Tires Good Tires That Turned Bad On Me - Pics

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by MikeJ, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

    Hi All -

    If there were a section in this forum entitled "Believe It or Not!", I would post this writeup there. What happened to me tonight is so unique, I just had to record it and ask "What happened here?".

    I was prepping a Garage Queen to be a useful ride once again. The Queen: A Specialized Rockhopper purchased from a pawn shop.

    Study the pictures. I was adjusting brakes on the front shocks. The original rim was wobbly to all getout, so I got a spare rim and tire that was still under some small amount of pressure from my parts bin. I deflated the tire to get the tread past the brake shoes. The bead seal was broken all the way around. I mounted the wheel and tire. I went to air up the tire. It is a Kenda 2.125 inch 26 inch tire. Age is unknown; it came with a donor bike frame that was assembled in 1995.

    I was passing the 35 psi mark, not yet 40 psi, when a quick rupture sounded and the doggone inner tube popped out like an intestinal hernia!

    Nobody would believe my words describing this, so I had to take picture and post them. I could not have deliberately done this if I tried.

    A quirk, maybe an hour before: I inflated the rear tire and tube. Tire age is again unknown; I purchased it on the Garage Queen frame. The tube is a Bell inner tube, purchased brand new from a bike shop mid-afternoon today. I know everything fit well. I inflated to 60 psi and set to the side. An hour later, I noted some crackling sounds, like an ice sheet stressing. A few seconds later, BOOM! That tire ruptured out of its bead. That time, the tube simply let loose like a high pressure balloon! I was ten feet away, no injuries. But my ears are still ringing.

    Noted: Both tires were old, kind of dried out. When the bead seal was broken, they both seemed to fit a bit more sloppy than if the tires were new.

    Do tires and beads stretch with age? And if the bead is broken, does the tire not seal its bead well anymore?

    Any comments are welcomed. I ride a 15-year-old Haro with an engine I almost tossed away as a lost cause because a cylinder stud stripped out. But I rebuilt it and call it Frankenmotor. I use quarter-inch diameter steel rod to lock the engine to the downtube because the bottom studs sheared off a long time ago. I use 14-gauge wire and turnbuckles to lock the engine to the bike frame seat post to control runaway vibrations. The shift kit is anchored the same way to the bottom bracket. It is a royal pain to start.

    But it runs great and smoothly when it is running.

    Yes, motorized bikes are an adventure.

    1,248 long distance miles with Frankenmotor and a shift kit. Half a dozen rides each over 100 miles.

    Attached Files:

  2. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Assuming you have the correct tire size, when seating the bead for the 1st time while airing it up theres a fine line that runs along the bead. You need to make sure this line is uniform in distance drom the edge of the rim all around the circumferance of the rim. This distance might be say 1mm or 2 maybe 3 even. Im guessing here that maybe this is the problem that the bead wasnt seated properly. Only other thing I can think of is the tire size might be off, say if you using a fractional size and you need a decimal size......if the bead is broken that tire is dangerous and should be thrown away.
  3. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

    Hi Darwin -

    Your words echo the same comments I received from a retail bike seller. He said the same thing happens once every few months to one or more of his assemblers. He said the same events happens to him once a year or so. I will be looking more carefully for that line you wrote of in the future. I also purchased two new tires and tubes, the tires made by Michelin. The shop owner told me the bead sits tight with those and I may have to put forth a bit more effort than normal to put those tires on.

    I am throwing those old tires away.
  4. Tango911

    Tango911 New Member


    has anyone noticed how the tires on a new bike say from walmart or any 80-140$ bike are not true. 2 times ive had to buy new tires off the shelf and replace the wobbly ones on the new bike.

    is this common in the cheaper bikes?

    I dont have the money to buy a $500 bike and put kits on them.

    Steve aka tango
  5. WhizBangAndy

    WhizBangAndy Member

    I have noticed on about a 1/3 of the cheaper bikes the bead takes some finessing to stay put or the tread/ casing is wobbly. And thats even when the lines are even all the way round on both sides.
  6. Neon

    Neon Member

    Sometimes it's better to save the extra scratch for the better bike. You may end up spending way more money in the long run to correct the cheap bike problems.
  7. caduceus

    caduceus New Member

    When mounting bicycle tires I always use Johnson's baby powder.

    Joke? Nope. When I worked on agricultural equipment which used tubed tires of all kinds, we used to go through cans of "tire talc" every week. Talc is a naturally occurring soft mineral milled into powder form which, when applied liberally to the inner tire casing, allows all the kinks, twists and knots in the tube to easily straighten out as you slowly inflate the tire after you've finished putting it on the rim. Talc is a natural dry lubricant that is harmless to baby's bums. And inner tubes.

    After putting a couple of psi pressure in, center the rim in the tire so the outer ring of the tire bead is the same distance from the rim edge all the way around. Then slowly complete inflating to the recommended pressure. The talcum powder will puff out in little clouds.

    I like Johnson's baby powder in my tires because it smells better then regular tire talc.
  8. scotto-

    scotto- Member

    Good stuff...

    Yep, cornstarch works just as well and is also fairly cheap. Odorless too!
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  9. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    I like Kenda tires. They are good for mountain biking (light, with soft flexy casings, and not too heavy. Tread patterns are average all around types).
    I bet you just had a dud or it came from sitting in a garage (hot and cold changes can ruin tires that just sit around).

    The talcum powder seems to be a good idea to me, but I usually skip it.

    Try "Swiss Army" Tires from I've been using a set of 1.95 tires that I got $10 each, with good results. The fat ones work good for mountain bikes also. They roll quietly.
  10. ibdennyak

    ibdennyak Guest

    Interesting.......Not that your tube had a hernia, but that you had the same problem I have been experiencing recently. In the last month or two I had a couple tires that fit well before remounting, that did the same thing. I also was having a spate of flats....but always with the more expensive tires and with the thick tubes. Finally I just mounted up some old Walmart cheapies and called it good. Flat problem over. :eek: Of course, now I get to watch the tread pattern wobble all over the place. :annoyed: Actually, I can't complain about the cheapies too much. They don't ride as nicely as the more expensive tires, and they certainly aren't near true, but they hold air and go round and round.

    Who ever posted the idea of fractional tires not fitting properly on metric rims may have something. I ruined a wheel, and when I mounted the 2.125's to another rim is when the tube came out to say hello. Well, the last week or so has been uneventful, so maybe my luck has changed.

    Re: the baby powder......count on another Minnesotean to come up with that. Helps your tires stay up, and......relieves the chafing if they do go flat and you have to push the bike home.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2010
  11. DanielMaia

    DanielMaia Member

    My first thought was --> yey, an expansion chamber into a tyre :D
  12. retromike3

    retromike3 Member

    tires have changed a bit

    The problem I have had with curtain tires on older rims is that the specks for the rim on a hook bead tires have changed. Now I noticed this on a much older rim and a new tire but the same holds true I think.

    If you take the tire off the rim there should be a ridge that goes around the inside of the rim. this is known as a "hook bead" rim If your rim does not have these "hooks" the modern mountain tire will blow off. The same thing happened with road bike tires a few years earlier. I can't say for sure if this is the case but that might well be the problem with your rim.

  13. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    All tires are not created equal. Same with rims as well.

    Keep in mind when putting your tire on the rim, "Is this just way easier than it usually is?"

    I don't know for certain, but it does seem like they stretch - but also, it could just be the slight margin of error between the rim and the tire. If both are working against each other and you just happen to have a rim that's a little bit smaller and a tire that's a little bit bigger, you're going to have some issues.

    If it seems to be a particular rim in question of being the culprit, you can always get tires with a wire bead, they're crazy hard to get off and on, but worth it once it's there, cause you know it's not just gonna pop off on ya.
  14. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Yes, you have encountered a common problem that is simply solved.

    Tires made for 26" that are marked in fractional sizes (26" x 1 1/2, 1 3/8, etc) are for the non-hooked rims such as found on on old 1970's 10 speeds. Millions of these bikes abound in cities, backyards, and scrap heaps everywhere.

    Tires made for 26" that are marked in decimal sizes (26" x 1.5, 1.95, 2.1, 2.25) are the NEW mountain bike size, and are what is sold on mtb and beach cruisers all over USA now except possibly the cheapest or old-stock dept bikes such as K-mart or Toys R Us.

    When changing tires on the new style rim, take care not to stretch the bead (some are not made of metal wire anymore). The tire can go over the rim easily by pressing the bead into the center channel of rim opposite the point you are working on.

    Take care to inflate to a low pressure and check tire for proper seating before fully inflating and riding.

  15. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Exactly. Bike tires are the case where 2.125 does NOT equal 2-1/8:shout:
  16. Dave C

    Dave C Member

    My Mongoose Paver when it was new blew the tires out the same way. I contacted Mongoose and after a few questions they replaced the tires, tubes, and gave me a new back rim that was twisted when the tube blew. One of the questions she asked was weither I used a compressor or a bike pump. I lied and said a bike pump:thinking: Turns out you need to use a bike pump so that doesn't happen. Inflating the tires too fast will cause them not to seat right. I tried the new tires from Mongoose. They didn't work either:-/ Ended up getting 2 Duro BulletProof tires off of eBay and have been very happy with them. They do not expand raidally due to the polyurethane anti-puncture belt under the tread.

    With the Mongoose I think that WalMart and the Chinese came up with the idea of lowering the cost of manufacture by shrinking the rim a bit. You can tell because the brake pad is at the bottom of the adjusting slot instead of in the middle where it should be.
  17. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    re: smaller rim to save cost.

    Its possible, but more likely that if it was deliberate, it was to speed installation of the tires so the bikes could be assembled more quickly.

    Still, I wouldn't put it past the Chinese to skimp anywhere possible on low end goods. There have been a rash of tainted food products, baby toys, dog food, milk, etc, from that country in the last couple years even.

    The event of a brake pad aligning at the bottom of its adjustment range can be due to many things, from loose tolerances in where the dropouts are placed in the frame design, where the bosses are welded on, and if different dropouts were substituted when others were lacking.

    I use an electric 12v air compressor all the time and have not had any problems with damaged tires from it, but I always partially inflate the tube (just enough to take shape) and seat my tires well by hand before inflating. These little pumps are $10 at dollar stores and dept. stores. Its great for bike trips, with multiple friends, so we can get going quickly.

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  18. HeadSmess

    HeadSmess Well-Known Member

    advantage of having a tyre station on the property as a kid... i learnt all this :)

    the talc powder is the best advice(yes, cornstarch works but if it gets wet....yuk!), coupled with either; slow gradual inflation while "kneading" the tyre so it beads properly, or using a compressor, going to 10-15 psi, deflating, kneading, reinflate, repeating if necessary... watch that rim-line!

    some air in a new tube helps it lie properly within the tyre carcasse... and prevents it from pinching.

    my only failures have been from sidewalls splitting, and overheating... 140psi in a 27" out in the sun on a 40 degree day :lol and the odd rim collapsing

    interesting sidenote...i must have some of the only 18", 22" and even a 28" rims left...besides maybe in the developing countries :) and even at 40 years plus in age, they hold air and id trust em for riding on....

    one old dog i know always recommended buying tyres well in advance. let them harden up a bit, so they last longer... and a mix of soap and glycerine on the siddewalls keeps em nice :)
  19. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    I think if you are building your own frame or making a "chopper" motor bike, it might be fun to use odd sizes, especially if you like the tall skinny front & fat small rear tire combination.


    18" are not as common, but can still be easily found.
    Check with a vendor before buying to make sure they are the same measurement standard. 18" seems to be used on BMX Freestyle bikes and some recumbents. 22" seems to be used for some electric bikes. I've never seen one 22" bicycle tire in person.
    28" could refer casually to 700c, which is ubiquitous, or to 28" old style. I think the Russian Bike Engines thread went over how a lot of industrial bikes used them. has lots of rims and tires
    -12 1/2" Tires
    -14" Tires
    -16" Tires
    -18" Tires
    -20" Tires
    -22" Tires
    -24" Tires
    -26" Tires
    -27" Tires
    -28" Tires
    -29" Tires
    -650 Tires
    -700 Tires
    -Scooter Tires
    -Sew Up, Tubular, and Tubeless T
    -Snow Tires
    -Wheelchair Tires

    Fit bike co 2.1 BMX street tire, $20
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2015