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Spare tube damage?

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    Spare tube damage?

    Only had 2 flats and both times my spare tube has also been bad. Both tubes spent at least a year riding in my trunk bag. Both of them seemed to fail at what I assume are seams, its where those little ridges are. I wasn't paying close attention but its certainly possible that those seams were on a fold and possibly even a corner. Really annoying and kinda takes the fun out of a ride when you end up spending almost an hour patching tires.

    Anyone else have issues like that? Tubes were not in anything special just taken out of the boxes and tossed into the pack. Nothing hard or sharp for them to rub on, tools are in a wrap. The replacement tube for the most recent fail I'm trying storing it in a bubble wrap bag. I'm wondering if I need to periodically inflate/test them which will also re orient how they are folded? That is assuming its even possible to get them folded again after being inflated.

    Not so far - what brand tubes? I also carry a spare tube and a patch kit just in case.

    Brand-wise, I've been using Bell & SUNLITE (Schrader) and Slime & Kujo (Presta) tubes via Amazon; they are inexpensive and nothing special. The Bell tubes come in semi-tough shrink-wrap plastic (and a cardboard box) and tuck into my saddle toolkits very nicely, sans box.


      I don't usually carry a spare tube unless way out in the remote desert and have never had to use one on the bike... I always carried spares on motos and they've always been fine when I had to use them

      The spares I have for the bike have gotten used when I put new tires on but then again they're always filled full of fresh sealant when I install them in new tires so hard to say what they'd do without the sealant...


        Bontrager and Specialized brand tubes. As far as I know they are just standard grade normal tubes. On my 29er with the 2.5 tires I'm now running Bontrager fat tubes that are rated for 2.5-3 so much thicker than typical tubes.


          Two other thoughts come to mind, and I'd bet you've already had them 73Eldo - there are 1.) a batch issue, and 2.) how long have you had them? I also don't recall tubes failing on the seams or mold-release ridges (whatever they are).

          And AZguy, no tube changes on the bikes? You're a lucky guy, I guess! In my analog bike commuting days (on 700Cx24-28mm tires), on one particularly memorable ride home, I had three debris flats and used my two spare tubes and several glue-on patches. For the cherry on top, it was late in the riding season and getting dark, and I could barely see the places to patch on the third go-round. This was in the early eighties - dunno if sealant was available back then.

          And that life lesson is why I try and make the wheel removable as easily as possible.
          Last edited by ncmired; 10-06-2022, 07:46 AM.


          • ncmired
            ncmired commented
            Editing a comment
            Forgot to add - I used to carry a spare folding tire as well, in the old days.

            On my airhead slash-R m-sickle days, I carried a spare tube in the toolbox and long tire irons in the frame backbone but was oh-so-fortunate only to have one flat during all of those years (slow, and noticed after I got home). Nearby a guy sold tires, so I used to help change 'em but I wasn't set up for the job at my place.
            Last edited by ncmired; 10-06-2022, 05:46 AM.

          • AZguy
            AZguy commented
            Editing a comment
            I can't tell you how many times I've dealt with moto flats trailside... likely at least a couple of dozen... Always, always sux

            If you want to get good at changing moto tires trailside you don't need any special setup... for me the only thing special I'd do when changing them at home is lay down a piece of cardboard...

          • Hard Tail
            Hard Tail commented
            Editing a comment
            I feel your pain and can certainly empathise as I’ve had similar experiences with tightly folded tubes. These days it’s generally when I’m trail side assisting others as my days of flats stopped a few years ago when I started following AZguys advise about using Greenslime in the tubes. I must say it worked for me but have since changed to Stans with equally good results.
            Interesting observation, I run my Hookworm tyres at 50psi and when I do get a puncture I hear the hiss for a few seconds before the puncture seals.The Greenslim would seal with about 20psi remaining but the Stans seals quicker with about 30psi. Only grumble. ( and not really grumbling) is that the Stans leaves a sticky latex type spray on the inside of my mudguards and frame where the sealant leaks out. A small price to pay for puncture free riding.

          Sealant would have helped the spare tubes but not the original issues which was I would guess a defect that split and then a 3/8 stick that went through the tire, tube, and came out through one of the holes in the rim.

          I think in each case the spare was a different brand than the original tube and I'm pretty sure they were different than each other. For sure were different sizes so had to be at least a slightly different batch. Age I don't know for sure. One I bought in 2020 and I think the flat was 21. The other one I think came with spares that came with the bike I got used in 2020 and the flat was last month. It didn't look like the previous owner was carrying the tube on the bike but I for sure did.


            I carry patching stuff just in case. With a spare tube. But sharp objects penetrate tires easier when it's wet, and are harder to avoid at night. So patching at night in the rain is not an uncommon scenario in rainy South FL. It often rains at sundown when the air cools a little. Also tubes with sealant leaking out are harder to patch anyway. I'm actually as likely to throw a patch on the inside of a cut tire as to patch a tube. Of course that's right where the slime will be.
            My thinking on tubes is that traditional cyclists like to save weight at the rim/tire/tube area. On an E bike the priority changes for me. Cheap thick tubes like Bell or Schwinn seem to work just as well. Right now I'm running Orange sealant in the front tube where I rarely have flats. The green Slime brand stuff failed me there. I used Stan's but the local shops switched to Orange because Stan's clumps up with CO2. In the rear I'm running a Tannus Armour tire liner. With sealant in the tube. This requires a smaller spare tube which should work in a pinch for the front also. The Tannus made such a huge improvement to the ride, NVH, and handling of the hardtail that it's going to be a part of my builds from now on. I started a thread on that somewhere. I carry CO2 and a pump. For slow leaks the CO2 may get me to a sheltered area to fix the leak, or maybe even get me home. After an initial pinch flat the Tannus is working for me. I'll see how the Orange sealant works before deciding whether to put one in the front. They are expensive, and a PITA to install.

            NVH= noise,vibration,harshness.


              Pinch flats was something I was worried about because I'm at or above the weight limit on a typical bike but it just hasn't been an issue for me. The recent stick incident I think was just a one in a million shot I still don't quite understand. It was my fat bike so 26x4's. On that I put a large glue on patch on the tire since it was kind of a tear so I thought the glue would help hold the pieces together. The hole was just slightly off the center line. The rims on that bike have large lightning holes and a pretty thick nylon rim strip that the stick also went through and I wasn't sure if the glue patches wold stick to that so there I used a Park 'tire boot'. Initially went with a new tube but that had a leak so but since that was one small hole vs 2 larger ones I glue patched the spare.

              I didn't spend enough time sanding the seam down so my patch leaked and I was tired of pumping so I just headed for home which was only about 2 miles. I had just bought a co2 but it was on the other bike. Would not have helped that much since I only carry 2 carts which according to the charts would only get me 10psi on the fat tires so those would have been gone about the time I discovered the spare tube had a leak. When I got home I was able to easily peel off the patch and sand it down and do it right. Its still holding months later. Fat tubes are expensive so I'm just gonna go with it.


              • Retrorockit
                Retrorockit commented
                Editing a comment
                My "pinch flat was probably a fold in a new tube installation with a Tannus. It went 2 miles before failure. So it wasn't a traditional pinch flat. I just didn't know hat else to call it.

              So far my tubes have not been a problem. I bought Continental prestas from Amazon and store them in my bike pack in a plastic bag wrapped in rag to avoid contact with my tool kit. My biggest problem with a flat on the trail is breaking the bead and then reseating it again with a new tube - wobbly ride home. I was tubeless for a while, but now I'm back to tubes with Stans sealant. It's thorn season and so far so good.


                A rag is a good idea. Not a bad thing to have in your pack anyway especially if its a rear flat and you have to deal with the chain.


                • designerron
                  designerron commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Two rags if you're also dealing with tube slime/sealant!