p*nct*re fairy; tube dodginess

Discussion in 'General Cycling' started by Adam Funk, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. Adam Funk

    Adam Funk Guest

    Friday morning I got my bike out of the shed and the front tyre was
    flat. No problem: I have spare tubes.

    I took the flat tube out and pumped it up to find the puncture --- no
    sign of it. I went round the tyre, cleaning inside & out randomly.

    Put in spare #1 (used but patched): air goes out as fast as I can pump

    Tried spare #2 (used but patched) outside the tyre first: also leaky,
    but not as bad.

    Tried spare #3 (unused, out of my pannier): good. Put in the tyre,
    went to work with no spare tube in my pannier on the way, but fine;
    the tyre even stayed up all day while I was at work. Put the unused
    spare out of my desk in the pannier, just to be safe, and stopped on
    the way home for a pack of 3 spares, just to be safe for longer.

    Got home: the tube that had gone flat overnight was still mostly
    inflated (lying in the garden). I had to put it in water to find the
    leak, which I patched.

    Tubes #1 and #2 both had several crackly-looking places parallel to
    the moulding seam, so I discarded them. I'm sure they aren't more
    than 3 years old, though --- were they dud tubes or had I done
    something to encourage them to get like that?
    Adam Funk, Sep 7, 2011
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  2. Adam Funk

    Simon Mason Guest

    I must have a dozen spare tubes in the garage and they are all as good
    as new, no cracking or glazing.
    They are kept out of sunlight and kept cool - don't know if that is
    the reason.
    Simon Mason, Sep 7, 2011
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  3. I took to keeping my tubes in a Tyvek Envelopes (unpadded), to protect the tubes from tools and other odds and sods in the bag. I once went to replace a tube after several years without a puncture and the tube had a wear hole in it.
    Daniel Dignam, Sep 7, 2011
  4. Adam Funk

    Phil W Lee Guest

    Not uncommon with slow punctures.
    The rate of leakage under working pressure is far higher than it is at
    any pressure you can reach with it outside the tyre.
    Possibly contamination with some oil or oil based product?
    Phil W Lee, Sep 7, 2011
  5. Adam Funk

    Rob Morley Guest

    Stored in sunlight or exposed to e.g. petrol fumes?
    Rob Morley, Sep 7, 2011
  6. Adam Funk

    Ron Lowe Guest

    I've come across similar lately.

    Cycling the route of the Fred Whitton a few weeks back, one of our group
    had a flat. His spare tube ( patched ) also leaked! We donated him a
    new tube and we continued.

    Friend was in Majorca in the summer, and same. Puncture. Spare tube
    leaked. This was a 'new' tube ( unused ) but possibly a little old.

    It's critical to keep the tube in a bag of some sort to protect it from
    abrasion etc from the multi-tool and other goodies in the pack.

    I seem to have fallen into a 'no-patch' mode un-intentionally.

    As a matter of policy, I only carry 'new' in my seat bag. The sub-£5
    cost is nothing compared to the inconvenience of not being able to get
    going again.

    But then I get home, with a new tube in the tyre, and a punctured one in
    the pack. So what to do? A new one goes in the pack. Just a matter of
    policy. So what to do with the old one? So do I patch the old one, and
    put it back in the tyre, retrieving the 'new' one? No, too much work.
    The wheel is good, with a new tube. Leave it be. So I now have
    several perfectly repairable tubes sitting here, which it's just not
    convenient to use. I'm not going to put them in my pack. I may
    re-use them if I have a flat near to home, and don't need to use the new
    tube from my pack.

    So I've arrived at a no-patch policy somewhat accidentally; it's juat
    the consequence of my 'only-carry-new' policy.
    Ron Lowe, Sep 7, 2011
  7. Adam Funk

    Clive George Guest

    Mice nibbled holes in at least one of ours :-(
    Clive George, Sep 7, 2011
  8. Adam Funk

    Adam Funk Guest

    Hmm, I wonder. I'll have to check the box I keep tubes & other guff
    in for that.

    They are out of *direct* sunlight. The shed has a transparent roof
    but some tree cover near that and a lot of small ventilation gaps in
    the walls, so it doesn't get very hot on the shelves.
    Adam Funk, Sep 7, 2011
  9. Adam Funk

    kimble Guest

    Oils, solvents (or fumes thereof) or UV light would be my main suspects.
    Assuming it's not mechanical wear from rattling around in a bag, of course.

    On which note, I've taken to keeping my spare tubes rolled up and
    wrapped in several layers of clingfilm, along with a piece of paper
    denoting the size (I have three main wheel sizes to deal with regularly)
    and valve type in large friendly letters. As well as providing an
    idiot-proof means of identification when juggling luggage and spares
    between bikes (or selecting the right tube in the dark), it provides an
    appropriate level of snag/abrasion resistance for minimal extra weight
    or bulk.

    kimble, Sep 8, 2011
  10. Adam Funk

    Adam Funk Guest

    Well, tubes #1 and 2 were loose in a box in the shed, where they had
    been stored since they were last patched. #3 was in my pannier, but
    still in the original cardboard box.
    Interesting idea; thanks.
    Adam Funk, Sep 8, 2011
  11. Adam Funk

    Deux Guest

    So how long has it been since your last reinstalled the tube?

    If it happens again, check out the outer tube. Once I got through about 5
    inner tubes scratching my head about why the tubes kept inflating OK but
    randomly going pop. Turned out there was a tiny hole in the outer tube
    which meant the inner tube was escaping through it very slowly and
    eventually bursting.
    Deux, Sep 8, 2011
  12. Adam Funk

    Adam Funk Guest

    At least 3 or 4 months. (I'm quite pleased with the performance of
    the Schwalbe Marathons.)

    I think I'll check the tyre again thoroughly this weekend, since I
    seem to be losing some pressure overnight so I must have a very slow
    leak again. But I don't think any recent problem with the tyre could
    have caused the problem with the two spare tubes.
    Adam Funk, Sep 9, 2011
  13. Adam Funk

    thirty-six Guest

    Oil (mineral) on your fingers or catching the axle (oil again). Best
    to give a tube a clean with a little detergent, then a light dusting
    with chalk or talc before storing or packing on a bike. The chalk/
    talc will absorb any minor oil contact such as that from the rim but
    you should ensure that your hands are grease free, or use gloves when
    thirty-six, Sep 9, 2011
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