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  1. #1
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    Problem with Flat Tires

    Hi everyone, newbie poster here with probably a dumb question.

    I bought a used Trek 7.3 about a month and a half ago in order to help rehab a knee injury and get into shape. I tore my patellar tendon last November, and the Doctor suggested biking to help with long-term rehab.

    Anyways, I rode the bike for 3 weeks or so 10-12 miles per night, 4-5 nights a week without any trouble.

    However, now for the last two weeks, I have gotten a flat tire once every other ride, all but one on the front tire.

    I have been checking the tire inside and out before putting in a new tube, and can't find anything sharp that could be causing multiple flats. I even had the LBS change/fix one, so that I could have a more experienced set of eyes look at it.

    The flats always appear to be from punctures outside the tire on the outside facing section of the tube, so they don't appear to be pinch flats, or a problem with the rim.

    So. .. .I've eliminated about everything that I have been able to research about, but I don't know what I don't know.

    One worry I have is, "what size of puncture in a tire requires a boot/patch on the tire itself?"

    Another is, "Am I too heavy?" I'm working on that. .. that's part of the reason for the bike, but I currently weigh about 265. The Trek 7.3 has 700X23 tires. Do I weigh too much? Is this a factor in these flats? Since they don't appear to be pinch flats, I hope not, but I don't know.

    Am I just unlucky?

  2. #2
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    Pinch Flats (do a google search)
    What's your air pressure?

  3. #3
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    And the "wheels/tires" section of the forum, not here.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  4. #4
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    As an aside, no offense meant, but at your weight I suggest going with at least 25c's, but preferably 28c's.

    Current 7.3 FX's are equipped with 32c's, so 28's shouldn't be a problem, but verify that before ordering.
    Last edited by PJ352; 06-24-2013 at 04:55 PM. Reason: addition..

  5. #5
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    Heavier cyclists tend to impact sharp objects with greater force than lighter ones. Therefore, imagine a pricking your finger with a needle, as opposed to stabbing yourself with a needle. Also, tire quality plays a large part in flats, too.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    As an aside, no offense meant, but at your weight I suggest going with at least 25c's, but preferably 28c's.

    Current 7.3 FX's are equipped with 32c's, so 28's shouldn't be a problem, but verify that before ordering.
    Do you mean putting 28c tires on the current wheels, or will I need entirely new wheels? I'm sure that's an egregiously bad newbie question.

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightTrainLayne View Post
    Do you mean putting 28c tires on the current wheels, or will I need entirely new wheels? I'm sure that's an egregiously bad newbie question.
    You should be able to run 25, 28, 32, 35, or even a bit larger on the standard wheels, so no worry about replacing the actual "wheels". Hell, you'd probably be fine w/ 23's on those wheels, they're not that wide.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You should be able to run 25, 28, 32, 35, or even a bit larger on the standard wheels, so no worry about replacing the actual "wheels". Hell, you'd probably be fine w/ 23's on those wheels, they're not that wide.
    He's now running 23c's. That's what made me suggest wider tires.

    OP, cx answered your question, and BTW, this is the beginner's corner, so ask whatever you like.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightTrainLayne View Post
    I have been checking the tire inside and out before putting in a new tube, and can't find anything sharp that could be causing multiple flats. I even had the LBS change/fix one, so that I could have a more experienced set of eyes look at it.
    You need to figure out if you're getting multiple punctures at the same point. You match the tube up with the tire and that tells you where on the tire the puncture occurred. If they are happening all over (never the same place twice) then you are either unlucky or you are not careful in avoiding debris on the road. Chances are however that the punctures are happening at the same point and that means one thing is causing repeated punctures.

    Study the puncture itself. If it is a pinhole that suggests a piece of wire (typically from car tire breakdown -steel belted radials). If it is more of a bruise in the tube that suggests perhaps a slightly damaged casing on the tire is rubbing against the tube. In any case, only when you know the cause of the flats can you figure out a solution.

  10. #10
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    He's now running 23c's. That's what made me suggest wider tires.

    OP, cx answered your question, and BTW, this is the beginner's corner, so ask whatever you like.
    I'll be he made a typo, the FX series bikes come stock w/ 32mm tires.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    I'll be he made a typo, the FX series bikes come stock w/ 32mm tires.
    Yes, I checked back and saw that the OE tires are 32's.

    Could well be a typo, but buying used one never know what (or why) sellers do what they do.

    Either way, it opened a discussion on tire size/ options/ pressures, and I know how much you love to see more threads on the latter.

  12. #12
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    Yes, I checked back and saw that the OE tires are 32's.

    Could well be a typo, but buying used one never know what (or why) sellers do what they do.

    Either way, it opened a discussion on tire size/ options/ pressures, and I know how much you love to see more threads on the latter.
    Oh man...one of my co-workers has started keeping track of how many times we have the 'pressure discussion' on weekend days at the shop. I think the record stands at 13...
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  13. #13
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    I started getting flats when I was 257 pounds. The guy at the LBS suggested 25C tires with thorn-proof tubes (even though I live in the mid-west... not thorn country). I also added a higher pressure rated snap-on rim tape.

    Since then I've dropped over 70 pounds and returned to using 23C tires. But I've kept the same thorn-proof tubes.
    If I didn't bicycle when the weather is bad... I wouldn't be a cyclist. I'd just be another old fat man... with a bicycle hanging in his garage.

    Urban Cycling.... Overcome your fears (a YouTube Link).
    Learn to cycle in traffic
    Or... just HTFU

  14. #14
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    I started getting flats when I was 257 pounds. The guy at the LBS suggested 25C tires with thorn-proof tubes (even though I live in the mid-west... not thorn country). I also added a higher pressure rated snap-on rim tape.

    Since then I've dropped over 70 pounds and returned to using 23C tires. But I've kept the same thorn-proof tubes.
    Damn Dave, good job on the weight loss!
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  15. #15
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    When you put the tire back on align the label with the valve. It makes it easier to locate the puncture in relation to the tire.

    Take a cotton ball and run it around the inside of the tire to help locate anything protruding through the tire. This is an alternative to the time tested method of using your finger, where the protruding object is at the start of the blood trail.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    I'll be he made a typo, the FX series bikes come stock w/ 32mm tires.
    The bike definitely has 23's on it, no typo. I'll investigate getting bigger tires.

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