PUNKS on BIKES

Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#1
Had to deal with 5 PUNKS lately.

PUNK #1: Caused by wet roads: Wet rubber picks up grime, dust and broken glass. Glass gets hammered into the rubber resulting in a PUNK!

PUNK #2: Caused by replacing PUNK #1 with old tube you've had in your back pocket for about 3000km because you rarely get PUNKS. This tube also a fomer PUNK that you have repaired. It lasts a few kms before PUNKING!

PUNK #3: Upset at all this time wasting you break open your new tube and put it in as fast as you can as you are keeping your team mates waiting. In your haste to show off your quick tyre changing skills you don't do it as thouroughly as you would if you were having a beer in front of the TV and you pinch a portion of the tube between the rim and the tyre. This PUNK comes quickly. That is PUNK #3.

PUNK #4: You have put in another perfect new tube. You have done it properly. You feel good. This time however a new piece of glass PUNKtures your very old worn thin tyres that have done about 10,000km and should have been replaced a few months earlier.

PUNK #5. You have bought two new tyres, new tubes, checked for dirt in the rims and done a perfect tyre change over with new tubes... back and front.
Why is the tyre flat the next morning? This PUNK I will put down to a faulty new tube sometimes you get a bad one. Closer inspection shows a small hole above the valve. I get a lot of PUNKS near the valve. Did I put too much pressure on this area with my hand when I was pumping up or is the valve area prone to PUNKS?

Do you know any other PUNKS?

I met all these guys within the last 2 weeks.

When I first got my bike in 2004 I didn't get any PUNKS for almost 2 years.
My Carbon Mavic wheels have never had a PUNK.
My Bontrager wheels are pretty old and a few minor wobbles. I may put in some lining tape that they sell to make the insides smoother for the old wheels....
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,661
477
103
Japan
#2
two weeks biking to work on my SS I got wedged btween the curb and a large truck going downhill at about 40km/h it was -4 or about that and there was a long deep pot hole that pinched my tire and crappy old tube.Had to patch that one as I had forgotten a new tube!:eek:uch:
last saturday biking out to a city about 40 kms away with a time allowance of 75 mins so it was going to be tight to meet the soccer team i was working with.
Same road, same situation and another flat on the same f:::'n pot hole!
No problem, I have a new tube in my saddlebag, came prepared:D
but left my allen key behind so couldn't take off the wheel!!!!!!!! :cry: Had to call up for the wife:)gun: ) to drag out three kids to pick me up BUT still no allen key so bike can't fit the bike in the car. Hid it in a tree and picked it up later.
It has been snowing since then so no more training untill next week in NZ.
will I be ready for the 200km road race? NO!!
 

Ash

Warming-Up
Apr 23, 2006
686
1
0
shakujiidai, nerima ku, tokyo
#3
Know the feeling...

Here I am running around Tokyo, got 1 hour to get from one class to the next, plenty of time and then BANG, sizzle run over a pile of glass thoughtfully left behind by some cager. No problem though, off comes the wheel, in goes the new tube and then I reach for the NEW NEVER BEFORE USED SO CALLED 'MICRO' PUMP. Have you seen these things? They are little stylish silver things about 15cm long and look rather flash on the bike. Only thing is...they don't WORK:eek: . Half and hour later, still pumping, manage to get it half inflated and just enough to get it up the road to the office. Arrive late, student standing in front of office door thinking ' who is this idiot carrying a bike up the stairs.....'

Gone back to the trusty old pump.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#4
I've got the same little pump and I wasn't happy with it at first but I know how to work it now. I also carry one of these....

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mcentyre.com%2FVTTLC-1.jpg&hash=2743737b1cc29620eae6a1a16e18770c


Pumps you up in 5 to 10 seconds.....

At 400 yen a pop I only use it if I'm late for work. So far only once.
You could use the hand pump for 90% and then get the extra hardness with the cylinder.

The cyclinder will fill you up for about 1.75 tubes....if you don't use the pump.

Drove into work today as I feel a cold coming on... made it home last night with no PUNKS to deal with... back on the bike tomorrow....
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
435
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Tokyo
#6
How about this one....

You're riding in the Alps (off road) with your brother. You have tubeless tyres. Your brother does not. You have a patch kit, mini pump, and a spare tube. Your brother does not....
Off you go. Early in the day, your brother gets a Punk and has no tube to fix it, so you lend him your tube.
Off you go.
You arrive at the top of a 5 km long, steep rocky downhill. Your brother takes off ahead of you. About halfway down, you put a big cut (1cm) in your tyre - down it goes :eek:
But now.....you have no tube to put in the tyre....and once the tyre is off the rim, there's NO WAY it's going to inflate with just a mini-pump. By now, your brother is long-gone...
So you end up running 2km downhill, dragging your now useless MTB behind you, until you can catch him up, patch the old tube and be on your way at last!
Just to add insult to injury, at the bottom of the hill was a Mavic service van with a compressed air line and lots of tubes....GRRR :mad:
 

Alcyone

Warming-Up
Nov 5, 2006
42
0
0
Kashiwa
www.mindoverstereo.com
#7
I've got the same little pump and I wasn't happy with it at first but I know how to work it now. I also carry one of these....

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mcentyre.com%2FVTTLC-1.jpg&hash=2743737b1cc29620eae6a1a16e18770c


Pumps you up in 5 to 10 seconds.....

At 400 yen a pop I only use it if I'm late for work. So far only once.
You could use the hand pump for 90% and then get the extra hardness with the cylinder.

The cyclinder will fill you up for about 1.75 tubes....if you don't use the pump.

Drove into work today as I feel a cold coming on... made it home last night with no PUNKS to deal with... back on the bike tomorrow....

400 yen? Man, the jitensya-ya near me has them for much cheaper! I think 150 yen!
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
1,808
215
93
多摩区
#8
PUNK #5. You have bought two new tyres, new tubes, checked for dirt in the rims and done a perfect tyre change over with new tubes... back and front. Why is the tyre flat the next morning? This PUNK I will put down to a faulty new tube sometimes you get a bad one. Closer inspection shows a small hole above the valve. I get a lot of PUNKS near the valve. Did I put too much pressure on this area with my hand when I was pumping up or is the valve area prone to PUNKS?
Had two punks of that very category last week. Probably deficient tube and too much pressure in my case. I am using Michelin tyres. Michelin recommends no more that 116psi pressure which I feel is too low/soft, so I usually pump them up to a max of 130psi. Anyhow, I'd rather change my tubes at home than tinker on the road. :warau:
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
435
103
Tokyo
#9
Pump My Ride

Had two punks of that very category last week. Probably deficient tube and too much pressure in my case. I am using Michelin tyres. Michelin recommends no more that 116psi pressure which I feel is too low/soft, so I usually pump them up to a max of 130psi. Anyhow, I'd rather change my tubes at home than tinker on the road. :warau:
I've read that some rims aren't well finished around the valve hole. Any burrs here will quickly cause a failure - it may be worth running a fine file and some emery paper over this area, or overlapping your rim tape. Also, I never do up the valve locknut tight until the tube is pumped up, otherwise it can pull the valve stem out of the tube.

I second the "fixing tubes inside a warm house, not on a freezing mountain" technique!
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,514
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japanichiban.com
#10
More than a year without a puncture...must be a record. Time flies when you don't get a puncture eh?

When I do get one it's usually the day after rain and that's what happened on Sunday morning.
2 small glass cuts in my rear expensive Hutchinson racing tire that had just worn in to perfection for the next race in Hitachi...The wet glass must have stuck to my back wheel.

However I was not 100% prepared.... 'where's my tire lever? ( 3 in my car, 2 in my desk at work) ... oh well, don't need one of those.......what? I have 3 spare tubes but none of them have long valves for my deep rimmed Cosmic Carbons? (I had taken my long valved more expensive spare out that morning thinking 4 tubes was overkill, especially since I rarely get a puncture. :angel: ). Not to worry, I had an extender tucked away in a little plastic box.
Ok, I can now expel the last of the air from the gas cannister. It had become tarnished due to a year of sweat while sitting in my back pocket repair pack. ...that got it 80% pumped up... my miniature hand pump got it a little more inflated but I had 10kms to go to the starting point where I knew a foot pump would be in the back of somebody's car....problem was I'd have to ride a record TT to get there before they all left..... or persist with my hand pump and still miss the start...

I can usually get it all done within 5 minutes but this change over took 15...then couldn't ride comfortably all day knowing there was a hole in the tire....

That's how my tyres usually give up the ghost...by a tiny glass cut...not by over use. :rain: Going to have a good look at all my tires this week and try to avoid a follow on of more punctures....

I made it! Got it pumped up from a team mate who was just about to lock his car....And clocked 100kms for the morning and was home by 11 a.m to walk the dogs.
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#11
Well, glad you made it in the end. I think I must be the only cyclist in the world who can't mount a tire without levers...I always make sure I have them.

Went through a run of bad luck with "punks" the last few months until I finally figured out that the cheapo plastic rim tape I bought for the new Eastons was doing a lousy job of protecting the tubes from the rim holes. Went through about 4 or 5 tube changes before finally cluing in and getting some of the proper old school cloth tape. Problem solved, lesson learned.
 

chris

Warming-Up
Mar 18, 2008
22
0
0
Tokyo
#12
During my 3 years of riding in China I involuntarily got to test different tires and tubes. Roads in Shanghai are a stress test for any gear and first I blew up a couple of Michelin pro race tires - side walls were too thin and got slashed after a couple hundred km. Afterwards I put my confidence into conti 3000 but still had frequent flats, usually resulting from little pieces of glass. A year ago I changed to Schwalbe Stelvio Plus and since then -knock on wood- I have ridden 6000k without a single puncture.

In China I used to collect punctured tubes and when I had a dozen or so I would bring them to the friendly guy at the street corner who made a living from fixing all sorts of bikes, tricycles etc. It cost about 300 yen to get my tubes patched which was less than the price of the coffee I had while waiting. I guess this service offering made the trouble of frequent punctures a bit more tolerable...:D
 

marc

Speeding Up
#13
PUNK #3: Upset at all this time wasting you break open your new tube and put it in as fast as you can as you are keeping your team mates waiting. In your haste to show off your quick tyre changing skills you don't do it as thouroughly as you would if you were having a beer in front of the TV and you pinch a portion of the tube between the rim and the tyre. This PUNK comes quickly. That is PUNK #3.
A recent one for me came when trying to quickly deal with a punk in the middle of a downpour. Got the tube on, then the tire, everything was looking just fine. Then when I started pumping with my micro-mini frame pump, I failed to hold it steady enough and in my haste proceeded to bend the bejeezus out of the itty-bitty fragile little valve stem. It didn't break off, but it was bent enough that trying to put on the little plastic stem cover would cause it to open and deflate. Swore at myself and gingerly rode home without further incident, then forgot about it until it decided to give up in the middle of the night on the way home from work. Walked the rest of the way home and will check this weekend to see if the valve did indeed fail or if it was another punk.
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,514
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japanichiban.com
#14
In my haste too I also broke off the bit that sticks out of the valve. Still worked but couldn't get a hold of it anymore as what was left was inside the valve.

With the plastic valve caps... I never use them. Useless items. Dump them.
With the lock nuts at the base of the valve. I never use them. Dump them.

Get the weight down, every little gram..then you can fit more beer in.
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
435
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Tokyo
#16
By the way, are rainy conditions more conducive to punks, or is this just Murphy's law in action?

NOT Murphy's law......
Water lubricates any sharp object and helps it slide through the rubber tyre carcass = more puncs in the rain :mad:

A car tyre maker once showed an advert of their tyres being driven over a glass bottle in dry conditions - they had to take it off because you can do that with any tyre :D
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#17
Another problem...

By the way, are rainy conditions more conducive to punks, or is this just Murphy's law in action?
...Is that wet objects actually "stick" to your tyres more than dry objects - for example, shards of glass, sharp stones, pigeon bones, whatever.
If a piece can actually stick to the tyre, every time you run over it (several times a second) will imbed itself further into the tyre. If it eventually makes its way through the "kevlar" lining that most tyres have now, it will finally pierce the tube, causing a slow leak.

On some brands of tyres, the outer layer of rubber is quite soft (for grip) but can allow splinters of stone & glass to accumulate. Make sure you check your tyres, and pull out any en-lodged pieces.
"Edogawakikkoman" recommended a toothpick.

Riding while it's actually raining is not usually so bad; but riding on wet roads after the rain has stopped is generally twice as likely to see you with a flat.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#18
Another thing to do when you ride through a gravelly area (wet or not) is to hold your gloves down on the tyre to wipe away all the accumulated gunk. Back and front, while you are riding if you can, (not at the same time, one wheel at a time) or get off your bike and spin the wheels as your glove cleans.

You will have to wash your gloves after anyway....
 
#19
I can tell

you are either a PRO or else a very savvy cyclist Peter ! You are right...this is how the pros do it - while riding of course.:thumb:

Another thing to do when you ride through a gravelly area (wet or not) is to hold your gloves down on the tyre to wipe away all the accumulated gunk. Back and front, while you are riding if you can, (not at the same time) or get off your bike and spin the wheels as your glove cleans.

You will have to wash your gloves alter anyway....
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
435
103
Tokyo
#20
Another thing to do when you ride through a gravelly area (wet or not) is to hold your gloves down on the tyre to wipe away all the accumulated gunk. Back and front, while you are riding if you can, (not at the same time, one wheel at a time) or get off your bike and spin the wheels as your glove cleans.

You will have to wash your gloves after anyway....
NEVER! Too dangerous by far! I've seen a guy crash as his hand was dragged down between the back tyre and the seat tube. He broke his shoulder for the sake of some imaginary dirt.......