Flat tire on first ride out! What could be the prob?

Discussion in 'Friction Drive' started by StrontiumEthics, May 3, 2011.

  1. StrontiumEthics

    StrontiumEthics Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Well I just brought and installed my first friction drive kit. Dax friction drive. I have to say its really really cool. I like it. However, while i was going about 20mph or so, I felt the back tire wobbling and realized I had a flat tire. These were brand new tires/inner tube. Do you guys have any suggestions as to why I got a flat tire? Here is a list of stuff about my rear wheel that could possibly be culprits. If you have any suggestions to avoid this in the future that would b e cool as well. thanks.

    1. i dont use rimtape, I use blacktape
    2. Tires are your basic $10 cruiser tires
    3. Tire wasnt fully hard when I took it out for that spin.

  2. Richard H.

    Richard H. Member

    The first culprit is always a road hazard, nail or something, but I assume that's not the case here, nor a defective tube. Next, from what you said, would be a pinch flat, sometimes called a 'snakebite' from the tiny twin holes made where the tube got pinched. You mentioned under inflating the tire and this is can lead to pinch flats.

    Airing up the tube and finding the leak will offer more insight into what caused the tube to fail and the circumference distance from the valve stem will help locate where on the rim it occurred.

    Sturdy rim tape is usually a good idea, not necessarily the culprit here, but something to consider if a spoke is protruding. Seating the tube and tire carefully when airing them up is also a good idea. I've developed a habit of first using a hand pump to inflate a bicycle tire about half way then topping it off with a compressor, especially with new tubes.

    The only caution I've encountered that specifically involved friction drives causing flats was with using tire liners. I had a problem once with the drive roller pinching the tube when the liner over lapped. I went to the heavier, thorn proof tubes and that problem went away.
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  3. StrontiumEthics

    StrontiumEthics Motored Bikes Sponsor

    should I use tire liners?
  4. Richard H.

    Richard H. Member

    You could, but that's kind of another discussion, one that will bring out all kinds of pros and cons of liners or using fire hose or old sneakers, lol. just kidding.

    Seems you'd want to determine what caused the flat with what you've got now, first. If it was a nail or road junk, sure, tire liners and thorn proof tubes work great. But if it's a spoke nipple or something else like that, you'd probably want to correct that, then repair it or replace the tube. Consider a thicker thorn proof tube. Then proper tire inflation aids in preventing pinch flats and is really necessary for friction drive to operate efficiently anyway.
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  5. StrontiumEthics

    StrontiumEthics Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Good point!lol I will be analyzing the details Friday and will pick up an inner tube in the meantime. I will keep you posted! Thanks and lookout for my response!
  6. StrontiumEthics

    StrontiumEthics Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Ok so I removed wheel and check the tube today. It looks like a pinch flat. The tube looked like something opened it had a very small flap. I checked the tire for any intrusions and didn't see any. I also check the spokes to see if it protrudes but the nipples are embedded in the rim. and its covered with black tap. I think it just might be a case of bad luck and that i didn't pump the tire up to a good PSI. I will be picking up tire liner and a thorn proof tube today.

    PS: Do you think I should use tire liners? will the affect performance on Friction drives?
  7. Hammond Egger

    Hammond Egger Member

    I just bought a Schwinn drifter. Both the tires on it went flat just sitting in the shed. I've yet to ride it. I'm just going to replace them with Slime 5X thornproof tubes.
  8. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

    There is a lot of good info in the "All About Tires" section of this site. I know, because I put a lot of my own comments there. Check it out; you will find several good solutions.
  9. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Sometimes I think I've changed the most rear flat tires in the whole forum. Five of my bikes had friction drive. Most picked up nails or glass, and the friction spindle helped push the objects thru the tire tread. Some flats were mysteries with no punctures thru the tire, even when I ran a "tire within a tire".

    All that changed when I swapped from friction drive to Scooter Guy mount and shift kit last year.

    I have yet to get a flat tire. :whistling: