I’ve gotten pretty good at fixing flats, especially in light of the rash of them I’ve had lately.
The other day, I was itching to do a ride, but the tire had gone flat the day before, so I had to fix it before getting out. No problem. I found the puncture and marked it so I could patch the tube, I found the teeny tiny shard of glass in the tire tread that caused the flat (probably all of 1/16th inch long) and got that out. Put the new tube in the tire, mounted it on the rim, and started to pump ‘er up.
I’ve learned my lesson about checking to make sure the tire is seated correctly — that the tube isn’t pinched between the rim and the tire bead. After a few pumps of air, I pulled the tire off the pump to check it. Problem. The bead was not seated correctly near the valve.
I let out all the air and re-seated the tire. Pumped it a little again, and checked.
Hm. This is getting old.
That tire refused to seat itself. The tell-tale “witness line” doesn’t lie — I still had a problem.
Let the air out again, reseat the tire again. Pumped it up — slowly and with less air than before. Worked the sidewall with my fingers. This time, it looked like it might be okay. I pumped it up to about 2/3rds of my preferred pressure.
Yeah, the third time’s the charm. I put it on the bike and pumped it up the rest of the way. Raised the wheel off the ground and gave it a spin. Everything seemed copacetic. But there was only one way to find out.
I patched the punctured tube and put it in my seatbag, got on my cycling clothes, and headed out. The day was a great one for a ride, sunny, temps in the mid to upper 60s. Wind light from the north.
I survived a 20-mile trip on roads that seemed to have more broken glass than usual, with no mishaps. Another flat, another successful repair — but I’m not sure why the bead didn’t want to cooperate.
Black Pearl says
Sometimes the location, right under the stem, is an indicator that they larger seal around the base of the stem is interfering with the bead seating.
Usually I will push up on the stem to move the thicker part of the tube up closer to the tread before I seat the tire.
Works for me.
What Black Pearl wrote 🙂 Push and pull the stem to get the tube out of the way. I’ve had tubes explode like you described in your older post, too.
Thanks for the link love in your sidebar!
Fritz and Black Pearl are both correct about the valve stem. And another thing you may want to check is to see if your tire is due to be replaced. That could be why your getting so many flats lately. I run vittoria tires as well and have found that they work fantastic until they’re almost done. Then they get flats VERY easily. When the tire is inflated check to see if the top portion (the part that makes contact with the road) of the tire is squared off (or flat). If it is, it’s time to replace it.
I have a fear of getting a flat and the simple reason is that everything goes well until aligning the tire with the rim. With every pump and adjusting of the tire, the tire just refuses to align with the rim. I have to send my bike away to the cycle store for them align it. I tried pumping it a little and squeezing the tire around the rim. I’ve tried bouncing the tire lightly off the ground in circles and that also did not work. I have also tried water and soap and rubbed the tire and rim. I really don’t know what to do, basically spinning the wheel, makes it appear to spin in an oval shape and has a bounce effect when riding.
Jon Sweet says
Wish I’d had this to read this morning when my new tire was just REFUSING to seat. Inflating it slowly, checking every few pumps – when, around 80psi, I notice the telltale bulge of a bead that isn’t seating right around the valve. Deflate, reseat (which I’ve never had to do before, but only swapped in a new tire twice in my life), start to inflate slowly again, around 90psi this time I see the bulge again, but in a different position. Deflate, reseat, reseat, reseat, $#@!, @#%!, RESEAT dammit!, then slowly, slowly, up to 100psi, 105 – still OK. Not brave enough to take it up to its max 120psi until I have a chance to ride it timidly for a mile or two to break in the tire a little.
Makes me *very* nervous about having to muck around with this tire for a flat out on the road when I’ve got only a crappy frame pump and no option to give up.