The rear tyre on my commuter bike is wearing out a lot quicker that the front. During February and March I had three punctures in six weeks, all in the rear.

Following a recent ride to Kurnell the rear tyre slowly deflated. Another puncture! While repairing the puncture I usd the opportunity and swapped the tyres. Worn rear tyre on the front, near new looking front tyre moved to the back.

Great. That should mean less punctures.

Last weekend I did a ride near Camden, out to the Lake Burragorang lookout and back. Nearing the end of the ride the front tyre deflated. Yes, that's where the worn rear now lives. Repaired the tube and checked the tyre, inside and out, for anything that could cause the puncture. All clear.

Then another puncture yesterday. Slowly deflating front tyre on the commute home. Again no cuplrit found on either the inside or outside of the tyre.

Then today another puncture. Two hours after arriving at work the front tyre was flat.

When repairing the latest puncture before the commute home I again checked the tyre inside and out. Nothing sharp.

Ok, something else needs to be done. So I looked for every little slice or nick in the tyre tread and squeezed each open. Doing that I found three very small pieces of glass hiding out of sight. None was protuding on the inside or outside of the tyre. The latest three punctures were very small holes. I assume that normal pressure and impacts on the tyre during a ride could cause these small pieces of glass to penetrate through and create a small hole in the tube. Sneaky little buggers!

So from now on I should probably be checking the tyres on a regular basis looking for cuts and, inside each cut, for glass or whatever caused the cut. And I should do this before punctures occur.

Oh,and I'll be ordering some schwalbe marathon plus tyres soon. Those little buggers poking holes in my inner tubes will have to work a lot harder to get through those new tyres (hopefully).

Views: 77

Comment by Josh on April 7, 2009 at 10:36pm
I went through a stage last year, when I got punctures 5 rides in a row, and two of them were doubles (two separate punctures on one ride).

But now, I haven't had a puncture in about 3,000 km. It's a road bike, narrow tyres.

One thing I will say, I haven't ridden up and down the M7 for some time. Those nasty little fine pieces of threaded metal always get me on that road. Where do they come from? Steel belted radial car and truck tyres?
Comment by Peter H on April 8, 2009 at 8:33am
Once I was getting punctures every time I rode into work. I would not get punctures on the way home. The punctures were always the rear wheel and were all in the same place on the tube. The tyre did not have any glass in it. I eventually discovered that I had a small cut (about 2mm) that went through the tyre. This is nothing bad in itself, and I currently have many like that. This small cut would open and close as the tyre made and lost contact with the road. It was fine when the tyre was only inflated to 80psi (hand pump) but if it was at 110psi the pressure of tube on this cut would cause the cut to chew through the tube. I then purchased some Bontrager Race X lites with hardcase technology and did not get any more punctures for around 7000Km.

I am currently running Schwalbe Blizzard which I was told had puncture protection similar to the Bontrager. In reality they have similar puncture protection to wet tissue paper and I am back to getting punctures every other day.

When these tyres wear out I will be going back to the Bontrager. I just hope they have 700x23
Comment by Kim on April 8, 2009 at 8:45am
Josh, I have been told that those little pieces of metal come from streetsweepers. I am not sure if that's true though.
Comment by Freewheelin' Franklin on April 8, 2009 at 9:09am
rear tyre wears faster than front because most of your weight is on it. because most riding is done in a straight line, it tends to square off, I've always been told that this is bad to have on the front, as effects the steering of the bike. In any case I think your tyre is sending you a message. a new tyre is a small price to pay for all those bus tickets you dont have to buy... and if you're replaceing with new tubes you've probably already paid for a tyres worth of tubes
Comment by Michael S. (Boxhead) on April 8, 2009 at 9:24am
Yes, the worn rear tyre has squared off a bit. Ordered the new tyres last night. I'm patching the tubes rather than replacing with new. Need to buy some more patches. However I try to carry a new tube as a spare just in case I can't patch successfully. And I did toss a punctured tube into the corner of the garage. "3 strikes and your out" I told it. I might forgive it and patch it up again over the easter weekend. :)
Comment by Streetsweeper on April 8, 2009 at 11:22am
They did not come from me.
I spend my time on the road picking them up - in my tyres - not putting them down.
Comment by Streetsweeper on April 8, 2009 at 11:38am
What's this '3 strikes' business?

I'm up to 10 patches on one of my tubes. So long as tube condition is reasonable and the hole to be patched is not in a difficult spot, I just put on another patch.

But I only do this with the mountain bike. I much more selective about patches on the road bike.
Comment by Josh on April 8, 2009 at 1:47pm
Kim - if true, that's very interesting. In many many kms of riding on the M2 and M7 I can't recall a glass shard puncture. I have had a few pinch/snakebite type punctures. But the vast majority of the punctures have come from those tiny bits of steel.
Comment by Josh on April 8, 2009 at 1:49pm
Paul - I'm currently on Conti Gatorskins. Very happy I am, too.
Comment by Ma Dame Vélo on April 8, 2009 at 2:06pm
I have had a metal shard puncture on the M2 too. I thought it was the steel belting from a blown truck street sweepers have metal bristled brushes or soft bristles? If they are metal, I think that would explain it. There's probably not so many blown truck tyres....?


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