Punctures and brakes

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Verena
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Punctures and brakes

Post by Verena »

Question from the mechanically challenged:

Once again I find myself with three flats on three bikes :cry: , I seem to be having a particularly bad run of these at the moment...

Had a look at the one I got at the weekend, and the patch I did in the dark at minus at least two did in fact hold, so mildly pleased with that. Turns out I missed a second one in the same tube, also something I've had a lot of recently (BOGOF)...

Anyway, just wondered what people's top tips are for preventing and dealing with punctures, and what you take with you on rides to get you out of trouble?

Remember though, KISS, keep it simple stupid (me)...

Oh and the back brake that stopped working in same sub zero evening miraculous is just fine now. So could it have been that something froze? Is that a thing?

Thank you :smile:
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ScotRoutes
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by ScotRoutes »

Cable brake or hydraulic? Water can get into cables and then freeze so that's a possibility. Lubricating them with something like GT85 can be enough to sort that out. It's rare for hydraulic brakes to freeze but it can happen if the caliper gets covered in ice and then the pads won't move. Again, rare in the UK (but I've had it happen once).

Is it possible that you didn't remove the offending object when you punctured? A tip is to run a tissue paper around the inside of the tyre. It will snag on anything sharp, leaving an obvious bit of tissue and then you'll see what needs to be removed. Not always the easiest when it's dark/cold/wet.

Oh, and tubeless, obviously. 😏
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ScotRoutes
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by ScotRoutes »

I meant to add - in my experience, wet tyres pick up small shards of glass, metal more easily than dry ones so it can be a seasonal issue.
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Dave Barter
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by Dave Barter »

Is it possible that you didn't remove the offending object when you punctured? A tip is to run a tissue paper around the inside of the tyre. It will snag on anything sharp, leaving an obvious bit of tissue and then you'll see what needs to be removed. Not always the easiest when it's dark/cold/wet.
And for this very reason I carry a needle that I use to weedle out tiny bits of thorn I've discovered. I run my fingers around the inside of the tyre which means I always find the offending thorn/glass but obviously there is a downside.
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sean_iow
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by sean_iow »

I've had a cable brake at the rear freeze before. Does the cable route down under the bottom bracket and back up to the caliper? I think moisture had build up inside at the low point. I took the inner out, cleaned and lubricated it and it's been fine since. I also made sure the little rubber bellows at the caliper was in place to (hopefully) keep the moisture out.
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Cheeky Monkey
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by Cheeky Monkey »

Dave Barter wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:44 am .... but obviously there is a downside.
You get to practice sweary words and phrases Dave?

:wink:
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Cheeky Monkey
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by Cheeky Monkey »

As to the OP's Q - tubeless can be the solution for many of your ills.

Like most bike stuff, the initial compatability / technique etc can be a bit of a head scratcher but it's fairly simple, really. Setting it up usually goes one of two ways - an absolute doddle or a monumental PITA. However, lots of people have done it and seem to stick with it so if you are tempted, give it a go. There are plenty of threads on here about it and no end of people will happily chime in to help you get sorted if you struggle.
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whitestone
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by whitestone »

I take a pair of small snub nosed pliers, actually they are on a Leatherman Squirt, useful for pulling thorns out.

As Colin says, run a tissue of some sort around the inside of the tyre to find any errant thorns or sharps. What this won't find are those sharps embedded in the carcase that only push through when that part of the tyre hits an edge, they puncture the inner tube then retreat B-(

After all that: tubeless. Yes it can be a faff but it's faff in the warmth of your home/garage rather than out on the trail. It can go wrong out on the trail but far less likely and usually when that happens it's bad enough that you'd be having problems with tubed tyres as well - things like torn sidewalls.

Here's a couple of articles with videos about tubeless setup and repair.

https://bikepacking.com/news/tubeless-setup-video/

https://bikepacking.com/news/tubeless-r ... deo-guide/
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Lazarus
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by Lazarus »

Tubeless* is the only solution to punctures as they are largely just bad luck - even tubeless does not prevent them it just repairs them for you . Nothing you do will stop thorns puncturing tyres - well I am sure you can get some insanely heavy tyre that is to hard for them to get through but it wont ride welll

Re brake i am assuming its cable and it froze as the hydraulic brakes either have a freezing point of - 40 or , in the case odf DOT, dont really freeze they just become thicker and harder to use


* whilst many will tell you its faff free my experience is it is not but i have always managed to get it there in the end - though I have taken days to do this - not constant work but letting tubes force the bead on etc . I have had one ride ending puncture in 5 years and that still sealed the hole but their was not enough air in to ride afterwards and the valve was gummed up and i had no pliars so it was mainly my fault /lack of maintenance. Sorry had a second but that put a 2 " slash in the sidewall so nothing was stopping that
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

I meant to add - in my experience, wet tyres pick up small shards of glass, metal more easily than dry ones so it can be a seasonal issue.
Water is rubber's natural lubricant.

Yep, I think tubeless is the way forward. Once upon a time in a land faraway, I picked up 3 punctures in the space of half a mile. It was a cold, wet and windy night and from that time forth, I convert every bike to tubeless. Yes, sometimes it can be a pita but I always recall that night and realise that no matter, it won't be as unpleasant as that was :wink:
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benp1
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by benp1 »

I had a pretty rubbish local ride last year

It was absolutely pi55ing it down, proper big, bad, angry rain. And it was night time. I run tubeless, but got a hole in the sidewall. I was riding on a paved bike path and then a bit of flat grass before that so no idea that was even possible. Tubeless wouldn't seal it, forgot I had anchovies on me as well. Thought I'd sorted it but hadn't.

Then chucked a tube in which went flat shortly after. Must have been something sharp embedded in the tyre, which is more likely when you run tubeless as the sealant covers it up. Ended up walking a brilliant but short descent in the woods. Mud everywhere

Ended up about 5 miles from home, still heaving it down, not particularly warm either. Thankfully got rescued by a mate, otherwise would have been a long and rubbish walk home.

Lessons for me
- remember to use the anchovies
- check the tyre for embedded objects. Bob's tissue tip is good
- grateful to have had a waterproof on and a warm layer in my bag. If I'd just popped out in a windproof that wouldn't have been good

I was also grateful not to be out in the wilds of Wales on my own, with similar external factors
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PaulB2
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by PaulB2 »

On my worst ever ride, I had 7 punctures in 6 miles and ended up walking a few miles home with 2 flat tyres having gone through my spare tubes and patches. After that ride, I converted one of my bikes to tubeless and since then I've only had one puncture that I've noticed at the time. That turned out to be because it'd been too long since I'd topped up with sealant and the rear tyre was completely dry.
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whitestone
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by whitestone »

There have been two occasions (in six years and lots of hours' riding) where tubeless didn't work. Once was when I dinged a rim and the tyre just wouldn't seal against it, my fault for riding clumsily not the system. The other was when a "normal" thorn puncture wouldn't seal, the sealant must have been old, can't remember if I had anchovies with me or not. Put in an inner tube (a Tubolito) but over the course of the next day it would keep slowly deflating, it would take a couple of hours to do so.

Cursed the Tubolito and when I got home slung it to one side and sorted the tyre out. About a year later (you can tell how pissed off I was at it) I decided to try and repair the Tubolito. Fixed the obvious "hole" in it and then found another six pin-prick holes in it :lol: No wonder it wouldn't stay inflated. BTW those Topeak/Park ready patches work on Tubolitos, you don't need their expensive repair kit. :wink:

I've had other punctures that the sealant wouldn't handle but anchovies did so they do need to be part of "the system"
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lune ranger
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by lune ranger »

whitestone wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:54 am BTW those Topeak/Park ready patches work on Tubolitos, you don't need their expensive repair kit. :wink:
The kit is just alcohol wipes to clean the tube and off cuts of McNett repair tape.
Lazarus
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by Lazarus »

My worst was a commute home - i must have had something tiny sticking though the tyre but I could not find it
7 punctures in three miles was repairing tubes as well when finally the piump came apart in my hands pumpiing up another repair - I had a full on John Cleese meltdown moment at this point :oops:
shutuplegs
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by shutuplegs »

Noob tubeless question: Regarding topping up sealant, what happens to the old/dry stuff in there? Do you just keep chucking more in or do you take the tyre off and clean it out?
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benp1
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by benp1 »

shutuplegs wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:25 pm Noob tubeless question: Regarding topping up sealant, what happens to the old/dry stuff in there? Do you just keep chucking more in or do you take the tyre off and clean it out?
I just lob more in.

What is this cleaning you speak of?
Lazarus
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by Lazarus »

I Just chuck more in
I have heard reports of folk claiming it goes hard and forms a golf ball inside but never found this to be the case when removing wheels
I dont clean the tyres unless there is some serious issue with the bead area
My lazy approach is to
1. Top up when the tyre starts going flat
2. Top up before a multi day ride
I think they say top up every three months but not sure

I suspect i am doing twice a year ish
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whitestone
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by whitestone »

shutuplegs wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:25 pm Noob tubeless question: Regarding topping up sealant, what happens to the old/dry stuff in there? Do you just keep chucking more in or do you take the tyre off and clean it out?
Yep, just keep adding. Depending on the temperature where you live it can be every three to six months. I'll let the bike stand for a while then give the tyres a shake, if you can hear the sealant sloshing around then you are usually OK. Sometimes the fibres that do the sealing drop out of solution so you just end up with mucky water (I know it's not) in there rather than the milky substance it should be.

You might get some coagulation going on - Stanimals - but you can usually hear these rattling around inside the tyre. In which case pop a bead and hook them out.

It's not a panacea, you still have to do some maintenance.

Oh, CO2 cartridges do work with sealant, even the ones people say it doesn't. Turn the tyre so the valve is at 6 o'clock and let the sealant around that drain out, then turn the tyre so the valve is at 1 or 11 o'clock wait a minute or two for the sealant to drain down to the bottom and then add the CO2. It's not the CO2 that reacts with the sealant it's the thermal shock of it expanding that messes things up. Doing the above gets the cold gas as far from the sealant as possible.
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ericrobo
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by ericrobo »

Very relevant topic :roll:

Out riding yesterday afternoon an hour before dark, on the fatbike (4.8 inch tyres, tubeless). New sealant front and back about 6 weeks ago.

Back tyre started going down...
Got my mini pump out and connector (sometimes it needs the connector, don’t ask me why, I’ve no idea)***

*** without the connector, if the pump is just slightly off centre, the air goes rushing back into thin air...

Noticed it was very hard work pumping (it’s a good little pump, telescopic)

Decided the valve was gunged up with sealant, so took the valve out and cleaned it.

Tried again, still very hard pumping, but managed to get some air in, so carried on (with my weight mostly on the front) until about 300 metres from home, uphill, so pushed it.

At home put the track pump on it, and it was hard after 20 pumps... (and still is, I’ve just washed the bike)

So the sealant did its job, but not immediately.... which is a bit strange... it’s Stans No Tubes Race Sealant, which plugs bigger holes than the normal.
So why did the tyre start going soft ?
Not enough sealant in ?
I put probably double what they recommend. Maybe fat tyres need a lot more than even that ?

Investigated my little mini pump, and applied some light oil to the plunger inside.....

And it seems to be working fine again.

I’ll test it for sure in about half an hour when I’ve finished my pint of tea :-bd , by letting the tyre down.

So the moral is you prepare for all the little foibles and quirks as mentioned above, but there’s always something to catch you out :|

Ps - what’s the ‘science’ behind oiling the plunger ? (I’m sure Bob will know :-bd )
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whitestone
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by whitestone »

The plunger needs to be soft to form a seal. Typically they dry out over time so a bit of oil now and then keeps them in shape.
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ericrobo
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by ericrobo »

Thanks Bob

Didn’t realise it was that obvious :-bd =))
shutuplegs
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by shutuplegs »

Thanks for the replies. Sounds simple enough to keep chucking sealant in.

Tubeless is on the list, and gets pushed higher every time I get a puncture!
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BigdummySteve
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by BigdummySteve »

whitestone wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:33 pm The plunger needs to be soft to form a seal. Typically they dry out over time so a bit of oil now and then keeps them in shape.
I still do this, even though I suspect no plunger seals have been made from leather for decades, old habits.
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Re: Punctures and brakes

Post by lune ranger »

Lazarus wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:16 pm My worst was a commute home - i must have had something tiny sticking though the tyre but I could not find it
7 punctures in three miles was repairing tubes as well when finally the piump came apart in my hands pumpiing up another repair - I had a full on John Cleese meltdown moment at this point :oops:
I too have had the ‘so many punctures your pump brakes’ experience and pretty much did the John Cleese thing as well.
When I got back I also binned the offending tyre and never bought one again - IRC Mythos c.1998
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