rubber coating. Happened to a buddy of mine. Slapped some gorilla tape over the exposed metal, patched to tune and finished our ride.

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3 hours ago, Will3213 said:


I think that most of them have been pinch flats, but I don't know how since I run a pretty high tire pressure

I wouldn't call 12-14 pretty high pressure if you're actually riding in "rocky" terrain, but I suppose that's relative. 

My biased opinion... throw those tubes in the garbage where they belong and get a set of mousse bibs. Leave all of your tire tools in the garage and go riding without the word "flat" in your vocabulary. I ride in the land of rocks/thorns and pretty much everyone runs bibs here. There are a few UHD/Tubliss bitter clingers straggling but they tend to all come around eventually and never go back.

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I run 12 psi on both ends in very rocky terrain and have no pinch flat problems. Heavy duty tubes (Bridgestone UHD in the front), plenty of talcum powder on the tube, and a good coat on the inside of the tire when mounting, all good. I've heard/felt the thump on the rim hitting a ledge rock many times and thought, "there's a flat", but it never happens. Using a 110/100-18 rear tire too helps. Vast majority of the flats I see coming into the trail head parking lot have been on 19" wheels with 90 series tires.

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were there two holes opposite each other or one hole on the outside of the tube?

It's just been one hole on the outside.

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I wouldn't call 12-14 pretty high pressure if you're actually riding in "rocky" terrain, but I suppose that's relative. 
My biased opinion... throw those tubes in the garbage where they belong and get a set of mousse bibs. Leave all of your tire tools in the garage and go riding without the word "flat" in your vocabulary. I ride in the land of rocks/thorns and pretty much everyone runs bibs here. There are a few UHD/Tubliss bitter clingers straggling but they tend to all come around eventually and never go back.

I would, but don't you have to replace those really often?
Tubeliss 

I might try that, but it wouldn't stop the thorns.

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if you're going fast in a rocky area then 12-14 psi isn't "high tire pressure"

I used to run right about the same in my desert races and once I progressed and got faster I was popping tires every race. I thought the pressure was good, but everyone said once you're going that fast you need to be running it a bit higher. Pretty sure a few of my flats were just from hitting squared edges. I decided just to switch to a mousse bib in the rear to get rid of the problem altogether. But it's a totally different feel in the back end. 

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45 minutes ago, Will3213 said:


I would, but don't you have to replace those really often?
I might try that, but it wouldn't stop the thorns.

Haha I didn't even see this post til after. Bibs can last over 1k miles and a year or 2 If installed correctly and you stay off pavement for long periods of time or at least dont haul ass when you do have to hit pavement. 

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I went through a period where I had a flat just about daily for a few months, so bad that I bought a 100 patch box because the 20 patch kits were not lasting. After six months, I found a tiny thorn in my tire! Last flat I had for a long time. I had checked the tire many times too and just never found this particular one.

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My last pinch was running 18 psi.  12-14 is useless against pinch flats unless you're riding sand or a groomed track.

I recently picked up an 18" rear wheel which should essentially eliminate the issue.  I'm also running 25 psi. 

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