Repeated punctures on back tyre

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Repeated punctures on back tyre

Postby apsheko » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:24 pm

I'm relatively new to cycling and pretty ignorant when it comes to anything related to the maintenance/repair of a bicycle, so any advice appreciated.

I have a second hand road bike that I bought at the beginning of the year (2012). I've had it serviced, front tyre and gears replaced, etc. I live in inner Melbourne so generally make ~90% of my trips of all varieties by bike.

Haven't had any issues with my back tyre until about two weeks ago when I was about to leave work and found my back tyre completely flat. I took it to a local bike shop and had the tube replaced.

Yesterday, I took it to another bike shop and was told by the mechanic there that these things happen and it is quite possible not to get a puncture for a long period and then several in a short period of time. He replaced the tube again and told me that though the tyre was somewhat worn, it was still ok and did not need to be replaced.

That same day, after less than half an hour of riding, I noticed the tyre was flat again. I was a bit upset about this as I felt that, if there was anything wrong with the tyre, I should have been advised to replace that rather than running the risk of another puncture and the cost of replacing another tube. It also seems that three major punctures in two weeks (with no issues before that) doesn't seem like a random coincidence (especially given no problems with the front one) and that there is something that needs to be identified and fixed before puncture no. 4 happens.

Basically the advice I'm seeking is:
1. Is it reasonable to accept that three punctures in a short period of time on the same tyre with no problems previously "just happens", or should I get the tyre/wheel/something else checked out to stop this happening again?
2. Especially given that the bike shop that replaced the tube most recently has a "satisfaction guarantee" of a repair/refund on work if the customer is unhappy, what would be reasonable for me to ask of them to fix this?
3. Should the mechanic at the bike shop have been able/expected to pick up any faults/damage to the tyre before sending me off just with a replaced tube?
4. Is there a more economical way for me to deal with issues like punctures myself (considering I've been charged $18-25 each time for replacement of tube, inclusive of labour)? I've been meaning to buy some basic maintenance tools and/or take a basic course to teach myself these things, but I've been putting it off for ages.

Help on any of the above points much appreciated. Cheers!
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by BNA » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:51 pm

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Re: Repeated punctures on back tyre

Postby Sparx » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:51 pm

Hi,

I've been through this. In may case I think it was a tiny sliver of glass that had worked it's way into the tyre. Check the tyre very carefully.

But gee you need to learn how to change a tube. It's really easy and there are plenty of Youtube videos that will show you how.
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Re: Repeated punctures on back tyre

Postby Bobbybobson » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:52 pm

1. Yes it is reasonable. I've had 3 punctures in 3 rides and then not another for a year.
2. If they didn't remove the puncturing item (glass, wire or whatever), then yes that in unsatisfactory. If it was a new puncturing item, then no. How can that be their fault?
3. Unable to comment.
4. Changing a tube is probably THE must-know maintenance action a cyclist should know. There are plenty of videos online, such as Tube replacement. Invest in 2 decent tyre levers (I find Soma's plastic covered steel levers fantastic and unbreakable) and tubes, which are about $3-7 each, depending where you buy and what you get.

Lastly, get puncture resistant tyres, or at least some lining, if it bothers you. I use these Schwalbe Durano Plus and haven't had a single puncture in over 10,000km, even though though the rubber outer has been shredded decently in a few places. If they are too expensive at least get something like this: Tyre liner
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Re: Repeated punctures on back tyre

Postby il padrone » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:00 pm

Hi and welcome to the forums.

Sorry if this seems rude, but you should be learning how to fix your own punctures rather than relying on bike shops for it. Only by doing it yourself and picking up the location (in the tyre) and cause of the puncture, can you hope to resolve the problem. Puncture repair is generally pretty low-tech stuff, you just need to get the knowledge. Any reasonably exerienced cycling friend should be able to show you the ropes; failing that search youtube for some video how-to's and/or check up on Sheldon Brown's pages.
Last edited by il padrone on Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Repeated punctures on back tyre

Postby apsheko » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:01 pm

Thanks very much. Most helpful. I'm very aware that i need to learn basic maintenance, thanks bobbybobson for the helpful link and recommendations!
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Re: Repeated punctures on back tyre

Postby grantw » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:01 pm

As already mentioned, learn how to fix them yourself. You'll need a few simple tools, and a good pump - a track pump at home is a boon! Perhaps I'm stingy, but I find it worthwhile patching tubes a few times before retiring them. I enjoy the therapy and it saves a few bucks plus I always have a few tubes on hand when I need them.
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Re: Repeated punctures on back tyre

Postby DoogleDave » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:02 pm

It is also worth mentioning that sometimes the cause of the puncture/flat tyre doesn't come from something coming through the tyre but from the inside rim of the wheel.
If the rim tape around the inside of your rim has moved, is worn or is missing altogether then the nipples on the inside of the rim (the part that attaches your spoke to the rim) could be pushing against your tube and causing it to rupture and another flat tyre occurs.

As il padrone mentioned, if you learn how to change your own tubes then you can take note of where the puncture is on the tube and then check the tyre and rim around that same location to try and find the culprit. If the puncture is on the underside of the tube then it would be safe to assume your rim is causing the problem - if the puncture is on the top or side then the tyre has been compromised by something.

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Re: Repeated punctures on back tyre

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:50 pm

Inner Melbs? Free tomorrow around 1200? I'll show you the ropes if you can get to my workplace.
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Re: Repeated punctures on back tyre

Postby apsheko » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:55 pm

Thanks very much for the offer, Mulger bill, but I'll be on a plane to Tasmania! (No suitable bike routes Melbourne-Hobart, unfortunately)
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Re: Repeated punctures on back tyre

Postby bychosis » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:41 pm

As above, punctures come regularly or not and can mostly not be predicted. You need to learn how to pach a tube as well. This morning I went through three tubes trying to install a tyre and got the fourth to stay inflated. I couldn't find any cause of the punctures on the inner side of the tube. I managed to puncture two tubes on two different rims after finding two pre punctured tubes, one already in the wheel and one that was lying around the garage.

Normally not an issue, but I couldn't find a patch kit in the disgrace that is my garage area.
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Re: Repeated punctures on back tyre

Postby twizzle » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:54 pm

26 and counting. :roll:

Still better than last year (31... or was it 32?).


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Re: Repeated punctures on back tyre

Postby master6 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:57 pm

apsheko wrote:Thanks very much for the offer, Mulger bill, but I'll be on a plane to Tasmania! (No suitable bike routes Melbourne-Hobart, unfortunately)

Are you cycling in Tasmania; In particular, are you cycling Hobart to Port Arthur? If so, I can arrange to carry out Mulgars tutorial as you pass by.
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