Any solution for frequent flat?

chill_8_7
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Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby chill_8_7 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:04 pm

Hey everyone,

One more query from an amateur rider. As in my previous posts, I got a Merida Speeder 20D to commute from Glen Iris to CBD.

Its been close to 10 weeks and I had 4 flats till now (which twice included painfully pushing and walking for quite a distance). I am still in process of learning how to fix a flat myself, so been getting to a store and the last couple of times I got different reasons on why it keeps happening.

Just wanted to ask, is there any better long term fix to this? Like should I change the tyres or is there tubeless tyres (if so, are they worth it) or accept the flats and just learn to fix them myself?

Any suggestions will be really helpful as would help me in saving a lot of time and money.

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Thoglette
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby Thoglette » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:19 pm

You definitely need to learn to fix flats yourself.

The real question is why are you getting flats? Is it
* Incorrect tyre pressure causing "pinch flats" (too low)
* Poor repairs (leaving existing glass/thorn/wire in tyre)
* poor repair techique (pinching the tube on the way in)
or
* a patch of thorns/glass/wire you keep riding through?
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biker jk
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby biker jk » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:43 pm

Thoglette wrote:You definitely need to learn to fix flats yourself.

The real question is why are you getting flats? Is it
* Incorrect tyre pressure causing "pinch flats" (too low)
* Poor repairs (leaving existing glass/thorn/wire in tyre)
* poor repair techique (pinching the tube on the way in)
or
* a patch of thorns/glass/wire you keep riding through?


* Faulty rim tape (exposed spoke hole edge puncturing tube).

caneye
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby caneye » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:46 pm

as above.

OP - did the store explain why the flats occurred in the first place?
(could be due to a variety of reasons)

knowing the root cause will help towards preventing flats.

what sort of environment do you ride on?

yes, changing your own flat is a very useful skill to have!

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bychosis
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby bychosis » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:01 pm

If you find that it is things puncturing the tyre and tube ie glass, thorns or metal reinforcing fibres from concrete like I used to suffer, tyre liners are fairly cheap and pretty effective.

Before I installed liners on my commuter bike I was getting a puncture a week or more from the metal reinforcing in the concrete sharepath. Once I installed the Mr Tuffy liners punctures have virtually ceased. I’ve still had the odd one from poor rim tape or pinch flatting or when the tyre liner had squirmed its way out of position.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

macca33
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby macca33 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:07 pm

Could simply be garbage tyres - it happens.
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RonK
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby RonK » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:16 pm

Punctures are a fact of life. Every cyclist needs to be competent at fixing them.
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chill_8_7
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby chill_8_7 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:20 pm

Thanks for the tips. The reasons I got in the store are

1st time - possibly incorrect pressure as literally the tyre came out of the rim completely and they said they rarely see cases like this
2nd time - was told regular flat and plain unlucky as some glass got stuck
3rd time - they said few glass pieces were inside the tyre and that they cleaned it (did in a different store compared to other times)
4th time - faulty tube as it had a small hole it seems and was told if next time, change tyres as default ones are generally bad and was shown a high quality replacement option for 82 bucks per tyre

I was kind of resigned and would have taken any suggestion as it was ridiculously frequent in happening, time consuming and never ever had 4 flats in a year when I used to ride regularly in India. Worse is nearly 90% of the distance I cover is the Gardiners Creek Trail and so should be alright always.

Always used to giving the bike in shops to fix flats back home and so got zero knowledge on it and so kind of gave up after half an hour in trying to remove and attach the wheel after my 3rd flat. Planning to attend an workshop (recommended by the store as they conduct regularly), but I would prefer a long term fix, as definitely not too keen to fix flats on fortnightly basis even by myself.

AdelaidePeter
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby AdelaidePeter » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:31 pm

bychosis wrote:If you find that it is things puncturing the tyre and tube ie glass, thorns or metal reinforcing fibres from concrete like I used to suffer, tyre liners are fairly cheap and pretty effective.

Before I installed liners on my commuter bike I was getting a puncture a week or more from the metal reinforcing in the concrete sharepath.


What is this? I've never heard of such a thing. It sounds like you are describing little slivers of metal sticking up out of the concrete, which IMHO would make it unusable for a large proportion of both cyclists and pedestrians.

To the OP, I have a fairly similar Merida which I bought 6 months ago (Merida Crossway 10X, perhaps slightly wider tyres than yours) and haven't had a puncture yet. That's perhaps a better run than I usually have, but I think 4 in 6 months is unusually high for just commuting. Regarding pressure, it has helped me having a pump with a pressure gauge. I'm trying to remember what I inflate to: it's either 50 or 70 PSI. For me at least, pressure can go down slowly over the weeks without me noticing.

Philistine
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby Philistine » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:40 pm

I used to dream of getting only four punctures in ten weeks. I got twelve in January alone, and, in the two years prior to that, I managed to get through a pack of one hundred patches. To be fair, that represents about seventy actual punctures not a hundred, as many of the repairs did not take the first time.

The good news (for me) is that I have only had two more since the end of March. What changed, you ask? I started pumping up my tyres religiously to eight bar at the back and seven at the front (road bikes), and seven and six on my MTB (26 x 1 1/4 tyres). I pump up the tyres every two or three days even if they feel hard enough. Maybe I'm hopeless at the pinch test, but, once or twice, I have thought a tyre was just about rideable, only to find it had only 3 bar of pressure.

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MattyK
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby MattyK » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:41 pm

chill_8_7 wrote:Thanks for the tips. The reasons I got in the store are

1st time - possibly incorrect pressure as literally the tyre came out of the rim completely and they said they rarely see cases like this
2nd time - was told regular flat and plain unlucky as some glass got stuck
3rd time - they said few glass pieces were inside the tyre and that they cleaned it (did in a different store compared to other times)
4th time - faulty tube as it had a small hole it seems and was told if next time, change tyres as default ones are generally bad and was shown a high quality replacement option for 82 bucks per tyre

*cough*RIPOFF! (buy tyres on line from the UK)

I'l place a fiver on crappy rim tape, leading to the spoke hole cutting the tube. 32C tyres shouldn't be pinch flatting up the Gardiners Creek trail.

Is it always the same wheel?
Is there any common pattern to the location of the punctures? (inside of tube, outside, two holes next to each other, etc)

You'd need tubeless rims if you want to get tubeless tyres (yes they are a thing).

I'm in Glen Iris if you want someone independent to look at it.

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bychosis
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby bychosis » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:11 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:
bychosis wrote:If you find that it is things puncturing the tyre and tube ie glass, thorns or metal reinforcing fibres from concrete like I used to suffer, tyre liners are fairly cheap and pretty effective.

Before I installed liners on my commuter bike I was getting a puncture a week or more from the metal reinforcing in the concrete sharepath.


What is this? I've never heard of such a thing. It sounds like you are describing little slivers of metal sticking up out of the concrete, which IMHO would make it unusable for a large proportion of both cyclists and pedestrians.


Yes, small steel fibres, think paperclip or smaller, 20mm long maybe, to increase the strength of the concrete. You can see it in the surface after the concrete has worn down for a few years. I’ve picked out a dozen pieces a few mm long from a tyre on occasion. I think they recognised that steel reinforcing wasn’t good as they’ve converted to fibreglass reinforcing for cycle paths, ‘fibrecrete’.
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Jmuzz
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby Jmuzz » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:40 pm

There are armoured tyres on the market.
Buy them online, like CRC right now is $35 for Schwalble Marathon Plus Down from $80 which may actually be what you were quoted.

Get tyre levers and some tubes too.
Learn to do the repair yourself so you know exactly what caused the puncture and can addapt.

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Thoglette
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby Thoglette » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:09 pm

Philistine wrote:I used to dream of getting only four punctures in ten weeks. I got twelve in January alone, and, in the two years prior to that, I managed to get through a pack of one hundred patches.

I always find this fascinating as I get punctures in groups of two or three, separated by thousands of km and usually a couple of years.

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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby Robdog » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:17 pm

You'd need tubeless rims if you want to get tubeless tyres (yes they are a thing).


You don't though. Tubeless conversion kits are easy to find, but nowhere near as good a solution as the real thing.

Go tubeless.
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TheWall
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby TheWall » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:35 pm

A new bike?

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kb
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby kb » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:48 pm

Hard as a newish rider but if it’s road related at all try to keep out from the kerb if you can - left wheel track is much, much cleaner.
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RobertL
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby RobertL » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:15 pm

Jmuzz wrote:There are armoured tyres on the market.
Buy them online, like CRC right now is $35 for Schwalble Marathon Plus Down from $80 which may actually be what you were quoted.

Get tyre levers and some tubes too.
Learn to do the repair yourself so you know exactly what caused the puncture and can addapt.


Thanks for the heads-up, I just went and bought some of those Schwalbles myself!
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uart
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby uart » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:39 pm

chill_8_7 wrote:1st time - possibly incorrect pressure as literally the tyre came out of the rim completely and they said they rarely see cases like this.

Shouldn't happen. Faulty tyre or badly fitted or badly over inflated.

2nd time - was told regular flat and plain unlucky as some glass got stuck

Yeah, happens sometimes. You can get tyre liners or tyres with better puncture resistance if this happens too often.

3rd time - they said few glass pieces were inside the tyre and that they cleaned it (did in a different store compared to other times)

Previous shop didn't find/clean all the glass from your previous incident.

4th time - faulty tube as it had a small hole it seems and was told if next time, change tyres as default ones are generally bad and was shown a high quality replacement option for 82 bucks per tyre

Previous store installed crap quality tube, possibly too small and over stretched. Either that or your rim tape has loosened/moved. New tyres would not have made any difference here.

There's an old saying: "If you want something done properly then do it yourself". ;)

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P!N20
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby P!N20 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:06 pm

bychosis wrote:Yes, small steel fibres, think paperclip or smaller, 20mm long maybe, to increase the strength of the concrete. You can see it in the surface after the concrete has worn down for a few years. I’ve picked out a dozen pieces a few mm long from a tyre on occasion. I think they recognised that steel reinforcing wasn’t good as they’ve converted to fibreglass reinforcing for cycle paths, ‘fibrecrete’.


The synthetic fibres in Fibrecrete are not steel, and would be doing an amazing job to penetrate a bicycle tyre.

kenwstr
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby kenwstr » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:04 pm

uart wrote:
chill_8_7 wrote:1st time - possibly incorrect pressure as literally the tyre came out of the rim completely and they said they rarely see cases like this.

Shouldn't happen. Faulty tyre or badly fitted or badly over inflated.

2nd time - was told regular flat and plain unlucky as some glass got stuck

Yeah, happens sometimes. You can get tyre liners or tyres with better puncture resistance if this happens too often.

3rd time - they said few glass pieces were inside the tyre and that they cleaned it (did in a different store compared to other times)

Previous shop didn't find/clean all the glass from your previous incident.

4th time - faulty tube as it had a small hole it seems and was told if next time, change tyres as default ones are generally bad and was shown a high quality replacement option for 82 bucks per tyre

Previous store installed crap quality tube, possibly too small and over stretched. Either that or your rim tape has loosened/moved. New tyres would not have made any difference here.

There's an old saying: "If you want something done properly then do it yourself". ;)


4th could have been a thorn, sometimes they fall out, break off and can sometimes be hard to locate etc.
If it's mostely small pin pricks like from thorns, putting slime in the tubes is good for about a season, get new tubes after that.
It is hard to repair a tube with slime in it so if it's mostely larger cuts say from glass, slime is not a great option.

Carry a spare tube and learn how to change it (youtube) so you never have to walk home again.
Do your puncture repair at home.

You can get glueless temporary patches which can be handy if the spare tube also punctures.
These tend to leak again if the tube deflates again, so thy are best used as an emergency option to get you home IMO.

Ken

uart
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby uart » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:20 pm

kenwstr wrote:4th could have been a thorn, sometimes they fall out, break off and can sometimes be hard to locate etc.Ken

It's hard to say without knowing the details of where exactly the hole was located. Normally I'd only declare a faulty tube if the hole is somewhere that doesn't coincide with any place that could have conceivably been penetrated, so I was assuming on the inside of the tube. But yeah, we don't really know the full details.

chill_8_7
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby chill_8_7 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:07 pm

Thanks for all the tips and suggestions.

Right now making sure I inflate somewhere between 80-85 every alternate day and also checking the pressure before I start riding, fingers crossed.

Hopefully will learn in near future on how to fix flats and also get things necessary for it.

In the mean time, maybe will also look at the Schwalbles tyres.

Jmuzz
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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby Jmuzz » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:59 pm

80psi seems very high for 32c tyres?
Where did that recommendation come from?

This is the particular puncture resistant tyre discussed, not all the brand is tough. Sales can be short.
There are other puncture resistant tyres.
Just beware anti puncture tyres are a harsher ride and heavier etc. It's the price of thick rubber and sometimes Kevlar and stuff.

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Re: Any solution for frequent flat?

Postby RetroPilot » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:42 pm

tyre model?

PAir of Maxxis Overdrives,or other kevlars, skies the limit how much do you want to pay, thorn-proof tube in back wheel maybe , (I'd be confidant you get 3 rear tyre events to each front tyre event, unless there is something wrong with your individual tyre/wheel here)
old tube cut down centre and fitted between tyres and main tubes..

you've got two strategies there, tyres with some intrusion resistance, and thereby 3 layers of insurance..

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