Sunday, March 13, 2011


Bought a new patch kit, cheaper then buying new tubes all the time.
I have never had any flat problems on my Rocky Mountain, not even on my bike tour to Jasper.  But I seem to be having lots of them now!  As mentioned on previous posts, I had a problem with them starting in November.  I had 3 in one week!  First the front, then the back, then the front.  Thinking that the cold weather had something to do with it, I gave up riding her for the Season.  But after riding it for the first time this season yesterday, I had another one, on the front tire!  And it wasn't even cold outsite.

I've been chucking the tubes, but it seems the holes are just pinhole sized (not pinches) so they can be patched.  I brought one tire to a bike shop and they said it was still in good shape despite having 4711 kms on it.  I told them I keep tubes inflated at 60 psi, so pinched tubes aren't the problem.  Also, with pinched tubes there would be 2 holes, but I only can find one when I dip it in water.

Here are photos of the tire.  The tubes themselves are new, so no problem there.   I think that the tires are in good shape, do you agree?  They are just the ones that came with the bike (kenda tires) and I've seen one with the same bike with really worn tires, and mine are nothing like that!  I checked the inside of the tire and there was nothing indicating what poked a hole in the tube.
Still in good shape with 4711 kms on it.
Doesn't seem thin and no wires....but nothing indicating what pierced the tube.

I guess my Rocky Mountain doesn't handle Winter too well.  I still get a tiny bit of frozen chain link problem even though it's 5C.  But the chain, and cassette are new, and I had the same problem before they were changed last Summer ahead of the long bike tour.

I have to agree with Sarah from Edmonton that perhaps Mountain bikes are better suited for Northern Canadian Winters.  She feels the same way and uses an older mountain bike during Winter rather then her Pashley.  I guess it's not quite time to take out the Rocky Mountain as there is too much slush and crap on the roads right now.  :(  Knobby tires seem to handle the crap better then smoother commuter tires.  I have heard that flat road bike tires even have more problems with flats.  I haven't had one flat with my Winter beater mountain bike.


  1. From your picture of the tire tread, it looks like there is wear on the tire in the form of little pock marks. See how there's a little piece of gravel stuck in it? Other little chunks of debris (including glass shards) can get stuck as well. Sometimes they ride along for quite a while before causing trouble, but then can work their way into the tube, especially if it gets wet (the water acts like lubrication - this is why people are more prone to flats in spurts, and in the rain).

    Check your tires really carefully by running a cotton ball along the inside - it will snag on any embedded glass or wire. If you still can't find the puncture offender, (carefully) use your fingers, and carefully examine any bumps or irregularities you find - a sliver of glass barely visible to the naked eye can still puncture the tube. When you remount your tires, line up the valve stem with the label on the tire, so the next time you find a hole in the tube you have an idea where to look on the tire.

    OK, sorry this is so long, I'm sure you know most of this. I'm just reminded of the time an ex-roommate patched his tube 9 times before letting me examine the tire, where I found a tiny glass sliver.

  2. I don't mind the long post at all. I really appreciate the suggestions. The deep hole that the pebble is in is part of the tires, there are the same ruts in each section. But there is indeed some tiny pock marks created by wear and tear and there could indeed be something really tiny stuck in it. I will try your cotton ball idea.

    I have rubbed hand inside the tire all the way around and found nothing, but I'll try with the cotton ball. I guess that I should have done that first with the cotton ball just in case that there was some glass as I would have cut myself.

  3. I've been looking at the tire close up, I have been squeezing the tire to make the small pock marks expand. I have taken out several microscopic pieces, one that looked suspiciously like a shard of glass. I thought I felt something inside the tire, but not sure. It's amazing that there are tiny tiny pieces of rock, etc...stuck in those tiny pocks.

    I don't think that it would take much to pierce the tube if there was such a tiny piece that was causing problems.

  4. Sorry to hear about all the flats. I used to get them a lot, until I got all Schwalbe tires on my bikes. Since then I haven't gotten any (knock on wood). I would be so screwed if I did get a flat - I don't carry any kind of kit.



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