Flat tires

I've had my Rambler about three years and enjoy riding it. However, this spring the back wheel has been flat more than it's been inflated. It seems that every time in inflate it, it's deflated by the next morning. When I remove the tube, it has a small hole, usually in the same place. It appears that one of the spots where the spokes enter the wheel is sharp and is puncturing my tire. I've placed duct tape over it, but it still goes flat. It's getting more than a little frustrating.
What else should I try? Or is this a bike shop issue?


  • If the end of the spoke is poking past the flange on the spoke nipple you can either file or use a dremel tool to make it flush with the nipple. There should also be some form of rim tape over the holes you can buy it online or at a bike shop and trim it to fit Velox among other brands is adhesive and comes in a couple widths. Measure the inner well of the rim making sure to cover all holes. Most 20" wheels have rubber band type rim tape but they are prone to sliding when the tire is mounted and exposing the holes which leads to more flats.  
  • My local bike shop solved the issue. It wasn't the end of the spoke. Turns out that the channel on the wheel that the tube sits in is really narrow. My local mechanic said that causes a pinch on the tube and blows them out. He's seen it on other Ramblers and other trikes with 20 inch wheels. His solution was to build up that channel with several strips of rim tape (he used the cloth kind). It's been a week and no flat. He even showed me how to do it, in case the problem creeps up again.
  • @CycloneGary - thanks for your update. We have a Rover and this is good information to have.
  • My understanding is that pinch flats are more prevalent with under-inflated tires. I always ride at whatever the max psi is (and put up with a bit of a rougher ride) and have not experienced a pinch flat in 40 years of riding. Have done this on many DFs, some mountain bikes and my Rambler. So far, so good.
    <div><i>Take a chance - just leap and the net will appear</i></div><div><br></div><div>TerraTrike Rambler GT</div><div>Trek Madone 5.2 WSD</div>
  • The default CST's are inexpensive, thin rubber, low-pressure tires. They're great for beginning riders, especially those only doing a couple of miles in the suburbs. Think of them as beginner balloon tires. :)

    They are prone to pinch flats in rough conditions, especially as the rubber ages and gets stressed. I wouldn't call them crap, but they're not the best tires around. If you do have them, check the pressure before every ride and keep it near the max. 

    - PaulNM
  • The classic snake bite or pinch flat is usually two holes and caused by the tire bottoming out against the rim. Most times it is under inflation or hitting things like potholes with sharp edges straight on. Smaller diameter and lower profile tires are most susceptible.   
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