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  1. #1
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    Punctures - how many is too many?

    My third puncture in as many weeks. It's not so fun any longer. At least this one I could change in the kitchen at home.

    I bought a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus Flat Less 700C because I thought they'd offer more protection. I've covered between 750 and 1,000 miles on them since November - so through the harshest part of the winter so far, and that's through London most days. Am I expecting too much?

    I keep checking the inside of the tyre for anything that's penetrated (nothing ever has). I've also tried replacing the tyre without using the levers at all when I replaced the tyre - knackering my fingers in the process - because I thought I might have nipped the inner tube when replacing it.

    Any advice or suggestions? No, I'm not going to get an indoor trainer instead because it won't help the commute!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Manglier's Avatar
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    You have to develop an eye like a sh1thouse rat for looking out for sharps in the road.
    Alternatively, if you have tubes with removable valve cores, it may be worth squeezing 60 ml of sealant into each tube. It works for tubeless so I can't see why not on tubes. (Orange Seal is my preferred choice).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradbox View Post
    My third puncture in as many weeks. It's not so fun any longer. At least this one I could change in the kitchen at home.

    I bought a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus Flat Less 700C because I thought they'd offer more protection. I've covered between 750 and 1,000 miles on them since November - so through the harshest part of the winter so far, and that's through London most days. Am I expecting too much?

    I keep checking the inside of the tyre for anything that's penetrated (nothing ever has). I've also tried replacing the tyre without using the levers at all when I replaced the tyre - knackering my fingers in the process - because I thought I might have nipped the inner tube when replacing it.

    Any advice or suggestions? No, I'm not going to get an indoor trainer instead because it won't help the commute!
    When you examine the punctured tube, what do you find that's allowing the air to escape?

    Is it a pinprick of a hole (usually giving a slow puncture) or something bigger?
    Is the hole on the inside, outside or sideside of the tube, with reference to the rim (which is inside) or the tyre (which is outside)?
    Have you felt around the inside of the tyre carcass with your fingertips for any tiny sharp that's worked it's way through the tyre?
    Is there a poorly-fitting rim tape allowing the tube to squeeze into a spoke hole then puncture?
    Have you got the double holes of a snakebite puncture (rim bites tube when you whack through a sharp-edged pothole)?

    Symptoms such as these will tell you the cause of your punctures and what, if anything, you can do to mitigate against them.

    Lataxe

  4. #4
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    Three punctures in three weeks is unfortunate but not a cause for alarm. These things can come in waves - if they continue to happen at this rate then definitely time to wonder what is going on, but, as long as your tyres haven't passed their sell-by date you may just be on an unlucky streak,

  5. #5
    Senior Member VLAD (the Friendly Vamp)'s Avatar
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    remember that the farmers are hedge cutting this time of year.

    I can now see the distant hills since my hedges opposite have been cut.
    NOT logging in every and each visit now.
    Going to have to BITE someone soon.
    Amicabili Lamia

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gasper's Avatar
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    Yes incessant hedgecutting round here. some fields have been done three times now. Farmers have to keep their workers busy so send 'em out yet again to trim the poor hedges in their enormous machines. It's a nice sitting down job in a warm cab with the radio on.

    Avoid those little piles of clippings at all costs, especially if there is hawthorn in the hedge.
    "Go forth and ride your bike". Courtesy of Me 2015.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasper View Post
    Yes incessant hedgecutting round here. some fields have been done three times now. Farmers have to keep their workers busy so send 'em out yet again to trim the poor hedges in their enormous machines. It's a nice sitting down job in a warm cab with the radio on.

    Avoid those little piles of clippings at all costs, especially if there is hawthorn in the hedge.
    Gasper, old thorn-dodger,

    In olden days when I were a lad, 267 years ago, hedge-cut time was indeed the season of punctures. But in them days our tyres were not so resilient; also up at 110psi as they were skinny things - fashionable because thought to be faster (which, it turns out, they aren't). September used to be hedge-cut time; and no clearing up afterwards.

    These days hedges are cut at many times but always through winter, to avoid massacreeing the nesting birds. The clean-up does seem better also, although I don't know how they achieve this. However, I ain't had a puncture from a thorn (or anything else, bar one snakebite on a too soft tyre) since 2009, despite doing thousands & thousands of miles, usually down the back roads that are particularly prone to hedge-clip, including those hawthorns.

    Why is this? I believe it's partly better-made tyres but mostly the fact that I use wider tyres at a much lower pressure than in olden days - typically 70-85psi. Squishier tyre seems to laugh in the face of thorn.

    I know many of you lads still haven't wholly accepted the notion of fatter tyres at lower pressures. One reads of the 100psi lads on here quite often.....

    Lataxe, tempting the puncture gremlin.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gasper's Avatar
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    Well I am back in the 100 psi camp, now I have a 23 on the rear and a 25 on the front, having shredded my last 25 tyre.

    If I had the legendary lataxe power I would be happy to push a soft 28 around, but unfortunately I need all the help I can get.

    True some do clear up very well, some do not. Probably down to the type of flail equipment they are using.
    "Go forth and ride your bike". Courtesy of Me 2015.

  9. #9
    Senior Member coolboarder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradbox View Post
    My third puncture in as many weeks. It's not so fun any longer. At least this one I could change in the kitchen at home.

    I bought a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus Flat Less 700C because I thought they'd offer more protection. I've covered between 750 and 1,000 miles on them since November - so through the harshest part of the winter so far, and that's through London most days. Am I expecting too much?

    I keep checking the inside of the tyre for anything that's penetrated (nothing ever has). I've also tried replacing the tyre without using the levers at all when I replaced the tyre - knackering my fingers in the process - because I thought I might have nipped the inner tube when replacing it.

    Any advice or suggestions? No, I'm not going to get an indoor trainer instead because it won't help the commute!
    Are these slow punctures of do they go flat immediately? - the fact that you could change one in the kitchen suggests the former. Do what laxative suggests and immerse the inner tube in a bowl of water and look for a leak.

    Impact punctures because the tyre is too soft produce the classical snake bite pattern but tend to deflate very quickly on the road.

    I had a series of 3 punctures in a week and found a thin metal staple in the tyre which wasn't obvious to start with and I missed on a casual examination of the tyre.

    If you're struggling with getting tyres on and off consider one of these I've found it very useful for re-seating the tyre with older Campagnolo rims which are notoriously difficult.
    It doesn't matter how many times you fall down, its how times many you get back up that count.

  10. #10
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    The roads round us at the mo are covered in hedge cutting debris, plus a lot of flint washed off the fields by the rain. Lots of roadside tyre repairs going on...
    "Training is also a battle" - Kim Jong-Un

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