Can you believe it?
I got another flat. Same bike. Same wheel. Four since March. More in a month than all season last year on all of the bikes.
The first flat was a puncture. I ran over a nail that punctured a small hole in the tire and tube. The second flat was a mystery. The next 2 as well. I couldn’t find a nail or other object that may have caused it. I carefully investigated, checking for an errant spoke or damaged rim. To no avail. I couldn’t find a cause. So, I purchased a new tube, carefully inspected the tire and fastidiously installed them on the wheel with proper inflation.
Since the bike was still on the stand, I decided to clean the chain and adjust the brakes. While spinning the cranks and changing the gears to make certain the limit screws were properly set, there was a deafening “bang”. BANG!
It sounded like a gun shot. A blowout without a load. I wasn’t on the bike. I didn’t hit anything. BANG! How did this happen? In over 30 years, I have never had this happen. What happened? The tire was properly inflated and yet a hole was blown through the wall of the tire. BANG. Has that been the problem all the while? A worn tire wall.
There are several causes for a flat tire. Faulty valves. Indiscernible slow leaks. Punctures. Pinch cuts when a tube is pinched when a hard object – curbs, stones, edges of holes – is hit. And, blowouts! The fact that I experienced several on the same wheel in the same month is a coincidence. Or, is it? Was each flat the result of the worn tire?
I have since replaced both tires and tubes and, today, went for my first 30 km ride without incident. Not a single flat. This is the first time in a month I have ridden this bike without a flat.
My last thought. Regularly check for worn or damaged tires. And always carry tire irons, replacement tire and pump.