Frequency of flats?

How often does your tire get a hole or flat? In 4 years of riding mopeds, I've had about one flat per season.

I saw a post in the 'sightings' and Don was saying he never gets them--

I think mopeds are prone to flats...on the right of the road there is more debris, nails , staples etc that will flatten you.

The cars kick it up, and it all collects on the edges of the roads.

Re: Frequency of flats?

this is my first flat. but i ride in the middle of the lane (actually towards the left of center). so maybe i avoid most of the debri (which is what got me today in a parking lot). after riding my bianchi almost daily for over a year ... one flat.

Re: Frequency of flats?

Well,Wayne,I didn't mean I'm impervious to flats.I've fixed plenty on bicycles.But for some reason I've had thousands of miles of flat-free riding.I AM VERY CAREFUL though to look ahead and am blessed with 20-15 vision at a distance with my glasses.When I'm on a gravel road,I usually don't run over 20mph and I pick my way thru any large sharp stones I see.One thing though.I'll almost NEVER patch a tube unless it's needed to get home on.I will opt for a new tube almost every time.They just aren't that expensive.

Re: Frequency of flats?

Crisis--Cincinnati /

Who rides on the right side of the road? We need to let people know that we own the streets! :)

Re: Frequency of flats?

Simon King /

Damn straight, that's what I like to hear.

Anyway, I've had 3 flats in 5 years.

Re: Frequency of flats?

Ron Brown /

Don,

Since you NEVER patch tubes, possibly you can tell me if you have EVER experienced a flat caused by a failed patch, even on a bicycle.

Other than catastrophic failures, I have allways patched tubes on cars (the olden days), bicycles, motorcycles and peds. I have never had one fail from a bad patch, or from old age, although I do replace tubes when they start to look perished or the valve stem is rusty.

Ron

I know I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed... bu

If he's never used a patch.. how could he have ever had one fail ??

I'm gonna have to put a bigger fuse in my brain circuit..... Ron

(I kinda know what you meant.. and I use patches regularly.. have had maybe 2 out of 100 fail.. because the surface wasn't good... or the 'glue' was old)

Its just the Catch 22 I was pointing out..... : )

Re: I know I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed..

Ron Brown /

Fred,

This part of his post:

>I've fixed plenty on bicycles.

and this part:

>I'll almost NEVER patch a tube unless it's needed to get home on.

A dope slap or rubbing your head on wet cement will do. : )

But .... back to the question at hand, as near as I can remember, I have never had a patch fail, except that I suppose I may have had a slow leak in one that went away when I finally changed the tube.

When it comes to changing tubes, I find the biggest hazard is pinching it. If I ever repaired a flat on the road and it got me home with no problem, I would consider it a greater risk to repace it with a new one than to leave the old one in.

My other pet peeve is the "you should allways change the tube when you change the tire" mentality.

If I can wear out a tire in 6 months and you take 3 years to wear out a tire, does that mean that you should change your tube every 6 months? If I have a tube that holds air well, I consider myself truly blessed (thats polite for damn lucky) and no way in hell am I going to replace it with an unknown new one, unless it has obvious damage.

I do however, try to replace my tires before they wear through to the tube. : )

Ron

Re: Frequency of flats?

Ron.How did my `almost NEVER' get changed to never?Reading something into that aren't you?I have patched MANY tubes for OTHER PEOPLE ,but NOT MANY for myself.Heck,I was the kid all the poor neighborhood kids brought their flat tires to have them patched.I have seen many patches fail because of heat or OLD tubes.Or BAD tubes.If you want to risk patching a tube and doing what I do(go for 125+ mi. trips,that's fine.But don't take me to task for opting for a new tube when I know it is best as far as odds of recurrence....................and as far as having seen patches fail:OH,YES! Many times I've seen patches fail on cars,trucks,and bikes.Generally due to degraded rubber or shoddy workmanship,BUT why take the chance?E.Gg.;You can opt to clean your old spark plugs or tighten an old belt but you're not fixing the problem in the BEST manner,and my `ol stock car racin' crew chief says:`You don't cobble when you can fix it right.'

stock car racing

I wanna know more about the 'stock car racing'...

....what did you do?... where?... what car?... dirt/pavement?

Re: stock car racing

Back inthe early `70s,Fred.Dirt tracks.My older brother was a heck of a driver.We had a legal 390 cube 58 Ford `hobby stocker' that ran `late model time.Like I mentioned before,I was grunt labor at that early age,but it was great experience.Except for seeing my brother nearly killed time and time again.Those Chevies couldn't stay with the awesome engine we had and so they got together and always tried to spin him out.`Cause if he got to the front he was usually gone.You know Fred.Chevy parts were cheap back then and Fords took more money to build right.I never drove although I wanted to badly.I can honestly say Dan was the best driver out there and never hit anybody to try to spin them out.He just passed them clean.The crew chief didn't like that but Dan wouldn't budge.I respected him for that.

Re: stock car racing

One thing I didn't finish there,Fred.I said legal 390 cubes,but that was all that was legal about it,the cubes.The engine builder cheated as much as possible just like all the other engine builders of that time.We had special set-ups just like everybody else.As far as I know,we ordered one of the first computer selected cams from Kinetic I believe in 1968 or 69.Man was that cam awesome!Dan had a 327 Chevy with a Corvette set-up and 2- 4-barrels for his personal car,a 1961 Chevy.That thing was really quick as far as I was concerned.He used to mop up Pontiac Judges and such with it.Well,anyway,one day I asked him if that Chevy could stay with that stock car.He said`Don,it ain't even close.That stock car would just about `half-track' that Chevy.Now I had driven that Chevy,so I was thunderstruck at how fast that Ford must've been.

Re: Frequency of flats?

Ron Brown /

Don,

No offence, as I mentioned in my post to Fred, I assumed you must have done some patching, I think I also mentioned that good patches on good tubes do not fail. I guess I was trying to make the point that if you have successfully fixed a flat on the road and you know you applied the patch well, replacing the tube with a new one is as likely to get you in trouble from pinching it as the old one is to fail, maybe more so.

In any event, it is impossible to eliminate flat tires. My attitude is, carry a patch kit and enjoy the break by the side of the road. It's all part of the ride.

Btw, if Stock Car racers don't cobble, how do you explain Duct tape? : )

Ron

Re: stock car racing

Very cool... to have that experience in your back pocket.

Re: stock car racing

Yeah,Fred.I'm afraid I'm a little nostalgic about it.Well,you know how it goes.Dan got married and quit sinking exorbitant money into it and I got married and went to work finishing concrete 80mi. away.(Drove that 160mi. every day for 2 yrs.).We all hung around and kept the fast-pitch softball team together for a while,but then all drifted apart.It was really fun though.

Re: Frequency of flats?

See Ron,we all get these differing experiences in life and try to help the younger people out by what we've seen and done.My experiences with tubes is that I think I've only pinched one or two early in my bike tire patching days and so I never considered that as a problem.But patches back then were not as good as nowadays I know.So the experiences I had may have poisoned me on patches in general.Also,when I buy a bike and I start to put in a new tube,I notice a lot of times the tubes I'm replacing have one or more patches.Don't know if it means anything,but I just feel better with new tubes.I went on a 90mi.ride Friday and a 140mi. ride Sunday and I sure didn't want any flats.Had a great time though.That windshield I put on there the other day was a lifesaver in a little freak storm that came along Saturday.Was the weather as good in Michigan as it was in Ohio?Mid to upper 60s and 72 degree high on Sat.?I can't believe it's late November.Oh,and on the Duct tape?We never took the car TO the track cobbled,but during the race you have to make do with what you've got,and do it in a hurry.(:>)

Re: Frequency of flats?

Ron Brown /

Don,

Not quite as warm here and we were in the rain.

May be true about patches being better now but there were allways 2 kinds. The ones with feathered edges stick the best and I have allways used those on cars and motorcycles. The bicycle style, punched out of a sheet type patches I will use on a bicycle or ped. Like every other repair, cleanining and prep is 90% of a successful job. On tubes, it is also important that the tube not be twisted or folded inside the tire. It is easy for this to happen with an older, sticky tube. Talcum powder works wonders if you have some handy.

Btw, several turns of duct tape make an excellent rim tape to protect the tube from spoke ends.

Speaking of flats again, on the way to the BBQ, I got a rear tire flat. It was a pinhole on the rim side of the tube, near, but not at the spokes and about 8 inches from the valve stem. When I fixed it, I could find no reason for the hole. A couple of weeks ago, I got a flat in the same tube. It was a similar little pin hole in about the same position on the tube except in the opposite direction from the valve stem.

I did not remove the wheel to fix the first flat so I know the tube was not turned around. For the second repair, I removed the wheel and cleaned the rim with a brass wire brush. I also cleand some debris out of the tire and brushed the flakes of rust off the bead. I am assuming that there was something floating around between the rim and tube which caused these punctures. Possibly a flake of chrome plating although I am not sure.

Anyway, the patch I had installed on the road was slightly loose on one edge, but the area over the hole was fine. Probably a result of a greasy fingerprint while fighting with the chains by the side of the road. After cleaning everything up, I patched the new hole, talc'd the tube and it has held air so far.

My question is, does anyone have any idea what may have caused these punctures? I am used to the reason for a puncture being obvious but these spontaneous flats have me baffled.

I should confess that the tire and tube are both 1979 original equipment, but this is normal for me anf I have not seen this kind of problem before.

I am also fairly sure that "clean living", or the lack of it, is not a significant factor.

Ron

Re: Frequency of flats?

Hi,Ron! It was probably like you said:Some debris scattered inside.I'm glad to hear duct tape will work well for lining over the spoke ends.I did that a while back on a bicycle tire,AFTER I replaced the rubber band.It has held great so far,but the tube is new so why shouldn't it?It was a Columbia bike I bought at a yard sale and the tires and tubes were rotted.Beautiful 3-speed bike though.If I were having trouble with rusting rims I'd probably coat the inside with stuff like that Kreem for gas tanks.I think it would probably prevent further rust and tend to smooth the surface some.Really though,Ron,I would replace those old tubes with some fresh ones.UNLESS you enjoy that type of challenge,which I doubt.They come with powder on them,but I usually dose them with my own baby powder.I asked my wife for the baby powder the other day.There I was with dirty hands(she knew I was in the garage working on that Columbia bicycle)She really gave me a questioning look `til I explained it to her.A little trick I use on bikes,and it seems to help,is to make sure the valve stem juts thru at an angle to compensate for any wheel slippage during hard braking.You know,when the tire slips and cocks your valve stem at an angle as the tube moves inside?It seems that it helps offset the severe pull on the tube that can result after hitting the brakes hard.

Re: Frequency of flats?

gas and a match will fix it

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