A simple flat tyre - but this is 2020, so no...

Really boring post for your today...

On cycling out of Bracknell town on one of the cycle paths (see, I do use them when they go where I want), I hit a pot hole. I have been back and looked since and it looks really innocuous, but it was very jarring and my first thought is that it will have killed my tyres.

Unsurprisingly, within half a mile, or so, I had a flat back tyre. Crap!

I got a lift back from Tescos, and later walked in (3 miles) with my cycle repair kit and pump. The puncture was obvious, and not that small, so I used the sandpaper thing on the rubber and applied a self adhesive (skabs) patch, pumped up and cycled home. Perfect, job done.

Next morning, tyre flat! I investigated and it was the patch, it had popped allowing air out the side. WTF? I patched again and it immediately popped when pumping up.

I figured that maybe the glue goes off, this repair kit was a few years old, so ordered more. When that arrived, patched, and the same!

So I ordered a different make of self adhesive patch this time.

Again, popped as soon as inflated. This is mental.

I figured it was on a seam in the tyre, so I carefully trimmed that flat with a scalpel blade and tried again, no joy.

OK, time to go old school. I ordered good old fashioned repair kit with the rubber patches and the rubber glue.

I have probably done hundreds of puncture repairs in my life, and never had this trouble.

To my surprise, that did not work either, WTF?

Just to be clear, and thanks for all of the helpful advice, I did apply glue and wait for it to dry before applying the patch. I also, on some attempts, applied glue to the patch, which I don't normally have to do.

I tried the large patch sideways to cover where it popped, no joy.

I even applied a patch on top of the patch where it popped, no joy.

As an almost last resort I even used some Loctite 480 which is especially for bonding rubber. Close, but still popped.

This really is getting beyond a joke. I have never had this much trouble with a simple patch to an inner tube in my life.

I think I now have six puncture repair kits.

I have ordered a new inner tube, and some would say that should have been step 1, or at most step 2. Well, yes, except this is the back wheel with hub brakes, hub gears, and enclosed chain guard, all of which need removing, and at least one cable needs unhooking (and hence re-fitting and adjusting) and to be honest that seemed like a lot of hassle. Hence trying the simple puncture repair.

I then had a brain wave... This puncture is not a usual puncture. Well, apart from now being a tear around 5mm long because of the number of patches I had removed, it was on the inside of the inner tube, i.e. facing the wheel. This fits with it being pinched when I went over a pot hole - after all the tyres I have are meant to be puncture resistant. So not the usual place to get a puncture, which would typically be from a spiky thing through the tyre and hence on the outside. In fact, it was almost certainly exactly on the part where the inner tube is not going to be smooth when inflated, but actually a step where the inside of the tyre is in the wheel. This may be the clue, and why it only popped when inflated ing the tyre (I could inflate quite a bit outside the tyre with no issue).

My fix! Well, for a start I used the Loctite to weld the tear shut anyway, and applied a rubber patch over that. The trick, though, was a plastic card (credit card sized) bent round on the inside of the tyre between the wheel and in inner tube. A real hack, but magically the tyre inflated, and I have managed to cycle round the block and no sign of it deflating yet.

Yay, sorted, and, bollocks, the front tyre is now flat. That seems to be a much smaller slow puncture which was actually simple to fix with a patch as normal (well, so far).

So yay. I do have a spare inner tube coming tomorrow, and I hope I don't need it.

I would stress that this has taken (I think) 4 days now, and so given my run of luck I fully expect to find both tries flat tomorrow, probably pecked by a crow or eaten by a squirrel or something...

Update: Using a card was certainly a clue, as it lasted a lot longer than anything else, but today (the next day) the back tyre is flat again - so fun with dismantling stuff when the inner tube arrives. FML.

... And someone has "borrowed" my Allen keys, arrrg!

Update: I have two inner tubes and new Allen keys. Yay. I figured I would change front one first. It literally exploded in the tyre at around 50psi. WTF?! So now waiting until tomorrow for another new inner tube. I did not have this on my 2020 bingo card.

Looks like it is a full moon at just before 5pm today - is that a bad sign I wonder?

Update: Finally, new inner tube fitted to the back. All working. Pain in the arse to take it all apart though.

P.S. I now find I put the front wheel back wrong and have been cycling with brakes partly on - I thought I was just unfit (which I am), but that was daft. Finally all sorted now.


  1. Under the inner tube protecting it from the rim is a later of rim tape. This is either a bit like insulating tape, or a rubber band, depending on the type used.

    This protects the inner tube from the spokes. If they used too long spokes when building the wheel then perhaps one could be just poking through and causing a puncture?

    1. All original, and the right spokes and rim tape.

    2. That was my first thought - it sounds like something in the wheel (or tyre) itself causing the puncture, rather than a repair failure. I run tubless tyres, but on a road bike, I don't think they are very common on traditional-style bikes.

    3. If they were machine made rather than hand made by a specialist I think manufacturing defects could exist!

      Although I admit that incorrect length spokes seem unlikely!

      My best suggestion would be to try and track back to exactly the point on the wheel where the damage is occurring and go over it very carefully, checking under the rim tape as well if that's possible.

      I like the idea of linear inner tubes posted by someone else as well, clever!

      Another option is solid tyres - better then they sound, I believe - https://tannus-tyres.shop/

    4. New inner tubes are all fine now. The tape was fine as were the spokes.

  2. Wouldn't help with something on the rim causing a puncture, but a big fan of Schwalbe marathon plus tyres for avoiding punctures.

    1. The tyres are puncture resistant and no sign of anything in tyre or rim causing this.

  3. Is it quicker and cheaper to just buy a new tyre?

    1. The tyre is fine, but I have bought a new inner tube.

    2. And a new tyre is as hard to fit as a new inner tube as I have to dismantle stuff stuff.

  4. Not sure where I read about them, and as my bicycles have QR or TA I have no need for them, but there is https://gaadi.de/?lang=en

    1. That I amazing. Last night I thought how much easier it would be if a tube was not a complete ring so that you did not have to remove the tyre to change it. I spent some time lying in bed trying to work out if a flat end or some sort of tapered overlap would be better. I had no idea they actually existed!!!

  5. If you ever look to get a new bike, have a look at frames with monoblade and single-chainstays, you can change an innertube without removing the wheel! Mike Burrows is a huge proponent of that design, and has a city bike designed but which hasn't made it into production (the "Gordon"). The "Gocycle" electric bike has a few similar features - very pricey but a fantastic design!

  6. The last photo looks like the tube has managed to "balloon" out and exploded. Are the tyre beads being seated correctly on the wheel rim? I think you had a (couple of) regular puncture(s) to begin with, but the secondary ones are due to the re-installation. Make sure the valve stem is pushed in when snugging in the tyre bead at that point to make sure it's not getting pinched. When re-installing, I'd pump the tyre up a little bit and then go around the whole tyre squeezing /rocking it side to side so it's pulled down snug on the rim at all points, then complete the inflation.

  7. I have found that 90% of the time I just replace the inner tube only to find that the thing has gone down again overnight. it seems that replacing the tyre fixes this 100% of the time. Despite my carefully marking the tyre and the inner tube the copious inspecting the tyre for damage and or debris.


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