Punctures in General

Dizeee Posts: 337
edited June 2013 in Road general
Im getting sick of them. I have never had one on my year old Bianchi, and having covered well over 2000 miles on it I have been fine.

Had my De Rosa for around 6 weeks now and have just been wrestling with the back wheel for the fourth time since I have had it fixing yet another puncture. I find them awkward to fix in general, especially the back wheel. The first two both occurred on my first club run, and embaressingly I had no tubes, no gas, no tools - nothing. I was assisted and so then bought all the necessary.

I then had one on my own a week after, again back wheel, so at the roadside in pouring rain covered in oil trying to prize the tyre off with levers, then manage to fit the new tube in. There is a knack to taking back wheels off, I don't have it, and usually when I re insert the wheels the brakes then rub. The entire experience is awful.

This morning, luckily on mile 40 of a 40 mile club run I notice the rear is squishy. Luckily I am at my front door so I get to wrestle in privacy in the back garden and not waste my precious CO2 shots. Tube replaced, find the hole in the old tube but don't know whats caused it. Its like a small tear with what appear to be minute shards of white power around it. I usually run it at 110 psi - but this was the slowest puncture I have ever had, very slow and gradual.

So thats the fourth. I even changed my tyres to GP 4000 S 's in the hope to avoid them. Am I just unlucky and am I alone in hating the rigmoral that goes with fixing the bastards?


  • prhymeate
    prhymeate Posts: 795
    Maybe it's partly luck and maybe it's partly the tyres. I haven't had a puncture in over 2,500 miles with my gatorskins. I know they are considered slow tyres, but I'm not that fussed if it means no punctures.
    A friend of mine that commutes into central London also had quite a few punctures until getting gatorskins, I'd estimate he's done around 2,000 miles since getting them and has not had a puncture since.
  • verylonglegs
    verylonglegs Posts: 3,954
    It's usually just luck of the draw. I've had none for years but then was cursed with 4 in about 3 weeks around Feb/March time, my tyres were Gatorskins but small flints washed off fields had caused all of them as they were sharp enough to go through. You'll always get posters who say no punctures in thousands of miles makes tyre 'X' the best ever etc etc but if you are fitting your tyres and tubes correctly it really is down to bad fortune.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,517

    you can improve your chances a bit if you avoid riding close to the edge of the road, as any debris tends to be swept to there

    also watching out for puddles (must be a dip, glass/flint can accumulate), sharp bits from hedge trimming etc.

    check tyres, look for any embedded bits and pick them out

    removing the rear wheel: shift to small/small (to reduce chain tension to minimum) then remove wheel

    when refitting (front or rear): put weight on the bike *before* tightening the qr (lean over bars or saddle to apply weght as appropriate), this ensures the wheel seats fully and should prevent the misalignment that causes brake rub
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    As per what Sungod says; IMO punctures are probably at least 75% self inflicted and the rest bad luck. Even that is dependant on where you ride. If you ride on chalk uplands after rain, there will be loads of flint on the road. If you ride in urban decay, past scrapyards etc, wire becomes an enemy. If you ride in winter you'll get hit more than if you are only out on sunny days in summer. But maintaining your tyres and keeping away from the road edge etc, makes a huge difference.

    Obvious question - how many of the punctures occurred after the tyre change?
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    I'd go with a run of bad luck or user error.

    A mate of mine kept getting punctures on his new bike and in the end the bike ended up in a hedge(short temper), after a good look around the wheel we found a small burr that had poked through the rim tape from a spoke eyelet.
  • dowtcha
    dowtcha Posts: 442
    I had a run of three punctures on the trot last week. After the first 2 I changed the back stock giant tyre out. Next day got 10 miles and got another. I hope that's it for a while.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    had three in total in about 6k of riding over 18 months. gatorskins on both bikes now. its character building!

    a pair of latex gloves in yr saddle bag is invaluable for those moments
  • philwint
    philwint Posts: 763
    A few things.

    First: getting the back wheel off. If you are struggling then you are doing it wrong. Maybe ask someone in the club to show you? It should just be a case of opening the quick release, releasing the brake cam, easing the mech back and it should just lift out. Getting it back in is easier if you remembered which gear you were in - i tend to always change to the smallest cog before dropping the wheel.

    Second: Getting the tyre off. Some tyres are easier to get off than others, and ones with a folding kevlar bead seem to be the easiest. If you have reasonably strong hands you should just be able to roll them off. Conti 4 seasons for example come off my mavic wheels very easily. If you are less butch you might need tyre levers - but be careful not to 'nip' the tube with them.

    And Third: Always always always examine the tyre very carefully after a puncture. It is extremely likely (unless you just hit a pot hole) that the cause of the puncture is still embedded in the tyre and will need digging out to stop a repeat. I run my fingers round the inside of the tyre until i feel a sharp prick!

    Hope that helps
  • Mindermast
    Mindermast Posts: 124
    Philwint already said so, but it is worth repeating: Before inserting the repaired or a new tube into the tyre, make sure, you have removed the reason for the puncture. A good way is to go along the inside of the tyre with your thumb. Of course, this can be bloody painful (literally), but it often works, where visual inspection doesn't. Also clean the inside of the rim. Very old, hardened, plastic rim tape can be a reason too.

    If you hear a regular clicking noise while riding, stop immediately and check for shards in the tyre. Saved me twice. When you hear "pfft pfft", it is too late, you can as well try to get as far as possible before the tyre is completely flat.

    In winter many rubber compounds get brittle from the cold and can be pierced more easily.

    I got the feeling, that higher air pressure is safer. I haven't found any logical explanation yet, except that the tyre is wider at lower pressure and therefore more likely to run over a shard. It could as well be a myth.

    Two years ago, during the snowy period, I had up to two punctures per week. Last winter, I switched to Conti 4-Season and Schwalbe Marathon Plus and it was definitely worth it. I got one puncture in the Conti 4-Season, from a gigantic shard, but I am glad, I didn't get any with the Marathons, because they are so hard to get on and off the rim.

    Getting off tyres: When I was around 16 to 18, I wasn't able to remove any tyre without a tyre lever, so I didn't even notice that I was later on, until I had to. I don't think, it is shameful to have a pair wrapped into your spare tube. But it looks very silly, if you are standing in front of your flat tyre and can't get it off.
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Another tip is to make sure the tyre manufacturer logo is lined up with the valve. Then, you can quickly line the tube up against the tyre and get a big clue as to where the problem happened. It also looks neater :wink:
  • Dizeee
    Dizeee Posts: 337
    All good advice. Yes I really should squeeze some latex gloves into my already bursting saddle bag!
  • sigorman85
    sigorman85 Posts: 2,536
    Don't ride where the crap collects on the road ride about 1&half foot maybe a bit more away from the curb bit basic but I found it helped me
    When i die I just hope the wife doesn't sell my stuff for what I told her I paid for it other wise someone will be getting a mega deal!!!

    De rosa superking 888 di2
  • kettrinboy
    kettrinboy Posts: 613
    Ive been pretty lucky with punctures over the last 7 yrs since i started riding but bad luck does strike now and again, like yesterday, 20 mile ride had 2 flats and had left my puncture kit on one of my other bikes so nothing for it but a 3 mile walk back to home, and cycle shoes are about as good as clogs for walking in, it wore my cleats down a fair bit, i tried to walk along grass verges where i could to stop grinding them away.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Your slow puncture could be a pinch from the tyre lever.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    like everything, there is a bit of a skill to it, a right way that is pretty straightforward and a less right way that can be a pig. as above, ive had three i think you need that number to get competent and confident. my mistake was not getting the tube seated properly and also im very glad i checked the rim with my finger because there the pointy thing was still there... i think i can do it now in about 15 to 20 mins and am not scared of them any more
  • clickrumble
    clickrumble Posts: 304
    If you're frequently getting punctures in the same wheel, I found that my rim tape wasn't installed correctly so replacing it seem to cure the problem.
  • goonz
    goonz Posts: 3,106
    In 3 years of riding, I have had 3 punctures 1 each year. Had my last on Tuesday, would have had it sorted in 5 mins but the rim tape was obstructing the hole.

    Click if the rim tape is not installed properly the tube would not fit properly and hence the tyre would not either. Should not be riding a bike like that imo.
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
    Specialized Hardrock MTB for Lumps
    Specialized Langster SS for Ease
    Cinelli Mash Bolt Fixed for Pain
    n+1 is well and truly on track
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