Tubes 40 miles to my first flat tire! Discouraging!

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by Marktur, May 12, 2008.

  1. Marktur

    Marktur Member

    Well, even though I figured "It's not going to happen to me" did!

    Riding home from work, loving my new bike...catching bugs in my teeth...cause I'm smiling like an idiot...and then....rear end felt funny...looked down and "OH NO!" :)

    Once the air came out, it wouldn't stay on the rim, so I got a nice workout carrying the rear end of the bike for about a mile and a least I used my bike to get some exercise, afterall! heh! carry on a controversial conversation: What to do?

    I just picked up some self-sealing Schwinn tubes at the Super Target...also saw steel/carbon tires...and remember reading lots of posts on the pros and cons of solid tires vs tubes, and also about tire types...

    So the question is for the people with some miles on their bikes...what do you suggest? Are the self-sealing tire tubes a good answer? Should I upgrade tires?

    I'm starting to wonder if I should stop investing in the rough-ride bike, and maybe just get a scooter? I'm about $450 into this project now, with new bike, the motor kit, the extras: bag, light, speedometer, new seat, and my time. I want this to work, but I also know I'm asking a bike to do a job it's not meant to how reliable are the bikes, and what needs to be done to make them as reliable as a scooter or a moped?


  2. Marktur

    Marktur Member

    PS. I'm about 6', 215 lbs and wondering if this has anything to do with tires going flat? I didn't see any nails stickout out, but I'm going to pull off the tires and rims now, after I drain the fuel out so I can flip it over to work on.
  3. Go 20 mph max speed,keep things tight and you'll have years of wonderful use.
    Also go under in tire pressure. 30 PSI. No more than that. Too much tire pressure combined with constant moving of the bicycle tires and the road heat of summer equals ka boom no more tube all in shreds.
    Other than that,the slime tubes are an epic win.
    It's also a good idea to bring a spare tube in your tool pouch and an air pump or CO2. cartridges.
    Keep a rope in your tool pouch too. If you ever get a flat again,fling the rope around your frame and a tree branch. Instant Bike stand ghetto style. No more drain tank. I have a long cable lock (7 feet so I can secure my whole bike,keep it over my shoulder when I ride) so I can use that as a ghetto stand.
    Bike too heavy? No problems. Wheelie your bike so your front wheel is up in the air and bring the rope thru the front of the frame. Cinch it up then pick up the back tire and slide the rope towards the rear of the frame triangle. Ghetto stand. Ghetto stand.
    Scooters are cool. I personally think they are too nerdy looking,but then again,my Schwinn is orange yellow. :grin:
    If your gonna commute every day for a lot of miles then maybe a scooter as another form of transportation would be beneficial.
    But you'll never get the stares you get on your Motoredbike.
    Because Motoredbikes are for cool people.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2008
  4. I agree with Large, with care and maintenance, these motoredbikes are great. I wouldnt be seen on most of the scooters ive seen, matter of taste lol. I love the stares from people on my bike. I run my tires low around 35psi, more to take the bumps out of the road than anything else. I have about 100 miles on my bike and no problems yet (knock on wood) but I'm sure they wll come up and I will deal with them as they do. I dont work so I use mine mostly just putting around.
  5. Marktur

    Marktur Member

    Yeah...a moment of weakness...scooters look kinda...welll....ya know...

    I really love my bike already...I'll take Large's advice about an extra tube and a rope for sure. As for speed, I hover around 20...sometimes up to 24..short bursts. But I'm comfy at 20.

    Tire and Tube are done...My chain is loose...I think I need to remove a link - surprised that it stretched like that! I also put some rubber inner tube on the frame where the chain guard is making tomorrow it should be good as new. :)

  6. jimraysr

    jimraysr Member

    I have a Yamaha trail bike that i could ride, but many places the competition wt. cars is scary. Have to have it licensed and emission tested each year. Carry insurance and can't ride on bike trails and sidewalks where streets are just not safe for a scooter / cycle of any size.

    Glendale, AZ outlawed any scooters on it's streets. Have a friend who had to pay a $150 ticket for riding his electric scooter on the street.

    I think a motor assisted bike has a much better acceptance today and people can appreciate it as a form of transportation.

    Those are some of the things I considered before committing to a motorized bike. Time will tell.

    I agree that technical problems will show up and can be solved in order to provide reliable transportation.

    Older than dirt in Glendale, Jim
  7. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Get kevlar belted tires or liners, also. They'll keep much of the road garp away from the tube.
  8. A fine example of a ghetto stand.

    My front tire lost air by the valve stem today. It's the original tube. Luckily I keep a spare slime tube in my tool pouch. I was testing out my trailer. I'm gonna use it for grocery getting. Yes. Anything I can save in gas will add to more food.
    See what's on the floor? My gas container,my pump,wrench,lock. I used the strap that normally straps my fuel reserve to my handlebar to make my ghetto stand.
    That pump? Those frame mount pumps are WORTHLESS. I can barely get 15 psi in before quitting. My foot pump is in my tool pouch now. Foot pumps are a mucha better.

    Ghetto stand.

    Can't live without your...ghetto stand.

    Attached Files:

  9. spunout

    spunout Member

    listen. i used to get a flat (ALWAYS the rear) at least 2 per month. i've had a set of Mr. Tuffies tire liner, that seat between tube and tire, for 7months with no flats. solid tubes are NOT recommended.
  10. Marktur

    Marktur Member

    OK, so this isn't over yet...I went shopping for scoots this weekend, both online and at dealerships...and I was a little intimidated both from driving (and watching the crazy drivers) and from the size of some of these machines. Some are REALLY HUGE...but anything I saw in person - even the Honda 80cc's were VERY expensive ($2399 in this case). I saw some online in the $1000-1400 price range that looked really nice (150cc) bikes that do around 60mph, but trying to figure out what brand and which company will hose you the least has me reconsidering another try for my bike before I take the plunge.

    Maybe I'll keep the bike and still get the scoot, but I'm just really bugged about the bike, and I want it to really be perfect before I sell it (if I still want to sell it). I have a bunch of people watching the auction on eBay and several have shown interest on the forum, too.

    So, here's my questions:
    Do you think that the big balloon tires are the real problem? Here's why I'm asking...I paid close attention to everything on Saturday when I rode...I went about 5 miles each way, probably at 1/3 throttle about 20mph avg. I'm guessing. I didn't open it up until I arrived back in my subdivision...I went over 2 speed humps (very smooth 6' wide) - I wouldn't call it a speed "bump", more like something to slow regular traffic a bit), and then I took a turn in which I powered through it, accelerating in the turn. Immediately thereafter I went flat. Definitely not an external puncture. DEFINITELY. Looks like the tube moved, because the stem was cocked over to a 45 degree angle. Wouldn't take air - so I think it broke.

    As you can tell, I've been thinking about this a lot...and my MBc stickers showed up today, which is making me want to try one more time...

    Second thought: I was inflated to about 40lbs. Too little?

    Third: These tires are basically flat on the bottoms, obviously not high-speed tires. Mountain bike tires are thinner, have a lower sidewall, and are Kevlar reinforced.

    Do you think if I switch inner tubes to the thick slime tubes, and put mtn. bike tires on, that I will be able to go for a while without flats?

    How fast is too fast?


    PS. Sorry I seem so emotional about this, but I am -- I love the thought of having something nobody else around has, plus the cool factor, plus the fact that I can get on the sidewalk in bad traffic...I want to make this work, but I need dependability. The motor and tranny, etc. is GREAT. I just need to stop popping tubes.
  11. Dude. 40 pounds is TOO MUCH!

    35 AT THE MOST!!

    30 is PERFECTLY OKAY for me and Cronus runs 2.25 tires too.

    Now my front tire went flat today too and it was at the valve stem but no problems.

    Actually it would still have been inflated if it was a gel tube.

    I'm glad your giving this a shot,Mark. Once you get it,your problems will stop.

    If your rims are perfectly true maybe you could run to Wal Mart and get the thinner tires to go with the NoMoreFlats solid tubes. It's okay only if your rims are PERFECTLY true otherwise your gonna feel EVERY imperfection. Air is definitely smoother but no air means never another flat.
    It's all a trade off.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2008
  12. Zev0

    Zev0 Member

    Mark, I've got a beach cruiser that I got with a crappytime from SpookyTooth. Rode it about 150 miles. Had trouble with the engine, which Spooky wanted to help with, but I just got fed up with the fix-it daily routine. I have 2.125 balloon tires on it and never had a problem. There's really something amiss there someplace. Can't put my finger on it, but the bikes OK, could be a burr in the rim or something. But don't give up Man, Stay the course. For just a fraction of the money you would spend on a scooter you can get new wheels.
  13. Marktur

    Marktur Member

    Large - the tire says 40-65 lbs on it.

    I will go to Wally world and pick up some kevlar 26" comfort tires which are a bitsmaller and give it another shot. Also the extra thick Slime tubes if they have them.

    Interesting that the Shwinn self sealing tubes don't self seal...and the tire easily comes off the rim when it's flat..

    OK, I'll see what I can see... :)
  14. My tires say that too,but it's designed for a PEDAL BICYCLE. Lowering the pressure would make pedaling harder. The higher the pressure the less rolling resistance. But with a motor HEAT plays on the tube and the slime that's in the tube! That's a recipe for a tube explosion. I could be dead wrong here. But I do know I haven't blown up a slime tube after that first one just by dropping the pressure.
    Dropping my pressure to me made all the difference.
    Both my wheels are slime tubed now,and a new spare in my tool pouch. Both at 30 psi. 30 psi is plenty stiff,for me anyway.
  15. I respectfully disagree Large. It seems to me that if you run the tube at a lower pressure there is less pressure pushing the tire against the rim. This seems to be Marks problem.

    "Looks like the tube moved, because the stem was cocked over to a 45 degree angle. Wouldn't take air - so I think it broke".

    I would think he needs to increase the pressure so that the tire and tube don't slip. I am not familiar with slime tubes and am speaking about a regular bicycle tube. Maybe getting slime tubes will solve the problem, but it seems like the tire and tube are not "seating" on the rims... Just a thought.....
  16. Marktur

    Marktur Member

    Hi Guys,
    So I took a ride to Wally-world...first I see that they have restocked 26" slime tubes (3)...I picked up those, then a set of Kevlar 26" comfort tires which are 26x1.95 (smaller than the tires I have now)...and on my way to look at the bike-goodies, I noticed 2 boxes of Bell No-More-Flats. Hmmmmm....air, or no air....well, no air won't ever leak, so I grabbed them and put the Slime Tubes back...they also had Bell competitive tubes with the slime...really thick, self sealing, which I would have bought last time, but ended up stuck with the Schwinn tubes. (Wasn't there a time in my childhood where nothing could touch Schwinn products??? Now they are in Walmart...that's a bit sad.)

    Anyway, I'm draining the fuel out now so I can flip her over....Looks like you need a bit of a wrestle to get these on, but I'm up for the challenge! Lot's of soapy water it says...


    Wish me luck! If this works, all I will need to do is change the front forks for some springers, and I'm done!

    Thanks for the help, and the PM's too.

    PS. I'll let you know tomorrow when I get to work how it was...
  17. Good luck Mark.......Glad you stuck with it!!
  18. That makes a lot of sense. Could be that's what happened with my front tire today. It was at 30 PSI,was the original tube,and it leaked from the stem....does sound like it slipped.
    But with the slime,high pressure makes them explode! This is first hand experience. KABOOM!!!
    I would summarize drop pressure if you have slime,follow tire recommendations without slime,so the winner would be no slime thick tube and tough liners,good strong pressure.

    Mark,I still have my NoMoreFlats tube up front on my Happy Time bike. That rim is true so no problems. I'm sure you'll have miles of flat-less rides now!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2008
  19. Marktur

    Marktur Member

    I sure hope so!
    I just finished draining the tank...I'll do the tires in the AM. If it's a rough ride. I'll leave it up front, and get the slime for the rear with lower air pressure. Go from there..

  20. jimraysr

    jimraysr Member

    Do they make rim locks for bikes? That was what it took on my trail bikes to keep from pulling the stem out of the tube when hitting the brakes hard. They look like a second valve stem and are on the opposite side from the stem. They are a smooth curved plate with the "stem" that locks the tire beads into the rim when the nut on the outside is tightened. They also keep the tire on the rim when the tube goes goes flat. I also ruined a tube on the 10" tires on our electric scooters we use for camping. Low tire and the tire slipped. Jim